This is the ultimate gift-giving guide for boaters! The holiday season officially started when we rolled into December. In Canada, boating is not typically on our mind in the middle of winter, but with the boat shows just around the corner now is the time to think about holiday gift ideas for boaters.  How about a boat show ticket tucked into a stocking, a little red envelope or with a box filled with delicious sufganiyah. It is the perfect gift for a boat enthusiast.

There is no end to what you can give an avid boater.  But we have come up with a list that we think will be a hit with anyone.

Keep the cold in – extreme coolers for boating and outdoor activities

These coolers are designed to keep your food and beverages colder, longer. A key staple to have when fishing or on long boat trips. The Yeti is a high-end product that under the correct conditions will keep the cooler cold for up to a week.  If the price is an issue, then the Coleman Extreme is another good choice.

Waterproof ACR C personal distress light

One thing every boater needs is a small but mighty personal distress light. The ARC C light is a handy tool to have on board.  This compact light easily clicks on to clothes or bags when heading out on the dinghy or tender. More importantly, this rugged, floatable easy twist on activated personal distress light operates for about 30 continuous hours. The C-Light has been approved by USCD/SOLAS. This is an ideal light for boating and all outdoor activities. Check out this great guide to Emergency Positioning Radio Indicating Beacons (EPIRB).

Decking out the deck, not the halls!

Docktail Station for BoatsThis ingenious invention turns even the smallest boat into a beverage lounge. The Docktail Bar transforms your deck into a drink station.  All you need is a fish rod holder and bingo, you have a drink station. Use it to put out cold drinks for the kids, or more sophisticated libations for the adults.  A Docktail bar should be on every boaters list.

Is there such a thing as perfect timing?

We could recommend a ton of boat books, but really boating is a time to do something that you never have time to do. We found a book that isn’t about boating, but can affect how you make decisions while boating! Every captain knows that timing is everything. Split second decisions can save a boat from disaster. But how important is perfect timing?  The first pages of “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”, is a captivating account of the last few hours and the decisions of Captain William Thomas Turner before the luxury liner the  Lusitania sunk in 1915. This book is about cognitive ability and that modern science shows that scheduling and careful timing of our daily routines is crucial to our wellbeing.

The best waterproof cameras

There is no reason to ever have to miss the best photograph while boating! Have you or do you know someone who has dropped their camera in the water? I dropped my Canon into about 5 inches of Water in the Sea of Cortez. Not the waterproof one I had in my other hand. Every boater, hiker or diver needs a waterproof camera. Catch the fish, whales, skiing tricks, sunsets and never worry about water damage.  TechRadar has put together a great list of some of the best options for rugged compact cameras.

Earth-friendly cleaning

Most boaters are very aware of their footprint on nature. But it is not always easy to be eco-focused when living on a boat. Cleaning and laundry still need to get done.  We have a few earth-friendly products that help reduce your footprint on the lakes and oceans. You can introduce these perfect holiday gifts for boaters in your family or circle of friends.

Galley and head options: Norwex is a company improving the quality of life by taking the chemicals out of cleaning. The best sellers are towels and clothes that have anti-bac technology that allows you to clean with virtually no chemicals. From kitchen, bath, kids and pets these products also wash with less soap and dry quickly. And overall, they are less bulky than most so they take up less storage in tight boat spaces. They work through a network of home-based salespeople, so find someone in your neighbourhood and help support a small business while saving the planet!  How good is that?

Reduce plastics: there are so many companies now that are providing alternatives to plastic. Most are perfect for small spaces on boats. Check out the following or find a maker in your hood and keep the Canadian spirit in Canada:  Gogobags and Abeego are two terrific options.

Motorized surfing anyone?

The catching-a-wave phenomenon goes back to the 1930s, and throughout the decades the elusive wave was the issue. But over time that is just how the jet-propelled surfboard came to be:  the need to create and ride the wave at that same time. If you have $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket you could drop it on a German-engineered, jet-powered surfboard that can clock over 30 mph. And if not, stick to a skimboard and read about the history of motorized surfing written by a group of enthusiasts at Jet Surfing Nation.

Happy holidays from the staff at Harbour Insurance Services Inc.

Additional Resources for holiday gift ideas for the boater:

Coolers:  Canadian Tire,  or Atmosphere

More great holiday gift ideas: Dockwa 2018 Boaters’ Holiday Gift Guide

Norwex: Image courtesy of Karen Smyrl

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