No more wire wraps. Best use? On your primary anchor, for the peace of mind that your shackle is not the weak link in the ground tackle. It is also available directly from Crosby in various sizes. Crosby Bolt-Type Anchor Shackle $23
BUNGEE BALL BINDING CORDS
Bungee balls are cheap and effective for wrapping and securing power cords, rope, dock lines, pole spears, fishing rods, and so much more. To avoid dinghy “bounce out” incidents, we lash bags, gear, and coolers with these on every trip. We have purchased hundreds, which are in use everywhere onboard Largo. You can even bind a small camera to your arm in the water, or make emergency repairs. Kotap Ball Bungee $9 (25-pack)
CRESSI TAKE DOWN DIVE KNIFE
Karen and I are knife people. I have a collection of dive knives that cost upwards of $800, the most expensive of which is a custom version of the famous Randall Model 14. But this Cressi takedown outperforms them all. It is available with a sharp or chisel tip, which won’t easily puncture you or your dinghy. Made of 304 stainless, it would rust in the crevices as all diving knives do, except it comes apart easily to reveal every crack and corner for cleaning and oiling. It also features a serrated back (vital to quickly cut rope), and comes with a snappy “click to lock” sheath. We also recommend an XS Neoprene/Velcro dive knife holder for quick holstering. Cressi Long-Blade Diving Knife $30
CAM-BUCKLE TIE-DOWN STRAPS
Long before we began cruising full-time on Largo, I rafted the Alaskan wilderness alone, soloing remote rivers as far north as Prudhoe Bay. The gear that has evolved for this kind of extreme activity is specialized, but one piece of river rafting gear has translated well to Caribbean cruising. NRS spring-powered cam-buckle boating straps come in a wide variety of lengths and widths. They are powerful (2,000-lb. lashing capacity), reliable, and remarkably resistant to corrosion. The buckle is aluminum, with a stainless spring, and the webbing is polypropylene. We use them to secure the dinghy to its davit, lash heavy items to the bow rail (spare motor, secondary anchor), tie down coolers, deck boxes, kayaks, and lines, and for anything else where a quick, secure binding needs to be tightened or removed quickly. (Also available direct from NRS in all sizes). Tie-Down Straps $14 (9-foot strap)
There you have it. We hope you find these tools and gadgets as helpful to your everyday cruising lives as we do. And look for our upcoming online article on seven more “Gotta Get Gear” items, including incredible kitchen knives, cruiser-friendly readers, foolproof knife sharpeners, and much more.