Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rainy Day Projects

It’s a rainy afternoon here in Annapolis. A day you can’t get out on the water or work in the yard shouldn’t be wasted away.  Here are some great indoor projects to keep you going on days like these…

Learn to do a Standard Whiplock:

This video by the APS rigging department will show you how to accomplish your own whiplock end for your running rigging.  What do you need?

Whipping Twine:

Feeling confident take it a step further and try a Flemish Eye for your halyard chase line…

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adidas Boat CC Lace Review from Charleston Race Week

Charleston Race Week was the perfect venue to test out the new Adidas Boat CC Lace Shoes.  I was able to see how they did in just about any condition – socks, no socks, hot, cold, dry conditions, rain, dry decks, wet decks, calm waters, and pretty good sized waves.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with them.  They are super lightweight, breathable and fast drying and best of all, they come in pink! 

Editor's Note: They are actually men's shoes and come in different colors if you're not up for rocking the pink.  Check out the classic looking black with white stripes here

The Good
You can’t beat the ‘not your typical boat shoe’ look.  It has all of the fun styling of your classic Adidas shoe but with a mesh build to keep it lightweight.

There’s more to this shoe than good looks – it’s functional too.  It has a good grip on most of the shoe (read "The Bad" below to see my small complaint).  I was a bit skeptic of the 25 drain holes (yes, I counted), but actually they helped the grip and the overall weight of the shoe. 

There’s always the concern that you’ll end up with wetter feet then you want with drain holes. This usually isn’t an issue for me – I spend most of my time on the rail if I’m not trimming spinnaker.  But with the conditions we saw there was nothing that made it so that my feet were wetter because of the holes.  I was a bit concerned about the mesh inner sole and holes throughout, but was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they were. 

My favorite part of all was the weight.  They are the lightest shoe we’ve seen in a while.  After a little testing with the same sized shoe, we proved they are almost 2 ounces less than the next lightest.  Results here: 


Adidas Boat Lace CC   6.6oz
Zhik Shoe   8.5oz
Harken Hydroflux   9.5oz
Teva Churn   9.5oz
SLAM Code 3  10.5oz

They gave more support than I expected for a shoe this lightweight.  The midsole is pretty solid and offered lateral protection as well as enough in the toe. I was impressed by how quickly they dry out too.  On Friday it was pretty windy and my feet were wet most of the day.  

I took them off on our way in from the race course and by the time we were done putting the boat away they were dry, which is something I certainly couldn't say about my last pair of boat shoes. 

The Bad
My complaints are pretty minor.  The first is that when wearing without socks the tongue creates some pressure points on the tops of my feet. That being said I could have either worn socks or worn them a bit looser and solved my problems. 

The other is that there about ¾ left on the heel that doesn’t have drain holes, providing less grip.  I found myself on my heel a time or two and it didn’t have the traction that the rest of the sole had. 

The Conclusion
I’m happy with my new purchase, especially as temperatures keep rising.  I think they will make a great shoe to wear on the bay this summer.  I’ll be sure to put in an update after they get some more use to comment on durability and whether they have the classic boat shoe smell after some more uses (lets hope not!). 

Sizing note for ladies.  They are men's sizes.  Although Adidas recommends ordering 1 full size down, I ended up 2 sizes down and a friend at a size and 1/2.  Of course this will also change depending on whether you intend to wear with or without socks.  

Adidas did well with the Boat Lace CC, and with a low price point these are bound to be a favorite among sailors everywhere. 

Check out our overview video!:

Friday, April 20, 2012

APS Welcomes New Faces to the Staff

Over the past couple months APS has hired on a bunch of fresh new faces. We like to use the reach of our Blog to introduce some of the great new people that have joined our staff.


Ben MacIntire

Hailing from just over the border in Lewes, DE, Ben MacIntire joins the team in the rigging department. Ben took sometime to open up to Stern Scoop about himself:

What’s your favorite boat to sail?

Queso or Guacamole?

What do you do when you’re not sailing or working at APS?

What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?
Are they both on the same planet? Gravity can be fickle.

Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Not that I can remember.

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Any good thunderstorm at night.

What boat(s) are you sailing now?
5o5's and Mobjack's
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Yes, everyone over at my yacht club in Lewes, Sarah Lester, and Jeff Futcher, Thanks!

José Turcios

 Working hard to keep our website up to date is José Turcios. José comes to APS with a blue water sailing background and a love for traveling. Next time you notice the fine, high quality detail of our product images and descriptions on the site...thank José.

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Hightailing it out of Surinam on a Saddler 34 with a self acknowledged, crotchety Englishman. Our mast may or may not have taken out a little village's power. We double handed upwind for almost 5 days to get to Barbados. There were lots of rolling storms so it was a lot of work, but it felt great being out there. I learned a lot thanks to that old, solo circumnavigator.

Queso or Guacamole?

If you were a boat what kind of boat would you be? Why?
Either Meteor, a 170 foot aluminium gaff rigged schooner superyacht as built by Royal Huisman or the old Olympic Dragon...classy lines and legs to boot.

What is your favorite regatta venue?
Isle of Wight for Cowes Week.

What’s your favorite brand of gear?

