The MBY team have combined forces to bring you our guide to the best gifts for boaters.
Buying gifts for boaters can be very tricky – after all, what can you buy someone who’s lucky enough to spend a decent chunk of their time larking about on the water?
Luckily, MBY is here to help. There’s something for everyone, from affordable to big budget and super stylish, in our gift guide, all guaranteed to put a big smile on your faces…
Best gifts for boaters: Most popular options
Red Originals Pro Change Robe Evo
Best gift for boaters who love watersports
Changing robes seem to be the garment of the moment. Surfers, paddleboarders and wild swimmers swear by them and now they’re sweeping through the boat market too.
Water and windproof on the outside but soft and absorbent on the inside, you can chuck them on after a dip and use them to dry off and warm up simultaneously.
The cut is deliberately long and baggy so you can slip out of your soggy swimmers and into your dry clothes without mooning your guests, but thanks to a zip and poppered wind flap it works just as well as a full-length wet weather coat.
It comes in men’s and women’s cuts with short or long sleeves and a wide range of colours.
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Garmin Quatix 6
Best gift for high-tech boaters
The latest generation of Garmin smart watches aren’t just smart in the technological sense, they are smart in the style stakes too.
Even this entry-level model, with its stainless steel bezel and blue silicone strap, looks the business but you can also upgrade to titanium and solar-powered versions.
However, it’s the features that really blow your mind. As well as the expected GPS navigation and fitness monitor functions, you can display Navionics charts, control the autopilot system, mirror your boat’s depth and engine displays, link to its Fusion sound system and dozens of other indispensable features.
Read our Garmin Quatix 6 review
Looking for a boating watch? Read our essential buyer’s guide
Subscription to Motor Boat & Yachting
Best gift for boaters everywhere!
There are two sure-fire ways to a boat lover’s heart: gin and a subscription to their favourite boat magazine.
That’s why we’ve combined both to create the ideal gift package for every boat enthusiast.
Order a 12-month gift subscription to Motor Boat & Yachting for just £43.50 and we’ll throw in a bottle of premium quality HMS Spirits Mary Rose Gin worth £39.50 absolutely free.
Just click the link below or call 0330 333 1113 and quote the code XM21.
Itiwit 10ft inflatable paddle board
Best gift for active boaters
No boat is complete without an inflatable paddleboard to splash about on, but if you still haven’t joined the SUP brigade or need an extra one for guests, this beginner’s board could be a good place to start.
Costing less than £300, it’s Decathlon’s entry-level touring board and has been designed with ease of use and stability in mind.
It’s also about as cheap as you’ll get for a decent quality board that won’t flex like a banana the minute you stand on it. This 10ft version can cope with riders from 60-80kg but larger and smaller versions are available.
It weighs 9kg and comes in an easy-to-carry backpack but you will need to add the paddle and pump bundle if you haven’t already got them.
Read Yachting World’s guide to the best paddleboards
Meaco Arete Dehumidifier 20L
Best gift for boaters doing DIY
OK, we know not everyone is going to be excited by the idea of unwrapping a dehumidifier, but if you’re as boat-obsessed as we are, then it could really make your year, especially if it’s a MeacoDry Arete One.
The reason this model is so special, apart from being one of the smartest, quietest, most efficient dehumidifiers around, is because you can upgrade it with an optional water pump that will automatically empty its water tank when full.
This means you can place it anywhere you like onboard the boat, pop the end of the long hose in a sink or through a window and leave it running permanently.
Read Yachting World’s guide to the best boat dehumidifiers
Lotus Grill Portable BBQ
Best gift for boaters who cook
These clever little portable BBQs are perfect for boat owners. They’re surprisingly compact, reach cooking temperature in four minutes, create very little smoke and don’t get hot on the outside.
The secret is a built-in battery powered fan that fast tracks the usual 20 minutes of hanging around while the charcoal gets going and ensures a nice even spread of heat with all the great smoky flavour but none of the faff.
