21 Great Holiday Boating Gifts
December 14, 2011
Check out our pick of cool boating gift ideas for this holiday season!
Awarded Best New Product at the 2011 Newport International Boat Show, AquaLens is a cool new underwater video camera from Fall River-based Aquabotix that gives boaters and fishermen a look at what’s happening below their boat or dock. Easy to use and portable, the system uses a live video feed and LED lighting to see below the surface in murky or low-light conditions. The camera can be attached to a boat hook or guide pole to position it underwater, after which the live video feed can be viewed on the provided LCD screen. You can use the AquaLens to check your boat’s hull, propeller, mooring chain, running gear or pier pilings. And just imagine the possibilities for fishing! The basic system includes the camera, 16′ cord (longer cords are available) and LCD monitor.
Island Time Pet Toys are nautically inspired toys and accessories for dogs and cats. All products are handmade in Marion, Massachusetts. The company’s best-selling dog toy, the 2 Bites, is made of 100% non-toxic cotton line eye-spliced and hand-sewn on both ends. The Cat’s Paw”cat toy is designed with a nautical monkey’s fist knot tied around a bell.
- 2 Bites: $16.99 (large) or $12.99 (small)
- Cat’s Paw: $8.99
With Uli’s new inflatable paddleboard, you can paddleboard almost anywhere you find enough water. The FAQ model weighs 26 pounds and can hold riders up to 250 pounds when inflated. It measures 9’ 3” by 33”, but can be rolled up and stored in a duffel bag for travel or storage.
This handmade and handpainted clock from Georgetown Pottery in Georgetown, Maine, makes an ideal gift for the coastal boater or fisherman. The off-center circle represents the height and direction of the tide. Hand up is high tide; hand down is low. Simple, elegant and accurate. Twelve different designs are available (shown is the new Purple Wave). Clock face measures 7” diameter.
With its long-life battery and rotating solar panels, the new Solio Bolt charger can be used to recharge most popular USB-powered devices, including smartphones, MP3 players, e-readers, GPS units and cameras. The Bolt will hold a charge for up to a year, and carries enough voltage to recharge 2 phones. It can be recharged via solar energy, a USB port or a wall outlet.
Video: Solio Bolt Charger
The 8” by 8” chart clock, available through Ocean Offerings, features a nautical chart section on the face, and can even be custom-ordered with the chart of your choice. Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days.
If your dog loves boats, check out the Fair Lead, a leash with a decidedly salty flare. Handmade of marine-grade materials, the leash features a comfortable soft-leather handle and a 5’ lead made of 1/2″ classic 3-strand spun Dacron polyester or nylon line with a breaking strength of 3,800 pounds, along with a marine-grade bronze swivel snap that will not rust. Available colors include white, natural brown or black. The leash can also be custom-ordered to different lengths and line diameters, and equipped with stainless-steel clips, custom leather colors and splitters for multiple dogs. (It also makes a handy emergency dock line.)
Anyone who loves New England nautical lore should visit Old Charts of Scituate, Massachusetts, which has an amazing selection of antique original charts and digital reproductions, available plain, matted or framed. Show is Boston Harbor, circa 1867 ($75 for unframed digital reproduction). Visit the website to see the selection. If you do not see a particular area, call them and they may be able to track one down.
Price: Reproductions start at $18; cost for the chart shown is $75 (32″ by 40″). Originals range into the thousands.
The Grundens Rumrunner Backpack is a rugged, waterproof bag built to the same tough standards that have made Grundens the choice of professional mariners worldwide. Made of 500 Denier PVC tarpaulin fabric with 100% RF welded seams, the 30-liter Rumrunner is the perfect size for transporting clothing and gear. It features a roll-top closure for a waterproof seal, and a moisture-wicking back panel for increased comfort during long treks and strenuous activities. Other features include a convenient front mesh pocket with retention straps, 2 water bottle pockets and neoprene shoulder strap pockets.
Dave Ferro of Warren, Rhode Island, makes exquisite nautical-themed copper weathervanes, including the “Classic Herreshoff 12 1/2” (shown)—a brand-new design. Ferro’s other boat designs include schooners, Viking ships, dories, cutters and tall ships. He also makes custom boat and fish weathervanes featuring many New England coastal species, such as striped bass and bluefish.
The new Radiant T-shirts from Sunday Afternoons are just the ticket for summer sun protection. The shirts’ special quick-drying SCafe fabric is a microfiber material made with recycled coffee beans and featuring natural anti-microbial properties. The shirts are lightweight, breathable and block 96% of UVA and UVB rays. Available in long and short sleeve versions, in many colors and patterns.
