23 Best Useful Gifts for Sailors

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Crew on the bow of a catamaran under sail

On the hunt for the perfect gifts for the sailor in your life? We have some ideas to help you.

The challenge with sailboats is they’re small and generally don’t have much storage space. Boats are also harsh environments with salt, sun, wind, and humidity, wearing on everything. So items on a boat need to be durable.

Most sailors prefer practical gifts that are:

  • Functional, or even better, multi-functional
  • Don’t require a lot of extra resources (water, power, space)
  • Made of quality materials built for a marine environment

With the above in consideration, it’s nice to give sailors a gift they might not buy for themselves. A great gift idea might also add ease or luxury to their sailing lifestyle.

Whether you need Christmas gift ideas around the holiday season, something for a special occasion, or just a gift that says ‘thank you’ – below are 23 of the best gifts for sailors.

1. Solar Luci Light (Multi-Color)

A lot of sailors invest in the white solar-powered Luci Light. But what they don’t often spring for is the multi-color version. These lights offer a rainbow of color settings to set an ambiance for happy hour or dinner in the cockpit. They also feature an easy snap-on handle for attachment to the sailboat bimini in the cockpit.

inflatable Luci light on cockpit table at night

The multi-color lights are inflatable and waterproof. Pick one of the eight color settings or set it to rotate colors. They are easily recharged by the sun for 8-hours of use.

MPOWERD Luci Color: Solar Inflatable Lantern
$29.95 $24.79
  • Lights up in 8 different colors
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 6 hours
  • Durable, lightweight, and even waterproof
05/30/2023 10:50 am GMT

This light checks all the boxes for being easy to store, easy to use, and durable for a boat environment. As a bonus, the red light setting is handy for nighttime at the helm.

See the multi-color Luci Light here.

2. Hammock

As something a lot of sailors might not splurge on, a hammock is the perfect sailing gift.

We received our hammock as a Christmas gift. It was exciting to get something to enhance our downtime on the boat. Especially an item that wasn’t a priority for us to buy ourselves.

woman in hammock on sailing catamaran

The ENO hammock folds up into a very compact and lightweight ball, making it easy to store on the boat or take ashore for the day.

ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Lightweight Camping Hammock
  • 1 to 2 person camping hammock
  • Compact and lightweight, 19 ounces, fits into an attached storage bag with packed dimensions of 5 x 5 inches
  • Unfolded dimensions, 9' 4" x 6' 2"

The hardest decision will be picking a color for your favorite sailor.

Check out the ENO DoubleNest hammocks here.

3. Dock & Bay Towels

These quick-dry towels are ideal for living on the water, making them the perfect present for sailors and boat owners in general. Their great for drying off after a dip or for lounging at the beach.

towel held out in the breeze over the water

The towels fold down to a small size for easy storage or packing for a shore excursion. They also come with a nice storage bag. The sand shakes right off of these towels, so you can avoid bringing a mess back to the boat.

Dock & Bay Beach Towel for Travel - Lightweight and Quick-Dry
  • Absorbent, quick-dry, and sand resistant
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for travel, swimming, camping, and more
05/30/2023 12:11 pm GMT

As an item that also made our list of sailing essentials, any sailor would be happy to unwrap these as a gift.

Check out all the colorful patterns and sizes available in the Dock & Bay beach towels.

4. Tervis Tumbler

For sailors that need a good quality insulated cup, these tumblers are right at home on a boat.

Tervis drinking cup on table

Tervis is known for its glassware made from BPA-free plastic. If these topple on the boat, you won’t have to worry about breakage. They even have a lifetime guarantee that covers everything but normal wear and tear.

For sailors that prefer a straw, the lid opening is the perfect size for most reusable ones. (We use these glass straws and highly recommend them.)

Tervis features customizable options on its website for a unique gift if you add a boat name or logo.

See Tervis Tumbler options on their site here.

