Holiday shopping can be tricky, and it can even be harder to shop for boaters. On one hand, a boater always needs something for an upcoming project or trip, but necessities like tubes of epoxy or jerry jugs of fuel don’t always make the most meaningful gifts. On the other hand, there are plenty of nautical luxuries that would make great gifts, but these can cost an arm and a leg.
In this year’s gift guide, we’ve put our heads together to bring you the best gifts from every corner of boating; from electronics to the galley and your dock box, to fun water toys and great sea salty books. Inside you’ll find something for everyone on your nice list, from the no-fluff, old-fashioned skipper to the fun-loving crew, and everyone in between.
Whether your loved ones are the kind who’d like to find a battery monitor under the tree or a pair of the newest wireless earphones, there’s sure to be something for them inside.
We’ve also included information about local independent marine supply stores in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. These cornerstones of the boating community need our dollars more than the big guys do.
If you’d like to read this guide as it appeared in print (where it looks somewhat different), click here. Otherwise, scroll on through.
From all of us at Northwest Yachting, hoping you have a joyous holiday season this year!
Personal Fitness Mirror
Not many boats have room for a bulky exercise bike or treadmill, but many have space for a mirror on the wall and a yoga mat in front of it. These days, that’s all you need for an intense, interactive workout if pick yourself up a Mirror, the latest in personal home exercise equipment. The Mirror is exactly what it sounds like, a mirror but with a screen behind it that displays videos of personal trainers demonstrating workouts that range from yoga to boxing. Users can select from a video library of workouts or stream a live workout from the manufacturer’s New York City headquarters. When not in use, the Mirror serves as a typical full-length mirror that fits with almost any décor. If a minimal-sized workout station sounds right for you, head over to mirror.co and take a look. Units sell for about $1,500.
Frutti di Mare Crystal Barware
This crystal barware is made by one of the top artisan crystal makers in Europe. Using traditional glass-making techniques, designs of undersea life are hand carved into the glasses. The various crystal sets include white and red wine glasses, champagne flutes, cocktail glasses, tumblers, tall highball glasses, decanters, and napkin rings. The glasses are all made by hand and are lead free. To add a little more nautical flair to your galley, head over to nauticalluxuries.com. As drink sets are custom, please allow six to eight weeks. Sets start at about $300.
Whether at home or on board, this porthole mirror adds a splash of nautical spirit to your bathroom or head. The mirror is made in the style of a vintage porthole and is cast in aluminum and features a shining polished nickel finish. The mirror opens on a hinge to reveal three shelves for storage of medicine and personal items. If you think you’d like the look of this mirror hanging in your stateroom, head over to nauticalluxuries.com. Porthole mirrors sell for $445.
Stellina Telescope Camera
The farther you get from the lights of the city, the more the stars come into focus. A quiet night at anchor under the stars can be one of the highlights of any trip. If you’re a photography enthusiast or an avid stargazer, it can be one of the best times to turn your lens upwards and take in the heavens. And if you’re a little bit of both, there is the Stellina telescope and camera from Vaonis. The telescope can locate many pre-programmed sights in the night sky, several of which are invisible to the naked eye, but not to the Stellina. A sensor from SONY that is extremely sensitive to low light captures the colors of structures deep in space and displays them on your tablet, where they can be captured and shared. If you’d like to try out the telescope of the future and show off a few of the sights it captured, head over to vaonis.com. Telescopes start at $3,999.
Orvis Engraved Pocket Compass
Modern tools may be more accurate, but nothing surpasses the beauty and craftsmanship of traditional brass navigation tools. The personalized brass compass from Orvis takes the recipient back to a time when the tools used by sailors and explorers were practical works of art. The compasses come presented in a sheesham wood boxes, which can be laser etched with a personalized message or name up to 20 characters. The compass is functional and would be a perfect addition to any home office, study, or backup aboard. Head over to orvis.com to find yours. Compasses start at $99.
Gill Marine Tool
Any tool you keep for emergency use or important jobs on board needs to be as simple and reliable as possible. The Marine Tool from Gill is about as simple as it gets; a folding serrated knife that cuts through ropes and lines quickly, while a marlinspike on the other end aids in rope work. An integrated shackle key, webbing cutter, 8-mm spanner, and flathead screwdriver round out the tool selection. The whole body is made from 420 marine grade stainless steel and is built with a G10 non-slip, composite handle for both dry and wet conditions. If you or someone you know needs a reliable knife and tool for their time onboard, head over to fisheriessupply.com. Tools sell for about $40.
