Stuck for a gift idea for the sailor in your life? We choose the best Christmas gifts for sailors which are guaranteed to put a smile on their face on 25 December
Stuck wondering what to buy for the sailor or sailing enthusiast in your life? Picking the right Christmas gift for a sailor can be tricky, so we’ve picked out the best gifts for sailors as chosen by the Yachting Monthly team!
We have searched through our best-on-test boating gear of 2021 and 2022 to pick the perfect gift for the sailor in your life. Everything included in this list is something the editorial team – passionate sailors all – would like to receive as a gift, so you can be sure that this is a list of truly useful and interesting gifts for sailors and cruisers.
Not everyone is on the same budget, so we have sectioned our gift guide by price, you can skip to each section below.
Best sailing books this Christmas
Best sailing gifts under £100
Best sailing gifts £100-500
Best sailing gifts £500+
Best Christmas Gifts for sailors – Books
The Complete Yachtmaster (10th edition)
This is the book for people who plan to cruise under sail – perhaps manage whole passages without motoring!
With so many books offering to help people pass exams or travel confidently from marina to marina, it is so refreshing to open a book that puts sail-handling first.
Not that Tom Cunliffe is anti-engine or anti-modern navigational systems.
He is enthusiastic for them all, but nothing exceeds ‘the mystical pleasure that flows from the way a sailing craft converts the passing air into forward motion.’ Quite.
This isn’t a comprehensive book but it’s an invaluable one.
As well as teaching new skills and revising old ones, it will also encourage skippers to reflect on their own practice, priorities and sailing pleasure.
Buy The Complete Yachtmaster from Amazon
Voyage North (The Strong Winds Series Book 7)
‘The seventh (and last) of what began as Julia Jones’s Ransome-inspired ‘Strong Winds’ trilogy has come a long way from a Mirror dinghy on the Orwell,’ says Peter Willis.
We’re now on a Russian oligarch’s superyacht off Norway, and Donny’s foes now include the Russian President himself. He’s unnamed, but the date – significantly – is 2012. The plot is complex, the writing is dynamic, and danger never seems to be far away. An impressive finale to the series.
Sail the British Isles: A cruising guide to the UK and Ireland
From the makers of Yachting Monthly, this cruising guide contains 30 of the best harbours and anchorages around the UK and Ireland, written by local experts, all of whom regularly contribute to YM, including our literary reviewer Julia Jones and pilot guide author Norman Kean.
Given that the coastlines of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England are together amongst the longest in Europe, they offer a dazzling variety of bays and headlands, islands, beaches and rivers.
You don’t have to venture far to find a picturesque harbour from which to base your cruise.
These harbours are worth exploring in their own right, with centuries of history, stunning landscapes and vibrant waterside communities to discover, or you can spread your wings to find quieter spots away from it all.
Buy Sail the British Isles: A cruising guide to the UK and Ireland here
For the our full list of book recommendations visit the Yachting Monthly Book Club
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Best Christmas gifts for sailors under £100
Dock & Bay Beach Towel
Modern travel towels are ideal for any sailor, especially as space can be at a premium on a boat. The Dock & Bay Microfibre towels are made from 100% recycled material, which makes them super absorbent and quick-drying. They come in five sizes or in sets of three, in various colours and designs, and in a neat drawstring bag. The company also has a charity range, for those who want to give something back.
Ticket to the Moon Original Hammock
What better way to get you through the winter evenings than imagining lazing in a hammock on your own boat? Made in Bali, Indonesia, Ticket to the Moon hammocks are free of PFCs and other harmful chemicals, and are ethically made.
Constructed using skin-friendly OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 parachute silk nylon, they are designed to be light and portable, and come with a 10-year guarantee, and their own pouch.
Gerber EZ Out Rescue Knife
The Gerber EZ-Out is one of our favourite sailing knives, and has featured at the top of our knife group gear tests due to its cutting ability; it scythed through Dyneema halyard, webbing or polypropylene line in seconds.
The 7.8cm-long single blade has a rounded tip, and is easy and safe to open one-handed. The blade locks well and is easily returned via a push point on the rear. At 73.7g, the EZ-Out Rescue is very light and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Tribord Floating Sunglasses Polarised UV Protection
Decathlon’s designers have developed these Tribord glasses for sailing and nautical activities.
Floating glasses with polarised category-3 lenses for 100% UV protection filter out glare from the surface of the water.
Practical if dropped, they float.
The wraparound style protects your eyes from all directions.
Available in black with electric blue lenses or with petrol blue frames and matt black lenses.
