Heartfelt thank you’s go a long way for the skippers in your life. Show your gratitude with more than just a nod and a wink this holiday season to the special person who lets you sail all season on their boat. Skippers drive the boat where we want to go, take our snack and beverage requests, and do it all with a smile - usually! While camaraderie and adventure are priceless presents, we’ve asked some of our favorite sailors for their gift ideas that any skipper, and more importantly, their boat will love.
1. LIFE JACKET & SAFETY GEAR
We all want to have fun on the water, but safety is just as important. Many people we sail with have the same life jacket they’ve always had, and it’s 30 years old! When life jackets are old and UV damaged, they become less buoyant. Keep your skipper safe on the water with a new lifejacket. There are plenty of low-profile design options today that are less restrictive than some of the more traditional PFDs. And if you find a design that fits your skipper’s type of sailing, they’re more likely to wear it on the water. Spinlock has life jacket and harness options we love for every kind of sailing. Other safety gear ideas include a first aid kit, flashlight or headlamp, and on-the-water sail repair kit.
2. CUSTOM SAIL COVER & BATTLE FLAG
A custom sail cover will add a touch of personal flair to your skipper’s sailboat while also protecting the mainsail from harmful UV rays. You can select their favorite color and include the boat name or logo on the side. Similarly, battle flags are a fun way to announce your presence at a marina, regatta, or cruising rendezvous. These personalized gifts are a great way to show your appreciation and sure to make everyone on the boat smile whenever they’re in use. Call your local loft to get more information on custom sail covers and battle flags. If you really want to surprise your skipper, click here to learn about custom graphics.
3. LINES, BLOCKS, & HARDWARE
Lines, blocks, and hardware are under near-constant load and need regular replacement. Give a gift that the boat will thank you for as much as the skipper and the rest of the crew! Go to your nearest marine supply store or shop online for a wide variety of line and hardware options. You may want to sneakily ask your skipper for specific part details to make sure you’re getting the correct replacement parts or line. Give your local loft a call for more information on hardware and line -we’re happy to help!
Instruments provide data that allow us to understand our boat and environment better, and, therefore, enjoy our sailing to the fullest. For a skipper who wants to advance their racing or cruising, updated instruments can be a game-changer. Many race boats use time and distance instruments that are about the size of your hand and clip in and out of a bracket. Many instruments also have a maximum speed recall button. Skippers who are speed demons will love this feature. And if your skipper has a big cruising adventure coming up, the latest navigation software will keep them safe while also allowing them to explore new places.
5. CONSULTATION OR COACHING SESSION WITH YOUR FAVORITE EXPERT
Consulting with an expert can be a memorable opportunity for any sailor. If your skipper is a racer, they may enjoy a chalk talk or an on-the-water coaching session with a favorite pro. Similarly, if your cruiser is preparing to sail in unfamiliar locations, contact an expert or someone who has cruised there before to set up a meeting to share helpful tips, tricks, and highlights of the area, improving your skipper’s cruising experience.
One of the easiest and most valuable gifts you can give your skipper is your time. Buy your skipper a few bottles of wax and offer to help wax the hull when the boat comes out of the water. If your boat is traveling to a regatta or you’re cruising somewhere, offer to help plan the logistics. These are simple gifts you can give, but they are deeply appreciated. A little of your time will go a long way.
8. GIFT CARD
Still don’t know what to get your skipper? Sailors always appreciate a gift card to marine suppliers, gear stores, or their favorite sailmaker. Whether it’s for boat cleaning supplies, new sailing gloves, or money toward a new sail, this gift will not go unused. Gift cards are also a great option because you don’t always know you need something until it breaks. Shop our Quantum gift card options or contact your local loft to help you get what you need for your skipper.
Need more gift ideas? Check out this article for some out-of-the-box suggestions.