Buying Christmas gifts for sailors often involves some tricky choices. Here’s an expert’s selection of kit that’s sure to be a hit
What do you buy the boat owner who has everything? With so many potential Christmas gifts for sailors on the market, it can be easy to get lost, so we’ve cut out through the junk to bring you the best Christmas gift ideas to delight the sailor or boat owner in your life…
Decathlon Waterproof Windproof Sailing Jacket 300
Decathlon’s Tribord range of sailing kit in general not only offers exceptional value for money but also delivers on performance, making their range, and this jacket in particular a great Christmas gift option.
Like all its performance sailing kit, Decathlon’s Sailing Jacket 300 has been produced in collaboration with sailors and designers to create exactly the sort of stylish, functional jacket required for coastal sailing.
According to Decathlon, it is waterproof, windproof and breathable, and special features include a high fleece-lined collar, protective flaps and adjustable hem and cuffs to ensure a snug fit and to help stem water ingress.
This jacket also features a fully adjustable hood that can be zipped away in the collar. All plastic zips on this jacket are injection treated that Decathlon say helps stop salt oxidation.
All in all, this is an excellent value for money, functional-looking jacket.
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Tribit XSound Surf
Our entry level choice is this IPX7 rated 12 Watt Bluetooth speaker from Tribit. Launched in 2017 Tribit is a relatively new player on the audio scene, but with a lead engineer who was previously with a leading US audio brand, they should know a thing or two about producing a great sound.
The company claims its own signature sound, with resonating bass, solid treble and balance all round are the hallmarks of its systems. And with a price point of less than £20, you’re unlikely to go too far wrong with this stylish, portable and waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
Gill harness rescue tool
Fitting neatly into the category of life-saving sailing knives is this basic harness rescue tool from Gill. Its 420 stainless steel grade blade is titanium-coated for even greater resistance to corrosion. Just 127mm long, it’s a low-profile tool designed to be slipped into any convenient pocket on your sailing suit or buoyancy aid.
The tool’s shackle key will fit many small to medium size shackles and a protective nylon sheath is included. The G10 composite handle gives a good grip regardless of whether the tool is wet or dry, and the blade itself is serrated to provide an efficient cutting edge for emergency use.
Simplicity in motion sums up the funkily named Parrot Bebop as this drone features an intelligent flight system which automatically keeps the Parrot aloft and under the user’s control at all times by way of its associated app.
The integrated onboard camera takes 14 mega pixel 180-degree fish eye photos and shoots 1080p high definition video, which can be monitored from the ground by way of a live feed direct to the pilot’s phone.
The Parrot Bebop can manage up to 12 minutes on a single charge, so investing in a spare battery might well be an option to consider here.
Decathlon inflatable SUP
These are brilliant multi-purpose watersports tools, whether for exploring an anchorage, use as a second tender, or hassle free fun in its own right. It could hardly be a better Christmas gift for the sailor who has everything.
Inflatable paddleboards can now be seen everywhere, including almost every anchorage in popular sailing destinations, beaches throughout Europe and on a whole host of lakes, rivers and canals.
This 335 litre, 11ft board from Decathlon is one of the most keenly priced, and has a generous beam, which makes it a forgiving beginner’s board, even for those who weigh more than 80kg, yet it’s large enough for two more experienced people.
The board is fairly light weight and fits in a back pack. It’s therefore very portable, easy to stow in the smallest of apartments, and light enough to travel with by train and by air.
Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof binoculars
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These well-specced marine binoculars from US outdoors firm Bushnell are waterproof, non slip, rubber-covered and nitrogen filled. While relatively unknown in the marine market, they have long been associated with hunting and outdoor sports.
These operate as something of a middle ground they do have coated optics for increased light transmission and brightness. They also have a single eyepiece adjustment to suit your eyesight – unlike the Plastimo option above, but they are not quite as advanced or with as high quality optics as some of the options Bruce tested.
Wuzzo Branklet Deck Shoe
Wuzzos is a new name in the leather boat shoe market. There is little that particularly stands out at first glance but personalisation options combined with the made-in-Europe build, hand stitching and sewing, and good quality leather gives them a luxury feel.
The leather is fantastically soft and the soles offer a great level of padding. On deck, the Wuzzo Branklets really impress with decent grip offered by the razor-cut soles. We tested a pair while sailing onboard a yacht with a missing foot rest at the helm.
Sailing upwind in around 20 knots, without any reefs and so had a significant amount of heel there was not a single moment in an entire afternoon’s sail that the shoes were anything other than secure. For the sailor on your life, these would make a very upmarket Christmas gift that is practical too.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.