Saturday, December 1, 2012

Affordable Holiday Gifts for the Boaters on Your List

I know that lots of you have friends and family with boats... from kayaks to canoes, Hobie Cats to sleek sloops, fishing boats to streamlined yachts.... and you want to get them a holiday gift that won't break your piggy bank.

There are lots and lots of wonderful things you can find and I have a bit of advice for you ....

THE most exciting gift you can give to a boater is something personalized with their boat name on it.

You can order things like napkins, unbreakable glassware, coasters, playing cards, stainless mugs, towels, blankets, and salon pillows in a variety of price ranges, styles and colors from many different online vendors.

(Some boaters are very particular about having breakables on board - especially sailors - so don't bother with glass glasses, barometers, ornaments, and I wouldn't go for matches or log books either unless you know they use a log book and what style they prefer.)

And you don't have to go out and spend a lot of money to do this.... If you are crafty or handy, you could take a picture of the boat, and frame it, or mount it on a nautical chart of the owner's cruising grounds..  or you could embroider the boat name on tea towels or hand towels.  You could even do iron on tranfers and personalize shirts, Tee shirts, canvas carryalls, and caps. 

In the past I have used my computer and printer to make boat cards for my friends and they love them.  Boaters love to collect each other's cards... it is a nice reminder of the great folks we have met over the years.  Don't put too much personal information on these cards... the name of the boat, perhaps her model and year, and the owner's names are enough... along with a picture of the boat, of course.  Avery makes lovely business card stock and that is what I use.

I have also made note cards with our friends' boat picture on them and you can buy envelopes in the right size to go along with them.   Postcard stock makes a really nice note card too.

Sailors never have enough sunscreen!  I especially like lip balms and creams or sprays with a SPF rating of 30, and face creams with SPF 45 or even 50. 

All boaters have a real fear of dropping important things overboard.  We like to have our boat keys on stretchy plastic bands... I wear mine on my wrist, and The Captain wears his around his ankle.  Either way, we have our hands free, but our keys always with us.  We have had friends lose their wallets, purses, cell phones and false teeth!

The Captain often wears a cap when we are sailing and has found his hat clip to be a very handy item.  One end clips to the cap, and the other end to a shirt or jacket collar.  He has never lost a cap since he started using clips.  Naturally you can find them in a variety of colors and patterns.

The Captain also likes these lanyards for his sunglasses.... so he can take them off without worrying about losing them...  good sunglasses are expensive and no one likes to lose them overboard!  These little lanyards come in lots of colors and some have little toggles on them so they can be snugged up to the back of the head.  You can get them in lots of textures and in a variety of materials... leather, woven synthetics, and even beaded and bejewelled.  If you are crafty, you can make them yourself.

We really like these waterproof gadget boxes by Otter.  They are a great place to store cameras, phones, and other electronics.  Again, available in a variety of sizes and colors.

Your friends would surely love some books to read while swinging on an anchor in a quiet cove... referance books, cruising guides, or novels, but please... no disaster-at-sea stories! This is not the time to be reading The Perfect Storm or The Castaways.

If you can find a magazine about their loal cruising grounds, or fantasy trips to the Caribbean, that would be most welcome... 

Sailors are always looking for something tasty, hot or cold, to drink... thermal carafes with good seals, in a variety of shapes and sizes are always good practical gifts.  They can be used for hot chocolate, soups, coffee, tea, or even hot toddies.... cold water, milk, juices, or smoothies.  If you have olives, you can pour an ice cold martini!

If your sailing friends are also crabbers, they can always use more tools to eat and share their catch!  You can never have too many crab claw crackers and crab meat pickers in the galley. 


And it pretty much goes without saying that your favorite sailors are going to be hungry at sea!  Easy and portable snacks to munch while handling sails and watching for whales are a thoughtful gift.  No one wants to go below and prepare meals while travelling... and don't forget to add some resealable bags for leftovers, too.  Moisture really is the enemy.

So, you can shower your yachtee friends with lots of lovely gifts during this festive time of year, without having to max out your credit cards.


  1. Love that hat clip idea! That would be a great one for my dad. A couple years ago I got him a batch of koozies with his boat name and a sail boat (clip art) on them. I think they went over well. :)

  2. I am so intrigued by your sailing lifestyle--- it is so foreign to me but I love it! And yes, anytime I'm on boat, I always have this nagging feeling that I'll drop SOMETHING overboard! :)

  3. No boaters in my family but that totally doesn't mean my dad wouldn't LOVE those LOBSTER CLAM shell crackers!! So cute! :)

  4. Great list!!! I will have to pass it on to my boater friends! ;-)

  5. This is a great list. I don't know any boaters, but just looking at your gift basket makes me think I will get coffee for some of my non-boater friends. It's always nice to get a specialty coffee as a gift!

  6. So many cute little gadgets here, making travel fun hey?


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