As 2017 winds down, the last-minute holiday season shopping pressure ramps up! Fortunately, there are plenty of great gifts out there for the boaters in our lives.
Those gifts run the gamut from the odd gag that fits into a stocking to presents for especially good boys and girls that don’t even fit under the tree. We offer you, the reader, this compilation of the year’s favorite boating-related products, organized into categories from the newest award-winning electronics to accessories for the seafaring pooch. Hopefully, this guide provides a much-needed shortcut for those of us with an eye on the clock.
No matter what your tribe, this is a time of celebration and reflection, family and friends, and generosity and optimism. We of Northwest Yachting wish you all happy holidays as you keep calm and shop on!
Hydra Shade Boating Umbrella
Hydra Shade’s nifty boating umbrellas are made to keep boaters dry and shaded. The cool thing about these umbrellas is that they are compatible with most cylinder-shaped mounts or rod holders aboard and work with an attachable beach spike to stick in the sand when you arrive at that remote beach. The 8’ square boating umbrella kit is $149 at hydrashade.com.
RapidDitch Express Bag
The RapidDitch Express Bag from ACR Electronics, Inc. (model 2279) is a no-nonsense ditch bag option. The bag is buoyant with up to 15 lbs. of gear inside, features easy-to-see reflective material, and is loaded with pockets, tethers, loops, etc., to help keep the necessities together. Available from Fisheries Supply for $59.99.
Yeti Hopper Soft Coolers
When you’re hitting that special remote island after a long day on the water, you’re going to want a trusty cooler at your side filled with the goodies. Yeti continues to make new coolers fit for the job, including their Hopper Line. From the $199.99 Hopper Flip 8, rated to eight cans (an awesome metric), to the $399.99 Hopper Two 40, rated to 34 cans, there’s probably a cooler for you. Order online or search for local dealers at yeti.com.
Slam Crew Jackets
Whether you’re shopping for a serious racer or a boater who just wants to stay dry (and look good while doing it), the Slam Force 1, Force 2, and Force 3 jackets are breathable, wind- and water-proof, and made for the extremes. Check them out at slam.com for the complete lineup, prices range from $146 to $335.
Spinex Top-Down Spinnaker Furlers
Profurl’s innovative Spinex top-down furlers for asymmetrical spinnakers utilize a series of rotating bearings to get that kite up and down in a jiffy. Check out the different models, from the Spinex 0.9 to the Spinex 5.0, online at profurl.com. You can special order for the unique specs of your sailboat from Fisheries Supply for between $2,299.02 and $2,799.03.
Blacksmith Carbon Fiber Wind Vanes
How to improve your current wind vane setup? Why not make it out of high-tech carbon fiber? Davis Instruments recently debuted their Blacksmith wind vanes made from super lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum that seem to be geared toward the sailboat racers. Sold for $59.99, check out davisnet.com for your local dealer.
There’s no denying that it gets pretty wet around here this time of year. This new Air-Dryr device circulates thermal convections of warm air to eliminate dampness (and resultant odors) from enclosed spaces. There’s no fan, thermostat, or any moving parts, and it operates silently when plugged into a standard 110-volt grounded outlet. The two models, Air-Dryr 1000 and 500, are sold at $58.10 and $49.80, respectively, at Fisheries Supply.
Kona 12-Volt Fan
Aboard, a little circulation can go a long way. Caframo recently released their Kona 12-volt fan. This compact fan is constructed out of extruded aluminum, UV stabilized plastic, and stainless-steel fasteners. No wonder it earned a waterproof rating of IP55. Both suction cup and bracket mount options are available. Check out caframolifestylesolutions.com for more info.
grote XTL marine LED strips
The XTL LED light strips from Grote are versatile lighting arrays that are built to withstand the harsh marine environment and integrate into existing lighting systems. The flexible strips make it easy to accommodate corners in the darker nooks and crannies of a bilge, settee, tender, private dock, etc. Check them out at grote.com.
Yeti Rambler 14-oz Mug
This mug is one of Yeti’s newest products (released November 16) and is touted as “the toughest, most over-engineered camp mug out there” by the manufacturer. The stainless-steel mug with double-wall insulation should keep cocoa hot and ice tea cold. Comes with a sealed top and is dishwasher safe. Available for $24.99 at yeti.com.
Magma Newport II Infrared Grill
If it’s time to upgrade the grill in the cockpit or flybridge, Magma’s new Newport II Infrared Grill may be a contender. This gas grill can utilize disposable propane canisters, or onboard LPG or CNG fuel systems. Made of stainless steel for the elements, this grill has a lot going for it, including a glass-viewing window. Compatible with Magma’s mounting and other accessories. Available for $519.98 from magmaproducts.com.
