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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, so items on a boat need to be durable.
Most sailors prefer 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 also fun to give sailors a gift they might not buy for themselves. Or something that adds a bit of ease or luxury to their sailing lifestyle.
Whether you need Christmas gift ideas or just something that says ‘thank you’ – below are our 21 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.
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.
This light checks all the boxes of being easy to store, easy to use, and durable for a boat environment. As a bonus, the red setting is handy for nighttime at the helm.
See the multi-color Luci Light here.
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.
The ENO hammock rolls super compact, making it easy to store on the boat or take ashore for the day.
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. Perfect for drying off after a dip off the boat or for lounging at the beach.
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.
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 available in the Dock & Bay beach towels.
4. Tervis Tumbler
For a high-quality insulated glass, these tumblers are right at home on a boat.
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 their website for a unique gift if you add a boat name or logo.
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. We’ve had ours for three years and consider it essential to keep tablets, phones, headphones, and more charged on the boat.
This model has three ports for charging multiple devices at once. It also has a dual input port so you can recharge the pack twice as fast.
See the Anker battery pack here.
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 SUP, they can even double as a beach bag.
It’s nice to have a few sizes of dry bags on the boat, but a backpack is an essential size to have for shore excursions.
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.
We have a large QuikSilver dry bag similar to this one on Amazon, or you can find more options at REI here.
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.
At 1000 lumens, the Blazin Fireball lantern will illuminate a large space. It has three brightness settings, plus an SOS setting.
As a bonus, you can charge your phone or tablet off of the power bank if you’re in a pinch.
Check out our favorite rechargeable lantern.
8. Tilley Sun Hat
Sailors practically live outside. Having a reliable, comfortable sun hat is key to protecting your skin on every sailing adventure.
There are many sun hats out there, but after trying a few, the Tilley brand comes out on top.
These hats have the maximum UPF 50+ protection, are water-resistant, and will even stay afloat on the water.
If you want to give a gift of a long-lasting hat with sun protection and adequate ventilation, this is a great choice.
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.
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.
We like that this kayak gives us the option for a solo morning paddle or evening joint adventure. And that we can pack it away when it’s not in use. It also works as a backup 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.
Listening to your book of choice is an enjoyable way to pass the time at the helm, in the galley, or while working on a tedious task.
Ross goes through a ton of books onboard Sunnyside, but it’s not a problem since we don’t need to store them.
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.
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.
The waterproof camera with LED light connects to your tablet or phone. It provides a live view of the area you are investigating.
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.
We love the consistency of Sun Bum’s clear zinc. It goes on light and smooth. At SPF 50, it provides ample protection on the most intense days in the sun.
This product is ideal for the face and ears. It’s also the perfect travel size.
13. Hair Wrap
For the lady sailors, these comfy hair wraps keep wet locks out of the way on a sailboat.
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.
The perfect sailing gift since these are both functional and stylish!
See all Dock & Bay hair wrap colors here.
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.
This headlamp has a respectable output of 950 lumens. It has five brightness levels and a red light mode to preserve night vision.
Sailors will love the rechargeable battery – with up to 100 hours per charge. This headlamp is also waterproof to six feet. Helpful for investigating boat props.
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 makes these glasses very durable for sailboat life. They are unbreakable while still being sturdy.
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
Sailing vloggers and Instagrammers will swoon over this luxury tech gift.
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.
From Panoramas to Timelapses, the DJI Osmo Mobile provides a step up to a sailor’s videography.
See DJI OSMO Mobile 3. (We have the previous generation Osmo. The mobile 3 has a ton of new features and a folding design for compact storage.)
17. Stainless Steel Clothespins
There are always wet things for sailors to deal with on a boat.
We depend on clothespins to keep our favorite towels and clothing from flying away. Preferably without damaging them.
These are the Ferrari of clothespins. They are Italian as well. Made from top-grade stainless steel and hand-painted – they are guaranteed against rust, stain, rot, and any breakage.
Any sailor will appreciate a set of these clothespins that will last a lifetime. Style bonus – these come in 15 different colors.
18. Coolibar Cardigans
Sun protective clothing is a must on the water. It helps sailors minimize sunscreen usage and provides top-notch sun protection.
This Coolibar sun wrap is UPF 50+. It’s comfortable, 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.
Lady sailors will love this wrap. I may or may not have four different colors onboard.
Sailors are always looking for ways to limit single-use products that take up space. Paper towels require storage and create unnecessary trash.
These microfiber towels allow us to skip paper towels and clean twice as fast with just water.
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.
20. Stick Blender
A stick blender is a practical addition to the boat galley. It is a lot smaller compared to similar tools like a blender or food processor. It also requires a much smaller amount of wattage to operate.
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.
Our stick blender has been so versatile onboard we 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.
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.
These are also machine washable and a green way to shop. We love them so much we now have four.
Finding a Gift For Sailors
Hopefully, you have found some helpful gift ideas for the sailors in your life (or maybe even for yourself). Bottom line, you know your sailor the best, so use your intuition when picking the perfect gift for them. Happy shopping!
Want more lists of boat gear for a liveaboard life?
View our guide for lists of essential sailboat gear, galley must-haves, what to wear sailing, and more.
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