How to choose the best gift for a sailor, when you are not a sailor yourself?
Neoprene sailing apparel, non-slip hydrophobic mesh deck shoes, windproof and waterproof sailing jackets, safety lines, soft shackles... It’s a hard task to choose the right gift for your sailing buddy when you are not a sailor yourself, as it’s easy to go wrong and confuse good stuff with well-marketed stuff that doesn’t do the job on the water.
That’s why we made a list of things every sailor would be happy to get, but which don’t require knowledge of sailing industry secrets.
Yes, hammock! Imagine a cliché photo on social media – a tanned-leg beauty lying in a hammock under the sail. Do you know why it’s cliché and why it’s featured in every second pic on Instagram? Well, because it is freaking awesome! And your sailing lady-friend will love it. Promise! Choose a light one made of a canvas that dries out fast. If it has a bug protective mesh – even better: her well-tanned legs will thank you when sailing around New Zealand during the sand fly season. I know you’d choose Brazilian cotton Boho style hammock in white, which is so soft on her delicate skin. But remember that cotton, even if very comfortable, gets moldy in humid environments, and white color is not practical. So rather go with some ultra light and quick dry option, like this basic one from One Trail.
Waterproof one, obviously! We’ve mentioned this kind of reader in one of our blog posts, as they are library space savers on those few shelves that your friend has on the boat. And do you know what’s more awesome about it? You can give her another book for that reader and save yourself from stressing out about buying gifts for years and years to come!
Whether she already has a hammock with a bug net or not, a mosquito net above her berth is one thing that any girl needs to have for a peaceful night’s sleep. As peaceful as peaceful can be on the boat, obviously. You see, we, ladies, don’t like to be bitten by bugs, and some of us, including myself, are scared of spiders. And some spiders are deadly. That’s why it’s always safer under a good mosquito net. Choose something that is easy to assemble on the ceiling, like this one.
SUP, also known as a standing paddle board, has several ways of usage. First of all, it‘s so much fun to sup around in a beautiful lagoon! But also it’s a great mean of sports, as it strengthens all of your body. For someone who spends lots of time in just a few feet, taking exercise is necessary. Also, it’s a mean of transportation and a way to explore islands and shores when you sail. Is that enough to convince you that your buddy will be more than happy to receive it? Our friend at A Bonnie Traveler's Inside Guide has prepared a guide on buying a paddle board. Check it out here and feel free to drop a message to Alexs if you have any questions!
There are several brands of sunglasses that any sailor will love. If you're looking for a great pair of sunglasses that's accident-prone, Smith's Lowdowns will give you top quality performance without breaking the bank. The Lowdowns offer great protection and a variety of lens colors and styles for any condition. But in case you are looking for something fancier, Kaenon is the way to go. They're rugged, stylish and come with an unbeatable warranty for when the saltwater takes its toll on the lenses. Choose a model with wide lenses that offer maximum protection to suit her needs and style. One thing to remember: grey lenses are the most universal. They filter out the brightest of the sun’s rays without changing your color perception. You see exactly what is in front of you only a little darker!
It’s a very simple gift to choose in case you are not experienced in sailing at all. Just choose a good quality model that will survive in salty water, and she will remember you with gratitude each time she enjoys snorkeling around coral reefs. And also when she loses that expensive sunglasses you gave her the year before… Just saying. Full-face snorkel masks are getting more and more popular, but we had no possibility to try them out yet. But we can definitely recommend and old-school ZEEPORTE snorkel set that offers a great quality mask which won’t leak or fog, adjustable fins, light and flexible air tube with the water stopper at the top; also, this gift won’t damage your piggy bank too much.
Snorkeling gear you don´t want to gift - photo by @tamedwinds
Tamed Winds Hoodie
Because in some latitudes it gets chilly on the water. And when there’s no one around to hug her on a chilly or lonely night, she can be hugged by a cozy hoodie. Imagine her curling up in this soft, smooth, and stylish hoodie, perfect for cooler evenings on the coast, too.
