From clothing, to toys and gadgets... there are plenty of things that a keen sailor will enjoy, here are just a few ideas to get you started...
10 quick gift ideas for the sailor in your life
- Sailing clothing - a hat, gloves, shoes, jacket or trousers.
- Shore kit - a t-shirt or sweatshirt with boats on.
- A picture, photograph or calendar.
- A chandlery gift card.
- Books or videos.
- Gadgets like watches, torches or sunglasses.
- Bags - a new kit bag, rucksack or waterproof bag.
- Boat bits - blocks, winches, wind indicators.
- RNLI membership or gifts from the RNLI shop.
- New sails or even, if you're feeling really flush, a new boat!
A nice jacket
Gill’s Inshore jacket is a stylish crew jacket that is ideal for wearing both on board and ashore or in the dinghy park. Available in men’s (silver or graphite colourways) and women’s (silver colourway) cuts, it’s a versatile jacket that’s sure to become a favourite. See Gill Marine. RRP: £159.
Carbon wind-indicator or new burgee
Want to make someone the envy of the dinghy park next season, and give them an ultra-sensitive wind indicator to boot? Check out the rather sexy-looking carbon Feather Vane wind-indicator from Race 1. See your local chandlery or Force 4.RRP: £39.95. Failing that, even a new traditional burgee makes a nice stocking filler for the dinghy sailor in your life.
A warm midlayer
Henri Lloyd's Elite Therm Mid Layer Jacket and Salopettes are just the thing for colder weather sailing. The outer layer offers 100 per cent water and wind protection, whilst the thick pile lining in the jacket offers excellent thermal insulation. See Henri Lloyd. RRP: Jacket: £145 Salopettes: £140.
Featuring an integrated rudder reference module Lewmar's new autopilots are widely compatible with popular control units and should be easier to install. RRP: From £1,700. See more on autopilots in our detailed feature.
5. Antique pond yacht
Rather than a cheesy model yacht, why not get the sailor in your life a real antique pond yacht. These are working models that were used for racing and have been carefully renovated by Josh Ritchie. See Pond Yacht. Prices from around £375.
6. Hat and gloves
Musto’s Windstopper hat is made from wool/acrylic mix for maximum warmth with a special membrane to keep out the water. perfect for winter sailing on boats big and small.
Meanwhile, the company’s Performance Winter Glove is the ideal thing to stop those fingers suffering in the colder months. Made of neoprene with a high grip palm in durable polyurethane and reinforced fingers to minimise rope burn, the glove is designed to withstand the harshest conditions, without hindering your dexterity. See Musto. RRP: Gloves: £35.00 Hat: £30.00.
7. Sailing trainers or shoes
Sperry’s ASV Athletic Boat Shoes are very lightweight but substantial. Quick-drying they are ideal for wearing both on board and ashore (they have slightly stiffer soles than some sailing trainer designs) and they look great too. See Sperry Topsider. RRP: £110. See more boat shoes here.
Dubarry is the sailor's classic, and while there are plenty of alternatives these days they still hold a special place in sailing fashion. Choose from more classic designs like the Ultima, which features fully leather uppers in a classic brown leather. Alternatively, try the more extreme Crosshaven boot, which includes a gaiter and reinforced toe. Ultima RRP: £279. Crosshaven RRP: £379.
Harken’s Performa Carbon Racing winches are the business… so why not treat your yacht to some new deck hardware? The Performa features a sandblasted drum optimised for halyard and sheeting applications using smaller high-tech racing lines. See Harken for details.
Coasters, jewellery, cards, mugs
Claudia Myatt’s beautifully illustrations are now available in a variety of formats. While her lovely watercolours are a great idea for the wall, these great coasters are just £3.50 each. She also offers a number of great books - especially Go Sailing, which is a great book to help teach children and adults alike about sailing (see also 25 best boating books for children). See Claudia Myatt for details.
Okay it might be winter, but the world looks brighter with new sunglasses. Bolle’s Anaconda glasses feature polarised, polycarbonate Lenses, so they’re ideal for sailing. Available from a variety of outlets including LDC Sailing. RRP: £99.00. For more information on selecting sunglasses for sailors, see Sunglasses on the water.
Perfect stocking-fillers, whether it's a set of sheet or halyard blocks, or maybe a special mainsheet block or system... These smart blocks are from Harken.
Bag up all your kit
Why not start the new season with a nice new kit bag? It's amazing how nice it can be to ditch that old grotty one with the broken zips! This example from Rooster Sailing is big enough to fit all your sailing gear, with handy side pockets and a smart black or red/white design. It's available in three sizes 35, 60 and 90 litre. RRP: 35 Litre: £45; 60 Litre: £60; 90 Litre £65.
Slam's Winter Sailing Vest is water-repellent and fleece lined, with two fleece lined front pockets and an internal pocket. Perfect for sailing and shore wear. Looking for something warmer still? Slam's Winter Sailing Jacket is lined with a 330g fleece inner and an additional 60g padding layer to ensure maximum warmth in cold conditions. It also has adjustable cuffs, two fleece lined pockets and a waterproof roll-away hood. See Slam UK for details. RRP: Gilet: £107.50 .
