It’s beginning to look a feel a lot like the holidays over here at Sailing Chance. We spent the weekend winterizing our boat – taking off all the sails, building the frame for our winter enclosure, and generally freezing our butts off. I have my solar Christmas lights ready to hang just as soon as the guys come and shrink wrap us into our winter bubble. I’m imagining we’ll look like we’re camping out in our own snow globe once the lights are hung.
With the drop in temperature to below freezing marks and every store in the city blasting holiday music, we’ve been thinking a lot about the products we’ve gotten over the year that we really love and have become indispensable to us during our adventuring. These products are perfect for the sailor, nautical things lover or the traveler in your life. Some of the things on our list are functional, some are fun and some are just pretty. Either way, we have something for everyone! If you are looking for gifts more targeted to the cruising sailor in your life, check out our 10 Last Minute Gifts for Cruisers.
For the nautical item loving man or woman in your life look no further than Maris Sal. The owner, Maria, lives a life at sea as a dive instructor in Sweden. She was frustrated with accessories not standing up to the harsh salt environments and set out to design ocean proof and beautiful nautical accessories. The company name literally means sea salt in Latin and serves as a reminder of her inspiration for the line and her lifestyle. I have the New Haven bracelet in navy/silver and the leather New Haven in brown/silver. These bracelets look great stacked with other bangles or watches, and are a great accessory paired with your bikini. Note that the leather will wear if you keep it on during swims but the navy one is great for underwater wear!
A multi-tool is a great gift option for any adventurer as they rarely know what kind of trouble they will find themselves in. A multitool arms them with the right tool for many different jobs or at least enough tools to jury rig some sort of solution. We always have our Gerber MP600 multiplier on hand and have used it for everything from cutting zip ties to stripping wires and have even opened a beer or two with it.
I love love LOVE my Lowepro Photo Sport II backpack. It is perfect for storing my Canon 70D and an extra lens as well as other gear I may need throughout my day of adventuring. You can fit a water reservoir in it as well to make sure you stay hydrated during that unexpected hike. It has a side access department that keeps your camera safe, secure and separate from all of your other stuff as well as an expandable front pocket you can stuff Turkish towels or extra clothes in. Best of all it has a built in waterproof cover for unexpected squalls or wet dinghy rides.
Anyone who is anyone in the sailing world has heard of Sailor Bags. They make a variety of bags an accessories using sailcloth. The fabric is tough, lightweight, and stows away easily. Jason has the tri-sail tote bag and uses it as his briefcase. Its a great way to remind him of his nautical roots, even when he’s headed to the office.
Jason first discovered Spinnaker Watches through Instagram and hasn’t stopped gawking at them since. These watches are beautiful, functional and pay tribute to the yachting lifestyle “with flair and style that makes each timepiece wearable on land and on the waves.” Personally, I am just a sucker for anything nautical related. While these watches fit that bill, they also perform. Their dive watches are designed to go up to 100 ATM deep which is perfect for knowing exactly what time you set that anchor, you know, if you have to anchor in really deep water 😉⚓. Jason rotates between the Overboard and the Sorrento depending on his mood and outfit. Boys.
I first came across Avex waterbottles through work and haven’t looked back since. These litte gems may be the best water bottles I have ever used. Their stainless steel bottles keep things icy cold or hot literally all day long. We still had ice even in 100 degree heat this summer! They are also built with a “hard” consumer in mind and manage withstand the use and abuse of this crew. We have them in many different colors so each person gets their own and can keep track of their beverage as we’re sailing along. They have so many different styles, so you can pick what works best for you. I prefer the freeflow, autoseal style as they don’t leak and have a cover for the mouth piece to keep it debris or sand free. They also make great coffee mugs and thermoses. You an really use one style for all three purposes, so keep that in mind.
We picked up a telescoping gaff and hand line in Martinique before we headed out on our first bareboat charter. I don’t want to brag, but everytime we’ve brought it along on a trip we’ve caught a massive fish (a Mahi Mahi and tuna, for example!). These items pack small and easily earn their weight in your travel pack when you’re eating an expensive dinner for free.
Living out of a suitcase or travel pack can be challenging. You never know where anything is, even though you know you packed it. Once I started using packing cubes everything changed. They allow me to easily categorize items (shirts, shorts, dresses, etc.) so that I know exactly where everything is in my bag. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but I love this set I picked up from Amazon as the kit comes with a few different sizes and lets the clothes breath so nothing becomes musty. I also use packing cubes to keep my clothes organized on the boat, so it should be no surprise I love them for traveling as well.
I first learned about Turkish towels from our amazing delivery captain, Jamie, and I haven’t looked back since. These thin pieces of cloth are super absorbent and fold up really small. They are great as towels, beach blankets, tablecloths, coverups, lightweight blankets in the cockpits and impromptu sunshades. Three or four rolled up Turkish towels take up the space of about one fluffy terrycloth towel. Outside of functionality they come in really bright and pretty patterns. We really like the Cacala brand you can find on Amazon.
A compact waterproof bluetooth speaker is great for lounging in the water or on the beach so you never have to go without good tunes. Pair it with a Spotify subscription and you have a recipe for a great day.
And last, but not least, on our list is a waterproof storage box for phones and money. These are a great way to make sure your small electronics and valuable stay in working order. They can easily fit in your regular (or Lowepro!) day pack and you don’t have to worry about a wave crashing over the side of the dinghy or an unexpected shower ruining your day. The Nanuk Nano 330 can fit both of our phones and a few other key items. It even has a “money hammock” for keeping your bills and cards secure as you open the case.
So, what items are you asking Santa for this year?