Scratching your head over what to buy nautically-minded friends and family this holiday? Worry no longer. We have cast about the marketplace and come up with our Top Ten Nautical Gift Ideas that are merrier than a galley mop for mother and more festive than a ribbon festooned can of fiberglass resin for father. These gift ideas are also both fun and functional.
1. Sailcloth-Crafted Totes, Chairs, Throws & More. “All of Ella Vickers products are made from 100 percent recycled sailcloth, so they inherently exude a nautical flare,” says Ryan Dodd, marketing manager at Landfall Navigation, headquartered in Stamford, CT. Vickers served as first mate aboard Columbia, the first 12-meter yacht to win the America’s Cup.
2. Universal Deck Key. “Now, you or a friend don’t need to have a drawer full of different keys, but one smart one that can handle it all,” explains Greg Kutsen, owner and chief architect at Mantus Anchors LLC, in Seabrook, Texas. The company’s new multifunctional key can open all sizes and types of shackles and deck fill lids. Better yet, it’s made of non-corrode, marine-grade stainless steel.
3. Wood Serving Boards. These inlayed wooden boards, complete with nautically-themed 5-inch Herrschoff-style stainless steel cleats, are a snazzy way to serve meats and cheeses for a cockpit happy hour. “The boards are laser engravable so you can create custom personalized gifts using nearly any design,” says Landfall Navigation’s Dodd.
4. A Good Read: Cabo Trafalgar in the Moonlight. Kathleen ‘Kay’ Pope, who now lives ashore in St. Martin, pens a nautical autobiography of what it was like to live most of her married life on a boat with daughter, Victoria, and journalist husband, Dudley, who wrote nearly 30 books about Naval history, Buccaneers in Jamaica, and more while underway. “Some people really like my chapters about Italy, where I describe Italian life and our travels in southern Tuscany in the early 1960’s, exploring hill towns. Others like reading about our cruising in the Caribbean when there were only a few 60- to 70-foot yachts, some smaller, that carried charter guests up and down the Windward and Leeward Islands. Nothing like the mega yachts today!” says Pope. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and ITunes.
5. Chelsea Clocks. Present that nautical history buff with a precision time machine crafted by a company that’s been in business in namesake Chelsea, Mass., since 1897. “These fine brass clocks are set into handcrafted wooden bases and are perfect for the mantle or study,” says Landfall Navigation’s Dodd. Styles include a ship’s bell clock and barometer, presidential brass clock with mahogany base and an executive-style boardroom box clock mounted on a gimbal display frame and set in a solid brass case.
6. The Latest in Binoculars. Horizon views get much sharper for the watersports enthusiast you present with this pair of Steiner 7145 Navigator Pro 7×30 Binoculars, according to Ken Morse, marketing director for Defender, based in Waterford, Conn. The binoculars come with a compass stabilized in shock absorbing fluid that lets you determine direction with precision. Included are a bag, carrying strap, objective covers and rain protection cap.
7. Saluting Cannons. “Properly salute colors at sunset and make the neighbors take notice when you sound off with a 10 Ga. black powder blank shell shot by fully operational miniaturized versions of 1750-1850s style cannons designed originally by L. Francis Herreshoff,” says Landfall Navigation’s Dodd. The 10 Ga C.G. Cannon is an ideal ceremonial cannon for yacht clubs.
8. Underwater Lights. Give the gift of light year-round by putting a wrapped box of Bluefin LED-brand lights under the tree. The company’s exceptional range of color-changing submarine lights can be used on yachts, on pontoons and docks. “With LED technologies Bluefin has the benefit of long life, low amperage draw and high intensity lighting,” says John Thommen, president of Ocean Marketing, in Guilford, Conn., which represents the UK-based company for East Coast USA sales.
9. Give a Life-Changing Course! If someone on your Santa’s list is not a licensed captain, but has boat-operating experience, give the U.S. Coast Guard approved Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel course at the SeaSchool, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla. “This is an entry level license and besides making them an educated, confident and happy boater, they would be able to charge people to take trips on their boat. They could hire out to work in the maritime community in various other venues…, i.e., boat deliveries, assistance towing, etc.,” explains executive director and senior instructor/consultant, Capt. Ken Wahl. Put part or all of the tuition for a variety of courses in every loved one’s stocking!
10. Wrap Up A Charter. Cross a present off your gift list and a must-do off a friend’s Bucket List by booking a week-long charter. The world’s the limit. Dream Yacht Charters, with U.S. bases in Fort Lauderdale and Annapolis offer bareboat, by the cabin and luxury crewed yachts for charter in locations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.