This company has a very successful Street FX line, so it made sense for them to design a new line of accent lighting for boats. The Marine FX LED boat products are waterproof and are built for interior and exterior applications. Their ColorStorm watercraft lighting system lets you outline your boat with lights shining onto the water if you like. And with the wireless remote you can remix colors and program custom effects. The remote even stores your color selections. The audio interface lets you create special effects that pulse to the beat of your music. Less elaborate and very affordable are the ElectroPods. Each mountable pod includes six ultra bright LED’s suitable for interior or exterior applications. They’re perfect for areas with small mounting surfaces, or those that need more light, like the engine compartment or the steps into the cabin. The white pod casing is available with blue or white LED’s. All the Marine FX products run off 12 volts and contain their own fuse for easy wiring.A single ElectroPod sells for about $12.ColorStorm kits start at $249.00
Here's a low tech way to provide high visibility for someone in the water. It was designed by Bill Dungan, the president of the company, as a way to improve boating safety.Bill told me that it’s a big improvement over the “skier down” flag because it shows the actual location of the person in the water, as opposed to a flag on the boat. The orange flag popping up out of the water makes it easy to track and recover skiers. At the same time it makes other boats in the area aware of a person in the water. The Splashdown Life Jacket Flat snaps on to most2 to 4 buckle Type III PFD’s. The flag is manually released and easily stowed by the wearer. The youth and teen model will be out shortly. An adult version is expected later next year. Cost is $29.99.
WOW, which stands for Wireless on Water, is kind of a universal remote control system for your boat. They make a basic system that lets you control two DC accessories like bilge blower and stereo system from up to 1,000 feet away. The top of the line system lets you control both AC and DC systems. For example, if it’s a hot, muggy day, you can turn on the air conditioning in the cabin from the parking lot while you unpack your car. And turn on the bilge blower to vent any fumes before you go aboard and start the engines. Or you can use the system in reverse. From your boat you can trigger the remote control to turn on dock lights and lower your boat lift. The “all off” switch makes sure you left nothing on by accident once you’ve left the boat. The system has amazing flexibility. You can even program the 7 buttons so one button can accomplish multiple tasks. And there’s an SOS button that can sound your horn or turn on lights, or both, depending on how you hook it up. I asked if this system was something a boater would install on their own and the guys at the WOW booth said it could be done in about half a day by a knowledgeable boater. A standard WOW system that will activate/control up to 7 accessories retails for $795. It’s best to check their website for the full details.
Surface Dive Deck Snorkel – this 12 Volt system lets you dive without tanks! You can dive to depths of 25’ to see fish, clean the bottom of your boat, or untangle something caught in the propeller. It’s easy with this 12 volt system which hooks to the boat’s battery. The kit comes with regulator, hoses, compressor, and cables for battery hook-up. I found that it works well, and I was able to clean the bottom of my boat with no problem. (Okay, so I talked a friend into cleaning the bottom of my boat with the Surface Dive Deck Snorkel, but I was one who turned the unit on and off!!!) $1050. At their website you can also find boat shows where they'll be showing the Surface Dive Deck Snorkel. They often have special boat show prices too!
The “Stay Alive Life Jacket”. During an emergency, people on a boat may have time to grab a life jacket, but nothing more. The Stay Alive Life Jacket solves that problem by putting just about everything you need inside two pockets right on the PFD. There’s a First Kit, flares, signal mirror, even dye to attract airplanes to your whereabouts! The inventor told me that the Stay Alive Life Jacket has approval for use in Canada, and he’s waiting for Coast Guard approval here in the States, which he hopes will come in the next month or so. There is more info is at
Don't forget to visit www.powerboatmag.com I write a monthly 'marine gadgets' column in every issue, and have been doing that for more than 30 years. Powerboat doesn't post my stuff on the web very often, so you may have to spring for a copy. But I have to tell you, if you love fast boats, you'll love Powerboat Magazine. It's all about fast boats, boat races, Poker Runs, and honest, detailed boat tests. And lots of info on how to make your boat run faster, and the latest news on all kinds of gizmos and gadgets you can bring aboard! (End of Commercial!)
This website is current only up to the end of April, 2009. My new website with everything from May 1st, 2009 forward is: www.gizwiz.biz.