Best Gear?

We are about to launch the 2008 version of our Holliday Gift Guideand want to know what gear you wouldn’t leave home without? From boot to hats from books to ipods… what gear is the best of the best for mariners?

Items I don’t get on the tug without include the Pelican Sabrelight ( 3 C batts), Standard Horizon HX500s portable VHF w/ submersible mic, Georgia Giant slip-on boots with oil resistant soles, a few Victorinox round tip knives ( $4-6 ea.), Smoothtalker 3 watt cell phone booster, and some form of sattelite radio.

Stearns float coat, Stormyseas Goatroper hat, Grundens rain gear, Victorinox round tip knife, Djeep lighter.

both you guys gotta be in the PNW

My must haves in order are.

  1. A good pocket knife, and a stone to keep it sharp.

  2. Some type of polarized sunglasses, right now I’m liking my RayBans. Got to protect those eyes from the glare, dont want to be blind when I retire.

  3. My old navy fleece hoodie.

  4. A big backpack, or a larger computer bag to keep what ever in and carry stuff back and forth from the bunk to wheel house every day.

  5. Lenovo T400 with built in GPS. Now you can use it as a chart plotter and its a tax deduction.

  6. IPOD- must have music.

  7. Windows mobile phone. The Iphone is easier to use but dosent have half the functionality that a windows mobile phone has with the right software.

  8. A Wilson cell phone repeater.
    On my wish list this year I want the large rolling thunder from Northface, its a waterproof vinyl bag like my offshore duffel bags, but it has wheels and since Im flying a lot more I’m finding out how valuable those are.

KNIVES -In my opinion, Victorinox knives are the best! I prefer the sharp-tip. They are cheap, thin, but razor sharp. Pick up a half-dozen, if they get dull, break, or lost over the side, no big deal, theyre cheap. $4-6. I picked up a Smith and Wesson Special Ops folder with a tanto-tip, a $15 impulse-buy at the sports store. sturdy and reliable, holds an edge.
BOOTS -When you work all day on your feet, BOOTS ARE EVERYTHING!
X-tra Tuf boots for wet work, VERY comfortable and supple. The gold-standard in the Bering Sea.
Viking Klasse 3 Chainsaw boots for my steel toe wet work, sturdy and comfortable. Ive had mine for 7 years running supply boats in the Aleutian Islands, no leaks! CHAINSAW RESISTANT! $75 worth it!
Dr. Martens Wellington Safety-Toe slip-on boots for deck work. I used to buy cheapos at Wal-mart knowing theyd be destroyed after a 4 month hitch on a chem. tanker. On a whim I tried some Dr. Martens… WOW! like wearing slippers! so light, soft, padded ankles, Bouncing sole, Oil resistant $120 and worth it! Legendary Dr. Martens.
I have tried Red Wing, Wolverine, Georgia Boot, Caterpillar… all of them were sturdy all right, but stiff and HEAVY! esp. the Wolverines, felt like I had bricks strapped to my feet all day.
RAINGEAR-Grundens… “Never go to sea without your Grundies!” One season with cheap leaky gear, (and duct-tape doesnt fix them) and youll know why this is another gold-standard of the Bering Sea.
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COLD WEATHER GEAR-I use LIFA polypropylene for long underwear, stocking cap for when I need to wear a hardhat, and balaclava (ski-mask) when it gets REAL COLD. next layer is simple hooded pullover sweatshirt (heavy duty, from Dutch Harbor Shipping Supply lol!) and sweatpants. Sweatpants and Sweatshirt do ya triple duty, you can sleep in them, lounge in them, and use them for long underwear as well. Topped off with your Grundens, youll be cozy. Standard issue Wool watch-cap.
HOT WEATHER GEAR-I wear a “boonie hat” from the surplus store, keeps the sun off your ears and neck, and you can soak it down with cold water on your breaks. I also wear surplus BDU trousers with the cargo pockets. sturdy and light. T-shirt from a favorite bar in some port, or a biker run…
GLOVES- I buy a pair for every 2 weeks Im on a ship. I use rubber palm ATLAS gloves. $3pr. these gloves have saved my hands from so many cuts and scrapes I cant even count, yet snug enough I can pick a dime up off the table with them on. A similar brand thats a little warmer is called GLACIER GRIP.
SHADES-Cheap polaroids Panama Jack, $12-15 UVEX Bandit safety glasses. $6
TORCH-I carry a 2AA maglite because you can get the red lens for them, the nifty holster, and Nite-Ize makes an end switch for the AA models that pulses a feint red led so you can find it in the dark, click once, its a light, twice, its dims, 3x it strobes. I keep a Pelican in my locker as well, but its too big to lug around all day and Im not an engineer.


