So, you are invited to visit a friend on their new boat or yacht. Do you take a gift and if so what? What is practical and works on a boat, what will they really appreciate and will they be able to use it?
Space is at a premium on a boat so I suggest keeping the following thoughts in mind when deciding what to buy:
- Is it practical to keep on a boat? No good pitching up with a massive beautifully wrapped gazebo, rather buy a small foldable beach umbrella for those exotic island visits. Similarly, flowers and potplants are impractical but a small hydroponic herb garden might be wonderful if your friend previously loved to garden.
- What is it made of? Glass is obviously daft on a boat and everything else apart from stainless steel will rust to hell.
- Do you want to buy something practical and long-lasting that the owner will use for ages or something more “fun”?
- Ask the boat owner if there is something specific that they need. I would have loved a new boathook instead of the 6 expensive crystal wineglasses a dear friend bought me at the beginning of my sailing journey! (I have 2 left.)
- Humorous, yet practical items make great gifts, “first Mate” or “Captain” hats, mugs, etc are always fun gifts.
- Are you buying for a female boat owner? Speaking from experience I know I would have truly appreciated the more mundane non-sailing gifts such as a luxurious hair treatment, face and body creams, the sort of items we don’t have the time (or money as a boat owner) to spoil ourselves with.
- Ask. There are tons of gadgets needed on a boat. The most appreciated gift can sometimes be something weird like an anemometer! (measures wind wouldn’t you know!)
- A lot of people recommend clothing as gifts but from personal experience, we prefer to buy our own gear.
Here is our list of the best boat gifts you can buy for your water mad friends (or yourself!) plus handy links for your convenience. Yes, we receive a small commission should you buy via any link below. This in no way affects the price you pay.
PRACTICAL BOATY GIFTS:
- Knife such as this useful Victorinox skipper knife or a regular Swiss army knife.
- Floating key chains, these personalised ones are cute. We have lost keys before, this is a very useful gift!
- Dry bag – a rucksack is practical and easy to carry and this one has a special spot for my laptop but I like this personalised one too.
- Digital anemometer – one of the most useful gifts ever received (it measures wind, I didn’t know that!)
- Boathook/loop – we have lost many of these, always a welcome gift.
- Emergency first aid kit – this one is brilliant for boaters with both GPS and EPIRB.
- Waterproof headlamps – a boater can never have enough of these!
- Garmin fishfinder (no it doesn’t help to catch fish).
- Mooring/docking ropes – can never have enough of these.
- Marine waterproof binoculars (or as I call them “pervoculars”_ when we reach exotic places). these ones in the link are great as they float and work in the fog,
- Corelle dining ware is very popular for people on the water. Durable, practical and pretty! Lots of different designs to choose from. I like the red and white set, looks nautical and fun!
- Crockpots or slow cookers are so handy, ask if your friends already have one though and is there is space to store. Remember stainless steel too!
- Fun mugs, always a good call, so many designs to choose from on Etsy, click on the link.
- Cheeseboards are always handy on a boat for those impromptu get-togethers. I like this one as it has fold-out extra bits to load up more goodies.
- Fun bottle openers
- Cute napkins, I added these because I like red and white and they are really pretty!
- Powerbanks – invaluable if there is a problem with battery/solar power, this is a great gift!
- Custom made Captain and First Mate cushions.
- Vacuum sealer – this is invaluable especially when preparing for crossings.
- Blender, the smaller and more durable the better. This one is great, even crushes ice! Used and recommended by a lot of boaters.
FUN YET USEFUL GIFTS:
- Waterproof Bluetooth speakers – great for playing your favourite tunes outside and not worrying about splashes and water.
- Waterproof phone covers, a very handy gift.
- Kindle for your friends who love to read. This is a space saver, no books on board and is waterproof!
- Projector and screen – I see a lot of movie nights happening amongst yachties – what a great idea, pull up in your dinghy and relax.
- Hammocks – a must-have for relaxing if there is space on deck to hang one or on that beach in some exotic location.
- Knee cushions (a VERY popular gift!) Honestly did not know that these existed, what a pleasure to use when crawling along the deck!
- Custom made T-shirts – so many to choose from, just follow the link. Captain Mike has ordered many over the years, excellent quality and lasts forever.
- Boat erasers – again, I had never heard of these. An easy fast way to remove dirty marks etc.
- Anti-spill cups
- Scrubba washbag – something new to me but I will try it out even though we have a fully automatic washing machine onboard. This will be handy for those small items.
- Board games – a link to the most popular games.
- Personalised chopping board – I love this one, really unique!
- Fun peak caps
- Sand free microfibre towels
- Foldable yoga mat
- Travel coffee press
- Luxurious body cream
- Leave in hair care mask
- Sailing necklace – I received this as a gift and LOVE it.
- Portable BBQ for all those dinghy rides to BBQ onshore. As I am South African I am used to regularly having a “braai”. This is a MUST on our boat.
- Funny socks, these personalised ones are great fun too! Socks may sound boring but they are always needed on passages.
- Nautical coasters
- Porthole flask
We would love to know what gifts boat owners have received that they absolutely love, from the practical to the ridiculous. Please leave a comment or drop us a line. Perhaps you found something here that you liked and ordered for yourself. I know I will be dropping a few hints to the Captain later!
Captain Mike and Nikki.