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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


    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


    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.