Cozy hoodie from Tamed Winds shop - photo by @tamedwinds
Sailing basics, storing food without a refrigerator, fixing diesel engine, or just a fun story about sailing - whether it’s another addition to her new waterproof Kindle reader or a hardcover - advice is to investigate if she doesn’t own it yet. On our blog, we have best sailing books recommendations here and here.
Check out 10 must have sailing books in our previous blog posts - photo by @tamedwinds
Not exactly the one to see if it’s time for lunch, and we don’t mean Rolex Yacht-Master. If your sailor friend is a tactical sailor and into regattas, he will definitely appreciate a tacking watch or tactical sailing calculator. One of the industry’s favorite is TackingMaster. It’s a tactical wrist-worn navigation device that works together with any compass and aims to make it easier to understand and visualize changes and trends of the wind during regatta sailing, in simple words - it helps to know when to tack or jibe. Fancy electronic tools have their place, but sometimes simple can't be beaten. Find it on tackingmaster.com
Whether it’s for fixing, line cutting, fishing, cooking, wood carving, or for safety reasons (falling into the water entangled in lines or ropes is every sailor’s nightmare), having the knife on you all the time is an “every man” wet dream since probably his childhood days. Trust me. But for any serious sailor, it’s not just the wet dream - it is a must-have and very important essential item. Sailing knives come in a variety of styles. A sailor’s knife should be easy to use and comfortable to hold. So if you want to make any sailor happy and safe, here is our choice: Spyderco Atlantic Salt Lightweight Folding Knife. This knife is rust free and has a serrated edge on highly visible handle. All of those features are important in wet, cold and dark conditions. Spyderco is a well-known manufacturer that uses the highest quality materials and tests their knives for durability. The high-strength lock mechanism ensures you are always safe. There is also a pocket clip included in the design, so you can easily attach it to your sailing gear.
P.S. if this Spyderco sailing knife is not something you would “go” with, there is always a second (or first) option! You just can’t go wrong with any model of the Swiss knife, especially this Skipper Multitool. And if you really like someone special, him or her, you can even engrave something on it. There is really nothing else that I can say about this evergreen knife except - choose your own!
You just can´t go wrong with the Swiss army knife - photo by @tamedwinds
It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur sailor or an old sea wolf, a crew member or just one-timer chartering for holiday or honeymoon. It doesn’t really matter if you like sailing or not - you will get hungry at some point, I can guarantee you that! So, you are at anchor at some exotic location far from onshore power, your stomach is growling and the battery bank on the vessel is empty so you can’t use your induction stove. And to make things even worse, you forgot to fill up LPG, propane or butane tank of your choice. At that point you wish that someone has gifted you some practical solar oven for Christmas, so you can prepare that beautiful Orada (Orata) you have just caught with your new fishing spear. For example, this pack is pretty awesome one: GOSUN Sport ProPack, Portable Solar Cooker Package. If you had it, you would just load that beautiful Orada (Orata) into the tube cooking chamber and set the camber on the reflector to cook, no monitoring required. That solar oven retains your food’s flavor and nutrition cooking from 360°F (182°C) - like a slow cooker, just faster. Cooks a meal in as little as 20 minutes, reaching temperatures up to 550°F (290°C) in full sunlight. The GoSun Sport is effective at capturing ultraviolet light and holding its heat. If you can see a defined shadow of your mast, you can cook!
To relieve your man (or some other sailor) of doing laundry by hand, you should definitely gift him this devil machine! It doesn’t matter if it’s his birthday, your birthday or Christmas or your anniversary, he will appreciate that gift no matter what, and you will get more of his time for yourself. Or he can use this time for cleaning the deck instead. This portable combo “devil machine”, Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine will make any sailor happy. However, in case your buddy doesn’t have any excess of electricity available, which is pretty common when on anchor or on passage, consider a non-electric Lavario Portable Clothes Washer - it might not be as easy to use as described in the user's manual, and it will definitely won't save any time, but at least it will keep your friend clean.
Anyone can fish with sonars, fish finders or dynamite, but obviously, that's not sustainable, and it's not ethical, too. What about old way snorkeling with a pole spear? This spear: Scuba Choice 5' Travel Spearfishing Two-Piece Fiberglass Pole Spear 3, with paralyzer tip and bag is an excellent choice if you want to dive in and swim together with the fishes. The only thing that is missing is some good snorkeling mask. Steal the idea from the list FOR HER and get ZEEPORTE - it will definitely help you to distinguish Orada (Orata) from the rock on the seabed.
