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Ho, Ho, Ho — Santa on Board

“You better watch out, better not cry…better not pout, I’m telling you why …”

Yup, the old bearded guy dressed all in red will be coming aboard before you know it. Hopefully, he’s got deck shoes instead of boots on when he brings his sack of goodies over the gunwale. 

And just in case Santa might be looking for some last-minute gift ideas for the boat owners on his list, we researched some things that any mariner is sure to appreciate.

Fashionable Life Jackets.   US Coast Guard regulations insist that everyone on board has a duly approved personal floatation device on hand at all times. But do they have to be ugly?

Toss those soggy old orange things away!  Get fashionable in your safety look! We found some very attractive Coast Guard Approved life jackets for sale made by Hyperlite and by LiquidForce

Whether you need men’s, women’s or even kid-sized life jackets, you can now find them in bright colors, stylish designs, and with the latest accessories. If you gotta go over the side in an emergency, at least you’ll look good!  Prices from $40-100.

Inflatable SUP and Kayak Kit.  Stand-up paddle boards are still very popular accessories for water sports lovers. We found this Bluefin combo package especially attractive.

First, it’s inflatable. The whole kit comes in a backpack-sized carrier. The board rapidly inflates with a double-action hand pump and you can snap together the fiberglass paddle and hit the water. Snap in a few D-rings and add the comfortable backrest seat, and the board converts into a sit-down kayak. When you’re finished, the whole thing quickly deflates for easy storage.

There are boards in the 10-foot, 12-foot and 15-foot length. The Dernier exo-surface PVC is rigid, stable and durable. Prices start at around $500 and you can purchase on Amazon.

Docktail Food and Beverage Holder.  What a great idea for the next on-board party!  These durable plastic trays slip easily into one of the rod holders on your boat to securely hold bottles, cups, trays of hors d’oeuvres and anything else your guests need. It’s like adding a table top in just seconds!

There are several different sizes of trays, some designed to hold food, others beverages and bottles and still others for both. Prices begin at around $200, and you can find them on Amazon.  

Porthole mirrors.   Every well-appointed head needs a good mirror. Ask any woman. 

We found these attractive mirrors designed inside porthole frames, for that oh-so-nautical decor. Choose from regular porthole frames, riveted steamship metal frames, or even wooden frames with brass studs. Prices range from $450 to $800. We found them at Nautical Luxuries.  

Nautical Serving Boards.   Soundview Millworks of Darien, Conn., has been making wonderful maple and mahogany serving boards for more than ten years now. These handsome planks, for presenting a cheese tray, offering hors d’oeuvres, serving freshly grilled steaks and many other things are a stylish addition to any boat’s galley. And the cleat handles are a nice touch!

They’re priced from $70-135. Buy them at Soundview Millworks

X.O. Rhum.  What to serve with all that cheese? Your boat owner could do a lot worse than serving some 10-year-old aged fine rhum from Martinique in the Caribbean. 

Every year Habitation Clément releases carefully selected aged Rhum Agricole as part of their Grand Reserve portfolio. With a beautiful dark mahogany color, Clément 6 year old Rhum Agricole has been distilled from fresh pressed sugarcane juice and aged a minimum of six years in a combination of virgin and re-charred oak barrels, yielding an exceptional aged Agricole Rhum, with a beautiful smokey aroma and long lingering finish.

This fine aged rhum is priced at around $90 at finer liquor stores.

Fine weather instruments.  Any captain worth his salt wants to keep an eye on the weather conditions.  Any captain who wants to do that while looking stylish will install some instruments made by Maximum Weather Instruments.

This Massachusetts-based company has been making fine barometers, thermometers, tide clocks and more since the 1980s. Many of these fine instruments are wrapped in brass, just like mariners of old enjoyed. 

You can shop for single instruments or a weather station package that will mount on a bulkhead. Find the whole line at Maximum’s website

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