2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters

More than three dozen gift suggestions should help you start — or wrap up — your holiday shopping. Good luck.

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We know it feels like only weeks ago we were wishing each other a happy July 4, but the holidays are almost upon us. If this news is a surprise to you, perhaps you haven’t been to a big-box store recently. As the holidays draw ever nearer, they bring with them the pressure to buy the right gifts, and there is an inversely proportional relationship between the closeness of the big day and the pressure associated with shopping: GRH = A x T x TL. (Gift receiver happiness is equal to Appropriateness (times) Thoughtfulness (times) Timeliness.)

You no doubt have a boater or two on your list. Perhaps you’re the boater on someone’s list. Either way, our compilation of products is sure to satisfy your inner Santa or widen your wish list. From stocking stuffers to year-making big-ticket items, we have something — or many things — you’ll find to your liking. Read on.

Our first and best item, naturally, is a subscription to Boating World. Get someone new started or extend someone’s existing subscription. A three-year (27 issues) subscription costs $15.97, so you can be generous to multiple folks.

 

For the Boat

Gift-Anchor-IconA boat is an owner’s baby, and as such, it gets spoiled appropriately. While he has certainly purchased many things to make life on the boat better, there is always room for a well-thought-out gift. We have nine suggestions sure to fit right in.

  • Hook and Loop Cupholder | TackleWebs.com, $14.99 | Cupholders can be hard to find on some boats when the rod holders are in full fishing use. Those old plastic cupholders don’t last long in a busy cockpit, so TackleWebs created hook-and-loop holders out of marine-grade materials that glue to nearly any clean surface.
  • AQ-SWA8-1BT Subwoofer | AquaticAV.com, $269 | The new active subwoofer from Aquatic AV features a built-in 288W amplifier and is built to handle the toughest on-water conditions. Up to four full-range loudspeakers can be attached directly to the unit, and it is Bluetooth ready.
  • Jump Starter 44 | MyWeego.com, $149.99 | Don’t get stuck with a dead battery at the end of an exciting day on the water. The Jump Starter 44 from Weego will start a gas engine up to 6.4L and diesels up to 3.2L. In addition, folks can charge their phone and other USB-compatible devices.
  • Marine Kettle 3 Gas Grill | MagmaProducts.com, $249.99 | For onboard dining — maybe of the fish caught that day — a grill that can mount using an existing rod holder is handy. Magma’s Kettle 3 grill is compact, strong and built for the marine environment. It uses disposable one-pound propane fuel canisters.
  • Team Boat Hook | DavisInstruments.com, $36.99+ | Delivering up to 900 pounds of pulling force, telescoping Team Boat Hooks from Davis Instruments can help snag lines, fend off contact with the dock or pass a bag from the dock to the boat. Made of anodized aluminum, they float and include a molded vinyl grip.
  • Trace Theft Monitor | FindMeSpot.com, $119.95 ($99.99/year for monitoring) | Help a friend protect her boat with Spot Trace, an anti-theft monitor that installs in an out-of-the-way spot and uses satellite technology to track the boat’s location and sends alerts when it moves. It’s peace of mind in a stocking-stuffer size.
  • Gen 4 FF12 LED Underwater Lights | Aqualuma.com, $547 | Help someone spruce up his boat’s nighttime ambiance with Aqualuma’s new Gen 4 FF12 Surface Mount LED underwater lights. The surface-mount units use two wires, draw less than two amps, and come in white or blue.
  • Milennia MIL-MR70BT Receiver | ProspecElectronics.com, $119.95 | Compact and Bluetooth and USB ready, the Milennia MIL-MR70BT receiver from Prospec delivers crisp sound from an internal 40W x 4 amplifier, and it’s only seven and three-sixteenths inches long by two and a quarter inches tall by four inches deep.
  • Journey Rearview Camera | HyndsightVision.com, $499 | Whether it’s for watching the action behind the boat or for monitoring the boat and trailer on the way to the water, seeing what’s behind is important. Journey from Hyndsight Vision Systems is a wire-free camera and sunlight-readable monitor system that provides real-time video in or out of the water.

 

Links:

Hook and Loop Cupholder TackleWebs.com
AQ-SWA8-1BT Subwoofer AquaticAV.com
Jump Starter 44 MyWeego.com
Marine Kettle 3 Gas Grill MagmaProducts.com
Team Boat Hook DavisInstruments.com
Trace Theft Monitor FindMeSpot.com
Gen 4 FF12 LED Underwater Lights Aqualuma.com
Milennia MIL-MR70BT Receiver ProspecElectronics.com
Journey Rearview Camera HyndsightVision.com


For the Boater

Gift-Boater-IconBoaters are always glad to receive something for their boat, but sometimes it’s nice to get something for oneself. Don’t forget the actual boat owners on your list. If they’re on the nice list, reward them with something cool.

