Stuck for Christmas gift ideas for the sailor who has it all? Yachting World is here to help with 30 great ideas
Are you wondering what to get the sailor in your life for Christmas. Here is our pick of 30 top products that are perfect Christmas gift ideas for sailors:
- Wichard knife
Wichard has produced knives in Thiers, the French home of knife making, since 1919. Its latest range includes Offshore and more economic Aquaterra models. The Offshore knife has a serrated blade that can cut through Dyneema, and is available with a combined shackle key/marlinspike. The Aquaterra uses a conventional or serrated blade and has the accessory all sailors really need: a corkscrew.
Price from €17. wichard.com
2. Yachting World Subscription
A hardcopy of the world’s favourite sailing magazine every month from £19.49 a year – or an ipad/iphone digital issues for £16.49… Now THAT’S Christmas!
3. Spinlock Lume-On
The simple ideas are the best. These compact LEDs stick to the underbelly of each bladder, which uses the large fluorescent surface like a diffuser to maximise the visibility of the flashing light. Once activated, the Lume-On provides up to two hours of intense flashing light. It adds very little extra weight, has a smooth profile so will not chafe the bladder, and is very simple to retrofit to most lifejackets. £15 per pair. spinlock.co.uk
4. Olaf Scooter
Here is an ingenious compact solution to getting around in foreign marinas and towns. The Olaf Urban combines four products in one: a kick-scooter, a trolley, a backpack and a skateboard. The Urban backpack is designed to carry the folded scooter. The combined backpack and trolley weigh just 3.5kg and the trolley can take a 120kg payload.
Price €195 for Urban (trolley and backpack). olaf-scooter.com
5. Astra esa smartwatch
The esa is the first smartwatch designed for sailing, fusing the sailor’s thirst for gadgetry with high-street technology. The esa watch uses wifi to display information from onboard instruments on your wrist. As well as the ability to show performance sailing data including speed and polar target data, the watch is still essentially a smartphone, offering full Android capabilities.
6. Free Wheeling
This Australian innovation blends rowing with outboard motors to produce a clever lightweight solution for your tender. It uses a 3:1 gear ratio contained in the collar by the handle, driving a high-pitch propeller to provide a smooth, silent and fuel-less means of manual propulsion in either direction. Time to ditch the outboard, oars or both?
Price £125. thewetworks.co.uk
7. Snowlizard SLXtreme Navigator
We conducted a waterproofing test on mobile phones, looking at nanotechnology sprays in particular, but concluded that a waterproof case remains the most secure way of protecting a mobile device. With more people using tablets for navigation, a case with a built-in GPS, like this SLXtreme Navigator could be the ideal solution.
8. Lifedge Ultimate Cable
If you’re going to get a waterproof case for your mobile device, you may want one of these charging cables too. The extra long (2m/6.5ft) and durable Ultimate cable is corrosion and tangle proof, and allows for waterproof phone charging when used with a compatible case.
9. Raymarine Ocean Scout TK
Raymarine’s most affordable thermal camera to date, the Ocean Scout TK can extend vision afloat, day or night, by creating images from heat. It can spot objects up to 119m away, including boats, buoys, landmarks or wildlife. But its ability to potentially thermally identify a MOB could quickly make it high on sailors’ wishlists. Price £412.50. raymarine.com
10. Ocean Signal rescueMe MOB1
The more portable personal rescue devices are, the more likely they will be worn or carried. Ocean Signal’s new MOB1 is 30% smaller than competitor AIS MOB devices.
It can alert any AIS-equipped vessels in the vicinity to the precise location of a casualty in the water, and it will fit on any inflatable lifejacket’s oral tube. It also includes DSC alerting so can both pinpoint a MOB location via AIS, plus trigger the yacht’s own VHF alarm.
11. The Nub
The Nub puts a new, circular looking twist on the age-old rope pulley. It’s a simple, lightweight and economic plastic design that can take great loads with minimal friction. A 16g Nub for example can hold over four tonnes of static weight, and it can be fixed to a preloaded rope.
The Nub’s design is also inherently secure – if the polyplastic body does fail, the moving sheet will be held by the static sheet. €39.90 for two units from nub-connectics.com
12. Exposure XS-WR Torch
This compact, lightweight double-ended torch shines a powerful white beam from one end and a red light from the other. Both can be operated simultaneously for a variety of uses from onboard, to the tender ride or cycle home.
Accessories include a headband that allows either colour to shine forwards, a reflective neck lanyard, plus stanchion, helmet and magnetic mounts. £99.95. exposuremarine.com
13. Touchscreen gloves
Those who need to swipe screens in colder climes can now keep their digits warm too with Mujjo’s latest fleece-lined touchscreen gloves. These have black leather cuffs and anti-slip palms with silicon grip dots. Price from €29.95. mujjo.com
14. Splash Drone
This is the first fully waterproof quad copter – and it floats. The drone is not only designed to carry a GoPro, but has a payload release feature for carrying and releasing other items, including safety gear.
The Splash Drone has autonomous features, including a ‘follow me’ mode, and can return to base at the flick of a switch. Use it to capture some unique footage of your yacht, take a beer to a friend, or even drop a life-ring to a casualty in the water.
Price US$1,299. urbandrones.com
Race tactics involve decisions based on the wind direction and trends, gleaned from the yacht’s compass. This Danish TackingMaster helps make wind shifts quick and easy to gauge using a watch-style wrist mount.
Once the wind direction and course to the mark have been set, you can track any shifts by using its inner course dial. So you can easily see how a shift may affect the next tack or leg and keep track of the average wind trend. Price €79. tackingmaster.com
Anyone who partakes in extreme watersports will know there are times when wearing a lifejacket is simply not practical afloat. And others may simply want the comfort of a personal flotation device without the bulk, perhaps when taking a swim away from an anchored yacht.