5. Power Banks

Sailors often have a lot of electronics but not always the power to charge them.

The Anker power bank is by far our favorite option for charging portable electronics. We’ve had our Anker battery pack for almost six years and consider it an excellent choice to keep tablets, mobile phones, headphones, and more charged on the boat.

different options for battery banks on table

This model has three ports for charging multiple devices at once. It also has a dual input port to recharge the pack twice as fast.

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger
  • External battery pack with 3 USB ports (charge 3 devices at once)
  • 26,800mAh of power charges most phones over 6 times (tablets at least 2 times)
  • Dual input port that supports recharging twice as fast

05/30/2023 04:35 pm GMT

These Miady battery packs are our second choice. They aren’t as beefy and long-lasting as the Anker, but they are a great buy for the price.

6. Dry Bag

With the amount of time spent on the water, dry bags are great additions to a sailboat. From rides on the dinghy to kayaking and standup paddleboarding – these waterproof bags can even double as a beach bag.

It’s nice to have various sizes of dry bags on the boat, and a large backpack or cross-body style bag is a good idea to have for shore excursions.

dry bag backpack in boat cockpit

We always have enough space in this dry bag, and it’s easy to transport. The front pocket makes it easy to store your phone or wallet. Larger items can be secured in the main compartment.

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
$36.99 $22.55
  • Featuring a large main compartment with roll-top closure
  • Front zippered pocket keeps gear dry during kayaking, boating, and more
  • Includes waterproof phone case
  • Available in four sizes (10L, 20L, 30L, 40L)
05/30/2023 07:40 am GMT

Our Quiksilver dry bag is no longer available. However, the Earth Pak version is similar, with great reviews. You can find more options at REI here.

7. Lantern

Having light on board is crucial for living, moving, and working on the boat. A rechargeable lantern is helpful in the cockpit, the bilge, or to signal to other boaters.

lantern on cockpit table

At 1000 lumens, the Blazin Fireball lantern will illuminate a large space. It has three brightness settings, plus an SOS setting.

Blazin Fireball | Bright, Dimmable LED Lantern
  • Rechargeable USB lantern
  • 1000 lumen light
  • Can also use as a power bank for phones and other devices

As a bonus, you can charge your phone or tablet off the power bank if you’re in a pinch.

Check out our favorite rechargeable lantern.

8. Tilley Sun Hat

Sailors practically live outside. A reliable, comfortable sun hat is key to protecting your skin on every sailing adventure.

There are many sun hats available, but after trying a few different brands, Tilley is our favorite high-quality sun protection for your head.

captain at helm wearing wide brim add

These hats have the maximum UPF 50+ protection, are water-resistant, and will even stay afloat on the water.

Tilley Endurables Airflo UPF 50+ Sun Hat
  • Great for hiking, camping, sailing, and other outdoor adventures
  • Dual drawstring closure
05/30/2023 11:20 am GMT

If you want to give a gift of a long-lasting hat with sun protection and adequate ventilation, this is a great choice.

See the Tilley AirFlo sun hat on Amazon here or at REI here.

9. Inflatable Kayak

An inflatable kayak is an excellent addition to a cruising boat. Ideal for exploring nearby beaches or just getting out for a little exercise.

inflatable kayak on beach in front of grass dunes

The Intex kayak is a two-person inflatable kayak that can hold up to 400 pounds. It’s a good option for sailors who don’t have room for a traditional kayak on deck.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  • 2-person inflatable kayak with aluminum oars
  • Includes high-output air pump
  • Maximum weight capacity 400 pounds
05/30/2023 07:30 am GMT

We like that this kayak gives us the option for a solo morning paddle or an evening joint adventure. And that we can pack it away when it’s not in use. It also works as a backup for short trips to the dock if the dinghy has issues.

Check out the Intex inflatable 2-person kayak here.

10. Audible Subscription

Long days underway on a sailboat go a little faster with the right entertainment. One of the best sailing gifts you can give is an audiobook subscription.

