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Handy gifts for a new boat owner

Updated on December 5, 2014

New boat owners need lots of handy gifts and gadgets (and Mother's Day and Father's Day are approaching!)

John, my very significant other, just bought another boat so I've been made aware (by him....) of handy gifts for a new boat owner and, since there always seems to be a holiday or birthday approaching, I've been shopping!

Yes, that's right, my boat owner boyfriend has dropped hints about fish finders, tackle boxes, compact dish sets, etc. Perhaps they're not the most romantic gifts ever, but any of the items on this article will make him happy and that makes me happy....

And, it doesn't really matter what the size of the boat is or the season, there's always a bunch of gadgets or gifts that are needed by new boat owners. So, even though Christmas is right around the corner and boating season may be waning for those of us here on the Chesapeake Bay, there are still some great gifts to get that boat owner. Whether it's Christmas, Chanukah, birthday, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, I've found some great gifts!

I've discovered that finding and buying just the right gifts for a new boat owner are much cheaper on the internet that at the local boating store. I'm sure you'll find that too, just by seeing some of the great items and prices of things I've found.

Note: All pictures on this article, except for the google images, were taken by me.

Portable Travel Bars

Click the link there in the left to see this great travel bar
Click the link there in the left to see this great travel bar

Make it easy for your sailor friend to have his or her favorite cocktail on board

A portable bar is the perfect gift for a new boat owner as boats are really just floating parties (please boat responsibly....).

John and I never leave port without our Picnic Time Manhattan Insulated Two-Bottle Cocktail Case/Bar Tool Kit. This bar holds two bottles of liquor so there's Scotch for him and Vodka for me. I usually tote along cheese and crackers too so, once we're anchored out, party if ON!

A portable travel bar is not only great for boating, but also for using while camping, tailgating, or picnicing - you get the idea.

Captain's Hats

Captain's hats

I love a fella in uniform, even if it's my fella wearing this nifty Captain's hat.

With an adjustable band in the back (adjusts between 56-60 cm), this Captain's hat will fit even the most swelled boater's head!

This yachters hat is made of 100% cotton so is not going to be real hot in the sun. The gold trim this hat look particularly official. This is a fun gift for a new boat owner!

Dry Pak Cases

Dry Pak Cases Protect Your Non-Waterproof Belongings

The first thing I do before boarding the boat is to put my cell phone in this dry pak case. I've lost enough cell phones now to have learned my lesson.

These cases are also excellent protection against any element Mother Earth can throw at you, including sand and surf. I use a Dry Pak eReader protector for my Kindle while I'm sitting on the boat or on a beach.

I like the Dry Pak brand as the little levers at the top lock very securely. I've had my cell phone waterproof sack for 8 years now and it still works perfectly on the boat and the jetski.

Boat Repair Books

Every boat owner needs a few basic books on boat repair

If it can happen, it will....

We had a boat, The Bartender, that appeared to be possessed; every single time we took it out on the Bay, something happened. If it wasn't the left outrigger going bad, it was the right. So, our 'new' boat (circa 1990) was in dry dock a whole lot. It also was very expensive to repair that boat - if only we'd had the ability to do some of it ourselves.

The boat maintenance book to the right there sells very well on my own website. Customer reviews prove that it is a clear standout in the class of boat maintenance.

Captain's Logs

Weems & Plath The Cruising Log
Weems & Plath The Cruising Log

John was going for his 6-pack Captain's license and needed to track the hours he'd been on his boat. Once I figured out these boat cruising logs existed, it was the first thing under the Christmas tree.

This cruising log is not only a great way to keep track of hours on an engine, etc, but it's also fun to look back over the past and see where we anchored out, what we did, who we did it with, etc.

Pick up this cruising log as an excellent stocking stuffer for a boat captain. They'll love you forever.

 
Weems & Plath The Maintenance Log
Weems & Plath The Maintenance Log

One thing I've learned about boats; they need maintenance about every single time they're out on the water. Sometimes, your sailer friend will have to do maintenance even when they're NOT on the water!

