Boating & Marine Accessories

What are the Six Types of Buoyancy Aids?

A life jacket should be selected to match the specific boating practice. A buoyancy limit of 7-12 pounds is practical for most adults.

Inflatable Life Jacket

Here are six of the most effective buoyancy aids in the market:


An offshore life jacket is a reliable option for keeping the boater safe in open and rough waters. This style of life jacket is designed to automatically turn the wearer so their face is up while also providing a good 18-22 pounds of buoyancy. A heavy-duty safety aid of this nature is the preferred option for those sailing in remote locations that might need more time to wait for the rescue services.

Near shore

A near shore buoyancy vest is similar to the classic style of the life jacket and is a practical choice for those sailing in inland or calm waters. Plus, these adult or child size life jackets are more effective when fast rescue is likely. This is a much more cost-effective alternative of the offshore version and certain brands still have the ability to turn the person face-up if knocked unconscious.

Buoyancy aid

A versatile buoyancy aid is the most comfortable option and a practical choice for a variety of water sports and activities. This life jacket comes in several sizes and styles and best in situations that permit a fast rescue service. Also, the basic buoyancy aid isn’t able to help with turning the unconscious person.


A throwable device (horseshoe buoys, ring buoys, and boat cushions) is made and designed to be easy to throw into the water to help a person that has fallen overboard. This type of device isn’t intended to be worn. Several of these throwable devices should be kept on board in the event of an emergency – but they aren’t a practical choice for the unconscious person, non-swimmers, or small children.

Specific use

A specific use device consists of the hybrid life jackets, inflatable life jacket w/ ORC/ISAF harness, work vests, pullover vests, deck suits, and boardsailing vests. Most of these wearable life jackets or vests are only practical for certain situations.


An inflatable life jacket comes with an inflatable chamber that is built to give the desired level of assistance once inflated. Prior to inflating the life jacket, it is significantly smaller in size compared to the more traditional life saving devices. This type of life jacket can provide a variety of functions. It can vary in relation to the inflation mechanism, in-water performance, and amount of buoyancy. By determining the details of the specific life jacket it is possible to determine the specific use of the device. Plus, for extra safety most of the inflatable life jackets come with a built-in back up system.

Each buoyancy device comes with an owners manual or jacket label which will clearly outline the specific use of the intended device.

In summary

A approve life jacket (at the appropriate size) is needed on board for each person to comply with current rules and regulations. Plus, a throwable devise should be included on boats at 16-ft or more.

Boating & Marine Accessories

4 Steps Involved in Choosing a Compass

A magnetic compass is a critical piece of boating equipment. A properly installed compass can help to give a real-time reading on the direction headed.

Boat CompassGoing with the right compass for a motor-driven or sail boat can be a difficult process because of the wide-ranging choices in the market. Plus, this type of instrument should be seen as a must-have item of safety gear.

Here are four of the major issues to consider in the process of installing and adjusting the right compass:


A high-end compass should come from a reputable and established manufacturer. The best compasses rely on the latest engineering methods to ensure a dependable and accurate reading is possible at all times.

Mount Type

A compass is installed using one of several different types of mount systems. A preferred mount technique will relate to the set-up of the specific boat – which mostly relates to the space and layout of the piloting area. Common mount types include:

  • Bracket (easy to mount to the deck or dash area)
  • Flush (a space-saving option with its ability to recede into the dash)
  • Surface (similar in design to the flash unit, but rests on the surface of the dash area)
  • Dash (easy to mount in a vertical position)
  • Bulkhead (a practical choice to save space or avoid issues with interference)
  • Binnacle (comes complete with case and light-protecting lib)

Dial Type

  • Direct read – An easy to read dial like that direct read is intended to be read when in front and close to the eye level.
  • Flat card – A flat card dial makes it easy to read a compass that is flat on a deck or similar area.
  • Combi dial – A combi dial is a versatile option and makes it possible to read the compass in both a flat card and direct read, so able to permit reading of dial at any angle.


