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The perfect Christmas gift for a sailor…Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Don’t just rush and buy any old thing with a picture of a boat on it – here’s our guide for getting the perfect gift for the sailor in your life…
Hooray! The Christmas season is finally upon us, bringing with it floods of warmth, goodwill, and, of course, sacks and sacks of presents. But what gifts should you get the sailor in your life? Here’s our guide to getting it right!
Avoid nautical tat!
Let’s start with what NOT to buy: ‘nautical tat’ might be easiest to buy for sailors – basically, anything you can buy with an anchor logo, rope design, or added nautical flags. Maybe a soap dish with a picture of a boat on, or a mug with a steering wheel emblem – but it’s a big no no as far as our team are concerned (and yes, we’re all sailors, and we have cupboards and attics full of this sort of stuff!)
Just because your loved one has a sailing qualification, it sadly doesn’t mean that they have any great affinity to seeing (or using) anything which happens to have an anchor on it!
As a general rule, if you wouldn’t buy it them without the ‘nautical theme’, then don’t buy it them now…!
Buying sailing gear…
Sadly, what with yachts and boats being pretty expensive, then there’s not much that it’s possible to buy within the usual price bracket of £20 to £50 for a Christmas gift – but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
For starters, there’s sailing accessories which might go down well: things like sailing gloves, polo shirts, bags, or other gear which will help them to look slick on the boat or in the marina. That means it has to be from the right supplier (The most famous brands are Gill, Musto and Helly Hansen, but your sailor might already have a preferred brand you can buy?).
The most important consideration is whether they will actually use or wear it – if they will, then great, but if not, then don’t bother. Like, a wash-bag made from a recycled sail is cool, but if they only travel with a toothbrush, it’s still going to end up lost at the back of a cupboard, or stuffed under their bed.
Likewise, if they go yachting in the Mediterranean in summer, they won’t have any need for heavy and warm clothes (it’s toasty hot there in the sunshine).
The main point of sailing gear is that it has to be functional (to make it worth carrying on to the boat and carting it around in your bag), as well as looking cool – because everyone knows that sailors are best-dressed people in town!
Obviously, the key to any winning present is about being thoughtful and personal, so if there’s something that they will use that you can make yourself (and it still look good), then that would be a double-win.
Otherwise, getting nice kit personalised (with embroidered names, numbers, or something else of significance) would work. Maybe there’s a picture of their favourite boat (or the boat they sailed last summer, and even better, a photo of them on a boat) which you can turn into something cool on a mug, map, t-shirt, calendar, or whatever.
Most sailors are also proud of the places they’ve been to, so a personalised t-shirt listing all the ports they’ve sailed out of (if you can get hold of their log book) or, better, a map of the same, would add some serious wow factor! (particularly if they have multiple voyages to shout about).
Fun things to do on board a boat…
Another avenue you could explore is thinking of fun things that they could do on a boat (when they’re not sailing it, obviously). Hopefully you’ll know them well enough to know what sort of things they like doing, and what sort of things they don’t – for example, they might be the sort of person who enjoys playing cards, so maybe there’s a few fun games or board games which you can find them which might add a bit of variety to the evenings? Articulate is a good game for getting everyone involved – but beware that it can get competitive!
If they’re not just travelling with hand-luggage, then a favourite ‘special’ tipple is probably in the price range, and will mean that they’ll be still enjoying Christmas even when they’re sipping gin on a boat in mid-summer, or quaffing whisky whilst the waves lap against the side of the boat.
At the worst, then even portable speakers (which work with their device), one-pot cookery books, books of exercises which they don’t need any gym equipment for, etc… would do the trick if they came accompanied with a cute note saying ‘thought this might be useful for your next sailing adventure’.
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And, of course, the ultimate present is surely a sailing holiday, where they get to spend time with family, friends, and be on a boat. If you’ve got the pocket for it, then you could pay for the lot, but if not, you could throw it up as an idea and gift them a map or pilot guide of the sailing area.
(This final idea has the benefit of you promising to spend quality time with them next year, and, of course, it also means that you will be going on a superb sailing holiday with your favourite sailor next year too…! That’s like a present for both of you!)
Whatever you get them, have a happy Christmas, from everyone at PlainSailing.com!