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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    As East Coast Editor, I was in every issue of Powerboat Magazine for 40 years. But Powerboat ceased publication with the Jan/Feb 2012 issue. My love of boats, and marine gadgets continues and you can find some interesting stuff here. Jason Johnson and Matt Trulio of Powerboat Magazine carry on with news for the go-fast set with their web based http://www.speedonthewater.com/.

    Friday
    Jan132012

    No place to store a boat - this one folds in half to take up less space!

    The EzyBoat is like a clamshell flip phone, it folds in half! It’s hinged at the center, and when it’s folded it actually becomes its own trailer with room inside for all your gear, including the engine. But wait, there’s more! The trailer for your boat is built into the bottom. When you want to launch the boat, unhitch it from your car, unlock the boat halves and unfold them. The backbone of the trailer doubles as a reinforcement to prevent the boat from folding when in use. The company says it can cruise at about 14 mph with a 20hp outboard. Top speed is about 23 to 24 mph. It's rated for outboards up to 25 HP, but it can run with outboards as small as 2.5 HP. The EzyBoat is not designed for big, open water or waves, but it’s great for lakes and exploring inland waterways. Another advantage of this boat is that a small car can tow it. Because your trailer travels with you, you can launch the boat from the beach or a boat ramp. Once the boat floats, you do something most boaters will never do: retract the trailer wheels up into the hull. (The hardware and handle to do this are built in.) If you don’t want an outboard, you also have your choice of sail (the company offers a complete optional sailing kit), or for a great workout, you can just row, row, row your boat. When your trip is over just re-folded your EzyBoat and head for home.  Even though the company says you can exit the water at a different spot from where you started, you still have to have someone come meet you with the tow vehicle. The price in the US should be in $12 to $13,000 range w/o an outboard engine or sail kit.

    www.ezyboat.com

    Sunday
    Jun262011

    Never worry about dropping your keys overboard again!

    Back on Daily Giz Wiz 149 for Thursday 14 September 2006 Leo and I had a lot of fun with the Key Buoy. You attach it your keys and if they dropped into the water, Key buoy will automatically open, expand and eject an upright 14" bright orange air tube straight up into air. It didn’t work as planned and looked pretty funny. Today there’s a different, more feature laden device called Waterbuoy. (It’s from a different company too.) It not only can prevent your keys from sinking, but you can use one to float any of your valuables up to 2.2 pounds. If you need to protect something heavier, just attach multiple Waterbuoys. Before I tried it for the very first time, I waited until we were recording this episode of the Daily Giz Wiz. After I dropped it into a large tube of water it looked like it wasn’t going to do anything. But then the water activated trigger responded, inflating a special balloon that floated my keys to the top of the water-filled glass container. Waterbuoy reacts after submersion in normal temperatures, but the company says it won't accidentally activate if it gets splashed or rained on. Once the special balloon inflates, it should float your stuff to the surface and keep it there for up to 24 hours. A great feature is a built in flashing LED light to help you items dropped overboard at night! Once activated, Waterbuoy has done it job and has to be replaced. At the company website it sells for $12.95

    www.water-buoy.net

    At www.thinkgeek.com it’s sells for $9.99

    Hear or see this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1299

    Sunday
    Jun262011

    Before you get set to go boating, check the marine forecast.

    Sure you can get weather on your smart phone, but what if you go to an area where there’s spotty cell service. Or your phone battery power is low. And will your cell phone issue alerts if you’re not paying attention? Twenty-four hours a day, this portable Public Alert Monitor receives and displays National Weather Services weather bulletins, alerts, watches, and forecasts, U.S. Emergency All Hazards bulletins, and local Emergency Alert System (EAS) bulletins and warnings. The automatic alert system triggers the radio speaker and audible-visual alert for instant awareness of conditions affecting life and property. Featuring advanced S.A.M.E (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology, the radio can be programmed to receive information specific to your geographic area. When traveling, boating, hiking or working outdoors, the WR601 will always keep you informed. Be sure to read all the instructions and to set the code for your local area. I went to the website listed in the manual and set mine for local NYC weather alerts. And read about the various modes BEFORE you go out into a lonely area where you need to know the weather! A good feature is the non-volatile memory function. It saves settings in the event of power loss. At home you can use it on the AC adapter – which is not a charge unit, but it will save battery life. This newest version is yellow. The older model is white. Suggested retail is $39.95, but I found it on Amazon for about $30. But I have NOT shopped at that website.

    http://www.amazon.com/Oregon-Scientific-WR601N-Weather-Wr601n/dp/B003S81Q04 

    See or hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1319

    Sunday
    Jun262011

    A Mini Tool Kit You Wear On Your Keychain!

    Need we say: Keys & key ring NOT included.The folks at Swiss+Tech Tools are masters at designing multi-functional micro-devices small enough to fit on a key chain. At the National Hardware Show they were showing their newest, the MicroPlus EX 9-in-1 Key Ring Tool. This is a lightweight, pocket-sized, key-ring tool kit that includes pliers, wire cutter, wire stripper, wire crimper, bottle opener, #1 flat screwdriver, #2 flat screwdriver, #1 Phillips screwdriver and #2 Phillips screwdriver. The ANSI standard screwdrivers snap into position with ease and change tips in seconds. Open the pliers to use the wire cutter, wire stripper or wire crimper. Open the pliers completely to use the bottle opener. (Some many gadget today include a bottle opener!) Like all Swiss+Tech tools, a patented quick release mechanism securely locks the Micro-Plus EX 9-in-1 onto a key ring. Solid stainless steel construction should provide a lifetime of readiness. I asked if this little gizmo was TSA approved and the company spokesman said it was since it doesn’t contain a knife blade of any sort. On their website the price is listed as $9.95 and $14.95. It seems the only difference is that one that cost an extra $5 is gift packed. Once this gets into distribution you’ll probably find it for even less by doing a web search.

    www.swisstechtools.com

    See or hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1315

    Thursday
    Mar252010

    Here's an "Awards" satire I wrote for Powerboat Magazine a long time ago. Illustrated by John Whorrall, Sr.

    Sadly, John Whorrall, Sr. is no longer with us, but his talent lives on.