Best Sailing Gifts

Give the sailors you know something special and appropriate for sailing—a gift not for the boat but for that special person aboard.

Harbor Sweets

Harbor Sweets

Here’s a selection of chocolates and other treats in nautical shapes and designs, perfect for sailors with a sweet tooth. All are handmade in a traditional New England sailing town. My personal favorite is the Sweet Sloops, a sailboat-shaped almond butter crunch with a mainsail and jib of white chocolate floating in dark chocolate with pecan spindrift. Many different assortments and gift boxes.

Good Old Boat Gift Subscription

© Good Old Boat. © Good Old Boat

The slogan for Good Old Boat magazine is “The Sailing Magazine for the Rest of Us!” Unless you’re shopping for or have just bought a brand-new sailboat, this magazine is chock-full of articles covering almost everything you need to keep your sailboat running or make upgrades you can do yourself. Well written, with beautiful and useful photos, Good Old Boat reviews classic sailboats, discusses the best gear, and gives step-by-step procedures for repairs and maintenance. They also have a great selection of books and clothing items that make excellent gifts.

Pentax WG-1 Waterproof Digital Camera

© Pentax. © Pentax

Here's a new palm-size 14-megapixel digital camera that is perfect for boaters. With a 5X optical zoom and a pages-long list of advanced features, this is not a point-and-shoot but a serious camera that happens to be tiny and—most important for sailors—waterproof (to 33 feet). Don’t worry about spray or rain, dust, or the shock of being dropped. Automatic focus and lots of mode settings let you grab shots on the fly, but other features like smile-recognition, close-ups, HDMI video, and onboard editing give you all the power you need. Plus you can use it snorkeling and take lengthy videos underwater! Long-lasting battery allows hundreds of shots between charges. GPS model offers location-tagging. And a choice of colors.

SailorBags Tote or Duffel

© SailorBags. © SailorBags

Combining good looks and the rugged construction of new sailcloth, SailorBags totes and duffels are a perfect way to carry gear and clothing aboard your boat. The triple-layer bottom resists wear and tear, and the water-resistant exterior and waterproof internal liner combine with a zippered top and pockets to protect your things against all the elements. What sailor doesn't like the appearance of sailcloth and stitching? Plus they're guaranteed for life. Available in various sizes and shapes for every need. New sailcloth items include accessories like wine bags, computer bags, and iPad sleeves - making perfect less expensive gifts!

Best Boating Apps

Boater's Pocket Reference app

There are many excellent apps for Apple and Android devices that sailors and other boaters will find useful. Browse through this guide to navigation, tides, and other boating apps.

Boat Name Gear

Boat Name Gear

A great gift for sailors is a shirt or boating item customized with the boat’s name, hailing port, or other personal information. Boat Name Gear has a wide variety of shirts, sweatshirts, hats, fleece vests and other apparel, as well as boat bags, boarding mats, and other gear that they customize just the way you want it. The shirts and fabrics are done with tasteful, quality embroidery that will make the wearer proud! Great for a gift to the captain or all the crew on a race boat. They also have a variety of interesting, useful, and entertaining nautical gifts well worth checking out.

Mr Beams UltraBright Lantern


The Mr Beams UltraBright Lantern is a good lantern for a boat when you need battery-powered light or to recharge your smartphone.

Survival Strap Fish Tail Bracelet for Sailors

Sailor Bracelet

The Survival Strap bracelet is an attractive piece of jewelry perfect for sailors who also appreciate its usefulness in an emergency. The bracelet unwinds to provide 15 feet of very strong cord for emergency use.

Keen Newport Sandals

© Tom Lochhaas. © Tom Lochhaas

Probably the best sandals designed for boaters, the Keen Newport model is everything you could want in a boat shoe but with the cool comfort of a sandal. They have a sturdy, nonmarking sole that grips the deck wet or dry. They’re waterproof and comfortable after hours of wear. Best, and unlike most sandals, their design protects your toes from being stubbed when you’re moving quickly about on the boat. Available in several colors and men’s and women’s sizes. You’ll like them so much you’ll wear them everywhere!