You can even control the cooking temperature by adjusting the fan speed to suit.
Read our guide to the best portable barbecues
ACR ResQLink View
Best gift for adventurous boaters
The View is the only personal locator beacon that uses Galileo GNSS Return Link technology to provide those in need of rescue with a clear message on a digital display verifying that help is on the way, which would be rather comforting.
There is no subscription required for this service and the unit features both a strobe and an infrared red light, five-year battery life and a 28-hour operational period once activated.
Reading Yachting World’s guide to the best personal locator beacons
This is the first handheld VHF to offer users “receive” information that is being broadcast by other AIS-equipped vessels.
This means you can actively avoid traffic rather than sitting and hoping they see you. Traffic is displayed clearly on the VHF’s well-proportioned LCD screen plus this unit has an integrated GPS receiver and is IPX7 rated to be submerged in water at 1m depth for up to 30 minutes.
Read our Icom IC-M94DE review
Check out Yachting World’s guide to the best handheld marine radios
Scanstrut Rokk Wireless Nest
Best gift for mobile-obsessed boaters
This is the world’s first waterproof wireless charge system created specifically for use on board.
The unique technology is housed in an IPX6-rated, fully encapsulated and sealed unit and is ideally suited for installation within helm consoles, seating and cabinetry.
The grippy mat stops phones from sliding around inside, with a prominent front lip ensuring the device can’t slip out onto the deck.
Helly Hansen Power Salt
Best gift for all-weather boaters
Helly Hansen hopes to get this balance just right with the Salt Power, which has been created to celebrate 35 years of the iconic H/H marine stripe design.
Its two-layer construction is windproof, waterproof and breathable, and the fleece-lined collar should make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. It even has a built in D ring to attach the boat’s kill cord to.
Read Yachting World’s guide to the best sailing jackets
Chatham Glen slippers
Best gift for cosy boaters
These sheepskin mules from Chatham really are the Rolls-Royce of slip-on indoor footwear.
Granted, this is quite a few quid for shoes that you don’t wear outside of your home/cabin but when you recline by the fire with your feet up, what a fine sight these will be at the end of your legs.
The single review of these slippers on the Chatham website simply reads: “unbelievable”. We rest our case, your honour…
Best gifts for boaters under £50
Seawater & Sawdust
MBY contributors Tom and Lorraine Owen don’t like to make things easy for themselves; rather than buying a second-hand motor boat, they built their own new one from scratch.
Now they’ve written a book about the experience, recounting every painstaking step on the journey from stack of raw timber to 30-foot wheelhouse cruiser in such detail that you can smell the sawdust on every page.
RRP: £24.99 / $34
Muggi drinks carrier
Back in the days when we were actually allowed to work in an office together, our Muggi was a key member of the MBY team. Perfect for ferrying the team’s piping hot brews in one hand and a fistful of custard creams in the other, it really took the sting out of the logistical nightmare that was the office tea run.
It also works rather well on boats, where its deep drinks holders and grippy feet ensure the risk of a spillage is kept to a minimum. Even better, all Muggis are now made out of 100% recycled material, including recovered marine plastic.
RRP: £14.95 / $29
This simple device uses insulation rather than power to create wonderfully rich slow-cooked stews. You just bring the pot to the boil, pop it in the bag and let it simmer for up to 12 hours, saving energy and reducing emissions. The company also provides subsidised Wonderbags to African communities.
AnySharp knife sharpener
Is it just us or do knives lose their edge faster onboard? The AnySharp Pro is a very effective knife sharpener that will work on anything from a serrated sailing knife to the finest Sabatier carving blade.
A sturdy metal body with a powerful built-in suction cup means you can attach it to any flat surface and keep your hands well away from the cutting edge while sharpening. Perfect for the galley or tool box!
RRP: £8 / $14.99
Lifeventure thermal travel mug
Every boat owner needs one of these to keep their cuppa warm at the helm when the rest of the crew are sheltering from the cold in the saloon.