"Useless unless worn" - is the RNLI line on lifejackets for sailors (and powerboaters), so it makes sense to get one that is comfortable, easily adjustable and fully featured.
Worn by yacht brokers and racers, and anyone who doesn't like the flapping, clanking bulk of most typical lifejacket designs, the Spinlock Deckvest is the Rolls Royce of lifejackets and fits easily and snugly.
Gone are the clanking D-rings for attaching your harness lines, replaced by super-strength weightless fabric. The adjustment straps are all to hand and work smoothly and all the extras come as standard including crotch straps, a harness cutter, a hood and a high-intensity flashing LED light on a stalk that activates upon inflation. Available in 170N and 250N buoyancy sizes. RRP: £189.99.
Dry bags are obviously a brilliant idea, but wearable ones are even better. Rain or shine, quick trip ashore or all-day excursion, what's the point of having a non-waterproof bag?
The Overboard Pro Sports bag is a 100 per cent waterproof rucksack (IP66 Class 3), made of lightweight TPU fabric that is comfortable enough to wear all day. It has padded shoulder straps, an air-flow design on the padded back (to dissipate heat), plus an adjustable sternum strap and waist belt to take the pressure off your shoulders. The bag also comes in a 30-litre size.
B&G's electronics and navigation kit has also moved more into the mainstream having long been the preserve of ocean and offshore racers.
Zeus2 multi-touch sailing chartplotter combines the unique B&G SailSteer screen with the more modern feel of the Zeus Touch with a faster processor, more charting options and better graphics. It does tricks that no other plotter can do, offering you upwind sailing laylines with tide and leeway factored in; a compass rose view that displays the wind shifts alongside your own heading, the bearing to the mark and the opposite tack heading. It's very smart and removes the worry from sail navigation (meaning you're less likely to switch on the engine and just point straight at the mark!). RRP: From £1,435.
The price of new waterproofs is never easy to swallow, especially as the developments in the field of breathable waterproof fabrics seem to have slowed almost to a standstill. But Musto has at least come up with something out of left field: photoluminescent reflectors. Unlike normal reflectors that reflect like mad when a light shines at them, photoluminescent reflectors absorb light energy to create a luminous glow in the dark. MPX Gore-Tex Offshroe Race Jacket, RRP: £499.
Great new watch
Using your watch at night either requires a finger on the light button (who's holding on to the boat?) or a glow-in-the-dark watch face.
Nite Watches use a technology called GTLS (Gaseous Tritium Light Source), which is a completely self-powered cold light source, to glow in the dark.
Cylindrical glass capillaries are filled with phosphor and tritium, then sliced by a laser and fitted to the face of the watch. Unlike normal glow-in-the-dark paint, which dims the longer it goes without seeing a light source to recharge, Tritium lasts for years – depending on the amount used in the design.
The Quartz-movement Icon T100 is a hard-wearing waterproof glass crystal-faced all-rounder that doubles as a dress watch, but the night-vision is what it's really all about. RRP: £400. See also 10 of the best marine watches for sailing and watersports.
Peli's 2720 headtorch is 80 lumens of blinding white light with a terrific high-tech feature: you can switch it on and off without touching it, using instead infra-red "gesture" activation. Simply wave your hand in front of the light and it turns on or off.
It’s super-lightweight with an adjustable width beam, 4x magnification and various head straps depending on whether you’re wearing a hat or not. Plus there’s also a red SOS beacon for emergency situations. RRP: £60.13.
Used by America’s Cup sailors none the less, these handy water bottles are available in a variety of colours as well as plan stainless steel (less likely to get chipped, but not quite as fun to look at). The 532ml size with a sports cap is very handy, there are larger sizes and smaller sizes for children and a variety of cap options. Reusable and environmentally friendly a great solution to ensure you always have water handy both ashore and afloat. See Klean Kanteen for stockists. RRP: £14.99.
Pusser’s Rum Yachting decanter
The classic sailor’s navy rum in a decanter that will mean your gift will live on after the last drop has been consumed. You’ll have to search a bit to find one of these. See Masters of Malt for some examples, or search eBay. RRP: from £79.99.
For the love of waves t-shirt
For any of us using the water, cleaner seas are a common aim, so buying something that supports Surfer’s Against Sewage, which actively campaigns for cleaner water and beaches, can only be a good thing. This t-shirt’s pretty cool as well and made from organic cotton. RRP: £25.00
Bamboo Coffee Cup
Dishwasher-proof and in some great colours, another way to keep waste out of our oceans. Surfers Against Sewage RRP: £12.00.
You're never too old for a boat in the bath! Try the RNLI's shops (at local RNLI stations) for some great examples, like Lifeguard Lucy (who is on a PWC) or Rescue Boat Bob. Wow Toys also make a great Fire Boat and Police Boat, both of which squirt water, available from many high street retailers. Bob RRP: £7.95. Lucy RRP: £4.95.
After more ideas? Take a look at Best Christmas gifts for boaters.