|Function:|| (3 / 5)|
|Reliability:|| (1 / 5)|
|Quality:|| (2 / 5)|
|Value:|| (2 / 5)|
|Average:|| (2 / 5)|
These lights are Aqua Signal Portable Nav lights also sold under the West Marine brand in WM stores. We use them on our dinghy when underway at night, many local jurisdictions will ticket you even if you are going below 7knts at night if you do not have a bow and stern light. How many RIBs are equipped with good navigation light mounting points or hardware? Not many unless you have a large high end console boat so there aren’t many ways to comply with the law, so here is a pretty crummy option that we’ve used.
You can purchase these with suction cup mounts seen here, a glue on mount or a bracket mount that clamps to your transom. We’ve used the bracket mount which was fairly easy to take on and off, but it eventually gave up and broke sending our stern light to Davy Jones Locker. We use the suction cup mount on the bow of our RIB and it works well enough if you have someone monitoring it every second as it tends to slide off.
How about the actual lights if you find a good way to mount them? Well when they are working they are fairly bright and don’t seem to use too much battery power. The problem is they quit functioning fairly shortly. We’ve gone through three sets of these things in 8 months of cruising. If they are left to sit out in the rain or get a bit more than damp they will absorb moisture and die. The LED will not turn off giving a very dim glow and will not turn on to full brightness.
I’m not sure why they can’t make a good waterproof battery operated light when they sell between $40 and $50 each! Once the ones you see in the picture quit working I think I’ll hook up some 12 volt lights and use the small alternator on our outboard.
I think I need to just provide a quick update on our satisfaction of our Mantus anchor since we’ve been recommending it to so many folks since our arrival in the Caribbean. A number of folks have been complaining about dragging in the hard sand who are mostly using Deltas or CQRs. Get a Mantus and get some sleep! We now have been secure in winds well over 50knts where the Mantus just digs in further and that’s with scope between 4 or 5 to 1.
Since I’m the kind of person who always needs something to worry about and I’m confident the anchor isn’t going to drag I find myself wondering if the shackle pin is tight! Of course it is I check it every time the thing is on deck plus its wrapped!
If you are getting ready to go cruising and wondering where to spend money, spend it on your ground tackle and the Mantus is a great value compared to their competitors.
|Expertise:|| (5 / 5)|
|Selection:|| (4.5 / 5)|
|Customer Service:|| (5 / 5)|
|Value:|| (4 / 5)|
|Average:|| (4.6 / 5)|
The Sint Maarten Budget Marine is their flagship store and is likely one of the best stocked chandleries I have been in and the employees will go out of their way to make sure you’re happy.
I wandered in just to check things out and knock a few items off my perpetual boat repair shopping list. Lately we have been hard on dinghy items so we needed all new dinghy nav lights, an outboard hoist strap, dinghy wheels, UV thread and grommets. Out of my list we weren’t able to get an outboard hoist strap large enough for our 20hp Honda (though they do have the parts to repair our old one) and they did not have UV thread for some of Diana’s sewing projects. I did spend a significant amount of time just wandering and everything was well stocked and well organized. It was also easy to find folks to answer questions or point you in the right direction.
My second visit is what has warranted this review. I was troubleshooting our wind instruments in the morning. . . an ongoing saga. . . and was 90% sure the mast head wind vane was faulty. I wandered down with my likely faulty wind vane and was not able to get a bench test to validate my findings but they did understand my problem and helped me in the way they could. They did not have a wind vane alone in stock, but they pulled one out of a kit and ordered another to replace in that said kit. So I got to walk away with the part I needed the same day and they also offered to return if it did not resolve my issue! I really thanked the guy that was helping me and his response was; ‘We just need to make sure folks leave here satisfied, even if it means a bit more work on our part”. That is ludicrous!
This is the place to grab your spares, stock up and replace all those faulty items when headed up or down island. Thank you Lawrence, your customer service today made my week. So far all is well with our wind instruments now that the new wind vane is installed on the mast!
Diana and I use reviews of restaurants, marinas, bars, chandleries and other services all the time, but I don’t believe we contribute enough of our own opinion. So feeling guilty I added 57 reviews to ActiveCaptain.com of anchorages, marinas and mooring balls that will hopefully help out other cruisers when deciding on a place to stay; it’s been very valuable to us over our trip.