This Weems and Plath Maintenance Log is a great gift for a new boat owner as they can keep track of every single service they perform on their boat. And, when they go to trade it in for an even bigger boat (!), they can hand this boat maintenance log over to the new owner. That's a great selling point for a new purchaser.

 
Weems & Plath Boat Log Book Teak Cover (Blank Plate)
Weems & Plath Boat Log Book Teak Cover (Blank Plate)

There's nothing like teak wood on a boat, even if the only teak is a cover to one of the boat maintenance or captain's logs.

I gave this Weems and Plath Teak Cover to John 7 years ago when I met him - it's protected his maintenance log ever since. The thing still looks brand new, even after an unintentional swim in the drink one day.

 

Log Books For Boaters
Check out another of my articles to see more detailed information about log books for boaters (there's some pretty inexpensive options on that article too).

Sailboat owners will particularly find these handheld wind meters handy

These handheld wind meters are very accurate and can make the difference between a pleasant sailing day or a day when one is caught in small craft warning seas.

Just point the wind meter into the wind, press a button and the readout will give your favorite boat owner a reading of wind speeds from 0.5mph to 99mph. These wind meters also float which is helpful when one blows overboard...yes, it does happen...sigh.

Weather Stations

Keep your boater safe with weather information

John and I never take the boat out without making sure that our marine radio works.

It is imperative that every boater be alerted to inclement weather conditions and small craft advisories. The Cobra Marine Waterproof VHF Radio will receive 10 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) channels along with all US, Canadian and international channels.

Just clip this to a belt or hand from the enclosed lanyard so it's always close at hand. It comes with a 12V charger (goes into a cigarette lighter) or can also be run off batteries.

Don't leave port without it!

Cockpit Organizers and Boat Organizers in General

Boat storage items

I don't care if the boat you're supplying is a 15 foot with a Cutty cabin or a mini-yacht, for some reason, there's never enough storage space on a boat. It's not, after all, like you can go to the basement to get an extra roll of paper towels.

This below the seat organizer takes advantage of wasted space on a boat. It will fit on any affixed chair and can be used to hold just about anything your boat captain needs.

BoatMates Seat Pack
BoatMates Seat Pack

I also love this behind the seat boat organizer. Store items you'd like handy for the captain, like snacks, foul weather gear, safety equipment, or even fishing tackle. This is a very unique storage container for a boat, and I guarantee that your new boat owner will love it. This particular boat seat storage fits almost any captain's chair.

The only thing before you buy this boat organizer is to make sure that there is enough area to walk around behind the Captain's chair if that's where you're hoping this boat storage will go. On The Bar Tender, John's new boat, the captain's chair in the cockpit won't allow use of this product - drats.

 

Hand crank radios

Hand crank radios give a sailor a way out of (what could be) a tough spot

These hand crank radios are a good investment for every boat - if, for nothing else, assurance that there is always a radio station handy and a cell phone can be charged. Most hand crank radios come with a flashlight, cell phone charging port. Some can be charged using its own solar panel or plugged into DC or AC power. The hand crank radio in the first link below can even be charged off a computer USB port. And, they're not expensive at all; they go anywhere from around $20 to $50 - that's a good investment for any boat owner.

To see this hand cranked radio, you can click the link below:

Ambient Weather WR-111B Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger with NOAA Certified Weather Alert & CablesCheck Price

There are bad days boating - this person obviously didn't know anything about boating safety

There are bad days boating - this person obviously didn't know anything about boating safety
There are bad days boating - this person obviously didn't know anything about boating safety

Boarding Handles and Boat Boarding Ladders

Windline Marine S.S. Boarding Handle BH1
Windline Marine S.S. Boarding Handle BH1

This boat handle fits into any standard fishing pole holder and makes boarding a boat much easier and safer. I personally will never get on The Bar Tender without it!