Audible app open on mobile phone

Listening to your book of choice is a great way to pass the time at the helm, in the galley, or while working on a tedious task.

We go through many books onboard Sunnyside, but it’s never a problem since we don’t need to store them.

Give the gift of an Audible subscription here.

11. Borescope Camera

For sailors who like to do their own boat maintenance, this is one of our favorite tools to have in the arsenal and makes for an excellent gift.

The WIFI-enabled borescope allows you to see inside all the small nooks you can’t get into on a boat. You can retrieve cables and other objects with the hook and magnetic attachments.

borescope inspection camera and iPad

The waterproof camera with LED light connects to your tablet or phone. It provides a live view of the area you are investigating.

DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope / Borescope
$49.99 $36.99
  • IP67 waterproof
  • WiFi accessible via Android and iOS Smartphone, iPhone, iPad, Samsung
  • 11.5 foot snake camera cord
05/30/2023 03:50 pm GMT

View the WiFi-enabled borescope we purchased. This also made our list of what to have in your sailboat tool kit.

12. Sun Bum Clear Zinc Sunscreen

On a sailboat, you are always in the sun, making skin protection a big part of a sailor’s everyday life.

Sun Bum sunscreen on cockpit table

We love the consistency of Sun Bum’s clear zinc sunscreen. It goes on light and smooth. SPF 50 provides ample protection on the most intense days in the sun when you’re on the open water.

Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 50
$22.98 ($11.49 / Fl Oz)
  • Clear zinc sunscreen
  • Vegan and reef friendly, Octinoxate and Oxybenzone free
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with vitamin E
  • 1 oz containers, pack of 2
05/30/2023 07:35 am GMT

This product is ideal for the face and ears. It’s also the perfect travel size.

View Sun Bum’s Clear Zinc here.

13. Hair Wrap

For the lady sailors, these comfy hair wraps provide the perfect way to keep wet locks out of the way on a sailboat.

Crew member applying tinted moisturizer

The wraps are quick-dry and straightforward to use. Just twist your hair up in the wrap and secure the elastic over the button in the back.

Dock & Bay Turban Hair Towel
  • Great for home, travel, or the beach
  • Absorbent and quick dry head towel
  • Available in various colors
05/30/2023 12:16 pm GMT

The perfect sailor gift since these hair wraps are both functional and stylish!

See all Dock & Bay hair wrap colors here.

14. Headlamp

Lighting is so important on a sailboat, so this is the second illumination device on this list.

The Fenix headlamp is a quality light for working and living on a boat. Sailors will find it useful for everything from working in low-light areas to investigating lines in the dark.

headlamp on cockpit table

This headlamp has a respectable output of 950 lumens. It has five brightness levels and a red light mode to preserve night vision.

Fenix USB Rechargeable LED Headlamp
  • Rechargeable LED headlamp, 950 lumens
  • Neutral white light with five brightness settings and auxiliary red light
  • IPX8 waterproof

Sailors will love the rechargeable battery – with up to 100 hours per charge. This headlamp is also waterproof to six feet. It’s helpful for investigating boat props, thru-hulls, and other underwater boat areas that might cause issues.

Check out the Fenix headlamp here.

15. Stainless Steel Wine Glasses

One of the challenges on a sailboat is the constant movement making things more likely to fall and break.

stainless steel wine glass on boat deck with sunset in the background

Stainless steel makes these glasses very durable for sailboat life. They are unbreakable while still being sturdy.

Stemless Metal Wine Glasses - Stainless Steel
$59.89 ($14.97 / Count)
  • Stainless steel tumblers, set of four
  • Unbreakable and shatterproof, 18 oz.
  • Great for camping, boating, and other outdoor activities
05/30/2023 04:30 pm GMT

We received these as a gift and are surprised by what a staple they have become. These glasses are the first thing we reach for to pour a cool glass of wine or cocktail when it’s time for sundowners. These also made our list of sailboat galley essentials.