Roving Blue O-Pen Water Filter
Cruising can take you many places that fresh drinking water might not be easily available, and even islands and marine parks just a few miles from the marina might not have potable water. The O-Pens from Roving Blue can make the water from mountain streams and lakes safe to drink. The pens produce ozone, which kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other parasites 3,000 times faster than chlorine, and leaves only pure oxygen behind as a byproduct. Ozone water purification has been used by major cities like Paris and Los Angeles for years. The pen works quickly, purifying up to 16 oz of water a minute, and can purify six gallons of water on a single charge. Do you always want to have drinking water available at your fingertips? Head to rovingblueroam.com and pick up a filter pen. Pens start at $150.
Organic Ginger Capsules
The tried and true advice to take ginger to combat the symptoms of cold sweats and vomiting related to seasickness is a scientific fact (with peer-reviewed research!). Slip some high-end Organic Ginger Capsules into the stocking of your boating friend who struggles with seasickness. The brand Oregon Wild Harvest sells bottles of 90 Non-GMO, allergen-free ginger pills. There’s plenty of ways to intake ginger, from candies to raw roots, but for an efficient, measured, high dose of ginger (and the helpful rhizome within) when needed, the capsules are ideal. Buy online at oregonwildharvest.com for $14.95.
Ronstan ClearStart Sailing Watch
Designed with help from some of the most experienced sailors in the world, the ClearStart Sailing Watch from Ronstan is a simple and durable watch designed specifically to help sailors get off the start line on time. The ClearStart features an oversized digital display and large buttons that are easy to find under pressure. Programs for multiple start sequences are built in, including World Sailing 5, 4, 1, 0, match racing, and user set, and the resynchronization feature allows you to resynchronize if you start the countdown too early. The watch is waterproof up to 150 feet below the surface, and utilizes a soft silicon band for comfort. On the lookout for a simple and practical sailing watch? Check out the ClearStart at fisheriessupply.com. Watches sell for $80.
Leatherman Free P4
Whether aboard or stepping off the boat to explore an island or marine park, it’s nice to have a multi-tool that can tackle any task that might pop up. The Free P4 from Leatherman is a new compact multi-tool that packs 21 tools all into a package that weighs 8.6 ounces and is only 4.25 inches long. The Free P4 includes needle nose and regular pliers, wire cutters, both a 420HC knife and 420HC serrated knife, saw, scissors, wire, three screw drivers, wire stripper, and more. This multi-tool features magnetic opening and closing, one-hand opening for most tools, and locking to keep all the tools in place. If you’d like to have 21 tools in your pocket the next time you head out, check out the Free P4 on leatherman.com. The Free P4 sells for about $140.
Gladius Marine Drone
The Gladius is an underwater drone that pulls double duty as both valuable tool and entertaining toy. This agile drone can dive to depth of up to 330 feet and film all the action on an Ultra HD 1080P/4K quality camera. Enhancing the function of the camera are the quattro thrusters and stabilization algorithms that allow the Gladius to move smoothly at a maximum speed of 4 knots. The camera and stabilization technology combine to make the Gladius useful for underwater inspections of your boat’s hull and prop. When your done with work for the day, take the Gladius out on the water and explore under the waves, use it has a fish finder, or entertain the kids. Head over to chasing.com to find out more. Drones start at $1,499.
Pocketalk Personal Translator
Boating opens the world and brings you in the company of people you never would have met otherwise. Of course, meeting new people in new places can bring the challenge of not always speaking the same language. For situations like these, the Pocketalk Personal Translator can help. Simply speak into this personal translator and have your words translated into any one of 74 other languages and then have them read aloud to your conversation partner. With the press of a button, your partner can respond in real time for a natural flow of conversation. The Pocketalk takes advantage of multiple translation algorithms for accuracy. If you’re planning a trip to a far-flung location next year, head over to pocketalk.net and pick up a personal translator. Units start at about $300.
