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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, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. 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/.

    Thursday
    Oct292015

    Want to shoot 1080P video as you drive your boat?

    You don't need to use your hands to shoot video with Pivothead Smart Glasses. A 1080P video camera is built right into these glasses. But it should be on the calm side because there's no 'image stabilization in these glasses." 

    I first wrote about Pivothead glasses in 2012. I even used them at CES 2013 to shoot video. Pivothead glasses contain a small, almost hidden 1080P video camera built right into the frame of a pair of glasses. It's taken a couple of years, but now Pivothead is introducing their next generation: Pivothead SMART. And SMART stands for Simple Modular Application-Ready Technology. (I doubt if you'll ever hear that phrase again!) Like the original Pivothead glasses, the new SMART provides full 1080p high definition (HD) video and 8 megapixel photo capture. But the new model add Smart Mods. And what are they? SMARTMods are accessories that add power, connectivity, and apps. There is 16GB of internal memory in the Pivothead glasses, but you can add removable micro SD memory with mods. Interchangeable fuel Mods let you continuously add replaceable power to the glasses. You also control your glasses wirelessly from your smartwatch, smartphone, & more. Quick Pairing instantly pair via Bluetooth with integrated NFC. Android and iOS apps are available. The new model is available in plain glass, or customize them with your own prescription. Retail of the model is $349. The original Pivothead glasses are now marked down to $199.00.
     
    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/-F0yBRmARtQ
     
    Company website: http://www.pivothead.com/

    in these glasses.

    Wednesday
    Sep162015

    Winter again? I'm not a big fan of the cold months.

    And if you love boating, winter seems even longer. Since we can't change the seasons, I'm passing on this ---

    No-Cost “Boater’s Guide To Winterizing” Offered by BoatUS

    Water expands in volume by about nine percent when it freezes, creating a staggering force that can crack a boat engine block, damage fiberglass, split hoses, or destroy a boat’s refrigeration system overnight. As cold weather approaches, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) dug into its claims data and found that more than three-quarters of winter-related claims involved cracks in the engine block or the exhaust manifolds. Now, the national boating services, safety and advocacy group has available at no-cost a 15-page “Boater's Guide to Winterizing” that can ensure boaters don’t miss a step for any type of boat.

    “Boaters up North know they need to winterize, so their freeze claims almost always involve poor winterizing,” said BoatUS Director of Technical Services Beth Leonard. “In the temperate South, the issue can be a case of no winterizing, or relying on a heater when the electricity goes off, usually when you need it most.”

    The downloadable brochure addresses the reasons for more than 95 percent of the freeze claims handled by the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program in the past decade. Included are chapters on: Storing your boat - The options and the tradeoffs; a Winterizing Checklist to use as the starting point for creating your own boat’s winterizing list; Engines and Drives - The dos and don’ts; and Plumbing - Getting the water out, which is great for larger boats.

    Additional information includes tips on choosing antifreeze, lessons learned from BoatUS Consumer Affairs about protecting yourself with a winterization contract, and green winterizing information.

    The checklist is available at www.BoatUS.com/winterizingguide.

    Saturday
    Sep052015

    Docking - made easier.

    The folks at BuoyRope say they created the only quick docking line that enables you to set your boat fender at the perfect height and secure it to the dock at the same time. From checking out their website, this does seem like a great idea for sport boats and personal watercraft. For larger boats BuoyRope can be used as an adjustable fender holder. BuoyRope combines the strength of a nylon shock cord with the versatility of a loop-based rope and steel S-Clips they call LoopClips. BuoyRope can be used as a secure docking device for chaining boats together, attaching personal watercraft, or mooring the boat at the dock. But wait, there's more! When you are not using the BuoyRope dockside, simply remove the fender and use it as a “tie-down” for your gear such as life vests, skis, coolers, fishing poles, or inflatables. The BuoyRope comes in black, pacific blue, red or yellow and is 5 feet in length. Each comes equipped with one stainless-steel double-gated LoopClip. They range in price from about $19.99 to $49.99 for combo packs. But you can find all the details and prices at their website: 

    http://www.looprope.com/

    Saturday
    Sep052015

    Ten Times Stronger Than Most Standard Bungee Cords.

    I’ve been using Shockles on the lines of my 25’ work boat for years now. They work great cushioning the shocks of big wakes on my boat at dock. But now there’s something new, a mini version, the MiniShockle. Stronger, tougher and more secure than a bungee cord, Davis Instruments' MiniShockle is a bungee cord on steroids. It's ideal when boating, camping, biking, motorcycle riding or anytime a load needs to be solidly and safely held in place. Featuring UV-resistant nylon webbing sewn over marine-grade elastomer, the MiniShockle uses 316 stainless steel wire gate snaps that hold up to 300 lbs. That's ten times the capacity of most standard bungee cords.   Davis Instruments' MiniShockle is black and comes in three sizes, 12", 18" and 24". Prices start at $13.99. Local Marine stores, or the company website: 

    www.davisnet.com.

    Wednesday
    Jun102015

    Forget that big, heavy lead-acid jump starter device!

    The folks at Cobra have been making car travel gadgets for a long time. But I’m particularly impressed with their new JumPack device. Cobra says you can use this small, lightweight device not only to charge your mobile devices, but also to start your car when the battery under the hood won't! It packs 200 Amp Starting Current, 400 Amp Peak Current, which they say is enough to jumpstart most cars, even those with V-8 engines. And you can jumpstart your car multiple times on one charge. I carry one of these on my boat, waiting for the day I need it. The day arrived when I came down to my boat to find the battery that starts my 225hp Yamaha four-stroke, dead. (Yes, I have a battery for the bilge pumps isoldated from the starting battery.) I hooked up the Cobra JumpPack as instructed, hit the key, and by golly --- my engine started up immediately! Wow, no more lugging that lead-acid battery-up device around. It was usually dead when I needed it anyway. Besides starting boat and car engines, the JumPack also has a 2.1 Amp USB port to rapid charge your portable devices including cell phone, smartphone, tablets and other mobile devices. But wait, there’s more! There’s a built-in superbright LED flashlight, plus strobe and S.O.S emergency blinker. 7500mAh Lithium-Cobalt Battery. Unlike a lead-acid battery jumper device, which loses power quickly, the JumPack will hold 80 to 90% of its charge for about a year. The device is about the size of a small paperback book (5.04” H x 2.87” W x 0.98” D) and weighs only 11 ounces. It comes with a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug charger, 110-volt charger and jumper cables. Charging or recharging the JumPack takes just a few hours. Model CPP 7500. MSRP $129.99, but you can find it for under $100.  

    Cobra company website: http://www.cobra.com/

    It's here on Amazon for under $85.00 (as of 9/5/15). And it's Amazon Prime, so free shipping for Prime Members. 

    Cobra Electronics CPP 7500 JumPack Portable Power Pack

    (Giz Wiz link. You pay the normal price, but Giz Wiz Biz gets a small credit to buy more stuff to write about.)

    NOTE: COBRA WILL BE INTRODUCING A SMALLER VERSION OF THIS DEVICE IN THE FALL OF 2015.