See this stainless steel wine glass set here.

16. DJI Osmo Mobile

One of the best gift ideas for sailing vloggers and Instagrammers is the DjI Osmo Mobile. They will be swooning over this luxury tech gift that will allow them to capture all their memorable moments at sea.

DJI Osmo mobile camera device

The Osmo mobile stabilizes smartphones with a handheld gimbal for shooting high-quality video. Use it with iPhone and Android devices for capturing video, especially on rocky seas.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 - 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Handheld Stabilizer
  • Foldable design allows you to take Osmo Mobile 3 anywhere.
  • Snap a selfie or begin recording by signaling. The front and rear cameras can recognize Gesture Control
  • Smooth and seamless tracking follows subjects.
  • Quick Roll feature allows you to flip from portrait to landscape in an instant.
05/30/2023 07:35 am GMT

From panoramas to time-lapses, the DJI Osmo Mobile provides a step up to a sailor’s videography.

Check out the DJI OSMO Mobile 3. (We have the previous generation Osmo. The mobile 3 has many new features and a folding design for compact storage, great for smaller boats.)

17. Stainless Steel Clothespins

There are always wet things for sailors to deal with on a boat. From kitchen and bath towels to bathing suits and laundry, and even foul weather gear – items are constantly being hung out to dry.

We depend on clothespins to keep our favorite towels and clothing from flying away, preferably without damaging them. That’s why these clothespins are an ideal gift for yacht owners.

clothespin holding towel on lifeline of boat

These are the Ferrari of clothespins. And they are Italian as well. Made from top-grade stainless steel and hand-painted – they are guaranteed against rust, stain, rot, and any breakage.

Henry Berry & Dairy Extreme Color Clothespins - 20 Pack - Various Colors
$29.98 ($1.50 / Count)
  • Highest quality stainless steel clothespins (made in Italy)
  • Rustproof, fade proof, will not get hot in the sun
  • Special design allows these clothespins to not lose grip, even in strong winds
  • Available in various color options
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Any sailor will appreciate a set of these clothespins that will last a lifetime. Style bonus – these come in 15 different colors.

Check out our favorite clothespins here. We love these so much that they also made our list of sailboat essentials.

18. Coolibar Cardigans

Sun-protective clothing is a must on the water. It helps sailors minimize sunscreen usage and provides top-notch sun protection.

sailing lady on bow of boat with wearing sailing friendly clothes

This Coolibar sun wrap is UPF 50+. It’s comfortable and lightweight, and after countless washes, it feels and looks like the day I bought it.

The materials are meticulously selected to make this superior wrap that is soft, breathable, and long-lasting.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Marietas Sun Wrap - Sun Protective
  • Coolibar's ZnO fabric is soft, lightweight, and cool, thanks to a blend of cotton and bamboo.
  • UPF 50+ will block 98% of UVA/UVB rays
  • Material: 52% Cotton, 43% Viscose from Bamboo, 5% Elastane
05/30/2023 04:05 pm GMT

Lady sailors will love this wrap. I may or may not have four different colors onboard.

See all colors in the Coolibar sun wrap here. View our post on What to Wear Sailing for more tips on what to wear on a boat.

19. E-Cloths

Sailors are always looking for ways to limit single-use products that take up space. Paper towels require storage and create unnecessary trash.

person using a microfiber towel to clean a counter top

These microfiber towels are a sustainable addition to this gift guide and allow sailors to skip the paper towels and clean twice as fast with just water.

E-Cloth Starter Pack, Premium Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, Assorted Colors, 5 Piece Set
$23.31 $19.99
  • Microfiber cloths that are perfect for cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, and more
  • Cleans with water only
  • 300 wash guarantee
  • 5-pack also includes a window polishing/cleaning cloth
05/30/2023 04:55 pm GMT

The E-Cloth brand is known for its high-quality and long-lasting products. We’ve had ours since we moved onboard and continue to use them daily.

