NEWS & NOTES
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TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
As regular PMM readers know, I’m
infatuated with tools. However, my
love for them is not unconditional;
mine is a qualified obsession based
on sound design, user friendliness,
and extremely high quality.
At the recent International
BoatBuilders’ Exhibition &
Conference, I was given two new
Wera tools to test drive, and I
was not disappointed. I’ve written
about products from this German
manufacturer in the past, and with
good reason—Wera’s tools are
among the best I’ve ever used.
The Bit-Check is a subcompact
1/4-inch drive ratchet set housed
in a slim yet rugged plastic case
that’s less than 6 inches long and
about 3/4-inch deep. A latching
mechanism opens the case, providing
access to a wide selection of bits
that include Phillips, common, hex,
Torx, and Security Torx. There’s an
adapter that enables any 1/4-inch
socket to be used, and an extension
is also included in the lineup. Bit-Check ratchet sets are ideally
suited for disassembly and repair
of electronics, computers, and a
variety of small appliances.
The Zyklop is a full 41-piece
1/4-inch drive ratchet set contained
in a sturdy, foam-lined, stenciled
metal toolbox. The drive handle
incorporates an ingenious rotating
head that allows the user to turn it
like a screwdriver until more torque
is required, then rotate it 90 degrees
when additional torque is needed.
The head can be used in any
position between 0 and 90 degrees,
and it locks at 0, 90, and 15 degrees.
I have a pet peeve about
drives that don’t securely
retain their sockets, relying
only on friction to do so.
No problem there—the
Zyklop drive will not
engage or release a socket
unless a button is pressed.
The nonslip ratchet handle
is ergonomically designed,
and that’s not just sales-literature hype: it really feels
good to hold and use.
One of the true measures
of a fine quality ratchet is the
backlash or tooth pitch. The
Zyklop’s 6-degree pitch means
it works very well in confined
locations. I love this tool, but my
wife has drawn the line at letting
me take it to bed. She says the
metal case is too cold.
For more on Wera tools, visit
BRAVO TO THE BROWNS!
When I got word that members
of our Trawler Fest family had
been recognized by Skipper Bob
Publications at the 2010 AGLCA fall
rendezvous, I couldn’t wait to find
out more. I spoke to Elaine Reib
about what this recognition means
and how it came about.
After Elaine’s husband, Skipper
Bob (or “Skipper God,” as he was
sometimes called), passed away in
2006, Elaine found a full set of his
signal flags and didn’t know what to
do with them. She decided to auction
them off for charity. Later, Elaine and
Bob Levine, who had bought many
of the flags at auction, came up with
the idea of presenting the flags to
people who make the Great Loop
cruising experience better. Thus, the
Skipper Bob “Making It Better”
Award was born.
“Making It Better” Award
“Bob made everything better for
everyone,” Elaine said.
Since 2008, a flag has been given
out at each America’s Great Loop
Cruisers’ Association rendezvous.
Elaine personalizes each award with
At this fall’s rendezvous in
Rogersville, Alabama, Sue and Gordy
Brown were given the Skipper Bob
“Making It Better” Award for their
tremendous dedication to the
AGLCA and for everything they do
for Trawler Fest. When asked why
the Browns received the award,
Elaine replied, “They are the most
accommodating people. Even before
I knew their names, I knew their
faces.” Sue and Gordy are very active
in the AGLCA, giving their time,
making presentations, and simply
being there to lend a helping hand.
The Browns have done the same for
Trawler Fest since 2002 and are
always ready and willing to do
anything that’s needed.
Sue and Gordy, for everything
you do to make it better, we thank