Equip Your Boat

Eight great new products for your boat to look for in 2012

January 18, 2012

ACR ResQLink Locator Beacon

ACR makes a rescue a more personal event with the ResQLink. It’s a waterproof, 4-inch, 406 MHz personal locator beacon that, when deployed, emits a registered distress signal with a GPS fix on your position. Rescuers receive the signal typically within five minutes and are guided to within 100 meters of your position. Help arrives much quicker when the authorities can narrow down or pinpoint the exact search area. The ResQLink features a collapsible antenna, a high-visibility strobe light that is on automatically once the unit is activated, and a 66-channel GPS receiver for quicker position acquisition. The unit’s compact size and weight of less than 5 ounces makes it comfortable enough to keep on your person at all times. It also boasts a full 5-plus watts of power to help it reach out to orbiting satellites.

Fusion 700 Series Stereo

The Fusion 700 Series offers two models, the MS-IP700 and the MS-AV700. The IP700 is a marine entertainment system for iPod users; the AV700 is a DVD entertainment system. Both are NMEA 2000 certified and have FUSION-link software that enables owners to use compatible multipurpose displays, such as chart plotters and fish finders, as control centers for the vessel when tied into the company’s MS-NRX200 unit via a NMEA 2000 bus box. Another great feature of the 700 series is its ability to control balance, subwoofers and volume in four different areas of the boat. Adding a Wi-Fi wireless router gets you full control via various smartphones and other devices, such as Apple products and some Android units, by downloading available apps. Additional features of the 700 series include a Hi-Fi class D amplifier, daylight-visible color screen, Sirius XM readiness and 280 watts of total output. The IP700 will display iTunes music and video and will display the images on the ship’s televisions and monitors. The AV700 has a built-in DVD player and offers iPod/iPhone playback, but it requires an optional media device for that function.

Kahlenberg S-330 Air Horn

Kahlenberg recently introduced the S-330 Air Horn for vessels less than 250 feet in length. When the need arises to engage your yacht’s whistle (horn), it might be to avoid a collision, open a bridge or make your presence known in the fog. Any of those circumstances requires that you be heard loud and clear. The ’72 COLREGS specify technical requirements for horns for vessels 65 feet and larger. The minimum audible range for signal appliance is 0.5 nautical miles. Kahlenberg reports that this unit is lighter and significantly smaller than its predecessor, and is powered by a compressed air system that boasts a compact design and yet still delivers a blast that equals or exceeds IMO requirements. Fabricated from durable cast bronze, the horn comes in either chrome plate or white powder coat to complement the area of placement.

Eskimo Ice EI540D Ice Cube

It’s rare to find a boat currently under construction that hasn’t had extensive thought go into the design and layout of its fish hold and insulated compartments. Ultimately, however, no matter what kind of box you have, you need ice to keep the contents cold. Certainly a leader in the ice-making department, Eskimo recently added the aptly named EI540D Ice Cube to the line. The innovation is in the shape of the ice; the flaked ice is now ejected from the unit as smooth, cylindrical pellets. The more rounded shape reduces the risk of damaging the flesh of the fish. The shape also lets the ice travel farther without melting, so it flows through the insulated flexible conduits more smoothly, allowing for constant production. The final product (up to 540 pounds a day) can travel up to 30 feet from the unit. The EI540D also has a small footprint — 16” x 16” x 16” — so this application should work wonders on smaller boats with limited real estate in either the lazarette or engine room. You can also install a smart monitor on an instrument panel or in the cabin, eliminating the need to physically go to the unit to monitor its status.

Switlik MOM 600

Switlik takes the design and lifesaving capabilities of the throwable device to the next level with the introduction of the MOM 600. The MOM 600 offers a crew member in rough seas or in the water at night a stable and more visible personal raft and a much better chance of survival than a life jacket alone. The unit’s compact size, 17″ x 17″ x 3.5,” allows convenient storage in any number of areas throughout the vessel for quick deployment. While it won’t replace the full-blown canister or valise-style life raft, the device works as a real platform that an overboard crew member can climb aboard on. And at the time of retrieval, the crewman can actually stand up on the raft, making it easier to get aboard a rescue ship. At 15 pounds, it’s not a featherweight, but it’s certainly light enough for someone of average strength to give a good heave in an emergency. It’s military qualified, and as Johnny Carson used to say, hermetically sealed and vacuum packed. Manually triggered, the MOM 600 comes with a water-activated strobe light and a 25-foot mooring line. Switlik says the MOM 600 is “intended for conditions where rescue is deemed imminent.”

Livos Thermostatic Fan Controls

There’s nothing worse than a tranquil night on the boat ruined by a noisy air-conditioner, so why lie awake listening to those high-powered engine room exhaust fans? Livos Technology developed a 24 V automatic (and manual) thermostatic control to regulate fan speed on demand. According to Livos, 24 V axial fans are inexpensive, very reliable and offer efficient airflow. The downside is that when they are run at full load, they are loud — at times claiming a decibel level that may exceed that of the main engines. And what’s more, they always run at full bore, even when the demand is not present. To alleviate these issues, Livos came up with a control unit that will, automatically or manually, regulate the fan’s speed. In auto mode, the control engages the fans once the engine room reaches 95 degrees. It engages the fans at 20 percent of their capacity and increases the volume of air in 20 percent intervals as needed, up to full load, to cool the space.

Seakeeper M8000 Gyro Stabilizer

Designed to stabilize yachts to 35 and 90 tons, respectively, Seakeeper’s M8000 and M21000 recently replaced the M7000. The Seakeeper display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was a popular stop; they had a model boat secured by line fore and aft in a Plexiglas tank. When the boat was aggressively rocked without the miniature gyro turned on, the boat’s motion continued for 15 seconds or so. With the unit turned on, it took just a few seconds for the boat to stabilize. A gyro is a torque device that is extremely effective at minimizing motion at low speeds or at anchor. Imagine drift-fishing beam-to a churning sea, and yet your boat’s roll is greatly reduced, making for comfortable and safer fishing. For those afflicted with motion sickness, a gyrostabilizer is nothing short of a godsend. A gyro system improves time on the hook incredibly by exerting a powerful righting torque that virtually eliminates boat roll without any need for drag-producing protrusions or appendages hanging from the hull. The system employs a motion-control system and a hydraulic braking system that automatically locks the gyro to prevent excessive roll in the event of a system fault. These stabilizers require a 30-amp single-phase service and properly designed saddle beams to handle the gyro’s motion.

Nautical Structures NS Series Davit

When it’s too nasty to head offshore, but the back bays are fishable, turn to the Nautical Structures NS Series of hydraulic davits to get your flat’s craft off its cradle and in the water. Nautical Structures designs its lifts with a compact design that complements the lines and construction of today’s sport-fisherman. While the NS Series davits boast an overall smaller footprint when stowed, they feature a better ratio of extension once deployed. Hoist capacities range from 800 to 3,500 pounds and are fully rated to lift that weight in any position without restriction. The smaller unit stows in just a 78-inch space. The entire system is run by hydraulics — including both the winch and boom. The folks at Nautical Structures say that their aluminum-constructed davits are truly “green water” sturdy. The standpipe is made from aluminum with either a through- or pedestal-deck mount that can be welded or bolted in place. All davits feature top-quality urethane finishes and a one-year warranty.

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