Weems and Plath Trysail Weather Station

© Weems and Plath. © Weems and Plath

Here’s a classic for boat, home, or office that connects you to the beauty and history of sail. Combining clock, barometer, and thermometer/hygrometer in beautiful brass on a mahogany base, the Weems and Plath Trysail Weather Station is a work of art that’s also quite useful. The fine workmanship will be appreciated by any sailor.

Food for Sailors

Rum Cake

Here are three of the best prepared foods that keep and can be ready for a great meal or dessert aboard as boat.

A Sailor's Hammock

© Yellow Leaf.

There's a good reason why historically sailors have always relaxed or slept aboard on hammocks: they're supremely comfortable and easy to stow away, and they replace a boat's often violent motion with gentle swinging. A Yellow Leaf hammock would make a great addition to your boat or gift for a favorite sailor. Not only are they attractive, well made, strong and durable, and weatherproof and mildew-resistant, but they're woven by hand by the Mlabri Tribe of Thailand in a program committed to environmental and economic sustainability. Do good for the world as you feel good in your beautiful hammock. The deep queen size holds one or two people securely and is perfect on deck or in the cabin. Learn more and order at the Yellow Leaf website.

Toweligator Clamps


Here's a clever little device with multiple uses on a sailboat - not the least of which is replacing clothespins that never seem to hold towels and laundry as tightly on the lifelines as you'd like. Toweligators are tough little spring clamps (in the gator's jaws) combined with a bendable tail. As shown here, the tail can be wrapped around things for more support, and they can also anchor your beach towel into the sand like a tent peg or keep a towel in place on your lounge chair.

Speedy Stitcher for Sails and Marine Canvas

Speedy Stitcher
Speedy Stitcher.

This great little device should be aboard every boat carrying sails or any kind of canvas. It takes only a few minutes to make small repairs when you catch a seam giving way or need to sew in a patch.

Ice Lite II from Tool Logic

Ice Lite II
Ice Lite.

The Ice Lite II is a useful, small, inexpensive multi-tool for every sailors pocket or ditty bag. Boaters have tools for the boat and engine, but the Ice Lite is more of a personal toolkit with items not usually found in the boat's toolbox. The size of a credit card but a little thicker, it contains tiny flat and Phillips screwdrivers (sized for eyeglasses), tweezers, scissors, a nail file, and - my favorite - an LED red light. A red light won't hurt your night vision the way a regular flashlight will, and every sailor should have one in case of being caught out in the dark.

The Casio Pathfinder - A Sailor's Watch

Casio Pathfinder Watch

This watch has more features that sailors like and can use than almost any other. Read the full review for the details.

Sailing Books

Books always make a great gift for sailors, whether narratives or novels, seamanship of boat maintenance.

Atlantis US SAILING Technical Shirt

© Atlantis WeatherGear. © Atlantis WeatherGear

Atlantis WeatherGear is a boutique sailing clothing manufacturer specializing in technical outerwear and base layers for sailors who demand the best. The long-sleeve US SAILING Technical Shirt has the quality and features sought by professional racers but is just as comfortable and high-performance on an afternoon’s day-sail. It’s lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. Wear it alone on a warm day for sun protection or as the base layer under a jacket or foul weather gear.

Gifts for the Boat - Lights and Comforts

Here's a brief article about four simple items you can buy as gifts to make a boat brighter and more enjoyable!

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Watersports Shoe

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Shoe

This is a nice alternative to going barefoot for sailors who like minimal footwear: a good grip on the deck, lightweight, comfortable. Read the review and see if this would make a great gift for that special sailor.

Fresh Wave Odor Eliminators

Fresh Wave

Boat interiors often develop unpleasant smells as a result of dampness and poorly circulating air - to say nothing of the boat's head. Several products from Fresh Wave help eliminate boat smells using a natural, nontoxic blend of ingredients that work not by trying to mask odors with a fragrance. Use the gel to absorb general cabin odors, or the spray for smelly cushions or lifejackets. Other formats too for other needs. Your crew and guests will better appreciate your boat!


Some review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.