The light is lingering later in the day, the temps are turning ever milder—the march towards spring has officially begun. And as we long to scratch our ever-increasing itch to cast off from land, now is the perfect time to gear up for the mercurial months ahead. These finds are more than worth their salt: from innovative tech upgrades and lighting devices to water system solutions, the locally available products found here are sure to set you up for a smooth transition back onboard (even if those spring waters aren’t nearly so placid).
ALL SYSTEMS GO
Weigh anchor, adjust the trim, chart some chum: Upgrade your next voyage with these savvy system updates.
Dometic Trim Tab System
Control the roll without affecting the pitch with the trim tab system from Dometic. This easy-to-use kit is the only standard tab system with an intuitive controller that eliminates the guesswork of determining which button to push, instead it uses a dial that quickly and efficiently allows your boat to plane. As an added bonus, the actuators and controller work together to give exceptional response and precision when it comes to vessel control, and an auto retract feature is automatically activated when shifting into reverse. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com.
Dockmate Twist SoftDocking Remote Control
Never fear, more docking help is here: Dockmate has released the Twist, a wireless remote docking system that features a patented SoftDocking technology that is able to provide a measured and fully customizable engine response, eliminating the kick that boaters often dread when maneuvering in close quarters. In addition, the three-axis design of the remote allows you to push the joystick 360 degrees in all directions to provide an amazing range of motion while docking. The accompanying DockControl software also allows installers to calibrate and configure the joystick so that it is customized to your boat’s specific equipment and docking needs. Available via Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle; emharbor.com
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 Chartplotter Series
Garmin has done it again, recently expanding its popular ECHOMAP UHD2 chartplotter series to include updated high-definition touchscreen models in 6-, 7-, and 9-inch sizes. The bright, sunlight-readable screen displays feature keyed assists so that anglers can easily control and operate functions (like zooming in or out on the map or quickly toggling between different sonar views), as well as preloaded Navionics mapping, wireless networking for sharing go-to spots, and live-scanning sonar; all so you can fish like a local even when exploring new territory. Available via Coastal Marine Engine in Seattle; coastalmarineengine.com
ULTRA Flip Swivel
From the creators of the Ultra Anchor comes the small-but-mighty anchor swivel, which connects the chain to the anchor without the need of additional shackles, locking pins, or safety wires. Fabricated from high quality grade stainless steel, the uniquely strong flip swivel features a flipping nub that allows for 360-degree rotation to ensure both setting and recovering, your anchor is a smoother and safer task. Available via Monkey Fist Marine in Seattle; monkeyfistmarine.com
Brinkl Security & Monitoring Kit
This British Columbia company is making waves with its 5G security monitoring system designed specifically for boats (in fact, they were just awarded a product of the year nod at the Victoria Tech Community Awards). Armed with a key fob, this seven-piece security kit includes everything you need to keep an eye on your vessel while it’s moored at the marina or in anchorage, as the cameras and sensors all connect to your smartphone and can notify you of any changes in your position, a power loss, low batteries, cabin temperature change, or if your vessel suffers an impact. Door alarms and a siren also deter any uninvited guests from hopping onboard. Available from Brinkl; brnkl.io
LIGHT THE WAY
Illuminate dark, dusky, damp days with handy lighting and power solutions.
Attwood PowerBase Light & Antenna
Attwood’s new Powerbase series allows you to deploy, or stow away, navigational lights and antennas all with the push of a button. The mounted base can be fitted to the bow or stern and equipped with up to an 8-foot antenna or other compatible LED light, and wired into your system so that it can be controlled from the helm (no more scrambling over seats, ladders, or gunwhales before cruising under a low bridge!). And if you don’t react in time, no worries: The system is also equipped with smart technology that will automatically lower the base should it sense an impending obstruction. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com.
Sea-Dog LED Flex-Neck Light with USB
Designed in Everett by the fine folks at Sea-Dog, this incredibly versatile light is fantastic for chart lighting, as a reading light, or tucked into a cabin or berth for a little extra illumination. The rubber coated design features 21 white LEDs and three red LEDS for night vision with a built-in, touch-controlled on, off, and dimmer switch function. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com.
