2014 Christmas Ideas for Cruisers

I love Christmas, but sometimes it’s hard figuring out just the right Christmas present.   Here are some ideas if you’re buying for cruisers.  First remember, that there’s not much room on a boat, storage is usually already occupied, so think useful and compact!  Enjoy your gift-giving!

BoseBluetoothSpeakerBose SoundLink III Bluetooth Portable Speaker …  I have never heard the quality of sound out of a compact bluetooth speaker as the Bose SoundLink.  This one’s been on my wishlist for the last couple of years and I’m hoping David happens to read this!  🙂

Unfortunately our cockpit speakers gave out several years ago and now we have an old speaker insides that David scrounged up in Placencia Belize that is hardwired inside to another speaker – luckily it’s removable for when we don’t need tunes, but it’s still marginal sound quality.  With the Bose SoundLink bluetooth speaker, we’d have all my ITunes music available anywhere – whether at a beach potluck or in the cockpit!

FitBitFlexFitBit Flex We’re not being as good about our walking routine as we were … read “Sail Far! Live Longer” (be sure to watch the video if you’re looking for motivation to get started).

I’m a big believer in staying in shape and when you’re getting a boat ready to go, it’s tough to find time to fit in a 4 mile walk daily.  Now I’m looking for a gimmick to get me going again.  My son swears by the FitBit Flex…. maybe I’ll get one for Christmas!

There are other FitBit’s available, even new ones with heart monitors incorporated, but I’m thinking basic. Here’s what the website says:  Never stop moving with Fitbit Flex. Wear this slim, stylish device all the time and get the motivation you need to get out and be more active. It tracks steps, distance, and calories burned and shows you how you’re stacking up against your daily goals. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you silently in the morning.  Flex is your perfect companion, it’s with you everywhere…even in the shower. Plus, it looks good no matter what you’re wearing. 

SchottStemlessWineGlassSchott Zweissel Tritan Crystal Stemless Wine Glasses.  I’m a wine drinker — and I love drinking it out of a delicate crystal stemless wine glass, but that’s not practical living on a sailboat.  I found the Schott Zwiessel Tritan Crystal stemless wine glasses a couple years ago.  It’s not crystal like my delicate traditional crystal at the lake, but it’s also not nearly as heavy and clunky as glass – somewhere in between.  I like these glasses because the small version 13 ounces fits perfectly in my existing teak glassholders.  And they feel good in my hand.  There are also almost any stemmed varietal version imaginable, so enjoy!

IMG_6695 copyGovino Stemless Wine Glasses  Wine’s answer to the Red Solo Cup!  We stock these by the bundle in both our sailboat and travel trailer.  They’re lightweight plastic, you can’t wash them in the dishwasher, but we don’t have a dishwasher either on the sailboat or in the travel trailer.  The little indentation for your thumb makes them easy to hold, even after just applying sunscreen or bug lotion.  We’ve reordered these glasses multiple times and given them as gifts.

SpanishForCruisersKathy Parson’s Language for Cruisers Books….  If you know a cruiser that’s taking off for distant shores, one of Kathy Parson’s Language for Cruiser’s books is a must have – Spanish or French, these spiral bound books are easy to carry around while you’re shopping for some particularly challenging boat part – the best part is you can just point at the illustration of a hydraulic hose to an alternator and lots of others.  Plus there are phrases for such things as “the engine is overheating” to “How much does it cost to put on 2 coats of paint”.  A necessary accompaniment for any cruiser outside the USA.

The Boat Galley Cookbook Cover 95x120The Boat Galley Cookbook– No matter what anyone tells you, boat cooking IS different from cooking ashore. The space is smaller, there’s no grocery store 5 minutes away, you have fewer prepared foods and electric appliances, and food storage is much different. Besides, my friend Carolyn and I wrote this book, so of course, we think it’s a must have on a boat!   Available either in print or in tablet formats, please buy our book!  🙂


Tilley Hat  Over 20 years ago, we bought Ultimate Hats at the Chicago Strictly Sail Boat Show.  And loved them.  But one blew away and the other is still in my closet, a bit the worse for 15 years of wear.  When we looked at new Ultimate Hats, we decided the quality wasn’t the same.  Then we discovered they supposedly aren’t manufactured in the USA any longer.  Prior to these hats, we had both lusted over Tilley Hats, and still do.  So maybe someone on my Christmas list will get a “real” Tilley hat for Christmas.

David's Native and my Maui Jim wraparound polarized sunglasses

David’s Native and my Maui Jim wraparound polarized sunglasses  

Wrap Around Polarized Sunglasses.   David prefers Native and I prefer Maui Jim, but if you live on a boat be SURE to have SOME type of good quality wrap around (to keep the UV from ruining your eyeballs) polarized (to see what’s just below the water that your boat might otherwise hit) sunglasses.  I know they’re not cheap, but they’re a good investment in your eyesight.  Both our eye doctors recommend we wear good quality wrap around polarized sunglasses.

Or if you like any of these ideas, but don’t have a clue what someone would like … how about a gift certificate – I know BORING … but invaluable to cruisers getting ready to leave the country whose budgets, like ours, kept running short …

Amazon Gift Card

West Marine Gift Card

REI Gift Card

Merry Christmas & Happy Sailing from Commuter Cruiser!   Cheers!  Jan & David




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