New Products Abound in Annapolis

"Gear Up" from our October 10, 2006 /SW eNewsletter/


For many manufacturers, the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md. represents the start of the sales New Year; for consumers, it's like an early Christmas. This year's show was flooded with new products (and at high tide on Saturday, with ten inches of water). Here are just a few of the latest sailing toys: • Edson Marine debuted a new steering wheel, the Access Wheel, which is shaped like an acorn-round on the bottom, flatter on the top. The wheel's unconventional shape opens up access to instrument panels mounted on the helm pedestal and increases visibility from the helm. When the wheel is not in use, the flat portion can be positioned so as to allow easier passage from the stern to the companionway. • In January, Forespar is debuting a new Big Stick tiller extension with a larger diameter and a grippy, not sticky, coating. The company's new StaFAST tiller extension end fitting allows skippers to lock in the angle of the tiller extension, making for easier transitions during tacks. • Pettit Marine Paint has a new Sandless Primer for applications where sanding is not recommended. The primer has an extended curing period to allow for multiple coats. • Among the many new products offered by Harken is the Carbo Racing Foil. The luff track consists of a lightweight, low-friction material for easier hoists, douses, and sail changes, and the system snaps over the existing headstay for easy installation. Look for complete reviews of these and other new products from the Annapolis show in future editions of "Gear Up."