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Light Bulb Moments – Keep Your Smartphone Dry, Your Hardware Onboard, and Your Tank Full

October 1, 2011

The following contributions are from readers who believe that boaters can forestall problems if forewarned. We agree and, consistent with this issue’s theme of preparedness, are pleased to pass these three ideas along.

Keep Your SmartPhone Dry with a Cell Phone Dry Box

Chris Melo has come up with an effective and inexpensive way to both prevent

A "Cell Phone Dry Box" will keep your smartphone dry during trips to and from shore

smartphones from drowning, and to carry credit cards and money during short trips ashore. The “Cell Phone Dry Box” can be purchased for $9.99 at While not designed to be submerged, this box will keep inside items dry when closed, and floats if dropped into water.

A Quick and Easy Way to Protect Lifeline Clasps

For those of us whose lifeline clasps have ever fallen overboard and been lost forever (I count myself among the many), Adrien Rock suggests a method for preventing such a loss. It takes about three seconds, is free, improves appearances on deck, and works.

Saving a lifeline clasp from dropping into the drink is as easy as this

How Much Propane is in the Tank?

Bob Wrell writes to warn readers not to rely on the type of propane tank gauge normally

It is helpful to understand the limits of a typical propane gauge

found aboard boats If you need to know how much propane is in the tank the most reliable method is to weigh the tank. This is easy if you carry a hand held fish (or luggage) scale. These are available for under $10 from Of course you’ll need to know the weight of your tank empty and full, and then do some simple math. Gauges like the one in the photo are designed to detect leaks in a propane system and work as follows: Close all burner controls, turn on the propane tank and gas solenoid, then close the tank. If the pressure falls after a few hours then a leak exists somewhere in the system. Leaving the solenoid closed during a second pressure check helps locate the leak.

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