10 Gift ideas for boaters and live aboards

Holiday shopping can be a stressful thing sometimes when you’re searching for that perfect gift for someone. It can be even more taxing trying to find gift ideas for folks who live aboard full or part time. With limited space on a boat, we have to be choosy about what we purchase to bring aboard […]

Holiday shopping can be a stressful thing sometimes when you’re searching for that perfect gift for someone. It can be even more taxing trying to find gift ideas for folks who live aboard full or part time. With limited space on a boat, we have to be choosy about what we purchase to bring aboard so you don’t want to buy just any ole’ thing for the live aboard in your life.  We’ve compiled a few ideas for you if you are looking for gift items for boaters or live aboards.

#1 “Home is where the anchor drops” Personalized Throw Pillows, Bottle/Can Coolers or Tote bags

When you live aboard, this saying really rings true and what better way to display it with a variety of items such as iPhone/iPad cases, fun throw pillows, bottle/can coolers, or tote bags?  Designed by yours truly, these items can all be personalized with a boat name. Throw pillows are always a functional way to decorate your boat and tote bags come in handy when bringing groceries and other items aboard.



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Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair

Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder

#2 Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair

You’ll find this book over on our Resources page and it has been invaluable. Randy has read this book cover to cover and refers to it quite often, especially when we are without internet and he needs to troubleshoot an issue. It’s a great book to have for any serious cruiser who wants to understand the ins and outs of diesel engines.

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Low-back Go-Anywhere Seat 2

#3 Low-Back Go-Anywhere Seat 2

Another one from our resources page, this foldable seat cushion is simply awesome. We have found that we use these more than any other chairs or deck seating because of their comfort and flexibility of being able to move them around anywhere on the boat. Made of durable, UV resistant polyester, they are urethane coated to help repel moisture. When not in use, we store them flat on our bridge.

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#4 YETI Stainless Steel Tumbler

Randy and I received a couple of YETI stainless steel tumblers as a wedding gift from my sister’s family. They had them custom painted with the Blue Turtle logo but these same tumblers are amazing. We use them in the summer to put ice water in and they keep the water cool most the day. I’ve also used them to store ice in our dinghy cooler for sunset cocktails since they are amazing at keeping ice from melting. If you like cold beverages, these are must for your boat.

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#5 “Trawler Trash” Mug, Bottle/Can Coolers, Bottle Opener and more

“Trawler Trash” is a fun little tongue-in-cheek saying that I first heard from a fellow marina neighbor. I liked the idea of it and created a fun little graphic to be applied to t-shirts, mugs, beverage coolers, etc. We have a few of the mugs on our trawler (one that features “This might be rum” on one side) as well as the bottle openers. The mugs and shirts make great conversation pieces around the marina and the beverage coolers and church key never go unused. The bottle openers are all-over printed with a protective coating to keep the stainless steel from rusting.

Trawler Trash:Confessions of a Boat Bum also happens to be the first in a series of books by Ed Robinson. I  haven’t had time to read much of anything lately, but I do plan to read this series soon as it sounds intriguing.




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#6 Rugged Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Rugged waterproof bluetooth speakers come in handy on a boat and we have a couple of them similar to this one laying around. They’re great to have music up on the bridge and if they fall while underway, they keep on working. We also like to toss them into the dinghy with us when we go for a ride or head to the beach. For a tiny durable speaker, they really have a great sound.

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#7 Magma Cabo Gas Grill

We grill quite often on Blue Turtle not only because it’s healthy but also it just gives us more options for cooking on a boat. We first started out with the smaller, round version of the Magma grill which was fine, however, I had to grill in shifts if I were grilling veggies and meat. Eventually our old grill got damaged and we decided to purchase the Magma Cabo Gas Grill. I love it because I can fit so much more on it. I can grill veggies and meat at the same time if it’s just us, and when we have company it helps to have that extra space.

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#8 “Boat Hair Don’t Care” Hat, T-shirt or Bottle/Can Coolers

Anyone who boats or lives aboard knows that there are always bad hair days when aboard. Wind blown, salty, sandy and downright unruly, it’s best to just not worry about it. It’s part of the boating lifestyle so embrace it! This is another one of my designs that is available in hats, tees, beverage coolers and mugs. Want the design on another product? Just ask.

Boat Hair Don't Care Hat
Boat Hair Don't Care Bottle and Can Coolers
Boat Hair Don't Care Tank Top

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#9 TRX Suspension Trainer

This one also comes from our resources page and is an excellent tool to stay in shape while living aboard or cruising.  I’ve used these in gyms in the past and once we moved aboard, I purchased one of my own as a means to stay in shape. Suspension training is a type of exercise that uses your own body weight to effectively work your muscles. The TRX straps fold up into a small bag so it takes up very little space. I’ve used mine wrapped around trees, fences and even our trawler mast—you just have to make sure that what you attach it to can support your own body weight. These days, I’m using the TRX at the gym I visit but I used my TRX over the summer when we cruised to the Dry Tortugas. It’s really an effective exercise tool for living aboard. Learn more about TRX Suspension Training here.

TRX Workout living aboard

TRX Workout – TRX straps attached to our mast

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#10 Shatterproof Stemless Wine Glasses

Shatterproof Stemless Wine Glasses are a must for boating

We all know that glass can break easily on a boat so unbreakable wine/beverage glasses are must. I admit, I actually still have one stemmed real-glass wine glass on board because I do like the real glasses when drinking wine on my own boat. The plastic stemless ones come in handy when you are dinghying over to a neighbor’s boat or for dock parties. We have stemless plastic glasses like these and love them. They’re easy to wash and you can just toss them into the cooler.

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We hope this gives you some ideas for holiday gifts for the boaters/live aboards in your life.

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