What to buy your favorite boater There will always be something a boater wants or needs for the sport. This makes it easy in some ways, yet complex. Much of what they lust for is high-tech and expensive, or large and unwieldy (and sometimes expensive)—count GPSs (Global Positioning Systems), radar systems, onboard computer gear, dinghies, anchors, and dock boxes in these categories. Your saving grace is that most sailors don’t expect extravagance and will be pleased with almost any gift that’s useful or fun.
The Gift of Learning The gift of learning lasts forever and takes no space. Sailing lessons are a confidence-building gift for any child or adult new to the sport, while the seasoned sailor may enjoy a course on racing, navigation, or other advanced boat-handling skills. Classes are offered inexpensively in many communities by the United States Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary. They are also available through professional sailing schools or individuals. A wealth of instructional videos, books, and computer programs are also available help improve on-the-water skills.
Functional treasures In sailing, the weather and safety are always concerns. Consider giving barometers, life preservers, safety harnesses, sailing gloves, boating shoes and boots, and foul weather gear. Don’t overlook up-to-date charts, chart books, and cruising guides for planned travel areas, canvas totes, and insulated cooler bags. Brass items—a ship’s clock, bell, or oil lamp—look spiffy on board and are useful. In cool-weather areas, warm blankets, jackets, and hats that wick moisture, such as those of Polartec, are always welcome.
Personalized items Specialty items like captain’s rings, business cards and stationary, half-hull carvings, portraits of the boat, personalized galleyware, linens, clothing, and other boating gear need to be ordered well in advance, and keep in mind that most are not returnable. With these, it’s important to have your facts straight: the correct spelling of the boat name, its make and model, and possibly even the colors of its hull, canvas fittings, its interior wood, and decor. Know your sailor’s tastes before saddling him or her with a large or costly piece of marine art. You’ll need sizes and style preferences for personal items, like jewelry and clothing, so that monogrammed polo shirt or custom-made ring will fit and you won’t err by giving pierced "sailboat" earrings to a recipient requiring clip-ons.
Seaworthy favors If you don’t wish to get personal, stick to generic items. Boaters always enjoy sea-going reading material—books, magazine subscriptions, movies, games, nautical music on CD or cassette, and screen savers. For children, select gifts that are entertaining, can be used in a confined area, and won’t cause injury or damage if flung about: quiet games, age-level books, movies, and soft toys.
During boating season and on sailing vacations, peruse shoreline shops for locally produced trinkets to stash away for special occasions throughout the year—cranberry products from Cape Cod; blueberry jam and handmade candles from Maine; and spices and condiments from the Caribbean. "Nautical" stocking-stuffers are fun to buy and give—coasters, cocktail napkins, note paper, games, calendars, and clever doodads. Many boaters collect sailing ornaments to trim a nautical tree, or to hang throughout their home or boat to affirm their love for sailing. Often, a significant specialty shop will have a catalog or website from which you can order during the off-season.
Where to find it Once you know the type of gift you wish to give, all you have to do is locate it, buy it, and get it home. Be flexible. In your search you may stumble over a more thoughtful gift idea. Especially on costly items, you will want to compare prices among various sources in order to get the best deal. Nail down the average price for the item by checking with marine stores, sorting through catalogs, or web shopping.
Since you are reading this article, web shopping is already at your fingertips. Clicking on the words "Store" or "Shopping" anywhere on SailNet’s pages will bring up the current specials, as well as an alphabetically arranged buying guide for product categories such as anchors, books, flags, and gifts. Each department lists products available, their part numbers and costs, and allows you to click to the photo and ordering screen for each item.
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|