10 Cruisers Christmas Gifts Under $110

Whew, Black Friday & Cyber Monday are finally history!  Now we can think about the upcoming holiday season.  While we were actually out cruising, we made a pact that we didn’t buy each other Christmas gifts.  We celebrated with our tiny Christmas tree, nativity scene, decorations and special meals with special friends. Christmas was never an over-commercialized holiday.

It was so nice to be out and have time anchored out to think about what’s important in our lives and appreciate everything we have.  We looked forward to phone calls with family and friends.

But somehow we never quite lived up to our pact for no presents.  But we had a great not-commercial time with gifts.  Depending where we were – one year our only option for presents was the gift shop at Fantasy Island Resort at French Cay, Roatan.  Another year we were anchored in Placencia Belize which is an “arty” little village the week before Christmas – we hid in the Sapodilla Lagoon for the deteriorating weather, so we were out of range of shopping on Christmas weekend itself, but see the upcoming Christmas Day post to see what happened!  🙂

In the meantime, here are some ideas for some fun things for cruisers that want to get cruiser Christmas gift, under $100….

Vinturi Wine Aerator

Vinturi Wine Aerator

1. Vinturi Wine Aerator. We love wine.  Wine aboard Winterlude is usually not expensive well-aged wine – in fact, we’ve found that young inexpensive wines age much quicker with all the motion of the boat.   The Vinturi Wine Aerator basically does the same thing as decanting the wine for about 30 minutes.   Here’s the description from the manufacturer:

Easily and conveniently enhance the flavor, bouquet, and finish of any wine with Vinturi’s Essential Wine Aerator. Wine needs to breathe to allow it to open up, release its intended aromas, and of course, make it taste better. Vinturi’s patent-pending design speeds up this process by instantly aerating with ease and convenience in the time it takes to pour a glass of wine.

Inviting Us to Tonga, Onne Van Der Wal's Photo Makes Me Want to Cruise to the South Seas ...

Invitation to Tonga

2.  Framed Poster or Print by Onne Van Der Wal.   If you’re still in the dreaming of cruising phase, Onne Van Der Wal’s photos make the dream come alive.   I love photography by Onne Van Der Wal.  He has such a wonderful artsy eye for some of the everyday visuals that we see.  So why am I not artistic enough to take that photo and make money selling my art?  Oh well, guess I’m just grateful to see the scene with my own eyes, regardless if I’m talented enough to translate it into art.  🙂    Of course, we’ve not been lucky enough to see most of  the scenes in Mr Van Der Wal’s photos, but cruisers still in the dreaming stage are not the only ones still dreaming!  🙂

 

 

 

 

String a Hammock Between the Forestay & Mast

String a Hammock Between the Forestay & Mast

 

3. A Boat Hammock. David bought mine from a Columbian Trading Boat in the San Blas Islands as a Valentine’s Day gift.  We have a hammock at the lake cottage as well as one the boat.  I do like the wooden spreaders at each end if your boat space allows, but if there’s not room aboard, a regular hammock without the wooden spreaders at each end will be fine.  David bought a “matrimonial” version as opposed to a “solo” size — i.e. supposedly two people as opposed to one.   It’s a bit tight for two, but fun to watch the stars together nonetheless.  It’s also great as “my space” for alone time while David’s taking a shower just before sunset.  

Stainless Tools

Stainless Tools

4.  Stainless Steel Basic Tools set.  Our first year cruising, our son bought my husband a small stainless steel tool set for Christmas.  David didn’t see the need for it, but was gracious nonetheless.   Now over 10 years later, guess what tools he keeps at hand in the bottom kitchen drawer and whenever he asks me to get him a tool, it’s always “you know, the blue handled ones”  aka one of the “unnecessary” stainless variety!   Our set wasn’t big – it has two sizes of regular screwdrivers, two sizes of phillips screwdrivers and a pair of pliars.  But while the other tools rust, these just keep on doing their job!   These days it appears there are two separate sets, a pliars and wrench set, and the other with three different sizes of regular and phillips screwdrivers.  You can see what I’m talking about here, one of the most useful gifts we’ve received for the boat!

