Best boat accessories – Purchasing Christmas gifts for boaters including best boat accessories can often be a difficult process. Many of your mariner friends will buy what they need as the demand arises, leaving few gift choices for the holiday season. With this dilemma in mind, here are some gift suggestions that a family sailor would be pleased to see under the Christmas tree.
MaraMAPS Folding Deck Tables
The MaraMAPS company of Tampa, Florida manufactures a line of folding boat deck chairs that bear a unique surface, a marine chart of a boater’s favorite waters. These folding tables designed for use in the marine environment using exterior urethane and paint coatings, brass or stainless steel hardware, and printing that is resistant to ultraviolet rays.
Two distinct styles of table construction are offered, with a standard size of 16 by 24 inches. One bears a classical nautical look and finish, with darkly stained top, rope edging and wooden legs. The other is more contemporary and some of the best best boat accessories, using a white top, white wooden legs, and rubber edging. Pricing starts at $125. Custom table shapes and sizes can be provided by MaraMAPS. Wooden components used in these tables are made in a wood shop operated by disabled veterans.
ACR Electronics GlobalFix PRO EPIRB
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are satellite based transmitters that greatly assist potential rescuers in locating boats that are in distress and is one of the best boat accessories. Once only found on commercial vessels, improvements in technology and wider adoption of these devices has greatly lower their cost. Purchasing an EPIRB for a Christmas gift could represent way to ensure the boating safety of a loved one.
ACR Electronics is a well known manufacturer of locator beacons and best boat accessories. The recent release of the GlobalFix PRO model represents some significant advances in EPIRB design. This beacon uses a very sensitive global positioning system (GPS) engine to allow for faster acquisition of a vessel’s position during an emergency. Search and rescue (SAR) agencies can receive a position notification from the GlobalFix PRO in as few as three minutes and a reduced search location radius of 0.05 nautical miles or a hundred meters. An automatically deployable version of this device can be found online for less than $800. More information on this product can be found at the ACR website.
Personalized Gear from BoatNameGear website
Andrew Canepari in Newington, Connecticut started BoatNameGear website in southern New England to provide custom embroidered products and some best boat accessories that would be enjoyed by boaters. Items like hats, shirts, towels, fenders and ring buoys personalized with a vessel name make excellent Christmas gifts for boat owners and their onboard guests as well.
In the lead up to the Christmas season, Andrew reports that their biggest sellers are polo shirts with the vessel name on the left chest. They are often ordered in pairs, with Captain and First Mate stitched onto them. A bundled set like this costs less than $50 and matching ball caps are frequently purchased to go with them. Another popular item is a non-slip mat embroidered with the phrase “Welcome Aboard” and the vessel name that begin at $60 in price.
MaraMAPS, ACR Electronics and BoatNameGear.com offer some unique products that would make excellent Christmas gifts for the boater in the family or company. In addition to items described here, there other products to consider found at their company websites.
Books for Boaters
GPS for Mariners by Robert J. Sweet $15.95 ISBN 0071410759 International Marine-McGraw-Hill
Sweet uses this book to explain the use of GPS monitoring and GPS asset tracking equipment and the navigation concepts that lie beneath that little LCD screen. The affordable GPS chartplotter using integrated navigation software is probably one of the greatest improvements to occur in navigation equipment for recreational boating. A great resource, GPS for Mariners is used as the standard text for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s one day GPS navigation course.
Chapman Piloting: Seamanship and Boat Handling by Elbert S. Maloney $60.00 ISBN 158816232X Hearst
“Chapman’s” is the boater’s bible. A nearly complete reference, this book will guide you through almost any boating subject you can think of exploring. Referencing this publication has resolved more than one disagreement. Electronic versions of the book are also available.
The American Practical Navigator by Nathaniel Bowditch ISBN 0160511259 United States Government Printing Office
Know to serious mariners as “Bowditch”, this the standard reference in American navigation. It is a doorstop of a book weighing some eight pounds. Very few merchant mariners passed their licensing tests without the help of Bowditch. The book is available in many forms and is a government publication printed by several companies. IRBS.com has The American Practical Navigator available online. Wikipedia discusses Bowditch in great detail as well.
Heavy Weather Boating Emergencies: The Survival Guide for Freshwater Powerboat Operators: What to Do When Everything Goes Wrong written by Chuck and Jean Luttrell. $19.95 ISBN 094340097X Marlor Press
One reviewer called this the Boy Scout Handbook for power boaters. It details how to prepare and equip your boat to handle a wide range of emergencies that could strike during a trip. Well illustrated, this book is good candidate for inclusion in the ship’s library. As they say, “Be Prepared.”
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots and Ropework written by Geoffrey Budworth. ISBN 1843091380 Anness Publishing
Budworth provides step-by-step directions for making 200 different knots, bends, and hitches. Each step need for each knot is illustrated. This text describes not only the ropework, but also use, origin, and history for each entry. A great gift for those involved in outdoor sports.
The Unknown Shore written by Patrick O’Brian. $13.95 ISBN 039331538X W. W. Norton and Company.
The sailor in all of us needs Patrick O’Brian. The Unknown Shore details the adventures of Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow as they are shipwrecked on the wild coast of Chile. O’Brian offers a wealth of reading opportunities for nautical enthusiast. Many boaters will have watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World that was based on two novels by the author. Begin with The Golden Ocean and then keep going. You won’t regret fueling the O’Brian reading habit.
Books make great Christmas, birthday and anniversary gifts for the boater in your family.