Unbreakable Silicone Glasses
These silicone glasses by Cusan are perfect for the boat, thanks to their shatterproof design and easy maintenance. Unlike most plastic alternatives to glass, these glasses are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Available for $16.90 from rubberwineglasses.com.
Wine Bottle Life Preserver
To the lifeboats! This life preserver wine bottle cover by Boston Warehouse is more of a fun centerpiece than a functional life jacket for wine bottles, but hey, we won’t stop you from testing it out. Available for $7.89, at the time of this writing, at amazon.com.
The piping hot pot of cruising chili has a habit of cooling off rather quickly. By bringing your food to a boil and sticking it in the Wonderbag, the heat is retained and, not only does the food stay warm, it continues to slow cook! The Wonderbag cooks food, keeps it warm, and also saves some fuel from the stove in the process. No electricity required! Buy online at thewonderbag.com, priced at $55.00.
Garmin AIS 600 Blackbox Transducer
Garmin’s new AIS 600 Blackbox Transceiver is a compact addition to a vessel’s safety and navigation systems. This black box allows you to receive Automatic Identification System (AIS) target data as well as transmit your own vessel information to other AIS receivers in your area. Priced at $999.99 at buy.garmin.com.
Fusion MS-AV750 with DVD/CD Player
Fusion has released their MS-AV750 Marine Entertainment Series, a sure-fire way to turn the boat into the party epicenter. The system can play DVDs or CDs, is compatible with a FUSION-Link wired or wireless remote control, has Bluetooth streaming, is compatible with Apple iOS and Android platforms, and much, much more. Find your local dealer at fusionentertainment.com, usually priced around $650.
Actisense NGT-1 Sensor
This award-winning sensor sends and receives NMEA 2000 data between a vessel’s systems and a PC. Basically, you can get your computer to talk to your boat. Pretty neat! Check it out at actisense.com (you can even turn “Geek Mode” off for easier reading), priced at around $175.
Kicker KMC2 Media Center
The Kicker KMC2 is a weather-resistant media center that adds Bluetooth connectivity to your vessel systems. Designed to fit into a standard gauge opening of your dash, it’s a compact way to help integrate your onboard systems. Check it out at kicker.com, MSRP is $249.95.
3M Marine Sealants
Every boater will need sealant at one time or another, and 3M’s lineup of polyurethane sealants are commonly used. The 4000UV Fast Cure Marine Hybrid Adhesive Sealant is touted as the company’s most versatile sealant. A 13.5-oz. “sausage pack” of 3000UV sealant tubes can be picked up at Fisheries Supply for $20.98.
Among the many innovative (and sometimes kooky) ways to keep messy flocks of seagulls off your boat is the StopGull and StopGull Falcon. These devices essentially attach a threatening bird kite, like a falcon, to a rod and line. When flying under a light breeze, the gulls are supposed to scatter. Interested? Available online for $135.96 at shop.yachtshop.ca.
303 Metal Polish
Most boat owners appreciate having some metal polish on hand, and the 303 4-in-1 Metal Polish from Gold Eagle won Best New Product Award at the AAPEX New Product Showcase in Las Vegas this year. Maybe it’s worth a shot? Available in 12-oz. quantities for $12.99 at goldeagle.com.
Mini Dome Security Camera
Yacht security keeping you (or your potential gift receiver) up at night? GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies) recently announced their new 1080P high-definition surveillance cameras, including the Mini Dome aimed specifically for boat security. Check out gostglobal.com for more information and pricing.
SmartFind G8 AIS
This one may be especially attractive for the worrywart in the family. McMurdo’s SmartFind G8 AIS is the world’s first AIS EPIRB, meaning that it’ll be a boater’s best friend in an emergency. The entire unit can easily be held in one hand, features an integrated LED strobe, is waterproof, etc., etc., etc. Check out mcmurdogroup.com for your nearest dealer and for pricing.
PulseTech SP-5 Solar Charger
Solar technology just keeps getting better, and for those of us who want to renewably recharge and maintain the 12-V batteries aboard, the SP-5 SolarPulse 12-V Battery Solar Charger would be a great gift. Available for $159.95 at pulsetech.com.
Angler Insulated Tournament Jackets
Anglers have to stay warm on the water! Gill has released their new tournament jackets, including the FG25 Insulated Tournament Jacket, that are touted as serious technical foul weather gear. Available for $325 at gillfishing.com.
Garmin GSD 26 CHIRP Pro Sonar Module
Chasing the fish is a lot easier when you’ve got a good fish finder aboard. Garmin’s new GSD 26 CHIRP Professional Sonar Module is the company’s newest model, and features a dual-transceiver design that is essentially two sonars in one unit. Check it out at buy.garmin.com, priced at $1,999.
