Technical gear is crucial to your sailing experience, but adding some of the best boating accessories as well will makes a day on the water so much more fun
Best portable barbecues
Cobb Grill Premier Plus portable barbecue
I was introduced to the Cobb when a friend offered me a hot dog – which he was cooking in the boot of his car. Once over my initial amazement, I discovered why there is a bit of a cult surrounding these fully insulated barbecues.
The stainless steel dome-shaped Cobb has a clever design that allows fat to drip through to a moat.
An inner fire basket is designed to take a round cobblestone (a coconut husk fuel brick), which is easy to light, heats to cooking temperature in minutes and burns to ashes.
The downside to the Cobb is the clean-up, but my answer this season is not to be too precious about keeping it clean. The carry bag is useful, but deserves a better zip.
The Cobb’s excellent insulation makes it a must have. I’ve even been mid-barbecue on the beach, picked up the Cobb and its contents, rowed the tender back to the boat and carried on cooking in the cockpit.
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Lotus Grill portable barbecue
The German-designed Lotus is smokeless and, thanks to a built-in battery-operated fan which blows air onto the charcoal, uses 90% less fuel than a standard barbecue. It’s ready to cook within four minutes of being lit.
Powerbox Plus 28L coolbox
A powered esky like this is a good solution to increase galley refrigeration volume and provide a portable means to keep drinks cold in the cockpit or on the beach.
The negatives of the Powerbox Plus are that the compressor fan obviously takes up some of the cooling space and it is not the most robust build.
But it has proved reliable and a good way to transport cold drinks to the boat and keep them cool without monopolising fridge space.
It has 30 per cent more insulation than its predecessors and can run on 12V or 240V. An antimicrobial treatment injected into the plastic combats mildew.
Dometic Coolfreeze CFX 35W
Dometic’s Coolfreeze line is a hybrid of coolbox and fridge that uses up to 35% less energy than its predecessors.
Smart electronics start up the compressor gently to save energy, a turbo compressor can also kick-in and it auto-switches to energy saving mode at the desired temperature.
The 35W has 32lt volume and can be powered by 12V or 24V DC supplies, as well as any AC voltage from 100-240V.
Best mask and snorkel sets
Gul Tarpon mask and snorkel set
The bulk of Gul’s mask is made up of its tempered glass lenses, so when taking a quick dip off the bathing platform, you get maximum vision without seeing too much of the silicone skirt that locks water out. The snorkel has a splashguard, snorkel keeper and purge valve.
Typhoon Pro Adult mask and snorkel combo set
The bore tube on the Pro Adult Combo Set’s snorkel is pretty large and the top is designed to minimise water ingress, making breathing underwater easy. The purge valve is easy cleaning and the lens is tempered safety glass.
Mares Vento mask and snorkel set
We love the style of Mares’ Vento set. But will it give you gills? Yes, and then some. The soft silicone mouthpiece provides comfort on extended snorkelling expeditions while the system of skirt buckles allow speedy adjustment of the mask’s straps.
Speedo Glide junior mask and snorkel set
Parents of young sailors keen to practise their snorkelling skills can rest easy. The Glide Junior is safe and comfortable, the silicone strap is hypoallergenic and the TPR mask seal makes it super watertight.
Tusa Serene mask and snorkel set
The Tusa’s Serene mask moulds to your face like a glove to a hand. It has a one-window-wide field of vision and the snorkel features Hyperdry Elite technology that stops water entering, as well as a large-capacity drain chamber and purge valve.
First published in the Jul 2018 issue of Yachting World.
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