Top ten gifts for boaters in 2015
By Daria Blackwell
Stuck for a last minute gift idea? There’s still time to order these items and have them delivered in time for Christmas. Of course you can always order a copy of Happy Hooking - The Art of Anchoring by yours truly. But as so many people already have it, we thought we’d give you a few more ideas.
10. Dry Bag ($14.95-209)
Every sailor needs a dry bag for those dinghy rides to shore with laptop in tow. SealLine Dry Bags are the best, but I have to say that the ones we bought at Lidl for €10 have lasted for years. They come in different colours, sizes and purposes so everyone aboard can choose a different one to keep them straight.
9. Rolling Cooler Bag ($55)
There are loads of these on the market now and they are indispensable in warm climates when you have to get groceries from store to boat on foot. I like the soft sided ones. Coleman has several on the market that appear to be high quality.
8. Kindle ($49.99-229.99)
Although we still like paper books, having an entire library in the palm of your hand can be quite useful. The Kindle batteries last a long time, the screen is viewable in bright sunlight and amazon has deals ongoing this season. The new Fire HD 8 displays in colour and costs just $149.99.
7. LifeProof cases ($99.99)
Don’t forget a case for your mobile phone and tablet! They are expensive but worth it to protect your investment and your data.
6. Cobb BBQ ($149 for starter pack with carry bag.)
Easy to clean and long-lasting BBQ. All metal parts are stainless steel. Food is isolated from the charcoal – and it doesn’t smoke. Remains cool on the outside - can be used on a table or wooden deck without causing damage. Only needs six briquettes to cook for up to four hours. Can BBQ, fry, boil, roast, bake, etc. It’s a BBQ kitchen on the go.
5. Clippa Mini tools hair clip $9.99
This is every sailing girl’s dream gadget and it works for guys, too. An amazing Leatherman-like tool that you can store in your hair. Better than a bobby pin.
4. Backpack laundry bag $19.99
Made of commercial grade nylon and manufactured to handle the rigors of large, industrial, commercial laundry houses. Should straps make it easy to haul it down to the dinghy and out to the laundromat. Comes in solid colours, camo and tie dye.
3. Personalized winch handle (£74.95)
An elegant and high quality lightweight aluminium Antal winch handle with rubber grip and locking handle personalized with your boat name on it (up to 18 characters).
2. Bluetooth Speaker (~$99)
NudeAudio Move Super M is a super-high performance Bluetooth speaker; waterproof & sand proof, that fits in your jeans pocket. Delivers 360 degree sound using four neodymium drivers which are tightly packed on both sides of the Super-M, with each pair complemented by a passive radiator, totalling 6 drivers. These are driven by highly efficient amplifiers and a powerful Lithium-ion battery. A state-of-the-art Bluetooth 4.0 chipset ensures the best signal and efficient battery use.
Otone Bluemotion is a digital radio that also works as a Bluetooth speaker. With a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it can last 48 hours between charges and has dual alarms and sleep times, to get you up for your anchor watch. Otone has a range of interesting sound products.
1. Personal AIS MOB device ($230-286)
For anyone who cruises short-handed and for those crossing oceans, the AIS MOB device may be a lifesaver. Whether to choose one with GPS or DSC is a personal call depending on the type of boating and crew aboard. The DSC alarm will alert all nearby vessels of the MOB. But if you’re single handing in remote waters, the GPS may be the preferred option. These are on the expensive side but my life is worth saving.
Kannad Marine SafeLink R10 AIS MOB device was the first on the market. The SafeLink R10 transmits MOB information, including alert messages, GPS position and a unique serialised identity number, back to the onboard plotter. A built-in high precision GPS receiver transmits continuously for a minimum of 24 hours and has a 7 year battery storage life to assist in quick recovery of survivors. It also has a flashing LED indicator light to aid detection at night and a self-test facility. If professionally fitted to a lifejacket, it can be automatically deployed.
McMurdo launched the Smartfind S10 and Smartfind S20. The Smartfind S10 AIS MOB uses the AIS automated tracking system to transmit MOB notifications, including GPS coordinates, to all AIS equipped vessels within a 4 mile (typical) range. Compact, waterproof to 60m, buoyant and with a powerful integral strobe light, it is ideal for anyone who wants peace of mind when working or playing on the water - boat crew, divers, personal watercraft users and more. The S20 is designed to be mounted in a lifejacket and automatically deployed.
Ocean Signal RescueME MOB1 AIS Beacon is the world's smallest AIS MOB device with integrated DSC. The MOB1 is intended to be installed within the life-jacket and will activate automatically on inflation, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. The integrated strobe light ensures maximum visibility in low light conditions. They also manufacture the electronic distress flare (EDF1) and an AIS Alarm Box.