The Miami Boat Show — if you will excuse the use of a popular grammatical corruption — is ginormous!

It is a showplace for everything that is technologically on the cutting edge, not only for big expensive boats and outboards, but also for nautical devices and related gizmos. For those of us who grew up relying on a 2 h.p. “kicker” outboard and a square stern canoe to get across the water, today’s options for powering a boat stagger the imagination.

If you have a mind to go fast, very fast, and you have a fat wallet, Seven Marine from Germantown, Wisc., will sell you an outboard engine that produces 627 horse power. And, for less than a million bucks, you can buy a boat that will handle four of these bronze-propped babies! Do the math. That’s 2,500 horsepower. Talk about torque.

You’re right. For most of us plebeian working stiffs, the Miami Boat Show is mostly a fantasy trip, a tire-kicking exercise — a chance to dream and drool.

If you take your time, though, and check out the booths carefully, you will find some useful and innovative devices well within reach of any boater’s pocketbook. The man with the German accent, who demos and sells the magic glue, draws a crowd, and sells a lot of product. The same can be said for a number of other vendors who sell boating parts and cleaning products.

The show stopper for me was a simple — a relatively inexpensive new device called the Griffin Clip. At first glance it looks like a large, stainless steel paper clip with an eye-bolt at the bottom. It is a device that revolutionizes the pulling of an anchor. It is a simplified and well-engineered refinement of an old sailor’s trick: using the power of the boat and some geometry to bring an anchor effortlessly to the surface.


According to the brochure for the Griffin Clip, ”Designed to rapidly retrieve an anchor from the ocean floor requiring almost no effort from boaters. With one fluid motion, the Griffin Clip slides over the anchor rope and the boat pulls the anchor to the surface. The arduous process of repeatedly pulling an anchor to reposition it in a precise location is eliminated with the Griffin Clip.”

I met the designer of the Griffin Clip. He is Mark Griffin, a South Florida angler who does not like to spend time and energy pulling anchors. Mike said that he, like most inventors, tried a variety of prototypes before he finally got it right.

His device is ideal for freeing up a stuck anchor, and it can also be used on chain as well as rope anchor lines. The device also has a commercial application for working boats over 32 feet.

The Griffin Clip is manufactured in Hollywood, Florida. It is priced at about $130.00. More information is available at 954-923-6033. The online site is

On blue-water fishing trips off the Florida Keys on my son-in-law’s boat “Right Stuff,” I generally draw anchor detail. It’s not unusual when fishing the Hump or the Reef Line to put out and retrieve more than a 100 feet of anchor line, numbers of times when the fishing is slow.

Next time out we’ll have a Griffin Clip on board.

The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors” heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network (WVOM-FM 103.9, WQVM-FM 101.3) and former information officer for the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is [email protected] . He has two books “A Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook” and his latest, “Backtrack.” Online information is available at or by calling Diane at 207 745 0049.

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