If you don’t have all your holiday ducks in line, you’d better act quickly—and we’re here to help. Since you’re on the pages of boats.com we have to guess that you or your loved one loves boats, which means you need a gift of a nautical nature. Never fear, one of these 10 cool items is sure to fit the bill.
1. FLIR Ocean Scout TK
What boater wouldn’t be bedazzled by unwrapping a waterproof night-vision monocular? The FLIR infra-red Ocean Scout TK features an internal Li-ion battery, the ability to capture images and video and transfer them via USB, and lets you see channel markers, mooring balls, other boats, and virtually anything else on the water in complete darkness. In the past night vision gear may have seemed like an exorbitant expense, but thanks to falling tech prices you can buy the Ocean Scout TK for a mere $599. You say money is no object? Then consider night vision monocular models with a bit more potency, like the Ocean Scout 320. Visit FLIR for more information.
2. Garmin gWind Wireless 2 Transducer
If you need a gift for a sailboat owner who hates doing wiring, this little gadget could be just what Santa ordered. The Garmin gWind Wireless 2 Transducer provides real-time wind speed and direction data, yet needs no power cord thanks to an integrated solar panel with a back-up battery. Nor does it need a data cord, because transmissions are sent via wireless ANT connection to GNX wind instruments or compatible Garmin GPSMAP 7400, 7600, 8400, or 8600 chartplotters. The price is $699. For more information, visit Garmin.
3. Grundens Ladies Maris Leggings
You say you’re shopping for a seagoing sweetie who likes to boat in all kinds of weather? Then help her keep toasty and warm, by getting her a pair of Grundens Ladies Maris Leggings. This insulating layer is made from 200 gram poly fleece with flatlock stitching and four-way stretch fabric. It’s breathable, and has a moisture-wicking interior. The Ladies Maris Leggings will run you about $45, which is a small price to pay to keep that someone special warm and happy. For more information, visit Grundens.
4. Kayak Kaddy
Kayakers, canoers, and SUP lovers would be thrilled to get a gift like a Kayak Kaddy. This nifty invention lets you bring along extra gear, as you tow the 42” x 22” waterproof roto-molded polyethylene accessory pod behind your self-propelled watercraft. It weighs a mere 11 lbs, has a 35 liter interior volume, and even has its own deck bungee attached. You can also get a RAM mounting system that allows you to securely attach the Kayak Kaddy to your boat. Price is $199. For more information, visit Kayak Kaddy.
5. Lowrance Hook-9
Might a new chartplotter/fishfinder make a grade-A gift? If you think so, the Hook-9 could do the trick. This is a relatively simple unit with a very large screen, without the additional cost associated with large but more complex MFD displays. While it isn’t as expandable as those MFDs and you can’t expect the same level of computing power, for small boat owners who need a self-contained combo unit with the largest display size possible, the Hook-9 will make for a happy holiday. Price will range from about $550 to $800 depending on transducer and mapping chip options. For more information, visit Lowrance.
6. Aria Snorkling Face Mask
Snorkling is great fun, but the traditional mask and snorkel aren’t exactly comfortable. Enter, the Aria full-face Face Mask. Anyone who loves looking at the life beneath the water’s surface will enjoy this gift, which fits around your entire face. That means you can breathe through your nose as well as your mouth, there’s no jaw discomfort, fogging issues are eliminated, and with the snorkel at the top you don’t have to worry about it coming out of alignment and dipping below the surface. Price is $110. For more information, visit Ocean Reef.
7. Secur SP-6000 Ultimate Solar Charger
There are a million solar chargers made for your cell phone and other doo-dads, but the Secur SP-6000 Ultimate Solar Charger is the one that’s ideal for your beloved boater. It has dual fold-out panels that feed 12 watts to a 10,000 mAH lithium battery (that’s strong enough to charge an iPhone five times), two USB ports, protective circuits to prevent over-charging, and “smart chips” that recognize iPhones and Samsung phones for speedy charging. What really counts, however, is that it also has a waterproof pouch that protects your phone while it’s charging. It fell to the deck and got splashed and slimed by a striped bass when we tested one while fishing, yet was none the worse for wear—this one’s a serious winner. Price is $125. For more information, visit Secur.
8. Squidnation Flippy Floppy
We named the Squidnation Flippy Floppy one of the top three Crazy Fishing Lures of 2016, and we meant it—this is one bizarre looking fishing lure. Yet it works, and it works when other offshore trolling lures don’t seem to produce. As the lure is trolled through the water the multiple squid flip, flop, splash, and attract predators like tunas and billfish in from afar. It certainly doesn’t look “natural” moving through the water which makes us wonder why it’s effective, but if you need a gift for an offshore angler, this one won’t let him or her down. Price ranges from $75 to $100 depending on size and type. For more information, visit Alltackle.
9. Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Kayak/light Boat Motor
If the someone special you’re shopping for likes to spend time on a kayak, canoe, or small boat, yet they aren’t thrilled by all that paddling, the Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Kayak/Light Boat Motor might be an ideal gift. This battery-powered motor mounts to your small craft with a mounting ball, is completely waterproof, comes with an 11 Ah lithium battery, and can run for nearly an hour at full throttle or about four hours at half throttle. Power is comparable to two horsepower of thrust, and it spins the prop at up to 1200 rotations per minute. Price is $1,799. For more information, visit Torqeedo.
10. Yeti Hopper Flip 12
We’ve all heard how Yeti coolers are designed to chill down food and drinks for days instead of hours, and unlike most soft-sided coolers the Hopper Flip 12 is leak-proof with a waterproof zipper-top, and has double-stitched and reinforced handles plus a shoulder strap. It’s as rugged a "soft" cooler as you’re likely to find. Insulation is closed-cell “ColdCell” rubber foam, and another unusual perk that comes with the Yeti is a three-year warranty. All it’ll cost you is a cool $279. For more information, visit Yeti.
Editor's note: this article was originally published in December 2016 and was last updated in December 2020.