The stainless steel casing has a matt finish for better grip with cold, wet hands, plus a flip-top lid to prevent accidental spills. The vacuum-insulated walls will keep your drink piping hot for up to three hours.
RRP: £13.99 / $15
Nauticalia floating keyring
It doesn’t matter whether the boat is a £5,000 Fletcher or a £5 million Sunseeker, if you drop the keys in the water, they’re going down.
Unless they’re attached to a large piece of buoyant cork, of course. And if you’re going to have a cork keyring, why not make it champagne cork shaped?
Helly Hansen HP half-zip pullover
This mid-layer top is made from double-knit polyester for light protection from the cold. The lightweight material makes it quick to dry if you do get a soaking and it’s easy to pack into a small bag for short trips away.
The high zip collar will help to keep your neck warm and it’s available in a good variety of colours.
RRP: £50 / $65
It may not have the big name appeal of better known brands but the GoXtreme Rebel looks cracking value for money.
It shoots in 720p HD with a 140 degree wide-angle view and can take up to 16mp still images, too.
Built-in Wi-Fi syncs to a free app allowing a smartphone to be used as a viewfinder and is waterproof to 30 metres.
Read YBW’s guide to the best GoPros for boating
Harbour Hounds Drying Robe
Dog-loving boat enthusiast Sarah Engerran set up Harbour Hounds specifically to cater for our nautical four-legged friends and this cosy looking drying robe would make the perfect gift for any pampered pooch.
Not only will it keep your mutt warm and dry after a dip in the briny but it will save your boat’s upholstery from a salty soaking. Other canine gifts include nautical themed collars, leads, toys and even bandanas!
A Small Boat Around Britain
Philip Davies and Nigel Boutwood, the two plucky MBY readers who motored round the whole of the British mainland in a 28ft Rhea 850 and whose story we serialised in the magazine, have published a hardback book about their adventures.
All profits from the book will go to the two charities they supported on their circumnavigation – Brain Tumour Research and Prostate Cancer UK.
Nauticalia Royal Navy Glasses
Keep track of your festive tipple and make sure no one’s drinking the captain’s gin with these attractive engraved tumblers, inspired by the emblems used on the sleeves of Royal Navy uniforms. Choose from ‘Captain’, ‘First mate’, ‘Skipper’ and ‘Crew’. Cheers!
Best gifts for boaters £50-£100
Helly Hansen W Copenhagen
Not everybody is into the look of traditional deck shoes so these low profile sneakers from Helly Hansen are a good compromise.
The rubber outsole should prove grippy enough for work on deck but, available in pink, navy and off white with a signal flag motif on the heel, they’re more stylish than your average deckie.
The tumbled leather uppers with suede trim won’t enjoy a sloshing from a rogue wave but these trendy trainers won’t look out of place away from the boat.
For more options, from deck trainers to leather moccasins, check out our guide to the best boat shoes available right now.
This Submariner from Nauticalia is sure to keep you warm and cosy during winter nights on board.
Available in ecru or navy, it’s made from Merino wool with interlinked seams for added strength.
Gill Polar Jacket
There are fleeces and there is Gill’s Polar Jacket. Lined with a kind of soft faux fur on the inside but with a tougher, more densely knitted exterior, it is windproof and incredibly warm, but lighter and more comfortable to wear than a conventional boating jacket.
It’s not waterproof, but as a mid-layer under a thin waterproof jacket or on its own in cold, dry weather it’s a great bit of kit.
RRP: £90 / $119
Overboard waterproof duffel bag
We’re massive fans of this versatile dry bag. The 40-litre version is small enough to carry one-handed and stuff into most boat lockers but big enough to swallow cameras, binoculars, handheld VHFs and more.
It’s also a very robust bag, totally waterproof, easy to find things in and peppered with useful pockets, straps and carry handles.
