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New Gear - July 2006

KVH’s TracNet 100 Mobile Internet System combines the company’s mobile Internet receiver with Microsoft’s MSN TV service.

 A broadband connection through the Evolution Data Optimized cellular data service, with speeds from 400 Kbps to 2.4 Mbps, enables Web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging.


Where EVDO service is unavailable the system defaults to 1XRTT service, with data rates up to 80 Kbps, according to KVH. A wireless keyboard controls the system, which doesn’t require a computer. TracNet 100 also turns the boat into a “floating mobile hotspot” for WiFi-enabled laptops, PDAs, phones and gaming systems, the company says. The system is for use on U.S. coastal waters and is to debut this summer. KVH says the price will be less than $1,500, with an external amplified antenna for extended range. Service will cost less than $100 per month. KVH Industries Inc., Middletown, R.I. Phone: (401) 847-3327.


PropMate is a lockable, hard-plastic case designed to protect and secure the propellers of most outboards and sterndrives from 150 hp to 300 hp.


 The bright orange PropMate reduces the risk of injury by covering propeller blades while the boat is out of the water, deters theft, protects the prop from road debris and increases visibility while in tow, according to manufacturer Innovations & Solutions Inc.

It has a built-in handle for transporting, and the company says it can be used to store a spare prop on board. PropMate, Marathon, Fla. Phone: (305) 289-7376.


Weems & Plath has added to its collection of chart weights and introduced new brass instruments. The forged-brass Thermometer Chart Weightencloses a thermometer and weighs 12 ounces. It measures 3 inches indiameter and has a suggested retail price of $30. Other weights in the line include either a liquid-filled compass or quartz clock.

 The maintenance-free brass instruments of the Endurance Collection are tarnish-, corrosion- and weatherproof, according to the company. A quartz clock, barometer and comfort meter (temperature and humidity) are offered in four sizes from 3-3/8 inches to 6-7/8 inches in diameter.


Suggested retail price for the 4-7/8-inch instruments is $129.99. Weems & Plath, Annapolis, Md. Phone: (410) 263-6700.


Marine safety systems manufacturer Fireboy-Xintex has introduced what it calls its “most advanced” carbon monoxide detector.


 The model CMD-4MR-RLY CO Sentinel has automatic generator shutdown capability, and its multiple-location warning allows up to six of the detectors to be linked in series. Common cleaning solvents don’t affect the sensor, according to the company, and the unit carries a one-year limited warranty. Suggested retail price is $189.95.

The model CMD-4MR CO Sentinel without generator shutdown and multiple-location warning retails for $156.95. Fireboy-Xintex, Grand Rapids, Mich. Phone: (616) 735-9380.


ACR Electronics has improved its RapidDitch and RapidDitch Express abandon ship bags.

 Modifications to the RapidDitch ($121) include new gusseted EPIRB and GPS/VHF pockets with extra padding; four snap-hook gear tethers with resized elastic gear loops to keep contents in place; a scuff-resistant bottom panel; improved auxiliary clip to convert the shoulder strap to a hands-free tether; and a brighter-colored interior.


Modifications to the RapidDitch Express ($69) include a light attachment loop; waterproof, clear-vinyl window pocket; and four snap-hook tethers like those on the RapidDitch. ACR Electronics Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Phone: (954) 981-3333.