Practical Boat Owner magazine has two BIG prize draws running with chances to win our fully-restored Project Boat Hantu Biru and to scoop more than £3,000 of quality boating gear.

After four years of painstaking restoration, transforming Hantu Biru from an eBay wreck to a quality cruising boat, our beloved Snapdragon 23 is up for grabs. We’ve had thousands of entries so far at the Southampton and Scotland boat shows, and online, however there’s still time to enter – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 17 January and there’s still a chance to check out Hantu Biru in person, at the forthcoming London Boat Show at ExCeL, where she will be exhibited from 11-17 January.


PBO’s big Christmas giveaway represents our pick of the best test items of the year, which were ‘recommended’ following individual product tests or selected as ‘best on test’ in group reviews.

All the items (listed below) will be brand new, sent direct to the winner from the generous suppliers.

One lucky winner will be picked at random from the prize draw entries to receive all 10 products. But hurry – the competition closes on 4 December, so get your entry in smartish.

The winner will be able to choose the size of their deck shoes, and to pick the LifeProof phone cover that best suits their own device. Our top prize of two Pontos compact winches is worth £1,366 – quality items in their own right, but the winner is able to get a four-speed winch upgrade by paying the difference.

PBO Christmas giveaway

PBO Editor David Pugh said: ‘After nearly four years’ restoration, during which the PBO team have sanded, scraped, repaired, refinished or replaced every inch of Hantu Biru and her fittings, it’s time for her to move on. We’re giving one lucky winner the opportunity to win the boat, complete with everything we’ve fitted to her during the restoration, including her engine, instruments and sails.

‘We’re also proud to offer our pick of this year’s ‘best on test’ gear as one big prize, just in time for Christmas.

‘Thanks to Pontos Winches for providing our top prize, and to the other generous companies who have helped to make this quality giveaway possible – B&G, Mirka,, The Ginger People, Meridian Zero, Musto and Clarks, Draper Tools, Lifeproof and WaveFront Marine.

‘It really is worth getting your name in the hat!’

Click here to enter the Hantu Biru competition before the 17 January deadline

Click here to enter the Big PBO Christmas giveaway before the 4 December deadline

Pontos winchesPontos winches
Prize value: £1,366
(PBO August 2015 review)

Pontos’s four-speed winches are now available in the UK in sizes 40, 46 and 52.
Changing gear is simple: wind the handle the other way. A clutch and spring mechanism does the rest. The Grinder versions, best suited to racing yachts, have two gears equivalent to those on a conventional two-speed winch, plus two higher gears. For cruising sailors, the Trimmer winch versions also have two ‘normal’ gears but the extra two are lower. There’s also the Compact two-speed winch, which is the size of a 28 but its low gear gives the power of a 45.
Win two Compact winches worth £683 each, with the option to upgrade to the Grinder or Trimmer versions, which cost from £1,046 each, by paying the difference.

ABUS Diskus 24iB/50 padlockWeatherproof Diskus padlock
Prize value: £19.33
(Reviewed in PBO November 2015)

With a shape that minimises the visible shackle to make it harder for thieves to attack with bolt croppers and hacksaws, this disc lock has a 100% marine grade stainless steel body and shackle. It was unaffected by our corrosion test and proved very difficult to break into. At just 50mm wide and with a 6.5mm shackle, the ABUS Diskus 24iB/50 is small enough to fit on most lockers or washboards and still provide good security. Available with different keys or same keys.

B&G VulcanB&G Vulcan 7 plotter
Prize value: £795
(Reviewed in PBO July 2015)

B&G is known for its high-end racing kit but has recently extended their offering for entry and mid-level cruising boats with its new Vulcan chartplotter specifically for sailors. It can be interfaced with NMEA2000 devices like instruments, sensors, AIS etc. to make a fully-featured ‘do everything’ display for use in either the cockpit or chart table. It had the brightest screen on test. The touchscreen was sensitive and responsive. It has built-in WiFi to aid with updating and downloading sailing apps and can mirror its screen on tablets or smartphones with an add-on app.

