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Shopping For New Boating Gear

The clouds have broken and a new boating season has dawned for all of us. If you're looking to upgrade your pride and joy, you've come to the right place.

Made For Her

Columbia Women's Tidal II Long Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Women's Tidal II Long Sleeve Shirt

It can be tough for women to find appropriate high-performance boating attire, but Columbia's PFG II line is ideal for on-water use. We tested the PFG Tidal II shorts and Tidal II Long Sleeve Shirt at sea and discovered that the most impressive feature is how quickly they dry out. After being soaked by the washdown hose (oops!), our tester reported that both shirt and shorts had fully dried within 15 minutes. She also said that the pants and shirt were comfortable, flexible, and lightweight, and didn't cause any chafing or restrict motion. The PFG II line provides UPF 50 sun protection, is wicking for comfort in the hot sun, and is made from 100% polyester interlock. $35 to $65 |

Smooth & Silent

Shimano Sustain FJ fishing reel

Shimano Sustain FJ Fishing Reel

If you want a new spinning reel that will help you provide sustenance for your family in the form of fresh-caught fish for years to come, the Shimano Sustain FJ will be of interest. Available in 2500, 3000, 4000, and 5000 sizes for 10- to 40-pound braid, Sustain reels are designed with both performance and longevity in mind.

Silky-smooth action comes from the eight ball-bearings plus roller bearing, a 20- or 24-pound cross carbon maximum drag, and micron-level tolerances in the "SilentDrive" drive gear and worm shaft. Longevity is delivered via a Hagane metal body, a redesigned MGL rotor, and the MicroModule Gear II gear-tooth surface design. Sustain models feature either a 6.0:1 or 6.2:1 gear ratio, which cranks up 35- or 40 inches per revolution. $309.99 to $319.99 |

Visual Feast

Fin Nor sungasses

Fin-Nor Sunglasses

Anglers will recognize the Fin-Nor name from their high-end fishing reels. But for 2022 the company is heading in a new direction: sunglasses. Its new line of shades is developed by fishermen for fishermen, with touches like frames that channel perspiration away from the lenses, optimized air circulation to prevent fogging in high-humidity environments, and some employ a unique spring hinge to provide flexibility and eliminate pinch points. Both glass and plastic "Lateral Line technology" lenses are available and all are designed to minimize weight while delivering "99%-plus" polarization via mineral glass wafers. Lenses also have hydrophobic/oleophobic coatings for scratch resistance, have seven- or five-layer anti-reflective coatings, and reduce blue light transmittance. $159 to $209 |

Power To The People

Vetus Bow Pro Boosted thruster

Vetus Bow Pro Boosted Thruster

If you've been waiting for a bow thruster that has more oomph than all others, the new Vetus Bow Pro Boosted thrusters beat previous benchmarks. The Boosted 300 series provides 40% more output than older models, making them the most powerful DC bow thrusters on the market. They feature unlimited run time, a maintenance-free brushless motor, and built-in battery charger utilizing Vetus's internal three-stage charging process. Plus, with CAN-bus protocol operation, these thrusters can interface with compatible devices to create docking systems. Starting at $15,073 |

Audio Afloat

Clarion CMM 30 stereo

Clarion CMM-30 Stereo Speaker

You say you need a new stereo for your boat? Clarion has introduced a new line of source units, the CMM series, with the CMM-20, CMM-30, and CMM-30BB. These are Bluetooth 5.0 systems with built-in amps pushing four 25-watt RMS channels, USB input, IP66 weatherproof construction, and internal AM/FM/weather-band/RBDS Global tuners. The CMM-30 and 30BB are SiriusXM-ready, have four zones with selectable subwoofer level control (versus two zones for the CMM-20), and are NMEA2000 compatible. The BB unit is designed for seamless NMEA2000 control via a MFD or network-controlled remote. The CMM-30 also has a bright 3-inch full color LCD display. Starting at $249.99 |

Cold As Ice

Seismic 48-quart cooler with built-in stereo speaker

Seismic 48-quart Cooler with built in stereo

We all need coolers aboard our boats and most of us enjoy having a stereo, too. So, why not combine these two must-haves into one? That's the concept behind the Seismic 48-quart cooler, which has an LED control panel and a pair of 4.5-inch integrated Bluetooth speakers that can crank out tunes for up to four hours on a single charge. The cooler itself is rotomolded, has up to 2 inches of insulation, nonslip foot pads, a drain, closes on a gasket, and has rubber latches and rope handles. The manufacturer claims up to 10 days of ice retention with a 40-pound ice capacity. $314.99 |


lifestyle gear


Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at