RRP: £59.99 / $49
Riz Recycled Board Shorts
These hand-tailored swim shorts are made from a light but comfortable fabric created from recycled plastic bottles.
In a further effort to combat plastics in our oceans, the company also donates £1 from every pair sold to the Marine Conservation Society.
Available in three different lengths and a wide variety of prints, they make exactly the right kind of fashion statement.
Baltic Slim Pro
If you’re carrying a little holiday weight, this light and slender buoyancy aid could be of use.
It has a slim fit thanks to the careful distribution of the buoyancy material with a back plate that is ergonomically designed and adjustable sides made of soft neoprene.
The entire vest is lined with mesh for extra breathability and it’s available in small (30-50kg) to XL (90kg +) sizes in black or white.
Read YBW’s guide to the best lifejackets
English Logbook Co. logbook
The brainchild of sailor and former Yachting Monthly staff member Will Bruton, these premium logbooks are made to order by a master bookbinder here in the UK.
There are two versions: the Victura and the Endurance (the latter designed by none other than Tom Cunliffe), and they are both section-sewn for added strength with a spine that allows them to lie flat on a chart table.
Hand-marbled endpapers ensure that no two books look the same, and the outer, which can be personalised with a boat name, is water-resistant, so there’s no danger of those precious cruising notes being spoiled by the odd splash.
Papa’s Pilar rum
Because every seafarer enjoys a drop of rum, right?! Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s adventures between Florida and Cuba on his boat, Pilar, this rum brand was created in collaboration with Hemingway’s estate, and the family remains involved and donates a majority of its proceeds to charity.
Christmas gifts for boaters over £100
Riva Sailing Knife
Best gift for wealthy boaters
Here at MBY we look forward to Riva’s gift offerings almost as much as we do its boat launches. They are always absurdly expensive yet somehow all the more desirable because of it.
This year the Italian yard has excelled itself with two new sailing knives styled in the shape of its iconic Aquarama and Rivamare sportsboats.
The former features a wood and stainless steel body to reflect the Aquarama’s classic lines, while the latter uses coloured alloy and brushed steel in keeping with the Rivamare’s looks.
Manufactured by master knife makers Saladini, these miniature works of art are far too nice to use as sailing knives but would make quite a statement when passed around the dinner table on the cheese board.
Read YBW’s guide to the best sailing knives
Kooduu Synergy Lamp/Wine Cooler/Speaker
Best gift for party-loving boaters
Nothing lights up a beach party like this stylish 3-in-1 LED lamp, wine cooler and Bluetooth speaker.
Simply charge it up before you leave the boat, sync it to your phone and it will deliver the three core ingredients every party needs: good tunes, soft lighting and chilled alcohol.
Admittedly, you might need more than the one bottle of wine which the ice bucket holds but you can always buy a couple more in different sizes and sync them altogether for the ultimate party vibe.
They come in a variety of heights and prices, from 41cm to 72cm tall.
Read YBW’s guide to the best boating Bluetooth speakers
Best gift for adrenaline-junkie boaters
These electric foiling Fliteboards are the must-have gadget of the moment. Quieter, cleaner and more challenging to ride than a jetski but much more satisfying once you get the hang of it, they are the ultimate big boy’s toy.
But if you can’t quite run to the £12,000 cost of buying one, you can still get a taste of it with an e-foiling lesson at the Official Test Centre in Portland.
Editor Hugo had a go last summer and has barely stopped talking about it since, even if he seemed to spend rather more time in the water than on the board.
Typhoon Ventnor 3.2 wetsuits
Like rats and Manchester United fans, you are never more than 20m away from someone who’s taken up cold water swimming these days.
So if you’re feeling generous and want to indulge a loved one in this hobby, this new range of cold water wetsuits could be just the ticket.
Using 3.2mm REACH compliant neoprene the super soft, ultra-stretch fabric has been engineered to ensure maximum flexibility and manoeuvrability, while the hollow fibre furness thermal liner is positioned to ensure warmth and comfort.
