Here’s the next edition of my Holiday Gift Guide for Sailors!

My last post on gift ideas for sailors was such a hit that I’m doing it again this year. 

This list is a list of both sailing-specific items and things that I’ve loved having on a boat for both sailing and non-sailing conveniences. There’s something on this list for every type of sailor! 

Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow

A good night’s sleep on a boat is everything. And when it’s hot, this cooling gel pillow will make it possible. (You can thank me later.)

This pillow has adjustable fill, so if you like a thinner pillow, you can simply remove some of the filling. Comes with extra filling for those who like an extra thick pillow. The ability to adjust is great if you’re a stomach sleeper (like me, although I’m trying to break that habit!).

It also has a bamboo cover that’s washable, something that is essential when living aboard.


Caframo Fans

Speaking of hot, these fans are quite possibly one of my favorite things for a boat. 

We had fans already, but I had heard so much about these that I bought a few of them before we took off to sail the Caribbean to Guatemala. I got a couple hard wire versions and a couple of the portable 12v lighter socket versions so we could move them around as needed. And let me tell you, these are worth their weight in gold!

They are super quiet and push a lot of air. My husband and I each had one that blew directly on us when we slept which was so nice. 


Memory Foam

Are you starting to see a “comfy sleep” pattern here? Trust me, it’s because it’s heaven to get a good night’s sleep, especially after a tough passage on the boat!

One of the smartest things we ever did was invest in a memory foam topper for our bed. We got the 2″ in the king-sized version, then cut it to the shape of our v-berth mattress. 

It was like waking up on a cloud each morning. I used to have chronic neck pain after sleeping but with the memory foam and my good pillow, it went away almost immediately. 


Engle Portable 110/12v  Fridge-Freezer 

This is one of those “dream items” for a boat. It’s a refrigerator AND freezer, and it is powered by either 110v AC power OR 12v DC power. You know what that means, right? Ice for your rum and coke while on the hook as you keep your beers cool. Or freeze part of today’s catch so you can enjoy it next week.

The low power draw (even on start) makes it attractive. This is something any sailor would love!


Plastic BPA-Free Stemless Wine Glasses

While we did keep a set of glass wine glasses on the boat for special occasions (like a tiny taste of luxury after a hard sail), we used these plastic stemless wine glasses most of the time.

They look nice, but you don’t have to worry about them breaking should a powerboater go by too fast, waking your boat.

Plus, they’re BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry about toxins leaking into your vino.


Flameless Flickering Wax Candles

We love candles. I love the scent they give off, and the warm light of a flickering flame. But after a neighbor’s boat blew up, courtesy of a gas leak and a lit candle, we said no more open flame candles on the boat, even though we didn’t have a gas engine. Propane can leak, too, y’all.

Instead, I purchased these, which are perfect! They even have a remote control for you to turn them off and on. They give off the same romantic light without the danger. We used them every night on the boat!


Travel Berkey Water Purifier

Ok, if you look at nothing else on this list, I want you to at least check out the Travel Berkey. This is, by far, the best money we’ve ever spent on anything related to the boat. Bold claim, I know, but it’s true. 

This isn’t just a water filter, it actually purifies water while still leaving the important minerals behind. Thanks to our Berkey, we were able to drink hose water from Cuba, and even river water from Rio Dulce, Guatemala (yes, believe it!). 

This comes with 2 filters with a 6,000 gallon combined life span on the filters. Which means that if we were to drink 2 gallons of water a day, we wouldn’t have to change the filters for 8 years

We have used this several times a day on a daily basis for over 3 years. Plus the stainless housing is resistant to corrosion (ours doesn’t have a speck of rust).

It’s eco-friendly, needs little to no maintenance, and gives you pure water anytime you need it. 


SUAOKI 60W Portable Solar Charger

If you use electronics regularly like I do, then this is a must-have. I worked from the boat, so I needed to ensure that I had backup power at all times in case my laptop or phone battery went dead. 

This is a foldable 60-watt solar panel that can charge not just your phones and smaller electronic devices, but it even charges your laptop! 

This is an excellent item to have as a backup for those days when you need it. And if you work online, it’s a must-have.


Anker Portable Battery Bank

Ever pull your phone out to take a “must-capture-and-share-on-facebook” photo and realize your battery just died? (Cue the wah-wah-wah)…

Or more importantly, needed your phone to pull up a map because you’re lost, or make a call because you’ve been kidnapped or are being chased by zombies?

That’s where this portable battery bank comes in! It can be a lifesaver (both figuratively and literally, I suppose!). It’s small enough to carry in a small bag or purse, and you can even charge it with the portable solar charger I mention above! I keep one in my backpack at all times


Getting Started With Remote Work E-Book

So many people write to me asking how I’ve been able to work remotely for the past 7 years. Most of the information I have on this blog pertains to working online, but I’ve not given much detail on the logistics of working remotely. 

Fortunately, my friend Kristin of The Wayward Home has, and she’s packaged it up in her brand new e-book, Getting Started With Remote Work. 

In this book, she dives into the nitty gritty, from how to find remote jobs, and she even interviews me about how to have the conversation with your boss asking if you could work remotely at your current job! (That’s how I actually got started!)