The New Version of My Nikon 8 X 25 Waterproof Binoculars

The New Version of My Nikon 8 X 25 Waterproof Binoculars

5.  My Nikon Binoculars ... We have two “good” pairs of binoculars – one is  7 X 50, one with a built in compass but not waterproof and the other, the fancy stabilization variety – which I must say we rarely use and NEVER used outside the U.S. because there were no markers to look at.    “My” binoculars we originally bought for kayaking and birdwatching – they’re smaller, lighter and waterproof, but not so powerful and no compass.  We love them.  They are always the go to binocs for taking in the dinghy exploring — up a jungle river to watch the sloths, monkeys and colorful birds.   I don’t think they’re a replacement for the real thing with a built in compass, but they’ve sure gotten a lot of use over the past 10 years!  And I use them on watch rather than having to adjust David’s binocs for my eyes.  And I see stuff almost as well as he does.  Besides anything questionable and we turn on the radar to check it out.  Boats with newer electronics would check out AIS, but we don’t have it.

Reef Set: Reef Fish, Creatures and Coral by Paul Humann

Reef Set: Reef Fish, Creatures and Coral by Paul Humann

6.  The Reef Set:  Reef Fish, Creatures and Coral. When we were certified for scuba prior to buying s/v Winterlude, I bought the first book in this set, Reef Fish.  After we went cruising, there was so much coral, starfish, octopus, zillions of things and I wanted to know what all of them are!  So I ended up buying the other two books separately.   It’s much more cost effective to invest in the set!

 

 

 

7.  Kindle It seems like every other cruiser I meet these days is sporting a Kindle or some version of electronic reader.  I’m not entirely sold, but I will admit, it would allow a lot more variety of books aboard without taking up any space.  And since everyone else seems sold on the concept, if you’re inclined, give someone a Kindle!  I learned a tip — if you have two in the same family, put them in the same exact name – that way both Kindles can have the same books without extra charge.  But don’t rely on me to know that’s for sure accurate, do your own research to make certain before you try it.  And leave a comment below and share with the rest of us!

 

 

 

Petzl or Black Diamond Headlamp

Petzl or Black Diamond Headlamp

8.  A Petzl Headlamp.  We started using headlamps back before all the major battery brands had jumped on the bandwagon … and despite having tried a couple of the “battery brands”, we’ve gone back to Petzl or Black Diamond.  None of them last forever, but with these two brands, we’ve had the elastic wear out before the headlamp!  Refreshing.  But the “battery brands” are less expensive … and less reliable.  We use one just about every day — for peering into to dark corners of the engine room, looking for the elusive dropped lock nut when trying to replace the salt water pump/impeller — to looking into the can locker after dark to find a can of pinto beans.

 

 

Tifosi Polarized Sunglasses

Tifosi Polarized Sunglasses

9.  Tifosi Polarized Sunglasses.  My husband David swears by his Tifosi Polarized Sunglasses.  He’s on his second pair.  They’re priced much more reasonably than my favorite, Maui Jim, and seem to be just as effective on the polarization.  When I look through my Maui Jims & then David’s Tifosi’s – they sure look similar to me.  And under $100 seems to be a more reasonable price than ….. a lot more.   Unfortunately Tifosi doesn’t make a frame for narrow faces, otherwise I might have a pair or two!  But looking like Fearless Fly is not me.   🙂   For more information, check out the Tifosi website here.

10.  Dremel. The best multi-purpose tool in the world.  David’s used it for everything … including enlarging the size of the hole of our deck waste fill when the U.S. version was slightly larger than the original Taiwanese version.  Ours is cordless, but the corded version is on this year’s Christmas list now that we’re in the boatyard!  There are a gazillion versions, pick the one that’s right for you & your boat.

 

 

 

11.  The Boat Galley Cookbook!    Of course, we had to add our very own cookbook, just published October 2012!  800+ recipes formulated for use in a boat galley, along with tips on practical info such as how to eliminate boat oven hot spots, provisioning, galley equipment, and more!

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & be sure to enjoy the people in your life more than the presents!  Anyone have something on your Christmas list under $110 that’s not on our list?  Please leave a comment and let us know!  I’m looking for a present for David!  🙂

Comments

  1. Great post! In fact, just yesterday I bought a stainless steel 3-piece wrench/plier set for my hubby .. glad to hear I got something good for him! Binoculars and a hammock are definitely on our list, and I love our e-reader too! Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh, and if I could add one more thing to the list … my original “pirate” t-shirts, waterproof backpacks, gels and soaps at http://www.pickledpirate.com/p/store.html

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