  • Bluetooth Heated Insoles | ThermaCell.com, $199 | Does someone on your list take the boat out long after the warm weather has gone? Help him keep his feet warm with Heated Insoles from Thermacell. Not only are they warm, they can be controlled via a smartphone app.
  • Motu Sunglasses | CostaDelMar.com, $249 | Protecting one’s eyes on the water is important, so sunglasses are always a good gift. The Motu style from Costa features a light, comfortable frame (four color options), and polarized lens choices from everyday to harsh sun. UV light is 100 percent blocked for protection.
  • Boss Sunglasses | WileyX.com, $150 | We’ve tested these sunglasses, and they do a great job on the water of eliminating glare and providing contrast, which is good for spotting fish or in-the-water obstructions. The frame is light and big enough to fit our editor’s rather large head. Wiley’s T-Shell lens coating provides resistance to scratching, and polarization cuts glare.
  • Key Buoy | DavisInstruments.com, $6.99 | Plop. The one sound a boater never wants to hear, because it usually means something has fallen into the water. Help particularly drop-prone boaters on your list keep their keys safe with the Key Buoy, a fob that automatically inflates when submerged. An orange tube keeps the keys at the surface for easier retrieval.
  • Rapid Deployment Survival Bracelet | SurvivalStraps.com, $29.99 | Stylish, strong and simple, the Survival Bracelet from Survival Straps is one of those things you hope you never have to use but will be glad to have in a pinch. Fifteen feet of military-spec paracord unravels quickly for a variety of situations.
  • CoolSwitch Shirts | UnderArmour.com, $54.99 | Using technology found in NASA spacesuits, CoolSwitch Thermocline shirts from Under Armour are meant to pull heat away from the wearer’s skin and provide a cooling sensation. Styles for men and women mean you can buy for anyone on your list.

 

Links:
Bluetooth Heated Insoles ThermaCell.com
Motu Sunglasses CostaDelMar.com
Boss Sunglasses WileyX.com
Key Buoy DavisInstruments.com
Rapid Deployment Survival Bracelet SurvivalStraps.com
CoolSwitch Shirts UnderArmour.com


For the Watersports

Gift-Kayak-IconFanatics Surfing or being pulled behind the boat is a great thrill, and the nice thing is people don’t have to be accomplished to enjoy it. We found some items that will help everyone get involved, and a couple of extras, too.

  • Wrap It Up Fasteners | WestMarine.com, $6.99/three pack | Help a friend keep his boat tidy by giving him Wrap It Up hook and loop fasteners from Kwik Tek. Ropes can be coiled, wrapped and stored out of the way — without becoming unruly rat’s nests.
  • Board-Mounted Speaker | StickySounds.com, $68.95 | Lots of wakesports enthusiasts like recording the action with body- or board-mounted cameras. Now, they can add a live soundtrack to the video with the Sticky Sounds speaker, which mounts much like GoPro cameras and delivers tunes. It floats, is shockproof and has an eight-hour battery life.
  • Quest Soft Cooler | CanyonCoolers.com, $99.99+ | For the avid kayaker on your list, the Canyon Quest Soft Cooler is a rugged, watertight cooler that can double as a Camelback, to keep rowers hydrated on long journeys. IceSkin insulation delivers three times the insulation found in other soft coolers.
  • Pro Drybag 45L | SubtechSports.com, $399 | Keeping things dry aboard is important, whether those items are for post-watersports wearing or for emergencies. The Pro Drybag 45L from Subtech Sports is waterproof to 164 feet and floats when fully loaded. Its shockproof inflatable system can keep all manner of sensitive equipment safe and dry.
  • Nomad Wake Longboard | SlingshotSports.com, $449 | For a more casual wakeboarding experience on your boat, the Nomad wakeboard is essentially a longboard that can be pulled behind the boat — and it doesn’t have to be a wakeboat. Its larger sweet spot means it’s easier to ride, the boat can go slower and it can be used behind boats with a smaller wake.
  • The Thing Kneeboard | ConnellySkis.com, $249.99 | Does someone on your list need an easy way into watersports? The Thing from Connelly Skis might be the ticket. It’s a kneeboard that accommodates people standing up, and with the fins installed, it can be a wakesurf board.

