The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re shopping for a powerboater you know they’ll be hoping for gifts of a nautical nature. Here are 10 top picks that are sure to be a hit.
Yeti Hopper 20
You’ve probably heard of Yeti before. But in case you haven’t, it’s a company that makes nearly indestructible coolers that can keep a bag of ice for a week or more. What if you’re looking for something more portable? Yeti’s solution is its new Hopper line of soft-sided portable coolers. Insulated with an inch of closed-cell foam, Yeti promises this totable, leak-proof wonderbag can keep 18 cans of your favorite beverage cold for nearly a week. Price: $299. Visit Yeti for more information.
Patagonia Stormfront Rolltop Boat Bag
If you’ve ever fished in an open boat, you know that keeping smartphones, cameras, spare clothing, and other gear safe and dry can be challenging. A solution can be found in the Patagonia Stormfront Rolltop Bag, which is made of an 800-denier nylon coated with rubbery waterproof material that’s UV stable and designed to last. The bag has a shoulder strap, loops for a rod tube, and a waterproof zipper-pocket for car keys and smaller items. Price: $149. Visit Patagonia for more information.
Mystery Tackle Box
Got a tough-to-shop-for angler in your life? Mystery Tackle Box can save you from the usual holiday hand-wringing associated with buying gifts for persnickety angling buddies. Mystery Tackle Box is a subscription service that ships a box of high-quality fishing lures right to the recipient’s door each month. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. One month your gift recipient might unwrap an assortment of crank-baits, while the next care package could be full of topwater lures. Price: $45 for a three month subscription; $90 six months; $180 for 12 months. Visit Mystery Tackle Box for more information.
Customized Fender Covers
You might be familiar with Polar Fleece as a material that cold-weather jackets and vests are made of, but it also makes a great fender cover that protects fancy topside paint jobs from scuffs and scrapes. Made by Maine Coast Marine Products, these Polar Fleece fender covers come in a variety of standard and easy-to-order sizes and colors that can be embroidered with the boat’s name. Custom sizes are also available, but require longer lead times. Price: $22 to $145, plus embroidering fee.Visit Maine Coast Marine Products for more information.
Revtronic XML2 LED Flashlight
Made by Revtronic, this 800-lumen, waterproof, aluminum flashlight is only a little more than five inches long yet casts a beam brighter than anything else around. The best thing about it is that it’s small enough to fit in a pocket and light enough to hold with your teeth. The battery is a 3,200 mah lithium-ion cell that takes about eight hours to charge, and lasted 10 to 12 hours in our testing. Price: $24.99. For more information, visit Revtronic on Amazon.com.
Yes, this is the second Yeti product on this list, and no, Yeti isn’t paying us to write this. But if a hot cup of coffee is a faithful companion on early morning fishing trips or boating excursions, you know that most thermal mugs aren’t up to the task of keeping beverages hot for very long. Until now. Yeti applied the same insulation techniques they use in their coolers to rugged stainless-steel travel mugs (20 and 30 ounce sizes) that will keep your morning brew warm well into the late morning—or keep your adult beverages cool and refreshing past sunset. Price: $29.99/39.99. For more information, visit Yeti.
Not only are most multi-tools heavy and easy to drop overboard, but peeling out the tool you need can be maddening. The Leatherman Skeletool is different. It’s lightweight, having only the essential tools you’d need to do boat chores—pliers, wire cutter, knife, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. (Of course the bottle opener is essential.) The Phillips and flathead bits slip in and out with a clever quick-release arrangement. Plus, the tool is easy to secure to your person with either a belt clip or a carabiner snap. Price: $69.85. For more information visit Leatherman.
Hankering to listen to some tunes on the water, but your iPod or smartphone has fizzled out? The Davis SoliCharger-SP solves this problem by providing a charge on the go via a small solar panel, while playing music through a set of remarkably good-sounding speakers. It’s all wrapped up in a durable Cordura nylon case. SoliCharger-SP includes adapters for 32-pin and Lightning Apple, USB, USB Mini, USB Micro, and USB Female so you can also charge electronics like digital cameras and portable gaming devices. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone that you have Taylor Swift on your iPhone. Price: $49.99 For more information, visit Davis.
GoPro HERO4 Session
Most everybody knows about GoPro, the company that’s revolutionized how we capture video in rugged environments. Whether you’re an angler shooting underwater scenes of a billfish, or a wake-boarder with a GoPro mounted to your board, these little video cameras are a great way to save the action. And they just got smaller… way smaller. The best part of the new 1.5-inch square device is that it’s waterproof all on its own—there are no bulky cases to mess with. The camera is controlled primarily through Bluetooth and a smartphone app, and shoots up to 1440p video at 30 frames per second. At 1080p the HERO4 Session can capture video at up to 60 frames per second. A variety of cases and mounts make securing the HERO4 Session wherever you want easy. Price: $299. For more information, visit GoPro.
One thing that’s for sure is that when your engine or engines are out of commission, you’re going to need some assistance. And if you don’t have towing insurance, that tow back to the dock can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Two of the biggest organizations that provide towing—BoatUS and Sea Tow—offer gift memberships that get the recipient a year of towing insurance at a fraction of the usual standard towing fees. Price: Varies by policy. For more information visit BoatUS and Sea Tow.