Most pointless nautical product?


I was recently looking at the Landfill Prize website, which is an award for Britain’s most pointless new products. And that got me thinking. Perhaps there should be an award for the most irritating, over-designed piece of nautical nonsense. I’m sure there would be no shortage of nominations.

I’ll happily start the bidding with boathooks which come complete with 57 incomprehensible attachments but which sink when dropped in the briny, gas lighters which might have a flame hotter than the sun but which stop working the second a breath of air hits them, and sailing shoes made from space age materials and designed by Mensa but which smell like a sweaty Stilton at the mere hint of moisture.

YM was recently sent a product grandly called the ‘Sidelock Frappit’. It claims to eradicate antisocial noise in harbours, and is made from a strong polyester lanyard, an aluminium hook and a healthy dollop of marketing hype. It boasts a ‘unique noose arrangement’ and features a ‘sliding flexible tube of critical internal diameter’.

Can you tell what it is yet? A portable gallows to deter noisy youths?

Nope. It’s for frapping noisy halyards. It may be an ingenious invention – or it could be an over-designed bit of string.

Keep an eye on the pages of YM to find out which.