Revolve Rolatube Rollable Extendable Boat Hook
This innovation rolls down to the size of a coffee cup – in the manner of a snap bracelet – with the hook slotting inside.
It can be stowed in a drawer or fender locker, then quickly extended and the top attached; locking into a robust pole.
Made from a plastic composite that is recyclable at end of life, the manufacturer uses longer versions of the design to create communication masts with built-in radio antenna; or motorised models with cameras attached for inspecting nuclear reactor cores.
Orca Bay Sandusky Leather Deck Shoes
Featuring a machine washable Nubuck upper and off-white rubber siped sole, that is non-slip and non-marking, this is a comfortable but stylish deck shoe from Orca Bay.
Other features include a cushioned EVA heel cup; hand stitching; rawhide leather lace and rustproof eyelets.
When washing, the technique is to put the shoes into a washing bag or pillow case, use a mild detergent – Maximum 30 degrees.
After washing, stuff with paper to retain shape and allow to dry naturally.
Available in a range of colour options, and both men’s and women’s versions.
Chatham Men’s Sperrin Boat Shoes
An autumnal twist to Chatham’s classic boat shoe, the Sperrin is made from soft leather and features antibacterial performance cushioning so you could wear them without socks when the weather gets warmer. The sole also has shock absorption, which promises comfort no matter what surface you walk over.
This rugged shoe has three-eyelet laces, side lace and contrast stitching detail. The heavy cleated sole has flex and grip, which is especially useful on wet pontoon surfaces or decks. It is available in tan or dark brown and in sizes 6-15. A women’s version is also available in tan, sizes 3-8.
BioLite Alpenglow Lantern
Designed to mimic natural light, the Alpenglow lantern produces a warm dimmable light. It is made using high efficiency ChromaReal LED technology, giving a decent burn time of five hours at full power, or 200 hours on low power.The light can mimic a candle’s flicker, or produce any colour you like.
It comes in either a 250-lumen intensity or 500 lumens, and takes 3 hours to recharge. It has an IPX4 rating so it can withstand rain and splashing. It also features a useful fold-out hook for hanging from the boom or inside the saloon.
Scanstrut Rokk Wireless Nest
Many of us want to stay connected while on the water and that means charging our phones daily. The Scanstrut Rokk Wireless Nest comes in 5W or 10W, with the 10W version promising to charge up to 60% faster than the 5W range, even in high temperatures.
The Nest can be integrated into consoles, seating and cabinetry, and has a grippy mat to stop the phone sliding. The 10W version is IPX6 waterproof 12/24V Qi certified.
The Nest also has self-drill drains out of the rear of the housing with the option to use a push-fit drain tube to route water away
Best Christmas gifts for sailors from £100-£500
Baltic Safety Athena Women’s Fitted Lifejacket
An inflatable lifejacket developed to achieve the best possible fit for women.
Placing the 33G CO auto inflation valve horizontally under the bust gives the slimline lifejacket a better fit.
This neat and flexible 165N jacket is fully adjustable. It comes with padding for extra comfort and an airy mesh lining.
Athena is also lightweight, easy to put on – you don’t have to thread it over your head – and easily closed with Velcro and a quick-release buckle.
Available in one size for 40-120kg, and a chest width of 70-140cm.
Colour options: white/pink, navy/white, and black/grey.
This is the sixth generation of Spinlock’s Deckvest design, and came top in our best lifejacket test earlier this year. At 1.3kg, it is heavier than some other lifejackets, but is comfortable.
It has a sprayhood and can be fitted with a small stowage pocket for a personal locator beacon or a knife. It is available to buy with a standard harness or with an easily reset harness release system, which enables the wearer to disconnect from the safety line by releasing a lever behind the soft loop safety line attachment point of the lifejacket harness.
Buy it now from Gael Force Marine
Helly Hansen Foil Jacket
This sleek sailing jacket is made with recycled materials. The HP Foil Sailing Jacket is lightweight, at just 575g, with a 3-layer, waterproof/breathable Helly Tech Performance construction in combination with PFC-free, water- repellent treatment to keep sea spray out.
Extra features include a high-vis packable hood, adjustable cuffs, two hand pockets with brushed lining, a one-hand adjustable hem and a D-ring for a kill cord. All seams are fully sealed. It is made from recycled fabric made up of reused plastics that would have become marine debris.
Lewmar Epsilon Winged Anchor
Lewmar’s Epsilon anchor, awarded Super High Holding Power certification by Lloyd’s Register, boasts a unique winged design with a concaved fluke and ballast-tipped keel.
It has the same self-righting geometry as its predecessor the Delta, with self-launching characteristics and a sleek bow profile.