LinkPRO Battery Monitor
It can be difficult to measure the exact amount of power left in a battery, because battery age, external temperature, and discharge current all affect the battery capacity. Battery monitors like the LinkPRO from Xantrex use measuring circuits and software algorithms to provide an accurate prediction of the remaining battery capacity. The LinkPRO can measure currents up to 10,000 amps, and displays voltage, charge, discharge current, the remaining battery capacity, and an estimate of the remaining time left until the battery bank is drained. An easily read, back-lit, LCD screen displays important information with the push of a button. The LinkPRO can also run a generator or turn off devices when battery voltage surpasses a pre-programmed limit. Head over to xantrex.com to pick up a LinkPRO battery monitor. Units sell for about $230.
A boat’s electrical system can be a complex network of appliances and equipment all in need of power. A digital multimeter, like the Mini-Clamp Multimeter from Blue Sea Systems, can help a boat owner make sense of the web of appliances. This multimeter can measure AC amperes, DC amperes, resistance, and AC/DC voltage. Use the multimeter to check the voltage and amperage output of alternators, generators, inverters, or solar panels. Use it on battery banks to ensure that parallel batteries are being drained and charged equally. The multimeter can also test current leakage. Test shore power cables could prevent accidents caused by current leakage. Head over to bluesea.com to find out more, multimeters sell for about $200.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Earbuds
The True Wireless earbuds from Sennheiser allows one less thing to tangle you up as you move around onboard. The wireless earbuds provide studio-level sound quality and easy touch and voice controls. Earbuds come in four different sizes to fit almost any ear shape. The Momentum carrying case has a built-in charger that can recharge earbuds twice, extending their battery life from four to 12 hours. Magnets snap the headphones into place and automatically start charging them. An intuitive touchpad allows wearers to control music and phone calls with just single or double taps and removing one earbud automatically pauses music until the earbud is returned. If you’re looking for a wire-free experience next time you’re listening to your favorite music, check out sennheiser.com. Earbuds start at $300.
Musto Gore-Tex Leather Sailing Boots
When the weather is as bad as it gets on the racecourse, the reliable pair of leather sailing boots you found under the Christmas tree will become your favorite gift. The leather boots from Musto are made from premium leather that is resistant to water, salt, and stains. The boots have a Gore-Tex membrane to provide a completely waterproof layer. The lightweight, shock-absorbing soles are constructed with GripFlex tread and are micro-textured for non-slip grip in all directions. Upgrade the foul-weather footwear for yourself or someone you know by heading to fisheriessupply.com. Boots sell for about $475.
Gill OS24 Offshore Jacket
The OS24 Offshore Jacket from Gill takes advantage of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces to deflect water and move it away from the skin. A high-cut collar provides extra protection to the neck and face, while the head is protected by a high visibility hood, which is adjustable in three different directions. Cargo pockets are protected with anti-corrosion zippers with lightweight molded sliders and feature internal hand warmer pockets. If a little more protection from the elements is needed, head to fisheriessupply.com. Jackets sell for $350.
YETI Sidekick Waterproof Gear Case
A truly waterproof gear case from Yeti, the Sidekick is the perfect carrying case for your phone, keys, wallet, or anything else you might want to keep on you. The Sidekick is made from DryHide shell and RF-welded construction, and the pack is sealed with high-power magnet and Velcro lid. The Sidekick can be worn around the waist, attached to a Yeti cooler, or to a backpack. It has interior mesh pockets to keep your valuables, and the case weighs in at just 12 ounces. So, if you’d like a carrying case that will stay dry in the worst weather, head over to yeti.com. Cases sell for $50.
Tahoe Brim Sailing Hat
A few years ago, local sailor Krak Arntson set out to make his own sailing hat because he couldn’t find one anywhere that fit all his needs. So he designed the Tahoe Brim, a sailing hat that would provide sun protection and stay on his head in even the windiest conditions. The hat is built with foam to provide both comfort and floatation in case it goes overboard. An adjustable headband allows the wearer to fit their hat as tight or loose as they’d like. Your special boater probably needs a headgear upgrade, so head over to arntsonmarine.com. Hats start at $50.
