Finding the perfect gift ideas for sailors or boaters can often be difficult for non-boaters. As a full-time cruiser and liveaboard, one of the biggest questions we got around the holidays or birthdays was, “What in the hell do we get you?”
Space on a boat is limited, so everything has to have a purpose, and even better if it has multiple uses!
So after 6 years of living and traveling on our sailboat, here’s a list of gifts for sailors that I think are practical and useful, and sometimes just plain fun. Feel free to share this with friends or family, or even use it to make your own “wish list” for the future.
I’ve used almost everything on this list (and if I haven’t, I’ll tell you). These are things that we’ve had and loved, and felt they were super useful, if not imperative, to have on a boat.
Check out our other popular holiday gift guides!
I received a year’s subscription to Masterclass as a gift once I have to say, it’s one of the coolest most thoughtful gifts I ever got. I ended up writing a bestselling book after watching James Patterson’s Masterclass for writers.
Who wouldn’t want access to the best writers, film makers, chefs, or stylists on the planet? Give yourself or someone you love the gift of learning and discovery!
You may not be able to give your favorite digital nomad the world this year, but you can surely give them an power adapter that will work in 150 countries, and that’s pretty cool.
For around $20 bucks, you get a compact, one-piece power block that supports charging for up to 4 devices at the same time!
Compact Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
There are few things as frustrating as detangling the numerous chords associated with computer accessories. That’s why this wireless keyboard and mouse makes my list of great gifts. The compact design, long charge life, and quiet keys and mouse buttons make it perfect for digital nomads and travelers.
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you’re working remotely or internationally, like me, one of the most difficult things can be finding a quiet place to work. These headphones from Sony cancel out the world around you for up to 35 hours on a single charge! Yes, noise canceling headphones can cost several hundred dollars but not these babies. For around $98 you get Sony quality and over 11 thousand positive reviews. If you want something a little less bulky (and for a bit more money), try the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds.
For those working remotely, their laptop is probably one piece of gear they cannot live without. This is where Urban Armor comes in. UA’s sleeves are made from non-slip, water-resistant materials and feature heavy-duty zippers that keep debris from getting into your precious money-making machine. An internal mess pocket and straps keep laptops in place. They come in various sizes and are compatible with most laptop brands.
Not to be a Debbie Downer here but, sometimes people suck and this backpack from Pacsafe has some serious features that can keep you from becoming a victim. The anti-theft design includes lockable zippers, coupled with lightweight, steel mesh, cut-proof materials, plus an RFID pocket to keep your credit cards and IDs safe. It’s roomy enough for a 15” laptop, sweater, and camera gear. It’s available in several styles for men and women and is backed by Pacsafe’s 5-year warranty.
This could be the gift of the year! If you’ve ever worked remotely, you know the the single most stressful part of your day is worrying about your wifi. Is it going to cut out in the middle of that Zoom call with your boss? Well, worry no more. Because for $180 dollars–or 36 lattes–you can get this 4G mobile hotspot and power bank. But that’s not all this is! The Solis has a built in VPN, an app controlled remote 720p HD video camera, it can connect up to 10 devices in 130 different countries and…it does it all without you having to purchase an additional SIM card. I mean… c’mon!
Flexible data plans allow you to purchase by the day, month, region, or GB. So…work from the beach, cafe, train… hell, work from Madagascar if you want to but you’re gonna have to find something else to worry about because with this puppy, it won’t be your wifi.
Maybe you’re noticing a theme here and that’s okay. When it comes to making money remotely, your gear is paramount. These days, storing stuff on the cloud is a great and valuable service. But there are times when you just need a little more certainty when it comes to your backups and redundant systems. I’ve been using LaCie drives on film sets for the last decade. These drop and shock proof, weather resistant hard drives have never let me down. It uses a USB 3.0 which is up to 4x faster than conventional drives and you get them with 4TB of space. Trust me…check that, trust LaCie.
This is probably my most used travel accessory, for both personal and work use. (2) USB-C charging ports means it can simultaneously charge your phone, tablet, Kindle, GoPro, or other accessories. It has enough battery storage to charge your phone up to 5 times before needing recharged itself. It comes in a nice carrying pouch, and packs away nicely. Be prepared to get a lot of mileage out of this!
Sometimes you just don’t want to work from your desk, but working with your laptop on your lap gets old quick. The laptop gets hot, your posture suffers and, well… it just kinda sucks. But this lightweight and portable lap desk ends all of that.
This little desktop has an integrated mouse pad and two bolster cushions for supreme comfort. A wrist pad allows you to relax your wrists and keeps your laptop from sliding off. There’s a slot to hold your phone so you can monitor your incoming calls or texts. Everything in one place! And it has a convenient carrying handle for portability.
As you can see, there are a ton of useful and fun gift ideas that can be used on a boat.
Do you have any of these? What do you think? Anything you’ll be adding to your wish list? Leave a comment!