Mercury 50 and 60hp Four-strokes

Mercury's roll out of advanced EFI four-stroke outboards continues with the release of the 50 and 60hp models.

The new four-cylinder powerhead displaces 995cc and Mercury claims that the EFI system produces fuel savings of up to 40 per cent over comparable two-strokes.

The new engines are also available in a Bigfoot version for use on barges, houseboats and work boats. Bigfoot is the designation applied to Mercury models fitted with oversize lower units with bigger gear cases and larger bearings.

The 50/60hp EFI models are fitted with the same Smart Gauge technology available on Optimax models and rated to operate using the same unleaded fuel as motor vehicles.

Enquiries: Mercury dealers.
Tel: 1800 818 000.

Compact VHF

Raymarine's Ray 106E is not only submersible, it is the only handheld VHF radio to offer extra transmit range due to a full six watts of output power. Club Marine onwater crew chose a Ray 106E for use during boat tests for its rugged design and easy to use controls.

As well as a rechargeable NiCad battery the radio comes with a AA battery holder for use in an emergency when the main battery runs down.

To date we have been impressed with the operating range of the unit - in both transmission and receiving modes. We have actually been able to pick up Melbourne radio skeds at night in a suburban lounge room in the middle of Melbourne.

Enquiries: Oceantalk.
Tel: 1800 029 948.

Grip-it Gloves

Burke gloves have undergone a redesign. The team at Burke has been working on a new sailing glove for the past year and Grip-it gloves are the result.

The gloves have a one-piece reinforced palm and fingers with spliced elasticised mesh back. This means no more bunched up leather - and they grip well in wet and difficult conditions.

The gloves are available in marine grade leather and synthetic leather with full and half fingers.

Enquiries: Burke.
Tel: (02) 9638 4333.

New Liferaft Design

RFD (Australia) has developed a liferaft design that incorporates many of the recommendations following the disastrous 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.

Called the Seasava Ultimate it includes the features of the Seasava model as well as added features such as a boarding ramp, orange-coloured underside for easier detection, and inflatable floor for better insulation and a canopy light system that flashes an SOS signal.

The Seasava Ultimate is available in sizes to accommodate four, six, or eight people.

Enquiries: RFD (Australia).
Tel: 1800 646 086.

Dock and Post Fenders

NauTech Marine imports the Perimeter range of fenders to protect boats in pens and floating mariners.

The range includes post fenders and dockside fenders designed to replace the traditional rubber and PVC rubbing strips that can deteriorate and crack after a period of time. The Perimeter fenders are manufactured from a UV-resistant, polyseter textile with a closed-cell foam inner cushion.

Also available are removable post bumpers that attach to jetty or wharf piles to protect the boat when alongside. The fenders come with polyester webbing and a heavy-duty Derlin buckle system that stays in place better than conventional fenders. They are lightweight, manufactured with the same materials as the dock bumpers and are easily stowed onboard.

Enquiries: NauTech Marine.
Tel: (02) 9153 0293.
Mobile: 0412 613 465.

Coursemaster's CM800 and CM850

Selecting the right autopilot for a boat depends on its size, displacement and design, as well as the conditions in which it will be used.

Coursemaster supplies a variety of power and drive options including the new CM800 and CM850 suitable for both pleasure and commercial vessels.

The CM800 and CM850 incorporate features needed to hold a course in all sea conditions. They include four sea state settings and automatic trim to keep a course in cross winds and seas, weather helm and other offsets. For yachts there is an autotack feature for short-handed sailing.

A gyro sensor, remote control and a second station are optional extras.

Enquiries: Coursemaster, Paul Gaske or Ian Briggs.
Tel: (02) 9417 7097. E-mail:

Freefall Windlass

Tasmanian winch manufacturer Muir Engineering has added a new model to its windlass range. Called the HFF600 Freefall, the windlass incorporates new technology that allows automatic freefall operation.

The new windlass follows the same design concept as the Muir windlass that won ÔSpecial Mention' at the DAME Marine Awards at METS 2000.

With its helm-mounted switch the HFF600 allows the anchor to be raised and lowered from the helm-station. It's powered by a 12 volt DC, 200 watt, motor and takes a maximum load of 272kg (600lb) with 6-7mm chain, 12mm rope or a combination of both. The windlass operates at 25 metres per minute and is designed for the five to eight metre power and sailing boat markets.

Enquiries: Muir Engineering.
Tel: (03) 6229 5188. Fax: (03) 6229 7030.


Advanced New Flares

Pains Wessex has developed Australian technology and engineering to produce a completely new range of marine distress signals. The Aurora orange smoke and red handheld flares have superseded the company's existing lines.

The Aurora flare features a brand new ignition system that is initiated by simply pulling an ignition knob.

Pains Wessex has put together an easy to store inshore kit containing two orange and two red handheld flares.

Aurora flares exceed both the SOLAS requirements and Australian Standards AS 2092.

Enquiries: Pains Wessex.
Tel: (03) 9885 0444.


Okuma Fly Reels

Okuma's Integrity series of fly reels are designed for keen fly fishermen. They are sturdy metal reels of cageless construction and are available in a range of sizes to suit all types of fly fishing.

Integrity reels have a die cast anodised aluminium frame and spool, a stainless steel mainshaft and a polished wood handle knob. The quick release spool has a large diameter arbor for fast retrieves.

The smooth drag is operated by a large star wheel on the back of the reel and additional control is available by using finger pressure on the rim of the cageless spool. Large line capacities are a feature of the Integrity range.

Enquiries: Tackle stores.


Sunbrella Marine Fabrics

Marine fabric manufacturer Sunbrella has added Palm Beach Motor Yachts to the stable of luxury power boats the company supplies.

The product of 30 years research, Sunbrella acrylic fabrics have significant advantages over traditional vinyls and canvasses. Sunbrella fabrics are noted for their colour-fastness and resistance to the marine environment of sun, wind, water and salt. The fabric also breathes so that mould is less likely to develop - and when used for seating it does not sweat.

Sunbrella's choice of 57 colours, plus numerous patterns and tweeds can provide an elegant, coordinated look. Sunbrella offers a five year limited warranty on awnings and a three year limited warranty on furnishing fabrics.

Enquiries: Nolan Warehouses. Tel: 1800 357 585.

Raymarine Wheel Pilot Drive

Good news for owners of yachts with a displacement up to 8,500kg (18,700lb) who are thinking of installing an autopilot system. The Raymarine ST4000 Plus MKII cockpit wheel pilot unit is now available in Australasia.

The lock-on unit has a built-in look and is not as bulky as other systems. Installation is a breeze and when hooked up to the ST60 system a wealth of information on a large LCD display is available.

Existing ST4000 systems can be upgraded with the MKII version.

Enquiries: Oceantalk Australia.
Tel: 1800 029 948.