Zhik G2 Full Finger Gloves
It doesn’t take many cuts and scrapes on your hands while sailing before you’d do anything for a nice sturdy pair of gloves. The G2 Full Finger Gloves from Zhik are designed with an abrasion resistant outer layer, a reinforced palm, and Kevlar stitching for extra strength. The gloves take advantage of off-set paneling to eliminate the usual pressure points created by seams in other gloves. The palms and fingers are padded and have grips on the fingers to fit different sizes of ropes. For some extra hand protection, head over to fisheriessupply.com. Gloves sell for $50.
Northwest Yachting Gear
Did you know that Northwest Yachting has merchandise? We do! Get a long or short sleeved t-shirt and a beanie for your magazine-reading boater friend this holiday. Every dollar also goes to keeping Northwest Yachting afloat to produce Cascadia’s premiere independent marine lifestyle publication. Win-win! Available online at nwyachting.com/shop.
Big Walky Scarf
It seems we’re always spoiling our pets with a never-ending cascade of treats and toys, so why not spoil ourselves and make those winter time walks a little more pleasant with the dog walking scarfs from Bark Shop. The Big Walky Scarf looks like any other scarf at a glance, but this specialized scarf has a built-in doggie bag dispenser and zipper pocket for holding delicious dog treats. Even if you don’t have a dog, this scarf can be a nice way to keep a wallet, cash, or phone within easy reach on a cold day. Head over to barkshop.com to get yours. Scarfs sell for $25.
Under the Sea Plush Toys
The Under the Sea Plush Toys from P.L.A.Y. were inspired by the owner’s pug Momo, who was excited every visit to the beach. The Under the Sea toys come in five types, including a King Crab, Giant Clam, Giant Squid, Green Sea Turtle, and Starfish, and all toys have a squeaker inside. These stuffed plush toys are made from eco-friendly and recycled materials, and are made in a facility that meets the same strict requirements for baby toys. To help animals in need, 2% of the purchase price goes to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to aid animals in distress and protect natural environments. To get your pooch a squeaking undersea friend, head to petplay.com. Plush toys sell for about $15 individually or $54 for the set of five.
Having the dog on board can be a treat, but some of the same precautions that people need to keep in mind also apply to dogs, including eye protection. People should wear sunglasses on the water, as UV rays are reflected off the surface of the water and right into our eyes. Dogs on deck will need the same protection, and that’s where dog eyewear from Doggle comes in. Designed for dogs that ride in convertibles and motorcycle sidecars, these goggles have 100% UV protection and are anti-shatter. They can also protect your dog’s eyes from water and debris when taking the boat up to its maximum speed. Plus, they just look adorable. Head over to doggles.com to pick up a pair, selling for about $25.
DJ Cat Scratch Pad
This cat scratch pad let’s your cat live out her dreams of becoming a DJ with its scratchable cardboard vinyl record and sturdy turntable. The DJ Cat Scratch Pad is made from wood and 100% recycled cardboard that unfolds to form the turntable. Your cat will spend hours practicing on this hilarious scratch stand. Head over to uncommongoods.com to pick one up. Scratch pads sell for $35.
Ruffwear Float Coat
Usually no one is more excited for a day on the water than the family dog, who will spend sun up to sun down climbing in and out of the water, sleeping on the sunny deck, and barking at ducks. And like every other member of the crew, Fido should be wearing a life jacket. The Float Coats from Ruffwear are dog life jackets that will keep your pooch buoyant all day. They feature reflective strips for visibility and a sturdy strap on the back so you can help your dog in and out of the water. Maybe best of all, they’re Northwest made, based out of Bend, Oregon. To pick up a Float Coat, head to ruffwear.com. Jackets sell for $80.
Oru Kayak Coast XT
Serious kayakers tend to agree that, while the convenience of inflatable kayaks have a valuable role in the paddling world, a solid hull is what gets the job done. The Oru Kayak Coast XT refuses to compromise performance for convenience. It’s a corrugated polypropylene-hulled kayak that folds, origami-style, into a 36-pound package styled like a messenger bag. Once deployed, you’ve got a proper ocean-going kayak that’s compatible with a skirt, rolls easily, and has deck rigging to hold odds and ends. There’s no skeg rudder or stowage cubby, but c’mon, it fits in freaking suitcase. The Oru Kayak Coast XT folding kayak is available from REI for $2,499.
