Do you have a family member or friend that is passionate about boats and seamanship?
Giving meaningful gifts to boating enthusiasts is a pretty hard task, especially when it involves someone close to us. What if you give the wrong gift or something that is totally unusable for the recipient?
We know the struggle. There are so many sub-niches to consider when talking about boating that one can easily go wrong when trying to understand what to give on a special occasion. That’s exactly why we decided to write this article.
Whether you want to offer a gift to a young yacht captain, an inexperienced deckhand, a sailing enthusiast, or a prestigious yacht owner, we’ve got you covered! In the next few chapters, we list the best gifts for boaters, across all budgets and interests, to help you get more ideas.
Table of contents
Best gifts for sailors
In this section, we share some of favorite gift ideas for sailors. They are more focused on the crew of a vessel (deckhand, 1st Mate) and others that are more actively involved with the day to day maintenance of both the interior and exterior of the ship.
Arc’teryx Squamish Hooded Jacket (For men)
Arc’teryx is known as one of the most popular yacht clothing brands and the Squamish hooded jackets are a staple among boaters. They are lightweight, windproof, and built especially for weather shifting conditions. This specific jacket is considered to be one of the most popular options for men and comes in many different colors. So next time someone isn’t sure what to wear on a yacht, especially when working outside, you will have a great gift idea.
Gill Crew Sport Lite Jacket (For women)
Speaking of windbreakers for sailors, the Gill Crew Sport is considered to be essential outerwear for women onboard. It is built with anti-pill polyester fabric that makes it both waterproof and very comfortable. Aside from the obvious, the jacket also features a thermal collar, pockets to warm up your hands, and an internal pocket to protect your valuables.
Boat Name Embroidered Hats
The most unique gifts for sailors are obviously those that are personalized. And while there are many options to benefit from custom-made items, a simple hat can already go a long way. Not only is it great for the crew of your boat, but it also makes a budget gift with sentimental value for those that decide to head over to their next adventure. There are many options when it comes to the customization of such hats, so make sure you check what works best for you.
Price: Starting from $22.99
OLAS Guardian Wireless Engine Kill Switch
On the other hand, if you are looking for some cool gifts for sailors, you might look for something that is both usable and somewhat “techy”. That’s exactly what the wireless engine kill switch from OLAS is. The gadget is built to stop the engine of a vessel automatically, in case of falling overboard, and creates an alarm sound to inform the rest of the crew. It is the best gift for boaters that operate in rough weather conditions.
Another very useful gift that any experienced boater should have is a compact floating torch. The OLAS float-on is a multifunctional safety-aid that has both a strong alarm system and a water-activated strobe. It connects with a native app to control all aspects of its performance and is useful during rescue situations.
Best yachting magazines - Annual Subscription
Are you looking for a great gift for sailors that still fit within a reasonable budget? Then an annual subscription to their favorite boating magazine might be the answer. Note that it might be hard to give this if your friend or family member spends most of the year on sea since delivery is made to a single address. However, in situations where they have to remain stranded for longer periods of time, it makes for a good present.
Gifts for yacht owners
Are you visiting a friend’s yacht for a party or a short holiday? Do you want to thank your hosts for choosing you are their captain? There are many reasons to browse gifts for boat owners. We tend to believe that (super)yacht owners are very versatile in their preferences, which is why we chose gifts along with all types of budgets. Let’s delve in!
Best sailing hat - Tilley LTM6
Tilley hats are certainly not a budget option, but they are well known within the yachting industry for their durability during all sailing conditions. The hat is specifically made for seamen and comes with many features, such as UPF 50+ scores, water resistance, floatation, and a strap to protect from windy weather conditions. The top of the hat is also built to not sit against your head, which adds to its breathability. The hat itself comes with lifetime insurance and its manufacturers claim it is the last hat you will ever buy.
Personalized wooden board sign
If you are looking for something more personalized while still remaining on a budget, then you might want to offer a wooden board sign with an inside joke about the owner, the name of the vessel, or anything else that comes to mind. The size of the board is 21cm x 11cm, and that includes the 8mm natural jute rope which “frames” the wooden canvas. Overall, it is one of the best yachting gift ideas if you wish to give a pleasant surprise to the owner of the vessel.
Custom-made Yacht painting
One of our favorite yacht gift ideas (especially for proud boat owners), is a custom painting of their vessel. This type of gift is very thoughtful and makes a perfect present for people who celebrate the purchase of their yacht. Note that the drawing is custom made but needs to be downloaded as a digital product and printed on high-quality paper. You will also need to purchase the frame separately, which may add to the cost.
