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New Gear – October 2006

The LIGHTrule is a sliding tool designed to make it easier to

 identify vessels at night. It identifies 60 light configurations and provides views of vessels’ port, starboard, bow and stern lights.


A magnifying lens is included for easier reading, according to manufacturer Weems & Plath. The LIGHTrule also includes the sound signals for restricted visibility, maneuvering and warning. Made of plastic and stored in a vinyl sleeve, it measures 16 inches by 5-1/4 inches, and has a suggested retail price of $24.99. Weems & Plath, Annapolis, Md. Phone: (410) 263-6700.

The ColorMax 15, with a 15-inch daylight-viewable LCD screen,


 is the largest navigation system offered by SI-TEX. The GPS/chart plotter works with C-MAP MAX electronic charts, and optional sensors provide dual-frequency fishfinder, color radar, AIS black box receiver and e-Loran receiver capabilities, according to SI-TEX.

Cameras also are available. It has an 18-channel WAAS GPS receiver that can store up to 5,000 waypoints, 50 routes and 5,000 track points. The screen size allows for split and combined displays. Base price is $3,179. SI-TEX, St. Petersburg, Fla. Phone: (727) 576-5734.

SeaCAS, manufacturer of an electronic collision avoidance system for recreational boats, now offers a suite of products

based on the Automatic Identification System used by ships worldwide. When originally introduced SeaCAS SafePassage AIS was sold as a complete system with a combined AIS receiver,


antenna and GPS; signal converter; and cables for connecting to a PC, Macintosh, chart plotter or radar. The original package now is called the SafePassage AIS 300, and retails for $1,299. If a boater prefers to use his or her own dedicated antenna for the AIS, the system is available with just the GPS antenna for $1,099 and is called the SafePassage AIS 150. The SafePassage AIS 100 includes simply the dual-band AIS receiver, USB connectivity and serial connectivity, and retails for $799. SeaCAS LLC, Kent, Wash. Phone: (206) 850-7664.

The switch from the gasoline additive MTBE to ethanol is creating


 worries about ethanol’s effect on older fiberglass fuel tanks, as well as its properties of attracting water, separating with the water from the gasoline, and settling to the bottom of the tank, eventually shutting down the engine when the layer of water and ethanol enters the power plant. Marine Development & Research Corp.

says its E-ZORB emulsifies the phased separation of water and ethanol back into the gasoline. The gas then will pass through the engine’s filters and safely burn with the fuel, according to the company. A so-called “maintenance level” of E-ZORB is 1 ounce to 20 gallons of gas. Suggested retail price is $15.98 for 16 ounces. Marine Development & Research Corp., Merrick, N.Y. Phone: (516) 546-1162.

Costa Del Mar has introduced two mirrored options for its patented Wave 580 lens. The 580 lens offers 100 percent

polarization and UV protection, and blocks yellow light for greater color discrimination and glare-reduction, according to the company. Now Costa Del Mar says it has “imbedded” mirrors into the glass.


Suggested retail pricing for blue or green mirrored lenses ranges from $209 to $259, depending on frame selection. The other Wave 580 lens colors (non-mirrored) are copper and grey, and pricing for these ranges from $189 to $239. Costa Del Mar, Ormond Beach, Fla. Phone: (386) 677-3700.