Holiday Gifts Your Boater Will Use on the Dock and in the Water

At the Dock or on the Water, these Gifts Provide Boaters Safety, Convenience, and Fun!

The holiday season is here, and it’s time to start putting together your shopping list for your loved ones. Toys for the kids, something nice for your spouse—but what do you get the boater in your life? What is it that could help them have a better time whenever they’re working on their boat at the dock or riding the water on the lake?

More than most people, boaters are always prepared. Putting together boating safety checklists and making other preparations before setting sail, they have constant practice with planning and managing their trips. As a result, it can seem like they’ve got everything covered there’s not much they really need.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t great gifts you can find out there you can surprise them with though. Here are some suggestions for gifts to improve their time on the water and the dock.

Gifts for a Safer Voyage

Presents are a way of showing you care, and what better way to demonstrate that than with gifts that keep your boater safe?

1.      Wireless Kill Switch

A kill switch is an essential tool for boaters, allowing them to immediately shut off the engine at a moment’s notice in case of emergency. Typically, the kill switch is attached by a lanyard to the life vest. This way, if you fall off of your boat, the kill switch gets yanked out, shutting down the boat so it doesn’t leave you stranded.

A wireless cutoff switch like the MOB+ from FELL Marine removes the lanyard and instead has you wear a wristband that senses when you’ve gone overboard and stops the boat. This way, your boater can move around the vessel checking fishing lines or doing whatever else needs to be done while solo without fear of being left behind or the inconvenience of being tethered to the kill switch.

2.      Beacon

If the recipient of your gift likes to go out on long journeys on large bodies of water like our own Lake Michigan, then a beacon is an indispensable tool for keeping them safe. Used by mariners, hikers, and military alike, beacons like the ResQLink from ACR Electronics save lives when people get lost or stranded and need to broadcast their location.

This particular one has an internal GPS and sends out both a 406MHz distress signal and a 121.5 MHz homing signal to guide search-and-rescue teams to your exact location. You and your boater will both sleep so much more soundly when one of these is on a boat, that it’s practically a gift for yourself as well!

Gifts for Convenience

Once you’ve helped make sure that the boater on your holiday shopping list isn’t putting their life at risk, you can make that life a bit easier by getting them one of these helpful gifts.

3.      Chartplotter

A chartplotter is a device that assists a boater with navigation by displaying charts, plotting routes, tracking favorite locations, and more. The GPSMAP 78sc from Garmin, for example, comes with preloaded coastal maps that include shorelines, depth contours, navaids, harbors, and more. It also features GPS tracking, can download additional charts, and floats in addition to being water resistant.

This gadget will make it far easier for a boater to plan their routes before they’ve even left the dock, as well as monitor their progress along the way, ridding them of the need to gather a stack of physical charts before they go.

4.      Cooler and Drinkware

One of the great joys of boating is sitting back and sipping a nice cool drink. Help the boater in your life live this dream by getting them a nice new cooler and some custom drinkware. A floating cooler is a particularly good way to keep beverages cold all day, and can be towed behind many boats for a day of leisurely sailing. You can also get them drinkware for use on the boat—something like the Chasertini beverage holder from ORCA, which will keep a cocktail chilled from when you’re loading the boat on the dock to when you’re taking the last sip at sunset.

Gifts for Entertainment on the Dock and on the Water

Finally, in addition to those gifts which will keep your boater safe and make things more convenient for them, there are the ones that help them have more fun, both while they’re out on the water and when they’re working on their boat at the dock.

5.      Fishing Lures

It isn’t an absolute rule, but often, boaters like to use their boats for fishing. In this case, a new set of fishing lures might be a good gift that gets your boater excited to be out on the water again. Sebile offers a set of three distinct lures—the Stick Shadd, Magic Swimmer, and Flat Shadd—that are specialized for different fishing situations and will provide your boater with interesting new options to try.

6.      Stereo System

Whether you like rock, blues, hip hop, or any other style of music, a boat or dock is the perfect place to enjoy some tunes. You can’t bring conventional sound systems on board though, as water can easily get into your electronics and ruin them. That’s why a marine sound system makes for such a good gift for a boater who doesn’t already have one.

Fusion’s StereoActive system is an example of such a system—it’s waterproof, floats, attaches to any surface, can feature an optional space to keep your phone or other device dry, and provides high sound quality for listening to your music through Bluetooth, radio, or mp3. Perfect for relaxing on the boat or for entertaining yourself on the dock while loading or unloading or doing some maintenance work.

If there’s a lot of maintenance work being done though, here’s one last gift idea: a renovated dock.

Captain Rod’s Boat Lift & Pier Services has been the go-to authority for installing, repairing, and replacing your dock in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area for over 15 years. Our technicians are experts with hands-on experience and will work with you to plan your dock installation or renovation to fit your needs. Simply give us a call at (815) 759-9134 or provide your information on our contact form, and this holiday season you can give the gift of a more welcoming dock to come home to after a long voyage.