Reader Tips

The latest collection of great ideas sent in by SWS readers


Onboard Drill
It seems like whenever I need to use my cordless drill to fix something on my boat, the battery is dead. To solve this dilemma, I took an old 12-volt drill that had seen better days and attached a 20-foot cord to it with alligator clips on the end. I now leave this drill on the boat and hook it up to the main battery, and I never run out of power.

Robert Goracci
Milford, Delaware


Insurance Policy**
I frequently carry handheld scales when I am fishing, and I've lost several overboard when attempting to weigh and release fish. Now I've eliminated that worry, thanks to an empty water bottle. Cap the bottle tightly and tie it to the scale with a piece of heavy monofilament or twine. Now if you drop the scale overboard, the bottle will float and allow you to retrieve it . This also works well with pliers, gaffs and other sinking items.

Peter Gammarano
Shoreline, Washington


Fending Off**
Deploying your fenders can be difficult - especially when boating by yourself - but here's a quick, inexpensive solution I came up with. Cut a 12-inch-long piece of 138-inch OD PVC pipe and notch one end of it so it fits the gimbal pin in your rod holders. Place a cap on the other end and drill a hole through the pipe, large enough to accommodate your fender line. Put the pipe in the rod holder, place the fender line through the hole, and tie it off so the fenders are in the correct position. Now when you approach the dock alone it's easy to deploy the fenders at the proper height.
Anthony Musumeci
Woolwhich Township, New Jersey

Send your original ideas along with a sketch or photo to SWS. If we use them, you'll win a Spheros 8000FA spinning reel or a Banar Boat Bag from Shimano, valued at $150. Submit to: Salt Water Sportsman, c/o Sportsman's Workbench, 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, Florida 32789, or send via e-mail to