Mako Slingshot Jetboard
The Mako Slingshot Jetboard is a motorized surfboard that can propel riders at speeds up to 34 miles per hour. Built from carbon fiber and designed to give the rider an experience similar to a traditional wakeboard, the Slingshot features a tri-fin setup and the angled V-bottom gives the board lift and speed right from the beginning. A quick refuel system and plug-and-play battery saves you time that should be spent out on the water. The handheld throttle can control the speed of the board and can accelerate it to maximum speed in a few seconds. A XT100 2-stroke engine that gives the board a 1.5-hour cruise time. For a less conventional way to hit the waves, visit makoboardsports.com. Slingshot boards start at about $9,200.
SUP ‘N’ Go Carry Strap
For stand-up paddleboard (SUP) users, nothing beats a solid board for going the distance. However, add a modest trek from the car to the water, and even an average-sized, 10-foot, 25-pound board can be a pain to handle, especially when solo with non-ideal handle positions. Fortunately, the SUP ‘N’ Go Carry Strap address this very situation. Simply loop and cinch down the two board straps and clip in the padded shoulder strap, then stroll up and down the whole beach if you want. The whole system even fits into a mesh pouch. Priced at $21.95 at Fisheries Supply.
Hammocraft Hammock SUP Kit
Effortlessly cruising along on a stand-up paddle board on a beautiful day is one of the most relaxing things you could do, beaten only by a nap in a gently swinging hammock. So just image how relaxing a hammock nap on a SUP might be. The Hammock SUP Kits from Hammocraft include stainless steel and aluminum pipes that attach to a pair of inflatable SUPs. Each SUP can support up to 400 pounds and with hammocks strung between all the frames, between two and four people can be supported. The hammocks are made from parachute-quality nylon and quickly dry after getting wet. Get yours for $2,695 from hammocraft.com.
SupRax Paddle Board Storage System
The Paddle Board Storage System from Suprax give you a new way of storing your SUP between adventures. This SUP rack is attached to the stanchion or crossbar railing of your boat with clamps that rotate in 360°, making the rack easy to install vertically, horizontally, or in any position you choose. It has die-cut EVA foam to ensure that your paddle board is not damaged or bent while under way. The rack itself is made from marine-grade 6061 aluminum that has been sandblasted and anodized to make it completely weatherproof. If you’re tired of leaving your paddle boards and surfboards lying around on deck, check out the Paddle Board Storage System on Fisheries Supply. Racks sell for $240.
Whitsunday Collapsing Outdoor Camping Cart
Some of the best gifts are also the most practical. Save yourself the hassle of multiple trips up and down the dock to move your stuff onboard. The Whitsunday Collapsing Outdoor Camping Cart has 4.5 cubic feet of hauling space and can handle cargo loads of up to 150 pounds at a time. The canvas interior can be removed from the steel frame for easier cleaning. Once collapsed, the frame can easily fit into a car trunk, closet, or storage space on board. The wheels rotate in 360° for easy maneuverability, and the handle is telescoping for comfortable height adjustments. If interested, head over to amazon.com. Carts sell for $73.
We wrote about the Life Cell some time ago, but it still stands as the Swiss Army knife of marine safety throwable floatation devices. Available in four different sizes that keep two to eight people floating, the Life Cell is designed to contain a swath of standard marine safety equipment: EPIRB, flares with gun, air horn or whistle, V-Sheet, flashlight, mirror, and basically whatever else you want in your safety system. Bottom line, if you want the boater on your list to go all-out with marine safety with their on-board throwables, the Life Cell may be a good gift. Available by special order from Fisheries Supply, $299 to $469 based on model.
Blackfire Clamplight Rechargeable Worklight
If you boat long enough, the day will come when you must fix something in the dark or throw yourself down a dark settee to find something. A trusty torch makes fumbling in the dark with tools all the easier, and the Blackfire Clamplight Rechargeable Worklight is a versatile LED flashlight that can act as a handheld light, be a free-standing lantern, or clamp onto an available ledge. With a low setting of 50 lumens (that lasts six to eight hours) and a maximum of 150 lumens (lasts up to five hours), the head pivots left, right, and rotationally at your whim. It operates on a charge instead of disposable batteries. Priced at $44.99 from Fisheries Supply.
