Some people are hard to shop for. Even though it may seem like the sailor in your life has everything, sailing is a gear intensive sport and there is always something that needs upgrading.
I’ve put together this collection of gear to help you find a gift which will be used and appreciated. All of the items listed here I have personally tested on the water.
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Nitrile gloves have amazing grip and are extremely popular for anyone handling lines while racing. Sailors swear by these. Get the twelve pack as the super grip doesn't last forever. As of the time of publishing these work out to $2.73/pair which is an amazing deal.
Z Blok is a sailor's favorite for saving skin when spending all day in the sun. The stick form is great for stashing in a pfd or sailing jacket for quick access and reapplication.
A top notch blade isn't inexpensive but is a critical tool for any sailor. Many well made knives will rust with frequent saltwater baths, but Spyderco has, from as far as I've seen the most rust resistant sailing oriented knife.
Perfect for cooler summer days and shoulder seasons, this fleece lined vest is a clutch lightweight addition to a sailors kit. This is a premium quality outer layer that gives superior protection against the weather. 2-layer waterproof and breathable fabric. Comes in 5 colors.
Every sailor needs to keep their stuff dry and it's always helpful to have a few sizes of these on hand depending on your particular adventure. The 20L size is good for lunch and day sail essentials. Go for a larger size for your foulies etc. The Baja bags are heavy duty and have excellent Amazon reviews. While no drybag lasts forever, these haven't let me down yet.
For fall and winter sailing, staying warm is crucial and 650 fill power duck down is your friend. Built of a windproof and water repellent shell, this layer is designed specifically for on the water use. Available in Mens and Womens.
Essential equipment for any sailor. Don't leave the dock without them. Pack of 4 with various nautical styles available.
If you're not familiar with Onne van der Wal's work, he is one the most prolific sailing photographers today. This beautiful book is a unique gift that any sailor, whether they are a cruiser, racer or dreamer will enjoy.
Whether you need to rummage through a gear bag, check your boat trailer at night or see lines on deck, a headlamp is invaluable. I've used the Tikka headlamps for 12+ years and they are a great value. This model includes the red light mode which preserves night vision for those late night watches. With a life of over 240 hours, these durable headlamps make an easy gift for any type of sailor.