Gift Ideas for Boaters

Santa for Sailors

It’s that season again! Time to make your list and check it twice. If you’ve got a boat owner on your holiday gift list, we have some ideas! 

Of course, if you want to go the Practical Gift route, we recommend stopping in at the Colorado Boat Center and let us provide you with an array of options including water toys, vests, ropes, gloves or a gift card that can be used for maintenance products or service. Trust us, the boat owner on your list will appreciate it!

But you might prefer something more personal, more gifty. That’s fine. Here are some gift ideas for boaters, organized into two categories: Useful and Boaty.

In the Useful category, which we define as gifts any boater will find helpful on his or her boat, we start with the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker.  Not only does this speaker produce a great sound, with excellent bass range, but it’s waterproof and shockproof…both good qualities to have on board. Buy two for a great stereo system, or just use one to easily hook into your wireless system to play tunes, or talk on your telephone. Fits easily into a cup holder and will take all kinds of bumps and drops and keep on playing. Variety of colors. $80 at Amazon.

Yeti is a well-known brand among boaters for their excellent hard and soft-sided coolers, drinkware, bags and more. A lot of boaters we know swear by the Yeti Rambler 14 oz stainless insulated mug. This thing will keep hot drinks hot and cool drinks cool for hours. The Duracoat powder coating will last forever and, because it’s stainless steel, you can drop it, kick it, run over it … well, it will stand up to most anything. $25 at Amazon.

LL Bean is another well-known brand for boaters, making those wonderful canvas totes in several sizes and shapes. These totes look like they were made for carrying stuff onto and off boats, with the heavy duty 24 oz. cotton canvas and handles sewn to tote up to 500 pounds of stuff. Made in Maine, and they’ll add a nice monogram or ship’s name on the side for a bit extra. Bags start at around $25 at

Whether ashore or onboard, the Forma Marine High Back Chair is a sturdy but light-weight addition to any boat. Designed and made in Greece, where they’ve been boating for a few thousand years now, these chairs feature a nice navy Polyfor material with a nautical design, anodized one-inch aluminum frames and special non-skid feet that won’t mark up a deck. $139 at Amazon.

A good pair of binoculars are always handy on board, whether to birdwatch or look out for oncoming trouble. But binocs are large and need a place to stow away. The Roxant Grip Scope, on the other hand, fits easily into a pocket and provides excellent viewing. The grippy coating makes it easy to hold and it’s weather resistant. 6 x 30 viewing range and a retractable eyepiece for use with sunglasses. $40 at Amazon.

Boats need to be tied up and anchored at times. The Hook & Cord Ultimate Boaters Kit comes with 2 bungee dock lines, 1 anchor bungee line and 1 docking bungee rope. Very useful for any captain to help secure tie-ups. Nylon cover protects against UV rays and ensures a long life for these lines. $99 at Amazon.

Everybody’s gone solar, at least when it comes to trickle-charging a boat’s batteries. Lay one of these flexible solar panels on a deck or hardtop roof, and the solar energy will help keep the boat’s batteries topped up and ready to go. Sizes from 3 watts up to 15 watts, priced from $30-100. Available at West Marine (

Next we come to the Boaty gifts: that is. Items with a nautical theme, which your boat owner giftee might find fun to use.

Perfect example: the Hammered Head Bottle and Wine Opener by Umbra. This clever chrome plated zinc tool, shaped like a hammerhead shark, doubles as a wine opener and beer bottle opener. The perfect accessory for an onboard bar! $17 from Amazon.

Want something more boaty? How about the Cletus Cups? These 24-oz. clear plastic mugs have deck cleats as handles. They are great conversation piece as well as being perfect for use onboard a boat – no breakable glass! They come adorned with various nautical terms and sayings. Six inches tall, they hold 24 ozs of coffee or beer. $16 at

Does your boat owner giftee have a lot of nautical books? They might like the handsome Sailing Schooner Bookends.  Beautifully crafted wood and brass bookends with a detailed sailing ship sailing through the books! $38 at Amazon.

And finally, for those looking for a laughter-inducing gift, how about the Captain’s Costume T-Shirt?  Designed to look like an ocean-liner captain’s uniform, with double-breasted jacket, epaulets, necktie and brass buttons, this T-Shirt will endow the wearer with instant gravitas! Around $20 at Amazon.