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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


    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


    Bet you never saw a personal watercraft like this one before!

    It's from Strand Craft who has dubbed this beauty the V8 Wet Rod luxury personal watercraft. I've never owned a PWC, but this one is 16' long, which was the nearly the size of my first boat. And this one has more horsepower, 300 of 'em with a 5.7 liter V8 engine. The top speed is said to be 65 mph and it offers carbon fiber / epoxy construction. About the only thing that seems 'the same as' other PWC is that the propulsion system is a water jet. There's a waterproof luggage box (perhaps for bitcoins?) and an ice box under seat (for champagne and caviar maybe?). All that for a price that starts at just $49,000. You can run the tab up higher with a sound system, wood inlays, an engine chrome dress up kit and wood inlays. It's said to be out in the fall of this year, 2014. The fact that the video on the company website just shows what looks like 'artist conceptions' with no V8 Wet Rod in the water actually running, I think perhaps they're waiting for paid orders before they built them. That's my thought anyway. But they are slick and very James Bond-like, as you'll hear in the background music of their video presentation.


    Here's an "happy-ending" story via BoatUS about how their EPIRB rental program can save lives.

    SOUTHPORT, NC, June 11, 2014 -- Last Saturday morning, the 36-foot catamaran “Cata-Tonic” was 80 miles southeast of Southport, NC in a 20-knot breeze when without warning, the boat’s mast and rig suddenly crashed down on deck, dangerously spilling sails, mast and rigging into the sea. While none of the three sailors aboard were injured, the tangled mess soon became more than a simple inconvenience when it began to drag underneath the boat, its sails catching the sea, threatening to capsize the boat or punch a hole in the hulls. The loss of the mast also meant the loss of the boat’s VHF radio antenna. The captain then did what most sailors hope they never have to do: he activated the BoatUS Foundation rental Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), and grabbed a handheld VHF to call a mayday, knowing that the little radio may not have the power or range to be heard from so far out to sea. “Redundancy is essential for offshore passagemaking,” said owner Jon Rodnon. “But we didn’t see any vessels on the horizon, and we were 40 miles offshore and 80 miles to the nearest port.” Within minutes of its 9:30AM activation, the GPS-enabled BoatUS EPIRB had set the wheels in motion of US Coast Guard response. By 9:40AM, Coast Guard watchstanders hailed Cata-Tonic on the VHF, acknowledging both the EPIRB and VHF distress calls, advising a cutter has already been diverted to the location to investigate. By 10:15AM the cutter was firing a heaving line to Cata-Tonic, and then ferried over hydraulic bolt cutters to assist in cutting away the snarled mast, rig and sails. Once free, Cata-Tonic stabilized and her engines were started. Safely free of debris, she was able to make her way back to port for repairs. Rodnon, who rented the EPIRB from BoatUS, said, “The level of care and professionalism from BoatUS and the Coast Guard, and follow-up from BoatUS was superlative. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The EPIRB saved us and I can’t think of anything more important than having an EPIRB when going offshore.”
    BoatUS Foundation EPIRB Program Manager Ted Sensenbrenner said: “Making emergency equipment available and affordable for those going offshore is one of the key missions of the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation. Our GPS-enabled EPIRBs are available for $65 a week and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be rented for just $45 a week, making these life saving devices affordable for any boater looking to make an offshore passage or delivery like Cata-Tonic.”
    Boaters can go to to rent either. Since 1997, the rental program has had 28 EPIRB activations and 69 lives have been saved.