For 20-90ft yachts. In galvanised or stainless steel.
Buy it now from Marine Superstore
Cobb Premier Air Charcoal Barbecue Grill
The award-winning Cobb is a versatile barbecue as it can roast, bake, fry, boil and smoke food too. It has an insulated surround guard which means it is cool to
the touch and won’t damage sensitive surfaces, and gives peace of mind to anyone nervous about barbecuing onboard.
Just a few charcoal briquettes will give a cooking time of up to three hours. The Cobb’s design means fat and oil drain off into a reservoir so it doesn’t create the smoke and spit of conventional barbecues. It is completely portable and comes with its own carry bag.
Standard Horizon HX890E VHF
This waterproof (IPX8), floating handheld VHF with DSC comes with a built-in GPS receiver and FM radio. As well as transmitting at 6W, 2W or 1W, there is a Group Monitor feature for the continuous tracking of up to nine other vessels. The 66- channel WAAS/GPS receiver displays your current position, which it attaches to a DSC distress call automatically if activated.
At 2.3 inches, the display is large and clear, and the menu system is straightforward to use. It floats and has a water-activated, sequence programmable emergency strobe. A 1800mAh Li-ion battery comes with the radio for extended use, plus 240Vac or 12Vdc chargers, plus a pack for alkaline batteries.
ACR Resqlink 400 406MHZ GPS Buoyant PLB
Small but resilient, the ResQLink 400 is a buoyant Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) that does not require any subscription for use and fits into the palm of your hands.
With three levels of integrated signal technology – GPS positioning, a powerful 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capability – the ResQLink 400 quickly and accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites.
Additionally, a built-in strobe and infrared strobe facilitate night-time, or other low visibility, rescues.
The ResQLink 400 is easily activated in an emergency situation: deploy the antenna, press the on button, and the beacon will guide rescuers to within 100 metres or less of your position.
The unit is supplied with multifunction clips.
Features include a multi-constellation GPS receiver (GPS & Galileo GNSS); Strobe and Infrared Strobe; 5 year battery life; 24+ hours Operational Life; Self Test & GPS Test function.
Buy it now from Amazon UK
Buy it now from West Marine
Haswing Osapian 55 electric outboard
Winner of the best budget buy in our electric outboards gear test this year, the Haswing Osapian 55 trolling motor has five forward speeds, three reverse on a twist grip throttle, with a promised 55lb thrust. The motor is well engineered with an anode behind the prop, and a spare in the box.
The shaft slides providing for transom heights up to 62cm, 360° rotation, and 10 tilt positions. Excellent value for money for anyone wanting to do short trips.
Best Christmas gifts for sailors over £500
Musto MPX Gortex Offshore Oilskins
The Musto MPX Collection was improved with an updated fit for 2021, with the jacket getting a darted sleeve construction for enhanced articulation, whilst the trousers were redesigned with a 200g reduction in weight.
Articulated knee and seat reinforcements combine a full spectrum of motion with enhanced durability.
Constructed from cutting-edge 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro fabric for remarkable waterproof, windproof and durable protection, that’s also incredibly breathable to keep you comfortable in all weather.
The jacket features a heat retentive grid fleece lined funnel and hood pod with a highly protective, adjustable spume.
These offshore waterproofs are available in black, blue, red and ‘platinum’ grey.
Garmin Quatix 7 Watch
This is not a cheap option, but Garmin has added plenty of boat-specific features to its Quatix 7, making it appealing to those sailors who love the latest tech. As well as monitoring your heart rate, receiving screen calls and notifications, and streaming music, the watch comes with a multifunction display (MFD) control interface, an anchor alarm, autopilot control, and you can stream data including water depth, engine RPM, and wind speeds.
The watch is only compatible with Garmin marine instruments.
B&G Nemesis Intelligent Sailing Data
Navico’s B&G Nemesis is an intelligent sailing data display offering unparalleled visibility, with complete customisation or easy to use pre-set multi-function templates and automatic dashboards based on the point of sail.
It can be controlled via the touch screen or from an Apple Watch; has an easy to use drag & drop editor for full customisation; plus a wide choice of digital data displays including graphical gauges, SailSteer, tank levels, IP camera views, histograms and images.
Automatic context modes include: Upwind, Reaching, Downwind, Pre-start.
The bright IPS SolarMax HD touch screen has ‘super-wide’ viewing angles that can be seen from anywhere on-board, even whilst wearing polarised sunglasses, plus adjustable data sizes, palettes and backlighting; it is portrait or landscape mountable; and works with Ethernet and/or NMEA 2000 connectivity for complete data customisation.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.