Right now I have a list of about 50 restaurants and bars that I will be making comments on, unfortunately I can’t remember what exactly I ate at most, but do at least remember the overall experience. All places are within easy access of visiting cruisers so hopefully it will be a bit of an asset for folks who stumble upon the website. I’ll also be adding reviews of chandleries and other marine related services. I’ll also likely be sticking these on Yelp too, but I like them first on our own website as it adds a bit more to our journal.
I’ve got some work to do!
|Staff:|| (5 / 5)|
|Seat to Beverage Time:|| (4 / 5)|
|Food:|| (4 / 5)|
|Company:|| (2 / 5)|
|Hygiene:|| (4 / 5)|
|Atmosphere:|| (5 / 5)|
|Value:|| (4 / 5)|
|Average:|| (4 / 5)|
The Boat Yard Bar and Grill seems to be the ‘go to place’ for the area’s yachting scene. You’ll see seasoned sailors, east coast yuppies and yacht club douchbags and maybe a few tourists sprinkled in sitting in a place that’d I’d like to replicate in my home for interior design.
As soon as you enter there is a large beautiful bar that wraps around to the right with some seat yourself bar tables along side, to your left are hosted seated tables with another room further down that has quite a fine dining atmosphere. The place is very busy on weekends starting with breakfast and get’s quite loud and boisterous as the day winds on. Though there are a lot of people here it’s one of the few establishments that we didn’t have a memorable experience meeting folks.
We’ve stopped be here a number of times when our boat was in Back Creek sucking our wallets dry at a few various boat yards. During lunch we normally just sat at the bar and had fairly good service. They’re sandwiches are really good and I’ll recommend the Cuban. We’ve also had a sit down dinner in the fancy room down to the left, which actually was quite a surprise. It is a really elegant room with capable and friendly service. We split a pizza and salad that were both great and reasonably priced.
Next time we’re in Annapolis we’ll make the journey over to The Boat Yard even if we aren’t stuck in Back Creek. . . sometimes we just need to hang out with the classy folks and you can do it here fairly cheap.
|Function:|| (5 / 5)|
|Reliability:|| (5 / 5)|
|Quality:|| (3 / 5)|
|Value:|| (5 / 5)|
|Average:|| (4.5 / 5)|
I owe Mantus a review of the anchor I received a number of months ago, most of which was sitting in my garage in California waiting for it’s cross country tip to North Carolina to be mounted on Ryana.
I picked up the anchor at the local FedEx store and found the wooden crate to be in shambles with the bolt grease leaking out. Once home I could see that everything was there, just needed a bit of cleaning up. I test fitted all the components, then wrapped it back up for it’s trip East.
Before even leaving the boatyard in North Carolina I replaced the stock 44lb Delta with the new 65lb Mantus. It fit quite well with the stock anchor roller and it is attached with a single shackle which may need to be changed to a swivel as we are getting a bit of chain twist. It does interfere with the bow sprit which we are currently not using since we don’t have a spinnaker; we’ll need to get a longer tube and longer stays if we want to use it.
Primary thoughts so far about the Mantus.
- It sets very quickly, in firm bottoms it sets violently; careful backing down.
- In softer bottoms it feels as if it could use just a bit more surface area, though I have not detected any dragging at this point.
- It brings up the bottom with it, have a boat hook handy and deck wash to clean it up.
The anchor has not been fully tested in a variety of bottoms or circumstances, but a few examples of when having a secure anchor was helpful.
- In Beaufort, NC anchored near Town Creek Marina we stayed 3 blustery days with sustained 25knt winds gusting 35+ and didn’t drag a bit. A 45ft Hunter with a 44lb Delta on the other hand was dragging all over the place.
- Anchored in the Chesapeake off of Mobjack Bay we were hit by a thunderstorm and had winds gusting to 41knts and did not have any issues with dragging.
- Anchored behind Atlantic Highlands breakwater in Sandy Hook NJ we were hit by 40knt winds and didn’t drag at all.
Once we have more nights on more varied bottoms I’ll definitely give an update on how it is performing. As of now I am very happy with my purchase especially after seeing that Hunter drag on the exact same anchor that was delivered with Ryana. I’m doubtful I would rely on it as a storm anchor just because of it’s relative small surface area, but the 80lb definitely would not fit well on the bow. I’m currently looking for a used Fortress FX-55 as storm anchor that will be kept dissembled in the bilge to accompany our FX-37 kedge. Our old Delta is currently setting in buried in the anchor locker with an unknown future.