It’s an excellent resource to have if you want to find ways to work from a boat, and costs less than a couple of lattes. A great tradeoff if you ask me!  


Downsizing for a Life Afloat

If you’re ready to downsize your life (aka get rid of all your shit) so you can live a life of freedom and travel, this is the course for you. 

In this online course, Chris DiCroce (aka my husband!) walks you step-by-step through the downsizing process, taking the guesswork out of what to keep and what to get rid of.

He also shares the psychology behind our attachment to stuff (making it easier to detach), tips on getting more money for the items you sell (people say this module alone is worth the course!), and some great places to donate your discarded items, giving you some extra karma points, because #kindnessrules.

Not on a boat? He’s created an alternate version of the course called Downsizing for Tiny Life (same course, just without the boating references) for RVers and tiny lifestyle fans. 


JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

If you’re a coffee snob like I am (did you know coffee is more complex than wine?), this is sooooo nice to have on a boat! 

I mean, of course you can buy your coffee already ground, but when you do that, you lose the flavor more quickly and it doesn’t keep as long. Buying whole roasted beans keeps the flavor intact until you’re ready to brew. 

The problem is, those electric grinders use a lot of power when you’re at anchor, and that’s if you even have an inverter (we never had one on our boat). The battery-operated ones are great until you run out of batteries. I like having manual tools on a boat because they’re more reliable anyway. No cords. No batteries. Just these guns. ?

This manual grinder is made of stainless steel (so it won’t rust), and it’s small, so it won’t take up much space!

This is perfect as a companion to the Aeropress coffee maker I mentioned in my last gift guide!


Solar Shower with Thermometer

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that solar showers aren’t the most convenient way to take a shower. However, when you’ve been at sea for 4 days without a shower, this thing is like showering at the freakin’ Ritz.

It’s fantastic for rinsing the salt off when you’ve been diving for conch in Belize. Trust me on that. Plus it’s a handy way to carry an extra 4 gallons of water in case you need it.

The 4 gallons on this solar shower means you can shower multiple times (don’t be a water hog), and the thermometer lets you know how hot the water is before you open the spicket and get a cold surprise. 


Buff UV Multi-Functional Headwear

Ok, we’ve seen these in stores before and never gave them much thought. Then Chris got one to wear on his head during a 5-day bike trip through Oaxaca, Mexico and now he swears by it. 

It’s one of those things that you don’t think you need until you have one, then you wear it all the time. 

It protects your head from UV rays (do you know how many people get skin cancer on their head or face first?) and you can wear it so many ways, and there are lots of colors and styles to choose from.


SmartPhone Handheld Steadicam Stablizer

This isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got a blog (or want to start one), YouTube, or Patreon channel and are shooting any sort of video with your phone, this is a must-have. 

It eliminates that “shaky” handheld camera motion that reduces your overall video quality and is annoying to watch from a user standpoint. Your videos will look smooth and professional so you can attract and entertain those patrons to help fund your jouney! 

It’s compatible with smartphones and even some GoPro models. 


Sony Underwater Camera (Alternative to GoPro)

We have 2 GoPros and while they’ve been great for our needs, there are definitely some drawbacks, especially for the price you pay. 

This Sony camera is next on our list. It has a waterproof housing that you can use for underwater video, plus it even has an underwater filter that brightens up the colors in tropical fish, turtles, and coral that often get dulled in underwater video. 

It also has a built-in stabilizer, so your shots will be smoother. 

When we read the reviews of this camera compared to the GoPro, we’re totally sold on this one. 


Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack

I love this! When we were cruising on our boat, we always carried a dry bag with us (both small and large), but one thing that sucked was that you had to literally carry it. This waterproof backpack solves that problem. 

It comes in your choice of 35L or 55L, making it perfect for a multitude of uses – laundry, laptop, market, etc.

It also has convenient pockets for smaller items like keys, passport, or phone, so you don’t have to dig all the way to the bottom to get to something. I’ll definitely get one of these for our next boat!


Waterproof Cell Phone Pouch

This is one of those products that’s so convenient and inexpensive, it’s worth it to buy a few. We had about 4 on our boat, kept in various convenient places so we could quickly find one when we needed it. Which was every time we got in the dinghy.

Like most of you, our phones are everything… they have all of our contacts, photos, memories, and more, so it was worth the extra few seconds it takes to stick mine in this waterproof pouch and wear it around my neck. You don’t need anything fancy — these work great for us. 

It also is great for keys, money, and credit cards. It’s a no-brainer, really.


Weems & Plath Handbearing Compass

This is one of those pieces of gear that’s essential to have on board. It’s easy to say, “Oh, we have GPS” or “We have a compass on our phones”, but you’d be surprised at how often your GPS may be slightly off, and when you’re trying to navigate through a shallow reef, a few feet could mean the difference between cocktails on deck in an hour, or a really shitty day.

Consider it a smart piece of insurance.


If you’re a sailor or have a sailor in your life, you can’t go wrong with something on this list. That’s it for this year’s edition of the Holiday Gift Guide for Sailors!

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