Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to use the Gill Regatta Race Timer

So here it is, the Gill Regatta Race Timer!  This is a great watch for any type of sailing from dinghies to big boats.  The large display allows for quick glancing instead of prolonged time checks.

Big numbers and five preset countdown sequences make it a pleasure to use.  The large buttons make operation easy, as well as preventing accidental side button pushing.  (Side Note: We really like the green buttons on the black version because they're easier to see at a quick glance.)

The snap in cradle for the watch is contoured on the underside which makes for a comfortable wrist watch or provides a nice curved surface adapter if attaching to a dinghy mast. 

The cradle also has four screw mounting holes so the watch can be mounted to a bulkhead.  For great versatility and great timekeeping, this one’s a keeper!

Check out the basics and how to use the timer function:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bosun's Chair vs Climbing Harness: When to use Each to Safely go up a Rig

Going up the mast doesn't have to be scary or difficult! Choose between two options, a Bosun’s Chair and Mast Climbing Harness depending on how long you need to be up the rig, and where the boat is when the need occurs.

For short trips up the mast, quick fixes, or "race mode" where you're on stand-by to fly up the mast, a mast climbing harness is for you. While it may not be nearly as comfortable on the long haul, a mast climbing harness is much easier to have on your body while racing and more than likely an individual will have in their "sailing bag".

If you're in need of a long fix on the dock where comfort is a higher priority, then you’re better off with a Bosun's Chair. It is not designed to be used while underway and it is more comfortable over extended periods of time with a fully padded seat.  It has multiple pockets and attachment points that allow for tools to be easily brought with you.  It's generally found on the boat (less likely for individuals to bring a Bosun’s Chair).  

Time for a closer look: 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How the use the Boom Movement Waterproof Speaker

Ever been out on the boat on a wet day wishing for music?  Problem solved!  The Boom Movement Speaker is waterproof with Bluetooth connectivity.  Use the flexible tail to attach it to a boat rail, bike handle bars, or wherever.  It also comes with a suction cup attachment, a line-in cable and a charging cable, but just be aware! the speaker is not waterproof in charging or line-in mode. 

To operate, simply press and hold the on/off button until the unit tells you it is powered on.  Press and hold the Bluetooth button and pair from the settings on your phone. From there you can operate it from either the unit itself, or your phone using the play, + and – buttons.  The play button plays and pauses the music, while the + button increases the volume, or if you hold it down will skip to the next song, and the – button will decrease the volume or rewind the current song.

Simple to use, waterproof, music anywhere.  Now lets see it in action:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Convert Spinlock Deckvest 5D Pro Sensor to Manual Inflation

When choosing an inflatable life jacket, one option I always look for is whether or not I can convert it to manual activation to control when inflation occurs and to prevent accidental inflation in wet/extreme conditions. 

From Coastal Cruising to offshore sailing, Spinlock Deckvest 5D Pro Sensor is the perfect candidate for these applications as it utilizes the uses the UML Pro Sensor inflator. This activation system is water/moisture sensitive that uses a compressed paper capsule which dissolves when wet, releasing a spring to activate the CO2 cylinder.  This system is designed so that only water flowing upwards through the unit will cause it to activate.  This prevents water, spray, and rain from accidentally firing the cylinder. 

The conversion from automatic to manual inflation is very simple.  The first thing you will need is your Deckvest 5D Pro Sensor, as well as the Manual conversion kit which converts UML inflation systems to manual inflation only.  Once converted to manual, the only way to inflate your Deckvest will be by pulling the chord.  So when you want to be in complete control of when your Deckvest ProSensor PFD inflates, the manual conversion kit is what you need. 

Check out the video below for step by step instructions:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What is a Softshell Jacket?

2-layer, 3-layer, Gore-Tex, DWR, Hardshell, Softshell. You hear a lot of buzz words thrown around in foul weather gear and outdoor clothing in general, but what does it all mean? 

Today we’re going to talk specifically about Soft Shell Jackets. What are they? What are they not? ‘Softshell’ is a type of material that used most often to make jackets, but also shorts, vests and pants.

What is it?

It’s typically soft and smooth on the outside and has a thin fuzzy fleece lining on the inside.  Some Softshells will have a wind-stopper layer and may will have a durable-water-repellant coating on the exterior of the jacket allowing it to bead off light rain or spray.

The material is stretchy and breathable making it comfortable to wear on its own in dryer conditions or as a great middle layer for warmth and insulation without trapping all the moisture your body puts off when working hard.

It is also a great looking stand-alone outer layer. Because the exterior material looks crisp and presentable you’ll probably still want wear it after sailing, to the regatta party or bar, which is a big reason why softshells are such a popular Crugear decoration piece for us.

What is it not?

It is not foul weather gear.  The seams will not be taped and the material itself is not waterproof so it will not perform well when the going gets rough.

For some more information and to see it in action check out the video:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Use and Choose a Trigger Shackle

My personal favorite for a jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheet, spinnaker guy, or tacklines is the Trigger Release Shackle. There are a couple of reasons that make this style of shackle a best choice for me. The first is the fact that with no external parts to catch, it is very unlikely that a Trigger Shackle will accidentally open.

The second important feature of note it that a trigger shackle can safely be released under load

*note: you must use a fid if you are releasing a loaded trigger shackle*

.This second feature will allow you to change sails especially spinnakers while underway.

The third feature of note is that trigger shackles are generally stronger and more compact than the comparable snap shackle.

All of this sounds great there must be a drawback, right? Well, not really trigger shackles are a bit more expensive than a comparable snap shackle, however the Tylaska and Wichard trigger shackles that we offer are high quality and with proper care which mainly includes a freshwater rinse after use, you can expect many years of reliable service, and potentially fewer ‘oh fiddlesticks’ moments on the bow due to unreliable hardware.

Check out our trigger shackles here and make your bow guy/girl happy today!