Gifts for Sailors

It's December 1st and the day I usually sit down to create a list of gifts I might consider for my sailing buddies. No one really wants just practical gifts, so I've concentrated on going beyond pure utility and have selected a few items that have some bling or tech gizmo appeal. Fortunately, sailing is often associated with gadgets that do evolve over time into things that make things easier and more fun. So here goes.

1) Luci Light from US$19.95, €18

This inflatable solar powered light has been on my top ten list for several years now. We have found numerous uses, but the best is to have it on deck when we've gone ashore and are coming back after dark. No worries about opening the locks moving about a dark cockpit. Luci Solar lanterns are fully waterproof and shatterproof, with a built-in rechargeable battery, all-in-one. Luci lanterns hold a charge for up to 12 hours and stay bright all night. Light anytime, anywhere. There's even one that can charge your mobile phone via USB cable. They ship flat. Consider donating one to a homeless shelter or disaster-struck area for just $10 more. They make it very easy to do via the Give Luci program.

2) Sonic Soak  US$150, €133

Sonic Soak is an ultrasonic washing machine. Okay so it's not that exciting to think about doing laundry, but when you've got piles of dirty clothes and miles to the laundromat, it may be appealing to wash a few things on board, especially if you have a water maker or you're sitting in a marina.  Sonic Soak cleans all kinds of other things, too, including fruit and veg, jewelry and even tools. It's small and apparently highly efficient. We haven't tried this one personally, but it sounds like it's worth a try.

3) Mustang Survival TRACTION Full Finger Glove US$40, €35
From the manufacturers of the Mustang Survival Suit or Dry Suit, for cooler days on the water, these gloves improve dexterity by preserving warmth and offering a snug fit with reduced bulk in the finger tips.

4) Solavore Sport solar cooker US$269.95, €239

Reduce your dependence on bottled gas with a simple solar cooker that really works. Cooking with the Solavore Sport is much like cooking in a Crock Pot. The device comes with two two-quart pots and lids as well as a simple thermometer. Its outer shell is a molded black plastic, double-walled container surrounding an inner chamber lined with aluminum that's painted black. Between the layers of plastic is an inch and a quarter of foil-lined, closed-cell foam. The device won't grill and it won't get hot enough to boil liquids, but it will do most other cooking, including baking bread. Can be hard to stow but the eco-enthusiast will find a way.

5) Antal Speedylock Winch handles  US$126, €111 
Have you ever had trouble removing the winch handles from the winches because the thumb release doesn't quite release? The Antal handles are the answer providing a 250 mm long handle arm made of forged aluminum with lightening holes. Four different grips are available: the simple grip, the double grip, the new ball grip and the ball simple. The grip is covered with rubber to give a firm hold and runs on two ball bearings to increase its efficiency (single-grip and ball-grip only).

6) Anker PowerCore 20100 Battery US$50, €44

Power is the thing we most crave these days as everything electronic has us hooked. The Anker PowerCore 20100 will recharge your Galaxy S8 five times or the iPhone 8 almost seven times. Keep your electronics topped up at high speed without running the inverter. 

7) Ecopebble lite waterproof bluetooth speaker US$40, €35

Pair your Ecopebble with your smart phone and you've got a powerful audio system that floats, is waterproof, can be mounted, and has a 7-hour battery life. What's not to like?  Our onboard stereo system had long ago packed in it and this is what we've used ever since. We are amazed by the quality of the sound that comes out of these tiny boxes. You can even bring it to the beach BBQ or on your SUP. Cool!

8) EmeTerm anti-nausea wristband US$90, €80

FDA cleared physical therapy for motion sickness, altitude sickness and morning sickness in pregnancy based on electrical stimulation via TENS technology. No use of drugs; No gel; No side effects and works quickly. Rechargeable with a waterproof rating of IP22. Easy to carry, hypo-allergenic, multi-country patented. Clinically proven for prevention of vomiting and nausea. There are five levels of intensity in EmeTerm, and users can choose the level that works for them. Different things work for different people so this is definitely worth a try if you or a loved one suffer from seasickness.

9) Membership in the Ocean Cruising Club US$70, €62, £55 annually plus £50 one time joining fee

Have you or someone you know crossed an ocean or completed a 1000 mi passage or plan to do so in the not too distant future? Then membership in this truly amazing organization would make a very special gift indeed. It is the only truly global sailing organization with members in more than 60 countries. A global network of Port Officers and Regional Rear Commodores who provide assistance and access to local knowledge as well as organise events for members to meet up is invaluable to those sailing far and wide. Discounts for marinas and insurance, beautiful publications, awards and much more are among the numerous benefits. This is a gift that will keep on giving back. Visit the website to learn more. 

10)  "Happy Hooking, The art of anchoring" book and webinar US$29.95, €26.50

Give yourself or someone you love the gift of knowledge that will deliver a good night's sleep with information about anchors, technique, and even etiquette.The best selling book about boat anchoring is available direct from the publisher or via It is very readable with many anecdotes about learning the 'hard way.' And if you want something a bit more interactive, the authors are once again conducting their ever popular webinar in March through the Great Lakes Cruising Club. You don't have to be a member to listen in and you can download the webinar at your leisure.


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