June 2006

Handy New Products Available For Boaters

Compiled By Margie Anderson

Microtabs —

The winner in the first-ever Environmental Innovation category at the 2005 NMMA was Microtabs from Clean Water Solutions. Microtabs use naturally-occurring microbes to digest odor-causing materials inside holding tanks.

All you have to do is toss in the prescribed number of tabs after a pumpout to keep the tanks easy to pump and smelling clean.

Even the packaging is water soluble, and Microtabs are available as 8-ounce singles or in packs of three. They retail for $6.95 each, or $18.95 for a 3-pack.

Visit Clean Water Solutions website at www.cwsius.com for more information or to find a retailer in your area.

Inflatable Fenders —

You know you need fenders. They keep your boat from dings when you’re docking, and they protect you from other boaters who may not be as seasoned as you are.

Finding a place to store them isn’t easy, though, so maybe you settle for fenders that are really too small, figuring that they are "better than nothing."

Aere fenders are inflatable and come in 20 sizes (12" x 29" to 4' x 20') so you can find the ones that are the perfect fit for your boat. They inflate and deflate in seconds, and they’re lightweight enough to be handled by anybody on board.

Since you can fold them up after use, they hardly take up any room at all. Cylindrical inflatable fenders start at $145, and the flat version starts at $499. Check them out at www.praktek.com.

Wheel Dock —

Here’s a nifty gadget for those of us who store the boat at home on a trailer: The Wheel Dock is a sturdy plastic docking center that gives you a place to park the trailer tongue wheel.

Shaped sort of like a dog dish, the Wheel Dock keeps your wheel from sinking into the ground, as well as keeps the trailer from rolling off. You can pick up one for about $16 at Sportsman’s Warehouse or at your nearest RV supply store.

They’re made in the U.S.A. by Camco: www.camco.net.