The size of compass dials can vary quite significantly from about 2 to 6 inches in diameter. Compass size is likely to match the size of the vessel and length of voyage. If planning to travel at greater distances, it benefits to have a large compass that is easy to read at regular intervals.

Compass size guidelines:

  • Motor-driven boat < 16-ft = 2 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat < 20-ft = 2.25 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat and Sail boat < 24-ft = 2.75 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat and Sail boat < 28-ft = 3 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat and Sail boat 25 to 34-ft = 3.75 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat and Sail boat 29 to 42-ft = 4.5 inch dial
  • Motor-driven boat and Sail boat > 30-ft = 5-6 inch dial

Maintenance and Protection

A compass should be protected from long spells of exposure to direct sunlight when out of commission. Use the protective cover if applicable, to help minimize these issues. Also, to avoid issues with interference make sure to create a safe, non-magnetic environment that will not be disturbed by steel or iron items within close proximity.

Boating & Marine Accessories

6 Security Devices to Protect Your Boat

Marine crime can vary significantly and range from a stolen vessel to acts of vandalism.

Boat Alarm SystemA would-be intruder has the potential to attack hundreds of boats that are left unattended in marinas or boat yards up and down the country. Boats can be left unoccupied for 3-4 weeks in marinas and harbors or estuaries and rivers. Plus, most high-end electronics can easily be sold on.

Here are six of the most-effective security methods to help deter the would-be thief:

Alarm (Equipment)

A vessel is often left moored up with a wide range of vulnerable equipment left on the deck. This gear is mostly too big, dirty, or heavy to store elsewhere. An equipment alarm is possible with one of the high-tech perimeter systems which can be located around the equipment that is appealing to the would-be thief. A cable is easily connected to all relevant items and will emit a loud noise should it be cut or otherwise tampered with.

Boat alarm

Modern boat alarms range from high-end sophisticated models to basic systems. Alarms at the low-end of the scale are designed with a sensor to detect the opening of doors and hatches. A boat owner is alerted to any intrusion by a LOUD audible alarm that is installed within the vessel. A more high-tech system is built with an alarm that transmits a signal to a remote monitoring center to ensure security personnel are alerted as soon as possible. Alternatively, a boat alarm can connect to a CCTV system to enable remote monitoring of the boat from the office or home.

Doors and hatches

Boats with built in hatchways rely on a sliding hatch and drop-in boards to help with securing the vessel – although a padlock system is the most reliable. A more secure system relies on a rim lock or similar that is installed on the inside of the vessel. Plus, a vessel with sliding doors can be made more secure by installing the plunger type locks.

Outboard motor

Most of the small-size outboard motors are secured using screw clamps or similar which makes it possible for the boat owner to lift off and relocate elsewhere if required. This means of attaching to the transom is not theft resistant.

Outboard motor security is easily upgraded with a proprietary lock such as the stainless steel tubes that have a barrel lock at one end and slot to prevent the removal of the motor once mounted to the transom.

Wheel clamp

The most efficient method to secure a road trailer against theft is to attach a wheel clamp when left unattended. A further issue to factor in the purchase is the chosen wheel clamp is approved and accepted by the insurance company. A hitch lock and wheel clamp is the most effective method to protect the trailer against theft.


Even if the motor-driven or sail boat is fitted with reliable door locks the windows might let the security down, especially if installed with clips or similar light security. Upgrade clips that are easily forced with proper lockable systems.

Boating & Marine Accessories

Must-Have Gear and Equipment for the Day Sailor

There are a variety of ways to enjoy a sailing adventure, from the offshore passages to the day sails, but certain things need to be in place to guarantee a fun and enjoyable trip.