These nautical coasters are made using the Turk’s Head knot and woven as a miniature mat. Harkening back to the traditional “thump pads” that were placed under the pulleys of a sailing vessel, the coasters make a classic gift for the house or boat. Mystic Knotwork of Mystic, Connecticut, makes these out of a very firm cotton cord for an authentic feel.
Price: $12 (set of 4)
Sea glass has never seemed so precious, especially in the hands of artist Colleen Marie Flanagan, who offers a line of beautiful earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and more made from the weathered glass gems she finds along the shore. Shown is the Angel Pink Sea Glass Pendant, featuring rare pink glass hand-wrapped in Argentium sterling silver.
The Nerf Super Soaker Scatter Blast pump-handle watergun features a 5-nozzle barrel to deliver 5 streams of water at your target at distances of up to 25’. Also features s flip-up sight and tactical rail to steady the shot. Kids (and plenty of adults) will love this thing!
Price: $10.95 (at Amazon)
Amazon.com: Nerf Super Soaker Scatter Blast
At the opposite extreme from his popular Buzzard’s Bay Boy’s Boat (the ubiquitous “12 1/2”), Nathaniel Herreshoff designed and built a mere handful of huge schooners that defined the Gilded Age of the 1920s “cathedrals of sail” that remain the standard of classic yacht design—among them Westward, Elan, Queen, Wildfire, Vagrant and, of course, Mariette (ex-Cleopatra’s Barge II). Mariette and the Herreshoff Schooners, by Jacques Taglang, is the 2-volume history of these vessels, profusely illustrated with dramatic photography, and accompanied by a separate portfolio of sail, hull and deck plans from MIT’s Hart Nautical Collections. Recently published in Italy, fewer than 120 copies of the book have been printed in English and imported to the U.S. on an exclusive basis by Columbia Trading Co. and fellow maritime book dealer Howland & Co. Makes an unforgettable holiday gift for the yachtsman.
The modular design of these lightweight, rotomolded polyethylene kayaks from Sweden’s Point 65 makes them easy to store and transport, and allows the user to add or remove sections to easily create solo, tandem and even triple-seat kayaks. The Martini is a comfortable, stable and versatile high-performance recreational touring kayak. Snap in a midsection piece and the solo transforms into a 13’ 8” tandem model. Add another midsection and it becomes a triple!
The Martini is easy to handle, both on and off the water. Thanks to the Snap-Tap system, the various sections can be taken apart and reassembled in seconds. The hull is a rigid high-performance design that features padded seats and thigh braces, cup holders, an integrated rudder and easily adjustable rudder pedals, as well as a large, oval dry hatch aft and a smaller round bow hatch to access the watertight compartments.
Designed for comfort and stability, the Martini can be ordered with a protective spray skirt to cover the cockpit. The recess in front of each cockpit accommodates rod holders and other gear.
Price: Martini Tandem: $1,299; Martini Solo: $799
Sperry Sails of Marion, Massachusetts, may be best know for custom sailmaking, but they also offer a line of handmade canvas tote bags, duffels and winch-handle/wine bottle holders made from rugged sailcloth. Available in a variety of colors and designs, the bags make a great gift for the boater in your life.
Price: Tote bags, $35; duffels, $60-$100, depending on size; winch handle holders, $25
Looking for some cool nautical belts to give as gifts? Check out the selection at Cape Annie’s Lighthouse. They’ve got all the popular motifs—semiphore flags, anchors, lighthouses, fish, sailboats and more—all made of quality materials and hardware.
Handsome handmade half-models are always appreciated by boat afficianados, and Art of the Sea has many to choose from. The company offers half-models of many classic sailing, rowing and power vessels, mounted on a variety of wood plaques.
Looking for the perfect gift for the boat dog in your life? Collars by Tanya offers a selection of nautical-themed collars made from either cotton fabric reinforced with extra-strong interfacing, or nylon webbing and grossgrain or jacquard ribbon. The stress points are double and triple stitched, and the D-rings are welded to provided added security and strength. The side-release buckles are curved to provide comfort for the dog. Sizes include Small (12″-16″), Medium (17″-26″), Large ( 26″-35″) and X-Large (35″-45″).
SharkPack Aqua Wallets are ideal for keeping valuables safe and dry on—or even in—the water. The packs, available in 3 different sizes, feature special locking closures to seal out moisture. SharkPacks can be worn around the neck on a lanyard or around the upper arm via a Velcro strap.
Price: $17 -$25