Yachties, cruisers, boat people, sailors, liveaboards … whatever name you choose, we certainly are a different breed than land folks and as such, giving us gifts can be a challenge. If you're looking for something special to give your favorite sailor, I'd stay away from nautical-themed pictures, knick-knacks, gimmicks and anything that can corrode in a salt water environment. I wouldn't give anything that requires A/C power unless you check first … we usually live in a 12-volt world. So … what makes good gifts for the favorite yachtie in your life? Check out this list for some practical suggestions.
1. Personalized t-shirts and ballcaps are always appreciated. There are a zillion on-line personalized t-shirt vendors, but our favorite has always been embroidered shirts from Queensboro. You can personalize shirts, caps and all sorts of things using their “design studio” and customize everything from the logo to the boat name to the thread colors and no large quantities are required.
2. Dry bags are very practical and usable gifts for on-board use. Keeping things dry, especially electronics, is important. We use our dry bags regularly when transporting gear from the boat to the dock in the dinghy.
3. Multi-tools are handy gadgets to have aboard. David's favorite brand is the Leatherman. He keeps one at his nav station, we keep one in our “heading to land” backpack, and we have another in the ditch bag.
4. A rigger's knife is also a handy tool to have aboard. David's Wichard rigger's knife hangs from a lanyard on a hook on the wall next to the nav station, handy and ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
5. If you're thinking of more expensive gifts, consider giving a brass barometer or ship's clock. We consult our barometer and clock frequently. Make sure the brass and instruments are good quality because the sea is a harsh environment. Weems & Plath is a good bet.
6. While we're on the subject of practical, albeit a bit expensive, a lovely gift for a sailor, is a hanging lantern. Nothing gives a warm, mellow glow to the saloon like a lantern in the evening.
7. Brass or bronze hooks – for hanging everything from potholders and measuring cups in the galley, to tools on lanyards, to clothes and towels. They're decorative, but very practical and come in a plethora of designs. We've got all sorts aboard … a whale's tail, a fish, a claddagh, an anchor, a crescent moon. Make sure they're not cast iron or a metal that will rust.
8. Gift certificates from a preferred chandler or on-line boat supply vendor are always appreciated, but also consider gift certificates from Amazon for electronic books and gear. There are so many boat supplies and pieces of equipment available on Amazon now, a gift certificate allows your favorite yachtie to choose whatever they need or want. In the book category, how-to books on boat systems, sailing, rigging, marlinspike seamanship and sail trim were some of our favorites. Nigel Calder and Don Casey were two of David’s favorites and don’t forget Ashley’s Book of Knots.
9. CDs and DVDs are always welcome, although they require storage space. Better yet, how about an external USB-driven hard drive or large jump drive with favorite songs and movies already loaded?
10. Net hammocks are useful, take up little room and are great for storing freshies and easy-to-access snacks and all sorts of things during a passage in otherwise unused space.
Remember if you purchase anything through our website, it won't cost you a single penny more, but it will put a few cents into Blue's travel fund!!
These are just some ideas to get you thinking. If you're a yachtie/cruiser, what gifts do you most appreciate receiving and why?