 

Links:

Wrap It Up Fasteners WestMarine.com
Board-Mounted Speaker StickySounds.com
Quest Soft Cooler CanyonCoolers.com
Pro Drybag 45L SubtechSports.com
Nomad Wake Longboard SlingshotSports.com
The Thing Kneeboard ConnellySkis.com


For the Angler

Gift-Fishing-IconAnglers are fairly single-minded: catch fish. You can definitely help them do that, and we have some suggestions to make it happen. But if you have a fishing fanatic who doesn’t do a great job keeping the sun at bay, we have suggestions for that, too, and those gifts might be the ones that get used a lot.

  • iBobber Bluetooth Fish Finder | ReelSonar.com, $99.99 | Cast the iBobber into the water, use the app to sync it to your smartphone, and see what’s in the water under your boat. Some features are sonar, weather forecast, trip log, GPS tag, water temperature, fish alarm and strike alarm.
  • Fish Head Shorts | Shop.Grundens.com, $55 | Boardshorts with fishing features, Fish Head shorts from Grundens deliver UPF 50 sun protection, stain-resistant fabric that dries quickly, a pocket lined with ceramic armor-plated SuperFabric and a zippered cargo pocket. Fashionable, comfortable fishing for all.
  • Tactical Fluorocarbon | P-Line.com, $22.99+ | Tactical Fluorocarbon line from P-Line was named the New Product Showcase winner at ICAST 2016, and its strength and invisibility will help anglers land more fish. Available from 6- to 20-pound test in 200-yard spools, Tactical Fluorocarbon will fit in most any stocking.
  • UVX Mask | BuffUSA.com, $35 | Long days on the water stalking fish can be fulfilling, but the sun can do a number on one’s skin. Help the anglers on your list protect their face and neck with a UVX Mask from Buff USA. The masks block 95 percent of UV rays and feature breathable, wicking Coolmax Extreme fabric.
  • Garage Door Rack | CobraStorage.com, $30/set | Help an angler on your list — or maybe you — turn the garage into storage nirvana with Cobra Garage Door Racks. The six-rod holders clamp to the garage door without tools or can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. They’re adjustable to fit equipment of any size.
  • Trapper Dropshot Hooks | TrapperTackle.com, $3.79/six | Help a spouse or some friends improve their fish-landing ratio with a better hook. Winner of the Best of Show Terminal Tackle category at ICAST 2016, the Trapper Tackle Dropshot/Live Bait/Finesse hook features a fully exposed box and a horizontal line tie, for better presentation. It comes in five sizes.
  • Women’s PFG Bonehead II Shirt | Columbia.com, $35 | With a relaxed fit and venting, the PFG Bonehead II shirt for women is a gift that will tell her you want to spend time together on the water. It comes with a built-in rod holder and is available in seven colors.
  • Sunshield | PelagicGear.com, $22 | Neck gaiters are good ways to protect one’s neck and face from the sun’s rays. The Sunshield from Pelagic Gear delivers protection in a variety of styles and prints. Find the right one for your special angler.

 

Links:

iBobber Bluetooth Fish Finder ReelSonar.com
Fish Head Shorts Shop.Grundens.com
Tactical Fluorocarbon P-Line.com
UVX Mask BuffUSA.com
Garage Door Rack CobraStorage.com
Trapper Dropshot Hooks TrapperTackle.com
Women’s PFG Bonehead II Shirt Columbia.com
Sunshield PelagicGear.com


For the Furry Crewmembers

Gift-Dog-IconBoat dogs are fun to have around, and most of them take to water like boating writers take to free buffets. Help them stay safe and look sharp with dog collars, life vests and helpful boarding ramps.

  • Rover Neo Dog Vest | ConnellySkis.com, $29.99 | Connelly has your canine covered with its Rover Neo Dog Vest, a neoprene pet life jacket that comes in many sizes and two color choices: flannel and hula. It features a grab strap and reflective tape.
  • Nautical Dog Collar | WestMarine.com, $27.99 | For a less personalized but more nautical look, get your furry mate a Pirate Dog Collar (or other boaty style) from Leather Man. With sizes to fit any dog, Leather Man can help your dog look like a sailor.
  • Personalized Dog Collar | BlueberryPet.com, $16.99 | Your four-legged first mate might not be able to read, but the person who finds her if she gets lost probably can, so a personalized collar from Blueberry Pet Store with her name and your phone number on it could lead to a reunion.
  • The Beacon | RuffWear.com, $19.95 | Make it easier to spot your boat dog, especially after dark, with a flashing light that clips to the collar. The Beacon from Ruff Wear is watertight and includes a bright LED with three settings. Battery replacement is tool-free.

 

Links:

Rover Neo Dog Vest ConnellySkis.com
Nautical Dog Collar WestMarine.com
Personalized Dog Collar BlueberryPet.com
The Beacon RuffWear.com

 

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