2015: Gift Ideas for Boaters

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for someone that lives on a boat?  Since there’s such limited room, finding a gift can be challenging.  Here are a few ideas from stuff we have that we love … or items that are on my Christmas list … hint hint Santa.  🙂   Most of these ideas are less than $100.


Winterlude’s Christmas List Recommendations:  quick caveat — Commuter Cruiser gets a very small percentage if you click on the Amazon links in this post.  So if the ideas appeal to you, please click the links below and support Commuter Cruiser!  THANKS!

H20 version comes in blue, gray, yellow and orange camo (?).

H20 version comes in blue, gray, yellow and orange camo (?).

Waterproof or Weatherproof Scosche Boom Bottle Speaker.  With all the upgrades we’ve been doing to the boat, there’s no money left in the budget to replace the antiquated Jensen CD speaker system. And CD’s take up too much room on the boat – especially when all our tunes are on our phones these days anyway.  So, we “splurged” for our own Christmas gift to each other – a Scosche Boom Bottle H20 Waterproof Bluetooth speaker for the cockpit … or the beach bbq .. or wherever we choose.  The H20 has a big brother, the Boom Bottle that gets slightly better ratings, but it’s only weatherproof, not waterproof and is larger.  Scosche Boom Bottle H20 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker or the  Scosche Boom Bottle WeatherProof Bluetooth Speaker

Or you could opt for the Bose SoundLink II bluetooth speaker that we’ve been lusting for over a couple of years, but spending $200 more than the Schosche still just doesn’t make sense.  But if you want AMAZING sound, the Bose Soundlink II is our recommendation … from listening (and lusting after) a friend’s for a couple years now…)

govinoGoVino Wine Glasses.  We love our GoVino wine glasses – especially the little thumb indent that allows me to easily hold the glass, even with wet hands or sunscreen.  After a few years, the plastic will begin to discolor, but for less than $15 for four, you can’t go wrong.

If you’re looking for slightly better wine glasses that won’t shatter, click on my TrailerTraveler.net Wine Glasses for Our RV post – the TaZa Unbreakable Tritan Shatterproof Plastic Glasses are nice.

Other options too numerous to mention here, but included in the Wine Glasses for our RV post include stainless steel, VinoToGo, “real” crystal that won’t shatter and more.

AscendDryBagAscend Dry Bag with Shoulder Strap.   This Ascend Dry Bag has a nifty shoulder strap and goes everywhere with us.  It’s easy to throw everything we need – my purse, David’s wallet, keys, camera, you name it, it goes in here.  Even my 13″ MacBook Air when I carry it ashore to find wifi.

Plus it comes in other sizes and colors if you need a larger than 10L dry bag.  Highly recommended!


LED Solar Luci Inflatable Light.   The Luci Light little inflatable light caught us a bit offguard, since we already have the LumiQuest SoLite which we love for our cockpit, but it is getting older.   We first spotted the inflatable Luci Lights everywhere on dinghies throughout the Florida Keys.  They are by far the brightest light we’ve seen for a dinghy light and we really like them. And now they’re available in a “frosted” version – even with varying color lights if you’d prefer red or green for Christmas (white is also included in the same light).  So if & when our SoLite decides to give it up, we’ll need to decide if we replace it with a Luci Light or another SoLite.  In the meantime, I really want one of these for OUR dinghy!  🙂

BlackDiamondHeadlampBlack Diamond Spot Headlamp.  We’ve had many headlamps, but we bought the Black Diamond Spot Headlamps on the recommendation of some friends because they’re very bright, have multiple adjustment positions for the light, red night vision settings, long distance to dimmer light settings as well as strobe.  Plus they’re very lightweight (most headlamps slide down over my head and I have to keep pushing them up, but not this one).  And the biggest factor influencing our decision was that they last.  We seem to go through headlamps every couple of years, but I have high hopes based on friends’ experiences for this one!  David has gray and I have blue, so we can tell them apart (his head size and band adjustments are different than mine and it’s frustrating to grab the wrong one in a hurry and have it slide over my head around my neck like a necklace.