Mirka Deros sanderMirka Deros 650CV ‘dust-free’ sander
Prize value: £474
(Reviewed in PBO August 2015)

This electric sander connects to a vacuum cleaner – the same as most others – but where the Mirka differs is in using an abrasive mesh which lets the vacuum suck the dust through the mesh: a standard sander uses a circle of ventilation holes and thus misses much of the dust. We used this lightweight, compact unit to sand out the forepeak of a boat when replacing headlinings and it removed old paint very effectively with none of the usual clouds of dust – very impressive.
Win a Deros 650CV sander with a yellow plastic case and Deros 125mm backing plate included.

Gin Gins CaramelGin Gins Caramel
Prize value: £51
(Reviewed in PBO July 2015)

The Ginger People’s Gin Gins Caramel sweets contain 30% ginger per sweet and aim to combat motion sickness whether sucked, chewed or melted in warm water for a soothing drink. Ginger helps to boost digestive fluids and neutralise acids, and is an alternative to anti-nausea medication. We were impressed with the blast of ginger warmth you get from this slightly chewy sweet – but they’re not for the faint-hearted. Win a special 1kg bag, worth £51.

PLUS! The Ginger People are offering 33% off other Gin Gins purchases if the ‘YOUBRAND’ discount code is entered at the checkout on

Meridian Zero 20m flat hoseMeridian Zero 20m flat hose
Prize value: £39.95
(Reviewed in PBO May 2015)

Made in the UK, this comprises a flat, single-core hose with good quality push-fit end fittings which didn’t leak under pressure.
A threaded male adaptor is supplied along with a 25-38mm female hose clamp for awkward fittings, and there is a variable nozzle on the end. The plastic reel has a removable winding handle which slots into a socket but is stored inside the reel. It could be drilled for a lanyard attachment, to avoid it getting lost in a locker. Our test found the hose was resistant to kinks – the thick-walled hose meant that water pressure pushed them out, and it had a good flow rate.

musto-mens-orson-driftMusto-Clarks Orson Drift shoes
Prize value: £100
(Reviewed in PBO June 2015)

These smart but sporty deck shoes feature premium, salt water-resistant leather, rust-resistant eyelets, ROCK rubber soles with a siped and microsiped tread pattern for traction and aquaDX technology for water drainage. The EVA insole has a sheepskin lining and there’s an EVA/ROCK midsole. A good hybrid between smart deck shoes and the trainer styles, these felt much more secure than normal deck shoes. Our testers liked the textured insole.

Searchlight_Draper Expert 5W CREE LED waterproofDraper Expert 5W CREE LED Waterproof Torch
Prize value: £21.49
(Reviewed in PBO October 2015)

Featuring a single CREE LED, the waterproof and shockproof ABS casing has an IP66 rating so it is protected against dust and high-pressure water jets. With a fixed pistol grip and trigger switch, a second press puts the LEDs on a lower power, a further press turns the light off. This lightweight, robust torch has a lockable switch and a stand, which enables the light to be set at varying angles. Testers noted the torch’s commendable beam range and 3 x AA battery duration. Stock number 51754.

Tiller lock: TillerClutchTillerClutch
Prize value: £59.95
(Reviewed in PBO August 2015)

Made in the USA by WaveFront Marine, the TillerClutch is made from anodised aluminium with stainless components, and is designed to be screwed to the handle end of the tiller so that the clutch lever can be operated with one hand while steering normally. A 5mm line is supplied. In use, we found the TillerClutch to be the easiest and quickest to flick on and off thanks to its mounting location and the design of the lever. It gripped the line well and the captive line was in no danger of falling out. Now available from Force 4.

LifeProof Nuud waterproof phone caseLifeProof Nuud waterproof phone case
Prize value: £79.99
(PBO October 2015 review)

The Nuud stands clear from the crowd with its unique (and slightly daring) lack of screen cover. The plastic surround is of solid quality and boasts the U.S. Military standard for drop and shock protection, rating at MIL STD 810G-516.6. It has a sleek design and the two-piece hard case splits easily, with a clip to allow access for charging. The case is easy to grip and comes with an optional screen protector that applies directly to the glass to guard against scratches. LifeProof cases are rated IP68 – waterproof to two metres for an hour. LifeProof cases fit most Apple and Samsung devices. The prize winner will receive a case to suit their device.