13 holiday gift ideas for sailors

I’m back again with this year’s gift ideas for liveaboard sailors! I always love putting these lists together, and this year, I focused on more everyday use ideas under $100.

The list ranges from practical to cerebral, and I hope you’ll find something for you or the sailor in your life!

By the way, these are affiliate links, and I get a small commission should you make a purchase… but I only recommend products I use, know, love, and am proud to share, because I think you’ll like them, too!

Anker Battery Pack

I don’t know about you, but my phone battery tends to die at the most inopportune times — like when a pod of dolphin chases the boat, we run into Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz) on the street, or we encounter a strange orb in the sky when driving through the desert near Roswell. (Ok, that last one isn’t actually true. I took poetic license… it wasn’t in Roswell, it was in Texas.)

But with the Anker battery pack, you can recharge your phone (or other device) lightning fast, so you’re ready to capture those memorable moments. Oh yeah, not to mention keeping it charged so you can call someone in case of an emergency. Like being kidnapped by aliens or running out of coffee.


Gift guide for sailors - opux stainless, double-walled french press coffee press

OPUX Double-Walled Stainless Coffee Press

Speaking of coffee… if you’ve been following any of our travels for any length of time, you know how much we love our coffee and our coffee gadgets. This OPUX French press is our new favorite coffee gadget.

It’s stainless steel, so it’s perfect for a boat. (Unlike the glass ones we used to use which broke too easily). It’s also double-walled, which keeps the coffee warmer much longer. We carry this with us wherever we go now!


JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

And here we go again with coffee. In order to retain the freshness and flavor, it’s better to use whole bean coffee, only grinding what you need. And on a boat, we prefer to have manual versions of items in case we ever drain our batteries or lose power. Because all hell might break loose if we lose power and can’t grind coffee.

This is the one we use every single day. Not only does it work great, but it also gives you a great workout. Grind, baby, grind!

Blue Light Blocking Reading Light

I love to read. And I especially love to read when I should be sleeping. I don’t want to disturb Chris, so I love my book lights. The problem is, most of them have blue led lighting which is detrimental to your ability to produce melatonin, signaling to your body that it’s time to sleep.

I found this amber-hue reading light, and can’t wait to try it out. It’s rechargeable, has 2 brightness settings, and won’t affect your circadian rhythm.

I’ve always been a proud night owl, but after listening to a podcast recently by a sleep scientist on how bad lack of sleep is for your health, I’m now sold on anything that helps me get more ZZZs.


Stainless Reuseable Water Bottle with 2 Lid Types

I won’t go anywhere without my reuseable water bottle. I drink a LOT of water, and won’t buy bottled water unless it’s unavoidable and absolutely necessary.

I like the fact that this bottle comes with 2 types of lids – a flip-up straw lid and a chug lid. I prefer the straw lid because I can drink it while walking without spilling it all over my face. ?

It’s also easy to clean, the stainless won’t crack or break, and keeps things cold longer. And when you consider the cost savings AND environmental savings, this is a no-brainer.


Gift ideas for sailors - G-Shock GA100 Military Series watch for men

G-Shock Military Series Watch

There are plenty of great watches out there, but few that will withstand the wear and tear that this one does while costing you less than $100. Even the US Navy SEALs wear this watch, so you know it’s good.

I gave one to Chris (my husband) about 7 years ago and we’ve only had to replace the band (about $20) once after he tore it doing something on the boat. It’s still going strong. They also make G-Shocks for women, which I’m considering getting for myself.


Marine Emergency First Aid Kit

Every boat needs a marine first aid kit, and while this one is not the best I’ve seen, for under $100, it’s pretty comprehensive and could help in a variety of emergencies.

The locking lid also keeps contents from getting wet, which is helpful in a marine environment.


SoftScience Flip Flops

Personally, I default to cheap Old Navy flip flops, but I know they are terrible for my feet and I should get a more adult pair of flip flops. But Chris has these and swears by them.  

He says they are super comfortable, and as cruisers, we do a lot of walking and these offer support and are better for your feet and back.

They also come in lots of colors and designs, so maybe I’ll break down and get a pair!


El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce

Ok, we’ve traveled all over Mexico, and I’ve tried a LOT of hot sauce and this is my favorite by a landslide. But beware… it’s freakin’ hot, and I have a tolerance for hot. 

What I love most about it is that beyond the heat, it has a lot of flavor, unlike many hot sauces which taste too vinegary, or you only get that “omg my mouth is on fire” taste. This has a smoky taste that hurts so good. Trust me, a little goes a long way so beware.

I use it on everything from tacos and tostadas to seasoning in chili, pasta, stir fry, and my special black bean recipe (it’s one of my secret ingredients… don’t tell anyone). You’re welcome.


You Gotta Go To Know - Amazon Best Seller - Kindle

You Gotta Go To Know

This Amazon bestseller is the true story of a leap of faith and one couple’s attempt to break away from the status quo to live a life they dreamed of. It shares how they made the decision, to the emotions of finding the right boat, selling everything, and finally telling friends, family, and bosses.

In the process, they soon discovered that their greatest triumphs often came from their greatest challenges. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams fell prey to their bologna sandwich and Miller High Life budget. Boat breakdowns, tropical storms, and over-extended bank accounts brought them face to face with the reality that things don’t always go as planned, but sometimes… that’s the best plan.

*Note: This is our story and it has inspired thousands of boaters over the years, and was the catalyst for my husband’s signature talk by the same name, which he gives at yacht clubs and boating events. So I’m not biased when I say it’s a great story. 😉


Gifts for sailors - Downsizing for a Life Afloat ecourse

E-Course – Downsizing For a Life Afloat

Downsizing to move onto a boat is one of the hardest things we’ve done (and many liveaboard cruisers will agree!). Which is why we decided to create this course to help other soon-to-be liveaboards. 

It helps you get some quick wins right off the bat so you feel inspired to keep going, and helps you tackle the sentimental and items that are harder to part with, in a way that leaves you feeling relieved and excited rather than like you just lost a huge chunk of your life.

It will also help you put some extra money in the cruising kitty, so you could make 10X your money back or more with the tips we give you on selling some of your stuff!


Work At Home Book

I talk a lot about working online while traveling, because now, there are so many opportunities to make legit (and good) money online while sailing around the world. And this book is just what you need to get started. Not to mention, yours truly is mentioned in this book! 

Caitlin Pyle, the author, is the authority on working at home, having started out as a freelance proofreader, then building a multi-million-dollar business teaching others how to make money proofreading and other ways to work at home. So she knows her stuff. 


Masterclass – Learn From the Best

One of the best gifts I’ve ever given my husband is the James Patterson Masterclass. He’d been dreaming half his life about writing a fiction novel — a daunting undertaking. He took the class (recorded and online) and immediately started writing. He finished in 3 months and his first novel hit the Amazon #1 Bestseller list in Dark Comedy in the first couple of days. Had it not been for this class, he’d probably still be dreaming about writing a novel.

If you’re not familiar with Masterclass, it’s where the best of the best — people at the top of their craft — teach you their methods.

Currently there are 60+ masterclasses, in fields from writing to cooking to photography, and so many more. You can take them individually or you can purchase an All Access Pass which gives you access to all courses. (I just purchased the All Access Pass for Chris).

These have nothing to do with sailing, but they are great gifts for sailors and cruisers who want to develop a new skill that they could use in their travels, to help them make money, fulfill a dream, or to feed a creative spirit.


And there you go! This year’s guide with holiday gift ideas for liveaboard sailors under $100. Happy gift-giving! (And don’t worry… I won’t tell if the gift is from you to… you!)


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