Sailing KnivesA quality selection of essential sailing equipment and gear is certain to help the skipper and passengers on board, and might include:

Foul Weather Gear

If you are likely to experience foul weather on a sailing holiday it is worth investing in a high quality selection of foul weather gear, which should make certain you are kept warm and dry at all times. A quality selection of gear is certain to make a complete difference between having a miserable time and a great time where you can be kept dry and warm even in conditions of torrential rainfall.


A personal grab-bag is perfect with storing valuables such as a cell phone, visa, passport, keys, wallet, insurance documents (plus other important paperwork), and refill medications. A grab-and-go bag can be kept in a zip lock or dry bag to ensure the contents are kept safe and dry at all times.

Handheld light

A handheld light (or headband) is the perfect tool to illuminate the outside in low-light conditions. A preferred type of light is a white light that is high intensity with an option to include a red filtered light that toggles on and off. Red filters are appreciated for giving the option to maintain the night vision.

A headband light is a practical choice to keep the hands free while working at night, such as checking the sail trim, working in the engine space, and charting the navigation.


One quality knife on board a sail boat is certain to benefit the dinghy sailors and racers and acts as an item of personal safety equipment. Use the knife to cut ropes or other synthetic materials that are common on sailboats. Knives come in a wide range of styles and sizes, such as the simple units to those with LED lights built-in.

Lifejacket or Personal Flotation Device

If you really want to make certain that you are safe at all times on a boating holiday, a quality set of PFDs should be in attendance for all those that are on board the vessel. Many of the modern life jackets are quite unobtrusive and comfortable, which should ensure you aren’t left wearing something that is overly bulky and uncomfortable for a considerable period of time. A quality PFD is likely to be equipped with comfortable mesh padding and an ability to inflate automatically in those times of difficulties.

Sailing Gloves

A specialized pair of sailing gloves is certain to help with improving the grip when it comes to hauling the lines. If you are likely to be involved in handling the sailing boat, a quality pair of sailing gloves is certain to be a wise investment. Many of these gloves feature cutoff fingers and padded palms, which is able to provide a great balance between flexibility and comfort.

Boating & Marine Accessories

5 Tips to Choosing Dock and Mooring Lines

Choosing a mooring line involves a variety of issues, such as the rope’s length, diameter size, and material.

Polyester Mooring LineEnsuring the proper mooring line is in place is critical to protecting the vessel on its mooring and keeping it safe when unattended.

1 – Abrasion potential

Deterioration of the mooring line can result from within the rope or external factors. A preferred type of mooring line is the single braid rope because it is simple to inspect for signs of internal defects. A significant issue with choosing a mooring rope is to get the right material that doesn’t degrade over time. A rope that has high abrasion properties is certain to be the nylon line.

2 – Construction

A mooring line can come with a braided or single-strand design. A strong and resilient line is the braided type, but this rope is more difficult of the two to repair. Plus, certain ropes are given jackets to up the all-round strength. These jackets are effective at protecting against abrasion – although they still aren’t able to withstand a high amount of chafing.

A jacketed rope is more difficult to repair. A positive of the non-jacketed lines is the ease in inspecting and repairing if necessary. Ease in repair and maintenance is certain to be a critical factor when deciding on the right type of mooring line.

3 – Diameter size

Boat length has a significant impact on the diameter of the mooring rope. A vessel not exceeding 25-ft is safely moored with a line at 3/8 inch, a vessel up to 45-ft will benefit from a 5/8 inch line, while a vessel in the region of 65-ft is certain to favor a 7/8 inch line.

Also, as the diameter of the mooring line increases the stretchiness starts to reduce. Use the proper diameter size to match the boat to increase the overall control provided, and not to just go with the biggest rope possible.

4 – Length

A mooring line is best sized at a length that offers enough space to pass over the mooring cleat to hold the motor-driven or sail boat to the dockside. A rope that is excessive in length can leave the boat less than secure and this means more risk.

5 – Material

A mooring line is made from several different types of materials. Each type has different characteristics which need to be carefully considered to match the specific use or application.

