One lucky winner will scoop a selection of Practical Boat Owner magazine's best on test over the past year as one great prize – worth more than £2,700!
The deadline is looming for PBO’s BIG Christmas giveaway. The free prize draw closes this Monday, 5 December.
For a second year running, we’re offering one big festive prize, inspired by our recommended and best-on-test items of the year.
And no, this is not an office clear-out! All the items will be brand new, sent direct to the winner from the generous suppliers.
The free prize draw is open to residents in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man aged 18 or over. Find the full terms and conditions, and enter online at www.pbo.co.uk/christmasgiveaway
One winner will be picked at random from the prize draw entries to receive all 10 products – here’s a reminder of what’s up for grabs:
Henri Lloyd Elite smock and salopettes
(Reviewed in PBO December 2016)
Prize value: £835
Built to withstand the worst conditions imaginable, the smock and salopettes in Henri Lloyd’s Elite range are 30% lighter than the best-in-class predecessors. The smock’s hood has transparent TPU windows for wider peripheral vision without compromising face protection, while other features include a fast-draining centre stow pocket, a neoprene hem band for improved fit and an engineered throat tab for a customised fit, comfort and minimal water ingress. Both the smock (£475) and salopettes (£360) are available in sizes S-XXL. Win a set of Elite oilskins in your size.
B&G Vulcan 5 chart plotter
(Reviewed in PBO May 2016)
Prize value: £469
This new compact 5in multifunction display (MFD) has many of the features of its big sister, the Vulcan 7, which featured in PBO’s inaugural Christmas gift guide and giveaway last year. A PBO trial sail found it to be a fully featured plotter with a very clear screen. With its internal GPS it would work well as a standalone chart plotter for small boats, or as part of a wider NMEA 2000 network – adding wind, speed and depth turns it into a full-featured solution. Its relatively low cost makes it a good option for larger boats too, as a mini plotter in the cockpit or as an instrument repeater or autopilot control head.
Habitent cockpit enclosure
(Reviewed in PBO November 2016)
Prize value: £445
PBO editor David Pugh tried out the Habitent Sirocco on his Contessa 26 Red Dragon. (The Sirocco is intended to fit stern measurements of 1.0m to 1.6m.) He found the tent effective at stopping a chilly northerly coming down the companionway, and it provided useful shade in the day while keeping the chill off in the evening. The three-layered panels offer a range of entry and exit options and allow you to have a clear window, a mosquito net or complete privacy. The Habitent range of ready-made units suit most boats with sterns between 1-2.4m wide. Win a choice of the Habitent Mistral or Sirocco, whichever suits your boat.
Spinlock Rig-Sense rig tension gauge
(Reviewed in PBO April 2016)
Prize value: £125
It’s vitally important to ensure that the tension of your boat’s rigging is within the correct limits. In a test of four rig tension gauges, the Spinlock Rig-Sense was the only one that allowed the load to be read directly and whose design eliminated the effect of friction in the mechanism. For ease of use it was awarded the PBO best buy rating. Win your choice of Rig Sense, available in two sizes: RGS0205 for diameters 2-5mm or RGS0508 for diameters 5-8mm.
(Reviewed in PBO September 2016)
Prize value: £18-28
The Chilly’s Bottle is promised to keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours (or hot for 12 hours) whatever the weather. It has a screw-close lid for an airtight and leak-proof seal, designed to preserve flavour and freshness while preventing condensation. It is available in three sizes: 750ml (£25); 500ml (£20) and 260ml (£15). Win a Chilly’s Bottle of your choice, plus a new carabiner clip which can be attached around the neck of the 260ml and 500ml Chilly’s Bottles.
Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier
(Reviewed in PBO March 2016)
Prize value: £249.99
The DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier combats mould, condensation and damp with antibacterial filters and a sterilising ioniser. PBO gear tester Alex Bell compared the newest addition to the Meaco range, the DD8L Zambezi, to the Meaco DD8L Junior model, which won the best buy award in PBO’s November 2014 group test. Both models were run head-to-head in Southampton Solent University’s towing tank laboratory. After three hours, Alex measured the water collected and power consumed by both units. He concluded that the Zambezi came up trumps in terms of extraction rate and increased functionality.
Unimer U-cleat mooring snubber
(Reviewed in PBO September 2016)
Prize value: £136
We were looking for a mooring snubber which could absorb snatch forces quickly but release them gently, and be ready for the next wave in short order. In a group test, the best at initial shock absorption was the LineSnubber. After that came the Unimer wraparound, with the Forsheda, Easterner and U-cleat next in a tightly-packed group. Of this group, the U-cleat dissipated the bounce force most quickly. For best buy it was neck-and-neck between the LineSnubber and the U-cleat, but on test the U-cleat dealt with higher loads while still compensating, so it would be editor David Pugh’s choice to moor his boat in a storm – as well as being nearly half the price. Win four U-cleat compensators, at a size of your choice.
Seajet 033 Shogun
(Reviewed in PBO January 2016)
Prize value: £170
The Seajet 033 Shogun came top in PBO’s Great UK Antifouling Showdown in which we tested 20 paints in 13 locations around Britain. This marked the biggest and most in-depth test of antifouling paints ever carried out by a magazine in the UK. While no single paint kept everything fouling-free in all areas, Seajet’s 033 Shogun dominated in eight of the locations. Win two 2.5litre tins of Shogun, in a colour of your choice, sufficient for two coats of a 9.1m (30ft) yacht.
Odeo Flare Mk III
(Reviewed in PBO July 2016)
Prize value: £108
The Odeo Flare uses high-power LEDs and mimics the way you set off a parachute flare: simply rotate the base to activate. The 21 red LEDs flash in an SOS pattern with a long flash in between. In a group test, PBO’s test team found the Odeo Flare the easiest of five products to use, and its SOS flash distinguished it well from background lights and navigation marks.
Another flare on test was brighter, but more complex to use – especially with cold, wet hands – and its 20 – second SOS signal wasn’t as noticeable as the constant-flashing SOS of the Odeo Flare. Fiddly controls and emergencies don’t mix, which is why the Odeo was awarded our best buy. You can replace the three L91 lithium iron disulphide batteries yourself. It has a five-hour duration, is buoyant and waterproof. Win an Odeo Flare Mk III Flare, plus a
Standard Horizon HX870E (DSC) handheld VHF
(Reviewed in PBO November 2016)
Prize value: £189.95
This Class-D DSC VHF handheld features a 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver, fl oats and is waterproof. It has three transmission levels – 1W, 2W and 6W – and an 1800mAh Li-ion battery with mains charger cradle, an alkaline battery tray and 12V DC charger. The set stores up to 200 waypoints and 20 routes, while a compass page shows vessel SOG, COG, BRG (bearing) and DST (distance) to the waypoint and can also display the position of up to nine other vessels in proximity via the new GM (group monitoring) feature. Advanced features include full dot matrix display with channel names, position request and position report, 10-channel preset key selection, USB data port, GPS position logger, water-activated SOS strobe, programmable memory and priority scan, and dual and tri-watch scan functions. The ATIS code for European waterways is supported, and the handheld complies with new Class-D regs. In a group test, our testers liked its large, clear display and access to GPS functions via soft keys, and found it best for GPS reception.
Good luck and Merry Christmas!
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Editor David Pugh welcomes you to the latest issue of Practical Boat Owner magazine.
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Ben Meakins takes B&G’s new compact 5in multifunction display for a trial sail
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