With it's own

Mexican Train Dominoes.  Does any cruiser NOT play Mexican Train Dominoes?  Where we’ve cruised, the boat where the game is held gets to set the rules (there seem to be vastly different rules in this game!), so it’s important to have your own set of 12 dot dominoes.  And I’ve never seen a cuter set than this with the included “train station” complete with sound effects!  I’d like to have it myself, but we already have dominoes, so I guess I’ll stick with what I have.  The important thing is to get a set with double 12’s.  You can always start with double 9’s or whatever to shorten the game, but if you have several playing, you’ll want the double 12’s.   ChooChoo!!!

BoatGalleyCookbookCoverThe Boat Galley Cookbook  “The Boat Galley Cookbook” is a perfect gift for anyone with a boat, whether they cruise for the weekend or around the world.  With over 800 recipes and practical advice, Lin Pardey says:  “The Boat Galley Cookbook answers almost every question I have ever been asked about cooking afloat. Small galley or large galley, you’ll find loads of good ideas and interesting recipes to make life afloat easier and tastier too.”   I’m one of the authors, and enjoyed writing the cookbook we wished we would have had aboard when we left to go cruising. 

Best Beer Koozie in the World

Best Beer Koozie in the World

Bottle Koozie.  “Oh Boy, Another Koozie”… just wait!  Chillin’ the Most makes (and patented) the best Bottle Coozie we’ve ever used!  It uses a standard Thermos stainless bottom with a special bottle top that keeps David’s beer chilled – quite a challenge in the tropics to have a beer stay chilled longer than the first few sips.  We gave these are Christmas gifts a few years ago.  Everyone opened them, said to themselves “oh great, another koozie”, but once they tried it, they ordered some for Christmas gifts for lucky recipients on their lists the following year.  And the top is removable so you can use it for a can as well.

PolaroidPolaroid Instant CameraPolaroid Instant Cameras were all the rage while I was growing up.  Of course, we weren’t lucky enough to have one, but whenever someone would give me a photo from one, I was thrilled.  Now there’s a new version of a Polaroid Instant Camera and I wish I’d had one when we were cruising the San Blas Islands.  The kids would have been thrilled.  I’m guessing anywhere you cruise, this would be a hit.  Be careful though, it will be easy to get swamped with everyone wanting their photo taken!

WaterproofCameraNikon Coolpix Underwater Camera.   Since my last underwater camera died a few years back, I thought I could use my IPhone in a LifeProof case as an underwater camera.  Turns out, that just doesn’t work well.  🙁   So I have my eye on this Nikon CoolPix Underwater Camera for under $100.  Hopefully Santa will be reading this post!   🙂

SuperBowl-11Home Team NFL or College ApparelWhen you’re cruising, you’re probably not in the company of all your hometown friends who are avid fans of the same teams. Go COLTS!  Go IU Hoosiers! Whether it’s pro or college, it’s always fun to get together with other cruisers to watch the game at a hangout near where you’re anchored.  We enjoyed this game in Roatan (and luckily my Colts beat David’s Bears).  We organized a Super Bowl party in the San Blas where the Patriots unfortunately took home the prize and the Kunas thought cruisers were crazy.

And last but far from least …

FitBitMy FitBit HR.  We got FitBit HR‘s this past summer.  Since then we’ve worn them non-stop.  I’m getting tan lines with my snazzy plum HR (size SMALL – they do come in different sizes).  I’m not convinced of the accuracy, but we love the fact that they remind us to MOVE.  Our goal is 10,000 steps a day, and it’s amazing how easy it is to sit in front of my computer writing for hours.  David usually gets his steps in before I do, but we both get them, most days.  Since we’ve been on the boat, I realize it’s going to be even more difficult to get 10,000 steps if we’re anchored or moored out and it’s ratty weather.  It’s going to be an interesting challenge this winter cruising season.  Usually you think of cruising as being such a physically active lifestyle, and it is to some extent.  But then there are other days….

Whether you do gifts or not (some years we decide not to give each other gifts), enjoy every minute of the holidays with family or friends or however you choose to celebrate.   HAPPY THANKSGIVING and MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Cheers!  Jan


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