SeaDog Rainbow Voltmeter
Also new for 2023 from Sea-Dog, this USB-equipped power socket will keep all your VIP electronics charged and at the ready. With both USB 3.0 and USB-C adapters, it can charge two devices simultaneously, while the rainbow display gives users quick, easy-to-read color-coded voltage information. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com.
NaviSafe Mini LED Flashlight
Longtime mariners will recognize NaviSafe’s essential little flashlight, which is indeed small enough to fit in your pocket, but still packs a powerful punch with five different lighting modes including a red night vision LED. (Plus, it’s fully waterproof up to 100 meters.) Stock a few on board this season, you’ll be glad you did. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com.
UCO Gear LED Leschi Lantern
Created by Seattle-based UCO Gear, the Leschi light pulls double duty as both a lantern and a flashlight. Versatile, lightweight, and compact (three words boaters love to hear uttered together), the hybrid design features a shock cord clip that enables you to hang and focus the lantern from both horizontal and vertical surfaces; a simple push transforms the lantern into a handy flashlight for reading in bed or to accompany you on any late-night forays down the dock. Available from UCO Gear; ucogear.com
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Sometimes you want it, other times you want to protect yourself from it. Whatever the sitch, these products help to keep all that H2O right where you need it.
Guzzle H20 Solar Stream Bundle
Get set for all your springtime adventures with Guzzle H2O’s best-selling Stream water purifying system, now available in a Solar bundle that also includes a Nomad solar panel and portable power station to keep everything charged and at the ready. The Stream can pump, purify, and filter water from natural water sources such as rivers and lakes, as well as existing water sources like campground or marina faucets to keep you hydrated on-the-go. (Plus, you can forget lugging heavy plastic bottles down the dock next time, too.) Available from Guzzle H20; guzzleh20.com; as well as via Monkey Fist Marine in Seattle, monkeyfistmarine.com
Spectra Catalina 340R Remote Controlled Watermaker
Or, if you are seeking fresh water onboard, look no further than Spectra’s well-respected line of watermakers. The new Catalina 340R model produces 14 gallons of water per hour, plenty for a mid-size yacht, and does so extremely quietly via an energy efficient Spectra Magdrive feed water pump. But, perhaps the biggest plus of this model is the remote control, which can be mounted in a convenient cabin location to allow for easy adjustments whenever you please. Available via Emerald Pacific Marine in Seattle; emharbor.com
Dry Doc MagniMap
For those times when only a good old-fashioned map will do, be sure to keep it protected from any potential drips and drops with this new splashproof map case crafted by Seattle Sports Co. The clear, durable polyurethane design includes a flexible magnifying tool to enlarge those often teensy map details, a secure zip lock-style closure, and punched lashing points that make it a snap to attach it all to your kayak, pack, or a boat railing. Available via Seattle Sports Co.; seattlesportsco.com
NOCS Provisions Waterproof Binoculars
Available in a slew of bright colors so you never lose sight of them, these lightweight, pocketable binoculars from NOCS are built for the journey, boasting a IPX7 waterproof rating that should withstand a 30-minute-long dunk in the drink should they drop as you peer over the rail. They are also completely fog-proof as well, thanks to a medical grade O-ring assembly that is injected with inert nitrogen gas during assembly. The rugged ridged exterior helps provide a non-slip grip, and the high-quality lenses provide such a crisp, clear image that users have been known to shoot stunning photos straight through the eyepiece. Available via REI stores; rei.com
Mustang Survival Greenwater 35L Submersible Deck Bag
This fully submersible deck bag is the definition of tough, made with 420D Hypalon fabric and a fully welded construction for leak-tight and durable performance in the most rugged conditions. There’s more to love: A YKK AQUASEAL zipper allows for quick access to contents without sacrificing waterproofness; reinforced rubberized handles and a removable shoulder strap make for convenient transport; and perhaps our favorite feature, the clever rectangular construction makes packing and stacking easy, with external tie-downs to help keep everything secure. Available via Fisheries Supply in Seattle; fisheriessupply.com