Common materials include:

  • Polyester – A strong material that gives minimal stretch, isn’t able to float, and resistant to sunlight.
  • Nylon – A nylon rope is cost-effective, resists long-term exposure to the sun, very stretchy, and very strong.
  • Polypropylene – A low-quality option which is very inexpensive, but unable to withstand sunlight for long periods and has a low breaking point.

The positives and negatives of each of the rope’s materials should be carefully considered. For instance, a stretchy and strong rope is in nylon, which is usually the most favored choice in the market. The second most popular is mooring lines in polyester. Because of the low-break point of the polypropylene rope this isn’t the most practical choice to use on a mooring.

Boating & Marine Accessories

PWC Covers: Ultimate Protection for the Exposed PWC

PWC covers are manufactured to protect a Jet Ski – Sea-Doo – Waverunner personal watercraft from direct sunlight, dirt, and scratch-marks in use or while winterized. Without a brand-specific or universal cover, the body, graphics and paint work of a PWC will start to appear weathered in no time.

PWC Cover and Trailer

Bright sunlight is one of the worst enemies of the PWC – If a high-performance Honda, Polaris, Sea-Doo or Yamaha personal watercraft is kept laid-up outside in an exposed area, make sure to utilize one of the high-quality PWC covers.


  1. Made in a water-repellent and high-strength fabric coated to resist UV-rays and mildew
  2. Protects against rainfall, dirt, dust, bird-dropping, sunlight, or similar pollutants
  3. Tight fitting with elasticized cords and hems
  4. Air vents to stop potential moisture build-up and wind lofting
  5. Zippered access panels for the fuel tank (ideal for trailerable covers)
  6. In-built storage bag – great for storing when not in use
  7. Backed with a 1, 3 or 5-year warranty

Brand-specific or universal PWC covers are what is needed to avoid sun-bleaching to the fiberglass or gel coat, as well as to protect against salt air, rodents, bird droppings, general dirt, pollution, etc. In addition, a high-degree of protection, it is a necessary step to prevent rust, dust build-up or water vapor damage during the period of winterization.


Synthetic materials, such as the marine-tested Sunbrella®, Glen-Tuf™, and Polyguard offer a great choice in a marine environment. Either option has an ability to stand-up to salt water, UV-rays, and on-set of mildew. Solid fabrics resist stretching, tearing, and shrinking to give a much longer life expectancy – in the region of three to five years of typical use. A water-resistant cover ought to be one of the first PWC accessories to purchase to keep the machine in great condition.

Multiple sizes

Offered in multiple sizes – choose from a Jet Ski cover for a one or two-seater machine or a cover for a three seater machine. Covers also come in several different structure designs, including the custom-made covers, rain-proof covers, budget dust sheets, and dual purpose storage / towable cover.

A multi-purpose storage / towable cover offer a perfect opportunity to shield a personal watercraft (PWC) from damage en-route to a lake or seafront – as well as protecting the vehicle whilst laid up at home. Elastic skirts, fuel tank access panels, fastening clips, and integrated straps help to provide a tight and reliable fit.

Jet Ski accessories of this nature also offer the benefit of stopping dust, dirt or water entering the electrical components or engine structure. Quality PWC covers might set someone back an extra $185, although compared to the cost of repairing a damage engine; it is a small amount to pay out for the extra peace of mind.


Other features, a mesh vent or panel at the side or front often appears to permit the right amount of air circulation under a fabric sheet – breathable PWC covers are perfect to allow air to move and thus avoid the on-set of mold, mildew, and moisture build up. In addition, these air vents are great at eliminating the ‘ballooning effect’ that comes with high winds getting caught up beneath a tight-fitting cover.

In summary

A chemically-treated PWC cover is designed to protect a high-performance Jet Ski, Waverunner, or Jet Ski from sunlight, high wind, sleet, rain, and snow at all times – whether at home or on the road.