 

A boat boarding handle - One of the essential gifts for boat owners

During our first trip on The Bar Tender, we had to move it from the marina in Baltimore where John bought it, down to Harrington Harbor where his slip was. It was January and cold out, but that was ok as the cockpit is all enclosed by canvas so we were comfortable. And, I had on 3 ayers of clothes and even came equipped by wearing my brand new Uggs boots that John gave me for Christmas. All was fine. Until...

We stopped to get gas and, as John was coming into the dock, when he put the engine into reverse, it died. Dead in the water as the saying goes (ha ha). So, I did what any good first mate would do and tried to save the bow from hitting the dock. Unfortunately, during my unthought out maneuver, I hit the drink - that's right - I took one for the team in 38 degree bay water. My wet Uggs and those handy layers of clothing sent me right down to the bottom of the Bay which, thankfully, was only around 6.5" right where I went. Even with my watersoaked Uggs thoug, I came up walking on water! John fished me out - thank you Lord for a wonderful boyfriend, and dried me off. Next thing I knew, I was in a new change of warm clothes, a tervis tumbler full of bourbon in my hand and I was hanging on this time!

The reason I took one for the team? There was no HANDLE on which to hold onto the boat when I stepped out to the ledge on the side! So, I fixed that problem the next time I dialed up Amazon. We have this exact boat handle. I love the thing!

See our boat boarding handle in the left down there? My favorite boat accessory EVER!

See our boat boarding handle in the left down there? My favorite boat accessory EVER!
See our boat boarding handle in the left down there? My favorite boat accessory EVER!

Some of my other boating articles you might like

I've written quite a few articles about boating some of which are below. You'll find a whole slew of different gift items within these articles, so grab a cup of coffee and start surfing.

Must-have pontoon boat accessories
Pontoon boats spell p-a-r-t-y and that's what's on this article - items you must have on a pontoon boat to ensure a good time will be had by all.

Jet ski necessities - everything you need for a day of riding a wave runner
Once we bought a jet ski, I was off and running! Here's the things I found that I most needed while on the water.

Using The Instant Fisherman Fishing Pole - Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy
I love my Instant Fisherman; it didn't matter to me that I got laughed at on the pier a few times. I always caught fish!

There is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

- Kenneth Grahame

Pool Floats For Adults
I'm a champion floater and here's some of my favorite pool floats - work perfectly well in the bay also.

Christmas boat decorations - deck your boat with boughs of holly
Just a fun article with some great pictures of boats decked out for Xmas

Boat teak maintenance and restoration
It's a fact of life - teak must be maintained....

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

Running right ahead of a cold front - we did beat it but barely!

Running right ahead of a cold front - we did beat it but barely!
Running right ahead of a cold front - we did beat it but barely!

I wish you fair winds

and following seas

Another view of a few chairs on the bow of John's beautiful boat

My favorite seating on Namaste, John's sailboat.
My favorite seating on Namaste, John's sailboat.

Got a boat? - Got comments?

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    • profile image

      Namaste12 5 years ago

      Wonderful articles. You even gave me a few ideas .. You are right. Safety cannot be stressed enough when you're away from land and out in the water. I love the quotes you picked.. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream. Discover."

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Don't own a boat and probably never will but you sure give plenty of information on this lens for those who do own a boat. Blessed!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Yep, we have the boat and the darn thing has more accessories than I do. It seems like there is always one more gadget that it needs. Some terrific gift ideas here for the boat owner.

    • profile image

      Alohagems 5 years ago

      This lens me of our boat that has been sold weeks ago.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved the article, great information on boating! Thanks for the information! Please check out our site on boat insurance at www.nboat.com!

    • profile image

      seandsmith 5 years ago

      Loved the article, great information on boating! Really enjoyed it! Please check out our site on boat insurance at www.nboat.com!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are all great boat gifts! Love the pack for the back of a boat seat. Makes so much sense to use all the space available.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Nice list of boat-owner-worthy gifts. :)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Very comprehensive list. I would never have thought of floating keys. LOL

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      aahhh very good. When thinking of a gift for my son, it had never crossed my mind to get him something to use on his boat!