New Scotty Downrigger
The new No. 1106B Depthpower Downrigger is one of Scotty’s most popular models. This electronic downrigger has a telescopic boom that can be deployed anywhere between 36” to 60”, a feature that’s great for stowage. Check out scotty.com for more info; you can pick one up from Fisheries Supply for $512.93.
50-Lb. High Contrast Digital scale
How much does that big silver weigh, exactly? The new Rapala digital scale is compact and no-nonsense with a reverse-image LCD illuminated screen and manual directional navigation pad for the menu options. The fish friendly gripper also will be appreciated by your catch. Runs on two AAA batteries not included. Available at rapala.com for $31.99 at the time of this writing.
This ultra-high-end carbon fiber kayak is built by America’s Cup boat builders in New Zealand. The Kayak 1 features gloss carbon finish, gold-plated brass fittings, and teak timber work. Each one is also highly customizable with colors, materials, and finishes to your preferences. Check it out at mclellanjacobs.com.
Argos Nautic 396 Tender
It may not fit under the tree, but the new Argos Nautic 396 tender is just what one would expect from the luxury tender builder. The 13’ RIB features classic teak and holly flooring, custom stainless-steel fittings, and integrated console. The tender weighs 925 pounds and is made to fit in the onboard garage. Priced at $35,000;
more info is available at argosnautic.com.
Walker Bay Stand Up Paddleboards
Odds are you’ve already seen some of Walker Bay’s new stand up paddleboards (SUPs) making the rounds at local marinas, and for good reason. Both their Airis Hollowdeck Inflatable SUP and Airis Hardtop Inflatable SUP lines are super rugged, high-quality, and easily inflatable SUP options for enthusiasts of all stripes. The fact that Walker Bay is headquartered in Yakima, Washington, is a nice plus. Prices range from $799 to $1,299, check out walkerbay.com for more information.
That paddling friend would probably love a new paddle. Why not try out a local company? Werner Paddles is based in Sultan, Washington, and makes carbon fiber paddles for kayaks, stand up paddleboards, canoes, and more. Prices vary, but a typical price of one of their carbon fiber SUP paddles will usually be between $300 to $400. Check them out at wernerpaddles.com.
Sometimes you just want to float listlessly and spy on the underwater neighbors. ReefBoards are essentially beefy plastic kickboards with an integrated window so boarders can view what’s underneath. Models differ in size and specs, prices range from $295 to $395. Check out the complete lineup at reefboard.com.
Art & Science of Sails (Revised Edition)
The newest edition of The Art and Science of Sails, written by Tom Whidden (CEO of North Technology Group) and journalist Michael Levitt, is establishing itself as the grand tome of all things sails: theory, practice, materials, and more. The newest, heavily illustrated edition features an oversized format. Order online for $32 at northsails.com.
Yacht Were You Thinking?
We all know that one boater with the dumb boat name. Written by Jonathan Eyers, Yacht Were You Thinking? is a fun, baby-name style book for boats that highlights both the good and bad, the puns and the profound, the foolish and the inspired. If you can’t find it at your local book store, it’s available as a hardcover at amazon.com for $10.40.
Little Raven Tales
Our managing editor was hitting it off with some locals in a Ketchikan, Alaska, bar on Creek Street when he first heard of this delightful book. This one-of-a-kind work is authored by Jennifer Jackson, Miss Wheelchair Alaska and a proud Native American. The coloring book features real Alaskan Native cultural art and stories, some of which could be debuting for the first time in ink. Available for $10 at etsy.com.
Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire
Awarding winning local author Wendy Hinman’s newest book is a gripping true story about a family who must overcome a shipwreck, gun boats, mines, thieves, pirates, scurvy, and starvation to achieve their adventure dreams. The kicker? Hinman’s husband is one of the characters! Look for it in your local bookstore, also available at amazon.com for $20.00.
Sailcloth Dog Collar
If your dog loves the boat life, you want the world to know! Agatha & Louise out of Maine make charming dog collars from used sailcloth. You can select from a number of stitching colors to pull off just the right look for Fido. Available for $38 from agathaandlouise.com.
UnderDog Life Jacket
Dogs, and boat dogs especially, tend to be great swimmers, but that’s no reason not to have a well-fitting life jacket handy. The UnderDog from MTI Adventurewear is an innovative device that brings 90% of the effective buoyancy under the chest and neck, supposedly allowing for a more natural swimming angle. Check it out at mtiadventurewear.com, priced at $52.95.
We love our dogs, but “wet dog” smell left unchecked can take over an enclosed cabin. Kanberra, an Australian company that specializes in tea tree and essential oil products, makes a spray that is an all-natural way to neutralize odors from a wet dog or even onboard litter box. Check out the spray, and other useful products, at kanberragel.com. You can buy an 8-oz. spray bottle from Fisheries Supply for $18.65.