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New Gear July 2007


The ResQFix, ACR Electronics’ latest generation of personal locator beacon (with built-in GPS), is 35-percent smaller and 25-percent lighter than its predecessor, the AquaFix, according to ACR. The one-button-activated ResQFix — a Class I PLB — measures 1.4 by 5.85 by 2.21 inches and weighs 10 ounces. The 406 MHz beacon comes with a lanyard and clip, neoprene flotation pouch, and two lithium battery packs. Operating life is 40 hours at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit and eight hours at minus 40 Fahrenheit. Manufacturer suggested retail price is $750. ACR Electronics, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Phone: (954) 981-3333.


The Poly-Planar MRD-70 is a waterproof “multizone” audio system for on-board entertainment. The foundation of the expandable system is the MRD-70 AM/FM/CD/MP3 and XM satellite radio compatible receiver, with RD-44 remote display. The watertight stereo system offers independent control from as many as four zones, and two auxiliary inputs on the receiver can be used for such other media sources as an iPod, television or DVD player. An intercom allows communication between stations. Suggested price for base system is $499.95. Poly-Planar, Glen Burnie, Md. Phone: (410) 761-4000.


MerCruiser’s saltwater SeaCore sterndrives are designed for improved corrosion resistance, with such features as closed cooling and an engine-mounted freshwater flush system. Propulsion components on the drive and transom assembly are built of hard-anodized, low-copper aluminum or stainless steel, including hard-anodized internal water jackets and exhaust passages. A black baked-enamel coating provides additional protection. SeaCore models are available with MerCruiser Bravo drives and fuel-injected engines from 220 hp to 425 hp. Suggested retail price of a 375-hp SeaCore 496 MAG with a Bravo I drive is $25,890. Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac, Wis. Phone: (920) 929-5040.


The Lewmar OneTouch winch handle can be locked into or released from the winch in one motion by pressing a button that runs the length of the handle. The handle, which is built of a combination of marine-grade alloys and fiber-filled composites, uses a plunger pin and ball mechanism for quick release. Lewmar prototyped and tested the OneTouch with the Ericsson Racing Team during the last Volvo Ocean Race. Three styles are available: Single Grip ($103), Power Grip ($107) and Double Grip ($145). Lewmar USA, Guilford, Conn. Phone: (203) 458-6200.


BioEars earplugs are designed to help prevent swimmer’s ear and earplug contamination. The one-size-fits-all BioEars contain an antimicrobial agent to reduce the contamination that can occur when handling ordinary soft silicone earplugs prior to use, according to Cirrus Healthcare Products, which also manufactures EarPlanes pressure-regulating earplugs. They are reusable, come with a carrying case, and have a noise reduction rating of 22 dB. Price of six pairs of BioEars is $8.98, while 12 pairs cost $15.99. They are available in pharmacies (three-pack, $4.49) or online from the manufacturer. Cirrus Healthcare Products, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Phone: (800) 327-6151.