The suits are available for men and women in a range of sizes with front and rear zip options.
Spinnaker Dumas watch
Named after the diving pioneer Frédéric Dumas, this handsome vintage timepiece is inspired by dive watch designs of the 1970s. It features an adjustable mesh bracelet and chunky octagonal chassis with sapphire crystal lens and clear, unfussy dial with an oversized minute hand and date window.
It’s not just designed to look like a dive watch; water resistant to 984ft (300m) it will serve the serious scuba enthusiast as well as those who just fancy the odd dip off the bathing platform. It comes in a variety of colours and, considering the quality, is impressive value for money.
RRP: £399 / $399
Read our full Spinnaker Dumas review
Kraken 10ft 6in All Rounder stand-up paddleboard
This inflatable paddleboard packs away into a wheelie backpack style bag and weighs just 12kg with a maximum user weight of 130kg.
In the box you get the board, an aluminium paddle, double action pump, fin, leash and repair kit. We like the turquoise colour scheme but there is a grey version if you’re after something more subtle.
The OLAS Guardian works by wirelessly logging up to 15 crew members via small wearable transmitters that are worn on the wrist. If the transmitter is submerged or strays too far from the boat the engine is cut.
Being wireless, the skipper can move around the boat freely to attach lines and fenders, safe in the knowledge that the virtual kill cord is safely in place. Clever stuff!
ACR OLAS Guardian deals
ACR OLAS man overboard tag deals
Its 36v battery teamed with a geared brushless motor delivers a top speed of 15mph and a range of 35 miles on a charge. There are five assistance levels that can be dialled in either through the pedals or via a thumb throttle on the handlebars.
Designed and built here in the UK, it’s available in grey, orange and white.
American Tourister Airconic
In the ongoing battle with airlines and their war on cabin luggage the Airconic is a secret weapon. Not only are its dimensions compact enough to keep your mind at ease if you’re unlucky enough to be the last on board but the 55cm version weighs just 2kg. Two kilograms!
It comes in a range of colours and thanks to that lightweight frame and four wheels, it’s a dream to whizz through the airport.
The PowerDolphin’s rotating HD camera is able to shoot 4K video and high quality stills across a 215° arc above and below water level.
Whether filming surfing, sailing, diving, or scouring the best fishing spots, the drone relays its footage to a smartphone via the Vision+ app. It’s capable of 8 knots flat out with a battery life of up to 2.5 hours.
RRP: £763 / €799
Casio’s G-Shock range has been producing tough timepieces for years and the Gulfmaster is one designed specifically for maritime activity.
Suitable for professional diving with water resistance rated at 200m, it features a thermometer, tide graph, digital compass, and moon phase graph. For the money it’s an impressively capable bit of kit.
RRP: £260 / $199
Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator
This lightweight jacket is designed for winter sports, but as long as you’re not heading out in harsh conditions, it’s a warm, stylish option.
It’s water resistant and windproof plus the stretchy fabric on the arms aids movement. It scrunches down for packing and comes in a range of colours.
RRP: £160 / $140
Fusion Apollo RA 670
This neat little stereo system packs all the power and connectivity of the award-winning Fusion Apollo series into a more compact, waterproof unit that takes up less space on today’s increasingly cluttered helm stations.
It links to your phone via the Fusion-link app so you can control it by remote and fine tune the sound as well as stream your favourite music via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or the built-in AM/FM radio.
RRP: £440 / $449
Red Paddle Co Compact SUP
This Compact SUP from the Red Paddle Co folds down into a neat backpack that weighs only 12.7kg. A patented construction process means once inflated it’s a rigid, full-sized 9ft 6in board, suitable for riders of up to 95kg.
PowerVision PowerRay Explorer Underwater Drone
The idea of exploring the subaqua world beneath your boat can be very enticing, the reality of cold water and fogged up diving masks less so.