Endangered Orcas: The Story of the Southern Residents
“It is no secret that the Southern Resident Orcas in Puget Sound are in trouble. Monika Wieland Shields’ Endangered Orcas: The Story of the Southern Residents is not an uplifting read. It is, however, an important book that chronicles the complex relationship between marine mammals and human development and culture. As boaters, we have a front row seat for the majesty and the tragedy these majestic animals showcase. That makes us their most likely and powerful advocates.”
-Northwest Yachting book reviewer Greg Van Belle
“From her perch as the director of the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Kaci Cronkhite had every opportunity to find and fall in love with any manner of boat. But she wasn’t looking for a boat. Her boat found her… What sets this book apart from the dozens of others I’ve read on similar themes is the care and craft of the writing. Cronkhite, who holds an advanced degree in writing, tells her story and the story of Pax with poetic care. It reads beautifully and pulls us through the story effortlessly…It’s a lovely read.”
-Northwest Yachting book reviewer Greg Van Belle
The Hidden Journals
“The book is as much about author Wade Baker’s search for information about the mapmaker as it is about the mapmaker himself…It is deeply researched and incredibly detailed, and on that measure alone is quite an accomplishment. But it is also engaging. If you’ve read any of Vancouver’s journals you know what a slog it can be at times. In his own journals, Vancouver comes across as gruff and uncaring… What this book shows is a very different man, keenly interested in the people as much as the place.”
-Northwest Yachting book reviewer Greg Van Belle
Black Flags, Blue Waters
“Part piratical history and part political analysis, this book is a must read for any sailor, history buff, or student of politics. The clear thesis of much of the book is that in the absence of clear governmental regulation and control, and with the wink-and-nod backing from kings and queens, piracy rose to fill any gaps in commerce and warfare that arose in the rapidly expanding world…Dolin does an excellent job of using narrative to frame the history of piracy and show, rather than explain, how pirates rose to immense power in the late 1600s and early 1700s…If you aren’t already interested in pirate history, this book will both whet your appetite and give you an incredible knowledge base from which to continue your explorations.”
Bartesian Cocktail Maker
The Bartesian Cocktail maker is trying to do for cocktails what the Keurig did for quick, easy-to-make cups of coffee. The Bartesian holds the base liquors for cocktails, like vodka, tequila, rum, or whisky in the main body, with disposable packets filled with the necessary ingredients like bitters, extracts, and juice concentrates. A tap on the touch screen is all that’s needed to select the strength of your cocktail, from ‘mocktail’ to strong, and your drink in on the way. The Bartesian can serve up many classic cocktails, like gin martinis, Long Island Ice Teas, Rum Breezes, and Cosmopolitans. If you’re interested in a cocktail that’s quick and without the mess, head over to bartesian.com and check out what they have to offer. Bartesians sell for about $350.
Porto Cervo Pesce Melamine Dinnerware
This 12-piece dinnerware set is made of triple-strength melamine and inspired by the traditional ways of life of Italian fishermen. On first inspection, the dinnerware appears to be made of glazed stoneware. You won’t know it’s made of break-resistant melamine until picking it up. The set features a classic blue and turquoise fish design on a white ceramic-style background. The plates are lead and cadmium free, and are dishwasher safe, but not recommended for use in the microwave. Check it out online at nauticalluxuries.com, priced at $219.
Lighthouse Salt and Pepper Mill
Inspired by the historic lighthouses of Maine, these salt and pepper grinders are made from stainless steel and maple wood, and give a nautical feel to any table from one coast to the other. Use them as salt and pepper grinders, or just conversation-starting center pieces for your next gathering. Head over to uncommongoods.com to pick up a pair for $65.
Coastal and Lake Art Serving Tray
These unique serving trays capture a 3-D topographic map of the body of water of your choice and turn it into a practical nautical-themed serving tray. The serving boards are made from maple wood, and the map are laser cut into the second layer of the wood and stained a bright turquoise. The whole designed is covered in glass and sealed around the edges to protect it from food and stains. The sides and handles are made of cherry wood. If you’d like to honor a body of water that’s particularly meaningful to you, check out the custom serving trays on uncommongoods.com. Serving trays start at about $170.
