Shopping for the holidays can be tough, but if a sailor is on your list it is all the easier! Sailors always need stuff… or want stuff… or want stuff they think they need but really don’t need at all… either way, it’s fun and easy to shop for sailors. Here’s a list of great gifts for sailors, some of which you can coincidentally find on the ASA online store (wink!)
The better-than-socks awesome stocking stuffer. Sailing gloves get tattered or lost or grimy. Many a boat has three left hand gloves that no one will throw away because their match is somewhere.
“But it’s been years!” // “Nonsense! It will turn up!”
Anyway, you can’t go wrong with throwing some gloves in that stocking. An extra pair is never bad and they look so cool and inviting when they’re new.
If you’re a family that likes to take that baby on medium to long cruises, a well written cruising guide is a gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s for a place you’ve gone to a few times but want to really get in deep or for a location that’s on your list – this is a fun gift that will educate and inspire.
For those you love, who also love sailing, nautical themed jewelry makes an amazing gift. Buy them something that lets them carry their passion for the ocean with them everyday. Maggie Lee Designs have been a long time favorite for nautical pieces that have a “casual elegance” allowing them to be worn every day. Maggie makes solid designs that are elegant and long lasting… heirloom quality!
If this sailor doesn’t have a floating submersible VHF radio, it’s a great gift. Sure, there’s a nice mounted VHF within arm’s reach and it has AIS and all that good stuff, but A) it’s always good to have a back up and B) what about the dinghy? So many folks get in the dinghy with no radio and it’s a no no. Dinghy rides around cruising grounds is a place where bad things can happen. Sailors sometimes let their guard down in these environments – they run out of gas, overload the boat, douse the outboard. It’s a gift that could easily save a life.
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Flares are one of those things that most people aren’t crazy about buying. Dropping fifty-bucks or more on something that will probably not get used, and then expire, so, in turn, you have to buy them again…it’s not fun. For this reason picking up one of the Weems and Plath electronic flares is a cool gift. Although it’s still important to have flares, having this device means the sailor you love is forever compliant with the law and has an emergency beacon. Maybe not the sexiest gift in the world but it’s environmentally friendly and has a long shelf life.
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If ever there was a place in the universe where duffle bags, tote bags or backpacks come in handy it’s on a sailboat. We’re always moving stuff or stowing things, so finding the right bag for the right situation is a gratifying feeling. But let’s not forget cooler bags too – hard to go wrong with a nice bag made of sailcloth for your favorite sailor.
Flotilla Sailing Charter
This one will cost more than the gloves but it will last a lot longer in your memory and make you a better sailor. Most sailors have had the occasional fantasy of blasting along on a broad reach in a 12-knot breeze with the turquoise waters of some exotic paradise reflecting on how your life is. This does not have to exist only in your imagination. Flotillas are a great way to explore with fellow sailors and get the benefit of local knowledge. Right now ASA has flotillas in the British Virgin Islands, San Juan Islands, Bahamas and various spots in Spain.
The Boat Galley Cookbook
We’ve gotten to know the nice and talented ladies who publish the Boat Galley Cookbook from seeing them at boat shows through the years and it’s an easy thing to recommend as a perfect holiday gift. Cooking onboard is a specialized skill and they know the deal. The book is packed full of delicious recipes, all chosen or created for their ease of preparation within the constricting confines of a boat galley.
Hook that bad boy up between the mast and forestay and the world is your oyster. If you have never had the experience of being hooked to a mooring, lying in a hammock and reading a book until you pass out (which is ordinarily about 6-minutes) you have not lived!