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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 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


    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:

    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.)



    Can You Design a Life Jacket That Boaters Will Wear?

    The submission period for the competition has closed and winners will be announced at the 2015 IBEX Exhibition & Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know why boaters don't like to wear life jackets. They can be hot and bulky. Some are too expensive. Or, at least that's what some boaters say. So here's your big chance: design a better life jacket that more folks will wear, and you could be $10,000 richer. The deadline for design entries with the 2015 Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition is April 15. The competition's sponsors, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association, are encouraging boaters, armchair inventors, design, engineering or high school students to submit their design soon  to

    The best entries will be posted on the BoatUS Foundation website and Facebook page for voting by the public in June and those votes will assist a panel of experts who will ultimately pick the winner to be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.


    Just in time for the cold weather.

    SeaFlush Flush Kit Receives US Patent for their Quick and Easy Do-It-Yourself Winterizing. 

    A U.S. Patent for a “boat water supply winterization system and method” has been awarded to the SeaFlush Flush Kit, which can be used to winterize the raw-water systems on a boat quickly and easily in minutes, without removing any hoses or wasting any antifreeze. The company says their portable SeaFlush fits canister style sea strainers. It feeds a steady flow of antifreeze into engines and gensets, while blowing water out of A/C units without priming hassles. Most closed cooling raw water systems can be winterized in about two minutes. There’s nothing permanent to install and SeaFlush can pay for itself with just one use.

    For more information, a video, or to order SeaFlush, visit 



    An easy to use, easy to store, safety Personal Locator Beacon.

    The compact, lightweight, 406/121.5MHz McMurdo Fast Find 220 Personal Locator Beacon is designed to be carried with you on board. Built-in GPS pinpoints your exact location and a bright LED SOS light helps rescuers spot you quickly in the water on approach. The battery guarantees a minimum of 24 hours operation. Quick and easy to activate, with a safe stow antenna which automatically deploys when the unit is activated. Waterproof to a depth of 10 meters. Supplied with a flotation pouch, for easy retrieval. And very important, no service subscription needed. MSRP $249. (Do a web search to see if discounts are available.)

    More info: or your local McMurdo dealer.


    Ahoy Mateys! The New York Boat Show Is Soon.

    The 110th annual Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show®will take place January 21-25, 2015, bringing lifelong boaters and enthusiastic dreamers the latest in luxury motor yachts, sport fishers, performance boats, sailboats, and thousands of new marine technologies and accessories. Beyond delivering a shopping paradise for boaters, the world’s first and longest-running boat show is the perfect destination for families looking to escape winter and plan for summer on the water.
    WHEN:        Wednesday January 21 - Sunday, January 25, 2015
                       Wednesday-Friday: Noon-9:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
    WHERE:     Javits Center; 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY – enter on 11th Avenue and 35th Street