Rowboat Serving Bowl
This nautical serving bowl will remind you of the water, no matter where you’re having dinner. The aluminum bowl takes the form of a rowboat, complete with etched planks and rivets along the outside. The oars are made of sheesham wood and serve as the serving fork and spoon. The bowl works for salads at family dinners, a fun popcorn bowl for movie night, or just on display in the galley. If your galley or kitchen needs a little more boating-inspired dishware, head over to uncommongoods.com. Bowls sell for $65.
Force1 Velocity RC Boat
Even if your kids are too young to get behind the helm, they’re never too young to take an RC boat out for a spin on the lake or in a pool. The RC Boats from Force1 are easy for kids to control and can reach speeds up to 20 mph. The 4-channel remote control can reach boats up to 130 yards away. A capsize recovery mode keeps the fun going even if your kids take the corners a little too sharp. These boats are intended for use on fresh water only. If you’d like to give your kids a turn at piloting a boat of their own, check out the Force1 Velocity RC Boat on amazon.com. Boats sell for about $30.
Alpha Bravo Charlie: The
Complete Book of Nautical Rules
IThere are not many books out there that can both entertain kids and present information that interesting to them and valuable to adults. A possible exception to this rule is Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Rules by Sara Gillingham. Aimed at kids ages 8 to 12, Alpha Bravo Charlie is a sturdy, hardcover book with page after page of colorful illustrations which introduce kids to nautical communication through Morse code, nautical flags, semaphore signaling, and the phonetic alphabet. The book is colorful and the pages are die-cut to match the shape of the flags they are depicting. If your junior crew members could use a little reading material, head over to amazon.com to pick up a copy.
Lego Technic Racing Yacht
Any junior model builders on your crew will get excited about constructing the Technic Racing Yacht from LEGO, a realistic replica of a racing yacht. The yacht includes details like colorful printed sails, simulated lines, sails that move after winding the winches, and a working rudder that turns with the wheel and tiller. When your kids are done building the racing yacht, this 2-in-1 model can be transformed into a catamaran. If your kids are boat lovers, engineers-in-training, or both, give them the Technic Racing Yacht this year. Available on lego.com for $40.
Kids Nautical Bedspread
This boating bedspread will keep your kids dreaming of life on the high seas long after the summer cruise is over. The Organic Nautical Boat Sheet Set is made from 100% organic cotton and displays an all-over boat pattern in navy blue against a white background. The pattern features historic and modern sailboats and was designed by artist Molly Hatch. The twin-size set includes one fitted sheet, one flat, and a twin pillowcase. The perfect complement to the sheet set is the Nautical Quilt, with nautical flags set against a navy background. The flags even spell a secret message that kids can decipher with the legend on the back of the quilt. Head over to crateandbarrel.com to pick up your set today. Sheets sell for about $65 and the quilt for $110.
Baker Ross Make Your Own Boat Kit
There are few more classic childhood pursuits than making your own wooden sailboat. The Boat Kits from Baker Ross can bring this pastime to life for a new generation. The pre-cut pieces in the kit can be painted with any custom color or design, and then easily fitted together to create a 3-D model. These models are made from lightweight plywood and are suitable for ages three and up. If you’d like to introduce your kids to the simple pleasure of creating their own model sailboats, head to bakerross.com. Sailboat kits sell for about $6.
Swanson Wooden Fly Rod Tube
Protect the most important tool in your fishing arsenal with this wooden fly-fishing rod tube, created by master craftsman A. L. Swanson. Designed and built in his workshop in Montana, Swanson creates the tubes from sustainably harvested hardwoods and leather straps made by a professional Montana chap maker. The head cap of the rod tube is made from three layers of hardwood, and inlaid with a signature fly logo, made with American sycamore, abalone shell, brass, red and black epoxy resin, and blue lapis stone. Choose from tubes made of either black walnut or tiger maple. The tubes can hold sizes up to a 10” 4-piece rod. The tubes can also be engraved with up to three initials. If interested, head over to orvis.com. Fly rod tubes start at $299.