The Restube is a personal lifebuoy developed by a kitesurfer that stows into a small bum-bag like pouch. It uses a vertical or horizontal belt attachment, and a sports model is available with a harness mount.
17. Dr Sails
If I were to recommend one piece of repair kit to carry aboard it would probably be this new emergency epoxy adhesive. The fast curing epoxy can be used on sails plus most materials in virtually all conditions – including underwater – so it can even help patch a hole below the waterline. Watch the video here
From €22.50 for 10ml. sailingtechnologies.com
18. Thuraya Satsleeve+
A Satsleeve turns your mobile phone into a satphone. It wraps around the phone, utilising the mobile’s internal electronics and encodes and boosts the signal for connection to the Thuraya satellite network. The SatSleeve+ has a universal adapter, so the user can switch between most smartphone models from 58 to 85mm in width. £370 ex VAT or £5 per day to rent from www.globaltelesat.co.uk
19. Fizzics portable beer tap
Sailors are discerning types with quality tastes. So why not ship a portable beer tap for draught-tasting beer with the perfect head? The founders of Fizzics have really delved into the science (or ‘fizzics’) of beer drinking, and created a device that they say will deliver the perfect pour, creating an ‘ultra dense, long-lasting foam head’ from any standard size beer can or bottle – and all beer types from lager and ale to stout.
It’s strictly for those who take their drinking seriously – I’ve asked Santa for one.
Price $169 from upgradeyourbeer.com
20. JIVE Bike
The JIVE is the first folding, electric, chainless bicycle – and it weighs just 15kg. It can be cycled manually, electrically, or a combination of both, which provides a 20 mile range on one two hour charge.
JIVE uses a chainless drive train and has a dashboard to mount smartphones to use a bike computer app. £1,499. jivebike.com
21. TaskOne G3 case
For those who don’t already rely on their mobile phones enough, the TaskOne G3 case turns a smartphone into a Leatherman. It includes 22 tools and a mount for attaching saw blades. So you can now use your phone to cut, saw, grip, and screw things – then open a beer after your hard work. £79.99. thetasklab.com
22. Garmin Virb X and XE
If your choice of action camera is more defined by durability, audio and picture quality, consider Garmin’s Virb cameras. Garmin has updated its excellent rugged and waterproof (to 50m) Virb cams, with new X and XE models which differ in HD levels.
The main improvements are with picture resolution, an increased variety of mounting options, and a new user experience programme called G-Metrix that uses sensors to capture everything from speed to g-force. The dedicated photo button to take stills at any time, even while the camera is recording, is also a neat addition. From £239.99 at garmin.com
23. HandiMoova trolley
This is the world’s first all-terrain, off-road trolley. It can transport loads of up to 60kg over rough terrain, sand and steps smoothly and easily. The secret lies with the wheels, shaped like a half orange and mounted on floating axles that allow it to walk over obstacles.
24. Digital Yacht Aquawear
This blackbox server will wirelessly stream information from onboard instruments to mobiles, tablets and laptops. The splash-proof wrist case included helps promote wearable navigation – the viewing of instrument, charting and AIS data on deck via apps on your smartphone. Aquawear aslo creates a wifi hotspot for the whole crew. £264. digitalyacht.co.uk
25. Spinlock Essentials chest pack
Spinlock’s Essential Packs are snug fitting solutions for keeping accessories like mobile phone, VHF, personal EPIRB to hand on the water.
They are available as belt, side or chest packs that attach with Velcro tie-downs, and neatly compliment Spinlock’s Deckvest 5D lifejacket. £14.95. spinlock.co.uk
26. Personalised champagne
Here’s your chance to create your own bespoke bubbles. Buying a case of Champagne By You involves a tasting session to decide on the exact champagne style, all imported from family growers in the champagne region. Clients then get to design a unique handmade aluminium label using anything from a corporate logo to a photograph.
Sampling, design and delivery of a case of 24 bottles costs from £2,257. champagnebyyou.com
27. Pontos 4-speed winch
These new winches use a clutch to provide two extra gears as well as the standard two-speeds most sailors are used to. These extra gears can either provide more speed or power. So with two faster gears, the Grinder winch offers up to six times the line-speed of conventional two-speed winches. And with two higher gears the Trimmer model offers twice the power, reducing the force needed to winch a line. It’s the biggest step-change in manual winches in a generation.
28. Vaavud Wind Meter
Vaavud is essentially a set of whirling cups that turn your smartphone into an anemometer. Live wind data through crowd sourcing – clever and particularly useful for those of us that dither on the shoreline wondering which sail/boat/kite/board to take, or whether to mow the lawn. A new compact Sleipnir model is now available that uses an electronic sensor and can read wind direction too. Video here From £37. vaavud.com
Sugru is a new material that feels like play dough but acts like superglue and sticks to most objects and surfaces. It’s very user-friendly, highly malleable and waterproof and comes in 10 bright colours. It’s ideal for both fixing things and giving items a new lease of life as it sets like silicone rubber (flexible and insulated) – it’s also surprisingly fun to apply.
30. Tiwal 3.2 inflatable dinghy
This French inflatable sailing dinghy stows into two compact bags and can be launched, assembled and sailed anywhere in 20 minutes. It looks like safe, enjoyable and family friendly fun, ideal for getting kids into dinghy sailing. It uses the same high-strength PVC material as stand-up paddleboards, inflated via a high-pressure pump. An alloy structure gives it a backbone and allows the helm or crew to sit out, and a freestanding carbon mast splits into four.
We can’t promise any of these products will be delivered in time – but wish a merry Christmas to all!