The Houston Boat Show is billed as the largest indoor show in the country.  I recently visited the 2019 show in search of fun or helpful new products to aid boat owners.  Below are my top 6 items, in no particular order.

Thirst Mate

Thirst Mate Display

Available in a variety of colors

On those really hot summer days, we will sometimes jump into the lake and float near the boat to stay cool.  However, by abandoning ship, we no longer have something to hold onto our drinks.  Thirst Mate solves this problem by providing a simple holder that floats along side you.  Just screw in three empty bottles and voila!  Problem solved.  And, you can even get an optional tether so that your beverage is never out of reach.

Thirst Mate in the deployed position

Thirst Mate in the deployed position

It will hold a regular size can or bottle with a koozie and can even accommodate a full size wine bottle or solo cup.

Available in a variety of colors, Thirst Mate retails for $10 online (empty bottles not included).  However, if you are lucky enough to find it at your boat show, the price is half off.

Fun accessories include a connector to build your own floatilla and, if you are the competitive type, you can even convert your Thirst Mate into a floating Ring Toss game.

You can order Thirst Mate Unsinkable Drink Floats, accessories, & other fun lake lifestyle products at:  Use Coupon Code: BOATERINPUT for 20% off too!

Boat Dock Grips

Boat Dock Grips

Boat Dock Grips

Bringing your boat into the dock can sometimes be a harrowing experience.  Dock heights vary in size and some have little or no protection.  So, you and/or your crew frantically deploy the boat fenders and quickly adjust and re-adjust the height to keep your beautiful boat from colliding with an unforgiving structure.  Sometimes yelling is involved.

It was this sort of scene that led to the invention of Boat Dock Grips.  With these, you just slide the rope through the holder and then release the button to set it to the desired length.  Besides making it quicker and easier to set  your fenders, another advantage is it frees up your cleat so that you also have room to wrap a rope around it to tie-up to the dock.

Available in packages of two, Boat Dock Grips are sold for $40 online although you can get them for $10 less at the show.

Line Cutterz

Line Cutterz

Line Cutterz

When you are out fishing and need to re-tie, you want to get back in the water as quickly as possible and don’t want to hunt around for your scissors. Or, if you are on a kayak, you can’t simply get up and walk around the boat – you need something close at hand.

Enter Line Cutterz.  This handy little device is basically a super sharp knife that you wear on a finger or attach to a pole.  Just slide your line under the protective surface and it instantly cuts it in two.

Featured on Shark Tank, Line Cutterz is available in a variety of colors and is even available in a flush-mount version to attach to your boat.  The price is only $12 online but you can get it for even cheaper at the boat show.  I purchased their red, white and blue Hero ring.  When  you purchase this model, $1 is donated to take veterans with PTSD fishing.


Waxed Apparel

Waxed Performance Apparel

If you go boating or fishing on a windy or rainy day, chances are you are going to get wet.  There are some performance apparel products like Huk fishing that repel moisture.  However, the new Waxed product line takes this idea to a whole new level.

Their “hydrophobic performance apparel”  is virtually impenetrable by water or other liquids and holds up after frequent washings.  And, as an added bonus, since it does not absorb liquids,  it is nearly impossible to stain.

I can see a few good uses for this.  The first is fishing during the “off season”.  In the middle of summer, I don’t  mind getting a little wet when I am out fishing – especially in the Texas heat.  But during the colder months, it is a whole different story.  This would be a good product to wear to help keep you warm and dry during the fall or winter months.

Repels liquids

Repels liquids

A second usage is when fishing in the rain.  As most anglers know, fishing before or during a front can be some of your very best action and so a little weather event will not deter some anglers.  And, with one of these shirts, you could stay out all day without getting your torso wet.  However, I’d like to see them eventually offer this fabric treatment on pants and caps to complete the “ensemble”.  Then, about the only thing that would drive me off the lake would be the threat of lightening.

Finally, this would be great to use while skiing or wakeboarding.  Besides providing UV protection, it would enable you to dry off very quickly once you do your run and climb back into the boat.  My wife would especially appreciate this feature since she is often cold after getting out of the water.

Waxed is a new company and currently offer men’s and women’s shirts online in a variety of styles and colors.

Boat Nectar

Boat Nectar

Boat Nectar

After spending a full, fun-filled day on the lake, the last thing boaters want to do is spend a lot of time cleaning their baby once they get home.  But what if there was a quick and painless way to do this to help keep your boat looking nice and protect it throughout the season?  That was the motivation behind Boat Nectar.

Company founder Brandon Owens has been operating a boat club/rental business in Austin, TX since 2004.  As part of this operation, he does a lot of cleaning and maintenance.  Over the years, his company has created its own concoction to keep their fleet looking nice.  They are now making their formula available to the public for the first time with the launch of Boat Nectar.

While there are many cleaners and protectants on the market, what makes this product a little different is that it combines both in a single bottle.  Just spray it on, wait a few seconds, and then wipe off with the cloth provided.  And it is 100% organic and therefore safe for the environment.

Boat Nectar is sold as a two-pack – one for the exterior (green) and another for the interior (blue).  The exterior product will remove stains and water-spots and even includes carnauba wax to protect the finish.  The interior version cleans your upholstery and protects against UV rays.  Though you will still need to do a thorough waxing once or twice a year, Boat Nectar will help you to keep your boat looking great in between applications.

The price is $30 for the two-pack set.  According to Brandon, this is enough for approximately 10 cleanings for a standard 25′ boat.

Garmin Livescope

As most anglers can attest, properly interpreting the screen on a typical fish finder is a bit of a guessing game.  Are the dots on the screen fish or floating debris/vegetation?  If they are fish, what kind are they and where are they relative to the boat’s location?

Garmin has taken much of this guess work out with the launch of their revolutionary new product, Panoptix Livescope, in June of 2018.  I was finally able to view this technology in action at the 2019 Houston Boat Show.

This game-changing technology gives you a real-time image of what is going on beneath the surface.  So, rather than seeing a static image that scrolls across your screen, you see a dynamic view of what is happening at that moment.  It is like watching an underwater camera where you can actually see fish swimming about and even taking your bait.

Of course, all this power does not come cheaply. The MSRP for the LiveScope system is $1,500 plus you will have to pair it with a compatible Garmin MFD (display).  But, if you are an avid angler or tournament fisherman, the Panoptix LiveScope will give you a serious advantage.  It is almost unfair to the fish.  Almost.

Let us know what other fun or helpful new items for boaters you’ve discovered by leaving a reply below.

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