Cuda Mono/Braid Fishing Pliers
Fishing pliers are not the flashiest piece of fishing gear, and many people do not think about their pliers until they get a hook stuck in their clothes or their skin. A good pair of fishing pliers can be used for everything from removing hooks to cutting lines to changing split rings. The Cuda 7.5” Mono/Braid Fishing Pliers has a built-in tungsten carbide wire, mono, and braid cutter. The Cuda non-slip scale pattern grip keeps the pliers in your hands even when wet or slippery. If you or someone on your list needs a new pair of pliers, head over to fisheriessupply.com. Pliers sell for about $71.
Cuda Knife Sharpener
A sharper knife is always a safer one, reducing the risk of an unexpected twist or slip. A sharp knife is even more important in fishing, with the wet and slippery conditions making a slip even more likely. The one-handed action of the Cuda is safer than other sharpeners that run a risk of cutting your other hand. The sharpener is made from a marine-grade aluminum alloy and can be used to sharpen any non-serrated knife, scissors, or shear. If your fishing or utility knives have begun to get a little dull, head over to fisheriessupply.com and pick up a Cuda knife sharpener for $15.
Stainless Steel Clam Gun
There are few more quintessential Northwest activities than wandering a patch of beach that stretches off into the horizon, armed with only a clam gun and bag for the bounty. The galvanized-steel clam guns from Danielson measure in at 31” in length and should withstand lots of wear and tear. A stainless-steel clam gun is a nice upgrade for any dedicated clammer. If you’d like to upgrade your tools for the next razor clam season, head over to fisheriessupply.com. Clam guns sell for $30.
Oregon boaters can buy local too, you just need to know where to look!
Englund Marine & Industrial Supply
95 Hamburg Ave., Astoria, OR 97103
Contact: englundmarine.com / (503) 325-4341
303 NE Tomahawk Island Dr., Portland, OR 97217
Contact: sextonsmarine.com / (503) 289-9358
9180 SW Burnham St., Tigard, OR 97223 (West)
18023 SE Addie St., Portland, OR 97267 (East)
Contact: stevensmarine.com / (250) 656-0153 (W), (503) 652-1444 (E)
Want to keep the Pacific Northwest boating scene thriving? Buy local! Here are independant options in Washington:
Address: 1900 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
Contact: fisheriessupply.com / (800) 426-6930
Address: 18969 Anderson Pkwy, Poulsbo, WA 98370
Contact: (360) 779-2378
The Chandlery at Winslow Wharf
Address: 133 Parfitt Way SW, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Contact: winslowwharf.com / (206) 842-7245
Wooden Boat Chandlery
Address: 431 Water St., Port Townsend, WA 98368
Contact: shop.woodenboatchandlery.org / (360) 385-3628
LFS Marine and Outdoor
Address: 851 Coho Way, Bellingham, WA 98225
Contact: lfsmarineoutdoor.com / (360) 734-3336
Uncle Norm’s Marine Products
Address: 3606 N Swallow Ave., Pasco, WA 99301
Contact: unclenormsmarineproducts.com / (509) 735-2106
Buying from your local marine supply store supports our boating community. Here’s a selection from B.C.:
All Bay Marine Ltd
Address: 2204 Harbour Rd., Sidney, B.C. V8L 2P6
Contact: allbaymarine.com / (250) 656-0153
Spencer’s Marine Supply & Consignment
Address: 2240 Harbour Rd., Sidney, B.C. V8L 2P6
Contact: spencersmarinesupply.com / (780) 351-1400
Independent Marine Supply Store
Address: 2443 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, B.C. V9K 1X1
Contact: independentmarine.ca / (250) 248-2293
Wolff Marine Supply Ltd
Address: 6751 Graybar Rd #130, Richmond, B.C. V6W 1H3
Contact: wolffmarine.net / (604) 270-7770
Steveston Marine & Hardware
Address: 1667 W 5th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1N5
Contact: stevestonmarine.com / (604) 733-7031
Address: 370 Gorge Rd. E., Victoria, B.C. V8T 2W2
Contact: trotac.ca / (250) 386-2341
The boat in our lead photo is the very special BAP Unión, captured earlier this year on a visit to in Vancouver, B.C. by photographer Lisa Ireton. The beautifully lit up tallship is a training vessel for the Peruvian Navy. It may look 19th century, but was actually launched in 2013.