Now you can explore it from the comfort of your cockpit via this underwater drone. It streams high res video as it dives at up to 4 knots to a depth of almost 100ft.
RRP: £1,699 / $999
Standard Horizon HX40E
This waterproof marine radio, which is about the size of a pack of playing cards, is compact but packs a punch. It boasts 6W of transmitting power, an FM radio and a bright dot matrix screen that remains clear even in direct sunlight.
Chunky buttons on the simple fascia make it easy to use with gloves.
RRP: £129.95 / $119
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Moon Navigator
Limited to just 1,000 units this handsome looking watch combines premium quality and style with genuine usability for mariners.
It has an illuminated moon phase display and hour and minute hands powered by micro gas tubes so no light source is needed to read the face in the dark.
It also displays high and low tide over a two-week period and is water resistant to 330ft (100m). Available with a black or blue face.
Lumishore underwater lights
Why do you need underwater lights? Because they’re cool and they turn your bathing platform into an aquarium at night.
Lumishore offer a huge range of super bright LED lights suitable for RIBs through to superyachts, either through hull or surface mount and either single colour or colour changing.
JL Audio M Series speakers
M Series are JL Audio’s top-end speakers. Available in a variety of sizes and styles, they start at 6.5 inch (165mm) making them a straight swap for many existing pre-installed speakers.
However, while they might be the same size, they certainly don’t make the same noise. Expect crystal clear sound quality that doesn’t deteriorate as the volume rises.
Opticron Explorer WA-ED Oasis-C binoculars
A good pair of binoculars are essential on board ship. These Opticron Explorer bins are ideal for boating as they are fully waterproof and have a rubberised coating meaning that they’re easy to grip with wet hands, are less inclined to slide about when it’s rough and won’t scratch your precious woodwork.
For more options, check out YBW’s guide to the best marine binoculars available right now.
Riva Backgammon Set
The Italian yard has outdone itself with this beautifully crafted mahogany, maple, stainless steel and leather or fabric backgammon set.
It’s the kind of set you expect to see being played between 007 and a Bond villain to decide the fate of the western world on a throw of its turquoise dice.
Artist Suzanne Chisnell is a boat enthusiast with an eye for detail and a dab hand with a brush. She will paint a portrait of your boat in oil or pastel at a size to suit your intended hanging space and pocket!
All you need to do is send her a suitable photograph of your boat and discuss your preferred dimensions and style – perfect for reminding you of sunny days on the water when you’re stuck at home in the depths of winter.
Marloe Coniston Speed Edition boating watch
Editor Hugo is obsessed with the Campbell clan of record breakers so this limited edition timepiece from British watchmaker Marloe is right up his street.
It celebrates the world waterspeed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in Blue Bird K3 on Lake Maggiore (not Coniston as the name suggests) in 1937.
Each of the 500 limited edition watches comes in a beautifully presented box complete with a booklet celebrating his achievements. The watch has a high-quality mechanical movement visible through the glass window on the rear.
Gill OS2 Offcut Edition boating jacket
We’re big fans of Gill’s range of wet weather gear and this new limited edition Offcut version of its best-selling OS2 jacket is a case in point.
Made from off-cuts of material that would normally be discarded, it not only reduces waste and its impact on the environment but the patchwork of different colours also results in a rather striking design.
Featuring the same waterproof, windproof and breathable material as the regular OS2 jacket, just 50 of these Offcut Editions are being made with 20% of the sale price going to Plastic Oceans to help the fight against plastic entering our seas.
Riva scented diffuser gimbal
Fed up with nasty whiffs on your boat? Riva has the answer in the form of this beautifully engineered stainless steel and mahogany gimbal.
Designed to hold one of its own scented candles or reed diffuser bottles, it will swing with the boat’s motion to ensure they stay upright at all times.
It’s not cheap – the diffuser is another €95 extra – but it’s less expensive than a full stabiliser system!
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated boating page for more marine products.