This amazing headlamp has everything you can ever imagine! Boruit LED Headlamp is ultra-bright, it has 3 lighting modes to meet your needs in different circumstances, but most important - the red light will not blind other fellow sailors in the dark. This headlamp is also water-resistant, and USB rechargeable over micro USB interface. It means that you can charge it at any place, and even use it as an emergency power bank, which is awesome! It is suitable for every situation imaginable, and it will make a perfect gift for any sailing enthusiast.
Tamed Winds T-shirt
Tamed Winds t-shirts were designed with dedication to all wannabe sailors, future captains, mermaids (and mermen), so they will definitely please your sailing buddy. We suggest browsing Fjaka or Origami Boat collections in case you are looking forward to please a serious captain. A day skipper will prefer Jolly Roger or Pirate Tales. But in this rare case you can’t find exactly what you are looking for - don’t worry, drop us a line with your comments and wishes to email@example.com or use Contact Us form, and we will do our best to fulfill your request at no extra cost.
Compass T-Shirt and drawstring bag from collection Fjaka - photo by @tamedwinds
UV light dryer for shoes
Because everything feels damp when you live on a boat - including shoes. A little portable UV shoe dryer that doesn’t occupy much space, eliminates bad odor and sanitizes shoes might be a perfect thing to keep your friends dry and cozy on night passages! That’s the gift that will not break your piggy bank and make the life of your friends, well, less miserable. Haha.
Portable Waterproof Bluetooth speaker
Again, this is important - waterproof! Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 can be fully submerged underwater and it floats, making it perfect for liveaboards. It has a beautiful design and finish, great audio quality, top-notch battery life, and a list of neat features you can access via a smartphone app. Get one yourself for the next pool party - this speaker is simply awesome!
Everybody has GoPro these days. So why don’t you choose something your sailing friends can brag about? Want to impress them with your gift? You can’t go wrong with Garmin. Why? Because if it's worth remembering, it's worth a Garmin Virb!. Besides LCD color touchscreen, built-in GPS, and all the other cool stuff this action camera offers, it has voice control, so you can talk to her in case you feel lonely on a deserted island. Imagine that you are Robinson Crusoe and she’s your Friday. Did we mention she’s waterproof?
Yeti Hopper Flip 18
What what? - you ask. Yes, it’s actually a fridge! Not really a fridge, but a cooler. And in case your friends don’t have a fridge on their little weekend sailing boat, it’s a great thing to have. Especially if you mind getting food poisoning. New Yeti Hopper Flip 18 Cooler is bigger than it’s predecessor Flip 12 (imagine - it fits in 16 cans of beer!), it’s durable, leakproof and like all Yeti coolers, it’s equipped with superior insulation to keep the cold for days. Also, it’s waterproof and resistant to mildew, which is essential on the boat.
Matching couple sweatshirts
Pirate themed, obviously. Have you ever heard about the most famous pirates and their love stories? If not - first of all head to our blog post on Pirate Love Tales. Now, when you have chosen your favorite couple, check out this collection, and choose matching sweatshirts, pillows, mugs, or t-shirts. Could gift hunting be easier than this?
Matching couple pillows inspired by pirate love stories - photo by @tamedwinds
A deck of Waterproof playing cards
Whether your friends prefer Poker or Belote, a nice waterproof deck or two of cards will be handy on the boat. When the sea is calm and smooth like a mirror, sailors say it’s time for a nap. Or a card game. Choose a deck made of 100% PVC material, waterproof, beer-proof, salt-proof, with a long working life span.
A deck of Belote waterproof playing cards - photo by @tamedwinds
Basically there are few rules when selecting a gift for a sailor: since the space on any boat is extremely limited, think of some practical, multipurpose, lightweight, quick-dry item that occupies as less precious space as possible. Happy gift hunting!
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Thank you, Anna! Hope you found something useful what will make your sailor happy!
That’s very useful, and just on the right time before Christmas shopping :) Thank you!