This E-Cloth set is a good option to get started. If you like these, check out our list of zero-waste swaps.

20. Stick Blender

A stick blender is a practical addition to the boat galley. It takes up little space compared to similar tools like a blender or food processor making it perfect for small boats. It also requires a much smaller amount of wattage to operate.

stick blender blending chili in large pot on stove

The KitchenAid models are high-quality blenders built to last. They come with multiple settings.

Use to blend soup or sauce in a pot or make hummus or salsa in a jar.

Immersion Blender Options

Our stick blender has been so versatile onboard, we also included it on our list of sailboat galley essentials.

21. Baggu Reusable Bags

For cruising sailors, not having access to a car makes provisioning a challenge. These reusable bags from Baggu are handy on a grocery haul or when you’re out and stumble upon a store.

reusable bags folded up and stored in individual small pouches

They store in a 5×5 inch pouch that will easily fit in a purse or small bag, so you always have it with you.

The Ripstop nylon fabric can hold up to 50 pounds. You’ll never feel like you’re overloading them.

BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Bag
  • Ripstop nylon grocery tote or lunch bag
  • Folds up into a 5" x 5" pouch, totes up to 50 pounds
  • Machine washable and line dry
05/30/2023 08:45 am GMT

These are also machine washable and a green way to shop. We love them so much we now have four of them.

Check out all the stylish patterns in the reusable Baggu bags here.

22. Waterproof Bag / Purse

When you’re constantly in or around water, it’s essential to protect your personal items, such as your money, cards, and phone. Whether you’re paddling to an island or going for a dip from the beach, sailors don’t want to leave their valuables unprotected or unattended.

Woman in the water wearing a waterproof bag around her waist.

These 100% waterproof belt bags allow you to store items safely while still allowing easy access to your essentials. They are fully submersible and can be worn around the waist or as a crossbody bag.

Booe Waterproof Belt Bag Fanny Pack for Phone & Accessories
  • 100% waterproof, one meter underwater for 30 minutes
  • Dedicated interior phone pocked with clear window
  • 7.5" width x 4.7" height x 1.5" diameter

Booe is one of the only brands that makes waterproof, airtight bags with a zipper. We also recommend checking out their other waterproof bag options, including totes, backpacks, and duffel bags.

23. Marine Binoculars

Marine binoculars are an essential tool for travel on the open seas. The ability to spot hazards, landmarks, and other vessels at a distance is critical for safe navigation.

Sailor on sailboat using marine binoculars at the helm.

Marine binoculars are specially designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and include a compass for accurate charting. These also work great in night conditions.

Fujinon Mariner 7×50 Porro Prism Binocular
$229.95 $189.95
  • 100% waterproof binoculars
  • Built-in compass
  • Includes floatation neck strap
05/30/2023 05:50 pm GMT

A high-quality pair of binoculars can also enhance the overall sailing experience, allowing sailors to view marine wildlife and enjoy the scenery from a distance.

Check out this pair of marine binoculars that we recommend.

Finding a Gift For Sailors

Hopefully, you have found some helpful gift ideas for the sailor friends in your life (or maybe even for yourself). The bottom line is you know the sailor you are shopping for the best, so use your intuition when picking the perfect gift for them, and you can’t go wrong. Happy shopping!

Want more lists of boat gear for a liveaboard life?

View our guide for essential sailboat gear, galley must-haves, what to wear sailing, and more.

Like this post? Save it on Pinterest for later.

pin of sailboat on the water at sunset with islands in the background
  • Morgan Youngblood

    Morgan is a digital nomad and the creator of The Home That Roams. Over the last five years, she has lived and traveled in a motorhome, on a liveaboard sailboat, and in an RV travel trailer. She writes about how others can get started with alternative living and downsize their stuff to live with less.

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