Do you have any hidden talents?
How to make millions and millions of Kuwaiti Dinars, but apparently it's too well hidden.

                                                   Ryan Niland

An Annapolis area native Ryan Niland joins APS as the Web Content Editor. A former sailmaker and a recent graduate of St. Mary's college, Ryan spends most of his off time working or sailing his J/24. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of Ryan's work on our Facebook, Twitter, and here on our Blog.

When did you start sailing?
Age 8

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Winning the A0 class in the 2008 Gov. Cup with a boat full of college buddies.

What’s your favorite boat(s) to sail?
J/24, Taylor 40

Do you collect anything?
Hockey sweaters

What do you do when you’re not sailing or working at APS?
Right now...boat work.

If you could have chosen your own name what name would it be?

Look for more updates soon on our other new employees. And if you are interested in joining our staff always keep your eye on the employment page of our site.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

APS Staffers Head South for Charleston Race Week

Boats are arriving and the scene is set for what should be an action packed 2012 Charleston Race Week. The 19th through the 22nd Charleston, SC will host over 260 boats competing in 17 classes. Offshore and harbor courses will be scenes of excitement and drama this weekend as each class boasts a solid turnout.

We can hardly contain our excitement as four APS Staffers are anxiously anticipating the end of the work day to head south.

So where can you find us?

Aaron from Customer Service will be sailing with Mango and Liz from Fulfillment on Church Key in the J/80 fleet. With a 18 boat line, the J/80s will have a serious challenge on the harbor course.  Moving offshore, there will be some friendly competition between the other two APSers where Warren from Customer Service and Katie from Marketing will be battling it out in the 12 boat PHRF D fleet.

Warren is returning to the same Beneteau 10m, L'Outrage, that he sailed on in Key West and Katie will be sailing on the Cape Fear 38, Tangent.  Annapolis boats L'Outrage and Tanget coming off a one-two finish (respectively) in Key West will meet again to fight for a top spot in a larger Charleston fleet.

Look forward to updates from the crew as they take on CRW 2012. Katie is also very excited to try out her new Adidas Boat Lace CC PINK shoes.  Expect a review on the latest addition to the shoe line up early next week.  

Rich Bowen, an accomplished sailor and Lead Sail Designer with North Sails shared his experience in Mexico and what gear he brought with him.  Erica Bowen, your favorite Crugear Operations Manager, was able to join him, holding down the shore crew.  Here’s his report.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a J/24 team invited to the Regata Copa Mexico, which is a fantastic event sponsored by the Mexican government, the local state government and the Board of Tourism. We placed second and were invited back to the second biennial event held earlier this month.

Recalling the heat and humidity that was around during the entire first event, and the discomfort experienced in similar conditions at other venues, I decided to accessorize in order to dress like a comfortable sailor. Naturally, my first and only stop was APS, with the insistence of Erica and guidance of Mike, I can report mission accomplished.

Henri Lloyd Quick Dri shorts have been a favorite in my quiver for some time now. I am happy with their light weight and they really are quick drying. For this trip, I added Men'sCapilene 2 Lightweight Boxer Briefs by Patagonia. They are also quick drying and light, in combination with the Henri Lloyd, I could not have been more comfortable, either when sweating standing in the companionway, or sitting in a puddle on the rail.

For a couple of seasons now, my gloves have been Pro Gloves by Gill. My first pair has been in great shape longer than gloves I have used before. Normally, I am milking the life out of ratty; rope burned and holed gloves to get through a season. I am comfortably through season 1.5 on my first pair with no daylight showing through where it shouldn’t be. One tip for these is to try them on if you can, you might need to step up one size from your current glove depending on how yours fit now. The Gill’s seem to maintain that “new glove smell” a little better than others, comparing both when rinsed after use.

Shoes have been a struggle for me, the newer brands and models I have tried seem to be getting skinnier and pointier – not a good fit for my fat feet. Until now, I have been looking for the closeout sales and discontinued item racks for my late 90’s early 2000’s favorites. After trying 3 or 4 different options the day before my flight, I was ready to rely on old faithful for another week, until I tried the Slam Code 1 Shoes. My toes weren’t jammed together even though they had extra headroom in front of them. I finally had an option that fit fore and aft AND athwartships – sold. After a week on the water, I am still happy with the fit and grip on the deck; I wish the laces dried as fast as the rest of the shoe. Next stop, socks.

After a couple of weeks at home, it was off on the annual ski trip. My favorite pair of performance long underwear had met its match on the last trip. So, it was back to APS to complete my 2012 ski ensemble. I picked up a pair of Patagonia Capilene® 3 Bottoms, gray if you really need to know. I am writing this on the last day of skiing (finally got some snow last night after several days of great spring conditions in 50-60 degrees) and the Patagonia bottoms have been keeping me comfy at the warm base lodge, chilly top elevations and gusty chair lift rides. Read more from his fellow crew members; skipper here or mastman here.

They also had some great looking Crugear, compliments of Erica.  Shown here. 

Although he didn't mention it, they did get 3rd!  Here's a picture of the happy crew at the awards ceremony. 

Thanks for the report Rich!   

Do you have a regatta report to share?  We love getting pictures or stories from your events!  Send  to