    • samsipet profile image

      samsipet 5 years ago

      You have some really cool stuff here, like that portal shower system, I could really use one of those.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      No, we don't have a boat right now but have had one in the past and these are all great gifts for the boat owner.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      Here in Florida we have a LOT of boat owners. I had so much fun reading your lens. Blessings.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      Those key floats sure look handy and useful

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, I don't have a boat but that rolling ice cream maker sounds like a perfect gift for some kids I know! They could simulate a rocking boat, right?! Fun stuff here!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      I'm not at all nautical but loved your photos. If anyone ever gives me a boat I'll know where to come.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 4 years ago

      I wouldn't mind some of these as gifts for myself and I don't have a boat. Nice selection.

    • profile image

      NeoDoc 4 years ago

      I simply can't imagine a more complete list of boat "toys". As a boat owner I'll bookmark your lens and reference it often. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Endless ideas for new boat owners and many items for those who have been boat owners for some time!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      My brother owns a large boat and generally spends a large part of his summer out boating. He recently managed to reel in the $10,000 prize in a fishing derby so he was thrilled.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I don't have a boat yet, but I know couple of guys who do. Really great selection of gifts. Practical and cute!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image
      Author

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      @CoffeeWriter LM: Thankfully, my skipper is well schooled and very very careful. That boat on the rocks was not ours (whew!). They were coming into the harbor at night and were drinking - duh!

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 4 years ago

      Well, I don't have a boat but if I did I'm sure I'd send this lens to my friends!

    • OneHappyFeet profile image

      OneHappyFeet 4 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Great selection of wonderful useful gifts. I have another one - I'll contact you elsewhere.

    • profile image

      StrongMay 4 years ago

      Used to, but now sadly she is gone (burnt! Ouch!) and my family is looking at new boats. All our equipment was on board during the fire, so when we get a new boat it will be time for some serious shopping.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Returning to congratulate you on home page honors on this endless shopping list for new boat owners....and with many items for those who have owned a boat for some time!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I think you have chosen just the right things for boat owners.

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 4 years ago

      I used to have a boat when I lived in Florida. It sounds cheesy, but I think one of the best boat gifts is a traditional compass. Something unique to your boat too. Maybe it's theme can be based off the name of the boat. You can go in many different directions with it, pun intended!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Hi! I don't know how many bout owner are nowadays in USA, but your lens is great. Blessings!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Excellent Lens and products, might have to forward to my better half!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I'm sure your very significant other is very pleased with all your research efforts! :) *blessed

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Wow! There are so many wonderful ideas here. How to choose one????

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We are anxious to buy our first boat for Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Thanks for all the ideas about other stuff we should think about as well!

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Great ideas! I love the bottle openers. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What great suggestions! Mom and Dad (new boat owners) are now getting Go-Anywhere Chairs for Christmas. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      Great ideas! My dad is a boat owner, and I've bought some of the gifts on this page for him on previous holidays, but now I have even more ideas for next Christmas.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      All I can say is WOW! This is a wonderful display of everything a boat owner would love. ~blessed~

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      cool ideas thanks for your sharing!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago

      A great collection of gifts for the boat owner.

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      What a great selection of boat gifts. Outstanding

    • Unlimited11-11 profile image

      Tom McHugh 3 years ago from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA

      Wow. What a list!

    • profile image

      rubiduong 3 years ago

      cool lenses

    • Guy E Wood profile image

      Guy E Wood 3 years ago from USA

      Hey, this is great stuff. Planning to move aboard and cruise full time, so your information is right on the mark!

      Onward!

    • ForGoodPeople profile image

      Pinar Unlu 3 years ago from Mugla Turkey

      Great list, my husband is a captain, I am in chartering business, I'll keep them in mind and come back time to time.. The chair is great !

    • Jim Houston profile image

      Jim Houston 3 years ago from Wilmer, Alabama

      Great stuff and lots I would like to have. We have a 32' sailboat and I understand how important many of these items are.

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