Exotic hardwood backgammon board
Board games are an excellent onboard activity for yacht owners and their guests. And since the interior of most yachts is most often decorated with wooden elements, it might be a good idea to consider a matching gift. And who doesn’t love backgammon? The board of this set is made of solid woods that include oak, maple, Sapele, Padauk, and Peruvian walnut. Its price is in the “mid-range” of our recommendations.
“Arcachon” Oyster Knife
Another elegant yet unusual gift idea for yacht owners is an oyster knife. This specific model has a natural cocobolo wood handle that hugs a stainless steel blade. It is named after one of the most popular oyster capitals in the world and produced by Larusmiani.
IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph
If you want to give a high-end gift that speaks to yacht owners, then you might want to consider the Portugieser Yacht Club watch. The marine-colored watch comes with a rubber strap, perfect for humid weather conditions, is water-resistant to 6 bar (60 meters depth), and offers a sporty look.
Yacht captain gifts
Choosing gifts for boat captains is probably one of the hardest things to do, as there are many different options to consider. For the sake of this article, we will focus more on young captains, possibly those recently promoted, who are mainly responsible for (super)yachts.
Best sunglasses for boating - Cinder Cone Hero
Polarized, lightweight sunglasses make one of the best gifts for yacht captains. They are not only aesthetically pleasing but more so essential for sunny weather conditions. The Cinder Cone Hero is all that and more. Weighing less than one-third of normal aviator-type sunglasses and comes with a titanium frame, which makes it extra durable. The pair also comes in different shade colors.
Best waterproof binoculars - Steiner Bluhorizons
Another very important yet often overlooked essential for captains is a pair of good binoculars. The Steiner Bluhorizons is one of the best options thanks to their lightweight, small size, and water resistance. They are a great addition to a captain’s basic equipment and surely make one of the best gifts for boaters.
Straight Razor Set
One more essential for captains is their shaving equipment. While most will choose to shave with safety razors, you could take things one step further, gifting a straight razor with all its necessary additions. The A.P. Donovan set offers the highest quality in the market. The blade is made from Japanese steel which is incredibly sharp, and the handle consists of Mahogany wood, making the razor well balanced. The shaving brush is equipped with badger hair, while the leather strap is made from Kazakh cow skin which sharpens the blade better than grindstone.
Funny t-shirt for captain
What about some less expensive boat captain gifts? There are many options to consider, but if you want to have a good laugh, consider giving this funny t-shirt with a word twist. It is a great gift idea for new captains, and will certainly make for a memorable moment.
Stone Island Sweater
The high-end fashion brand is an excellent choice when trying to find appropriate clothing for yacht captains. This particular sweater comes in marine tones, is made of navy wool, and illustrates a symbol that represents the cardinal directions, an important element for captains.
Tiffany 1837 Makers silver compass
This is probably the best gift for captains from all the options on this list. A compass is an essential item for captains, and this piece from Tiffany’s takes things to the next level. The branded compass is made from sterling silver which makes it both an elegant accessory and an investment piece.
Rolex Yachtmaster 42
Of course, one of the most high-end gifts you can give is a Rolex watch specially made for “yacht masters”. This beautiful timepiece comes with an Oysterflex strap for extra durability, water resistance (10 bar), and a rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel which can be used, among others, to calculate the distance between two buoys. It surely makes one of the best gifts for boaters, but comes at a very high cost.
Best gifts for boaters - Other options
In the final chapter of this article, we will show you some alternative boating gifts. We showcase cool boat accessories and gadgets, as well as other types of essentials you might need while onboard.
Xiaomi M365 Electric Scooter
Electric scooters seem to be the new trend within big cities, and for good reason: They are easy to carry, small in size, and very practical for those that want to get around. This is exactly why they are one of the best gifts for boaters. From the moment you dock, this handy electric scooter can get you around in style, while saving time and money.
The Superyachts 34
The Superyachts 34 is a high-quality hardcover book showcasing the world’s most prestigious superyachts, ranging from 37 to 136 meters. This collection of illustrations makes a great gift for yachting enthusiasts and can be given on any occasion, but its price is considered to be above average and thus not a budget solution.
Deck Boss Ankle Boots
While discussing the best gifts for boaters, we should also mention our favorite footwear. The Deck Boss ankle boots are built to accommodate the needs of those that spend a long time on the water. They feature thick insoles that provide shock resistance, razor siping which improves the boot’s grip on wet surfaces, and a natural gum rubber outsole to maximize water resistance. Whether you are looking to buy these books for a deckhand, captain, or yacht owner, it is a gift that will improve daily life at sea.