stellarseas, I gotta agree except I’ve found the Vic sharpies are to short to easily cut 7 and 9 inch line. If ya gotta do a lot of that Vic makes a bread knife (about 18" LOA) that can’t be beat. I keep one in my rigging kit with tape and fids and such. A Quartz bulb works great as a hone to keep that razor edge.

.Yah man Victorinox makes some good blades. but I was just listing things I pack in my seabag,
I might have been nice to have a big one to saw thru those hawsers, Had one bad day where the numnutz deck boss was tying up the ships too tight and we parted 12 of them in one day! guess who learned to splice braided 8? Somehow I managed.

Im with stellarseas on the bonnie hat and BDU pants. I dont ware the hat so much anymore, but the pants are all i ware. I love the cargo pockets when you got to go in the engine room and fix something. I just grab the tools I need, dump them the pockets and roll. No having to jump up and run to the toolbox to get a bigger socket because you already grabbed the one you thought you needed and all the rest around it, plus a crecent wrench. The pockets are also good to put the hat in when you got to put on your hard hat, and keep the gloves when not using them.
Plus they last longer then blue jeans. I still have a pair that I’ve had for 4 years.

In the finest NW tradition, in addition to the Xtra-tuf boots and Grundies, I never leave home without my Carhartt’s. Shirts, flannels, jacket, socks, pants, shorts. All Carhartt all the time.

I’ve gotta agree with Capt. A on the Carhartt stuff. It’s about the best made, most durable clothing you can buy. I like BDUs too…lightweight and comfortable. Gotta have the Xtra-tufs and Grundies as well. Although down here it’s too hot most of the time to wear oilskins. I as soon be wet with rainwater as with sweat! For a couple of weeks a year, though, it comes in handy.

Since this is a WISH LIST -
Handheld satellite phone and phone card with an unlimited lifetime voice and broadband service plan (with a company that provides reliable worldwide coverage) that works indoors!

Here’s my wishlist item:
Give me an iPhone who’s GPS will revert to DR mode when you step inside.I hate the fact that none of my GPS apps work if there is so much as a leaf or two in between my iPhone and the sky.

I carry three things with me every time I go on deck. A Pelican Flashlight<img width=“1” height=“1” border=“0” style=“border: medium none ! important; margin: 0px ! important;” src="[/img], Channel Locks<img width=“1” height=“1” border=“0” style=“border: medium none ! important; margin: 0px ! important;” src="[/img] and my knife. I have tried many and my absolute favorite knife is the Spyderco Rescue !

If I don’t have my spyderco on me it means I’m carrying my second favorite knife; the Leatherman Wave. A great multipurpose knife since leatherman has an excellent warranty, each knife has both a straight edge and serrated blade. These blades are located on the outside of the knife so they are easily accessible <img width=“1” height=“1” border=“0” style=“border: medium none ! important; margin: 0px ! important;” src="[/img]with one hand.

Channel locks… a great way to give a Chief Engineer grey hair when he looks out and sees a mate on deck with a set of channel locks on him.
The pelican lights are great I prefer the stealth fits easier in the pocket. The pelican headlamps are good also for keeping the hands free when climbing around.
Skecher work sneakers steel toe comfy and good for running around deck while cutting back on leg fatigue also have 3M reflective features so an added safety perk when walking through a container yard at night.

The grey hair comes when I see a Ch Engineer with any tool. The best place for the Chief and Captain is the office, let the mate run the deck. He’ll ask for help when he needs it… from the 1st.

I posted here somewhereabout my Chief who carried a pocket full of change. Now there’s a Chief who’s got his priorities straight. Then there was the engineer who had a box full 'o tools yet did everything with a crescent wrench. On that boat, we renamed that cursed tool the “Clawson” wrench in his honor. Every bolt in the basement had rounded corners.