Are you in search of the perfect gift for sailors in your life? Look no further. Our carefully curated list of gifts for sailing is designed to cater to their nautical needs and passions. Whether they're seasoned mariners or weekend enthusiasts, we've selected items that are sure to enhance their sailing experience and bring a smile to their faces. Join us as we explore a world of possibilities, making gift-giving for sailors a breeze. Discover the best nautical gift ideas for your beloved sailor, from sailing gear to maritime keepsakes that will make any sailor's heart sail with joy.  

Check out our ultimate sailing gift guide: 

1. Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

There is a reason I placed a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) at the very top of this list. This is the one gift for a loved one that will hopefully never be needed but can ensure safety and peace of mind. This is a must-have for anyone who goes offshore or sails at night. A PLB is activated in an emergency situation, which sends an SOS distress signal with GPS position to Search and Rescue forces worldwide using the 406 MHz Emergency Distress Signal with 121.5 MHz Homing Signal. This essential device can help locate your loved one should they go into the water. I always have one attached to my PFD when I am offshore or during a long crossing.    

Check it out here:   

2. Foulies

Foul weather gear, also known as foulies, is another thoughtful gift that would be appreciated by any serious sailor. Keeps you dry and warm. We have purchased and used Helly Hansen Aegir Ocean Jackets. They are pricey, but they are the best.   

The full line is here:   

3. Custom Sailing Shirts and Merchandise

What would be a better gift than custom made sailing apparel and merchandise from District Sailing? We can print your name, the name of your boat or sailing team on pretty much any article of clothing or merchandise! How about crew shirts for your next charter? Just check out the listings here or send me a note. The options are endless. We can work with you to get your design just right. And it will be sure to please! Some of the most popular options are:

  • Short sleeve tech shirts
  • Long sleeve tech shirts 
  • Long sleeve cotton shirts 
  • Short sleeve cotton shirts 
  • Hoodies 
  • Pint glasses 
  • Frosted pint glasses 
  • Coffee mugs 
  • Travel mugs 
  • Canvas/tote bags 
  • Water bottles 
  • Stickers 
  • Magnets 
  • License plate frames 
  • Beer sleeves 
  • Beach towels 
  • Journals / Notebooks 
  • Various types of bags 
  • Toiletry bags 
  • Fanny packs 
  • Luggage tags 
  • Stuffed animals 
  • Wine, whisky glasses 
  • Christmas ornaments 
  • Hardcover journals or notebooks
  • Candles   

4. Gill Verso Sailing Jacket   

Don’t need a full set of foul weather gear? Try the light-weight Gill Verso sailing jacket instead. This is a great option for any sailor. Designed to perform, the Verso Jacket features XPLORE+ 3 layer waterproof and breathable fabric and our exclusive XPEL plant-based treatment which is both water and stain repellent. Featuring fully taped seams, adjustable cuffs with PU inner seals and YKK Aquaguard Zippers ensuring a protective barrier against any water ingress. Lightweight and highly breathable fabric with a quick-dry inner face meaning you'll be able to move with comfort all day.   

5. Wall Art   

An extremely popular and unique gift for sailors is custom made nautical wall art from District Sailing. Elevate your living space with the timeless allure of nautical wall art. It is unique and speaks to your passion. 

Two popular options are:

Printed and framed nautical charts of your local sailing area. We can print full size chart of any sailing area in the United States, frame it and ship it out to your home. It is a conversation starter, highly unique, and looks great on the wall. Consider some of these iconic sailing areas: Annapolis, Bahamas, Block Island, Boston, Cape Cod, Catalina Islands, California and the West Coast, Chesapeake Bay, Cuba, Florida Straits, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Keys, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, New York City, Puerto Rico, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, San Juans, Seattle, and more…

We can print on canvas any name (your family name, the name of your boat or sailing team, hometown – any name at all) by using the NATO phonetic alphabet flag signals. Flag hoist communication: Ships use flags as signals to send out messages to each other. The use of flags, known as flag hoist communication, is a fast and accurate way to send information in daylight. It makes brilliant artwork that is sure to catch the eye!   

Just contact me and we can work on a design for your approval!     

6. Helly-Hansen Men’s Team Crew Midlayer Jacket

The Helly Hansen Team Crew jacket is probably one of the most popular sailing jackets on the market. Favorite fleece-lined jacket in a waterproof, windproof, breathable HELLY TECH fabric and stylish cut that will keep you warm and dry.   

7. Dry Bag   

A dry bag would make a thoughtful gift for anyone on the water. The roll top keeps your personal belongings dry. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag - Roll Top Waterproof Backpack Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing. Also comes with a waterproof phone case! There are many options for size and color! Look here:             

8. Sextant   

This would be an interesting gift for a serious and curious sailor. A sextant is an excellent tool to have on board any size craft as a backup in case there is a failure of the navigational systems. Used to measure the angular distance between two visible objects, the most common sextant navigation points are an astronomical object and the horizon. Sextants have many uses, ranging from measuring the distance of a landmark to determining Greenwich Mean Time.    

For training and practice:   

A more expensive version:   

9. Head Lamps

A head lamp with red light is always a handy gift for sailor. The red light ensures that sailors keep their night vision while sailing at night. This is an inexpensive version that I have used, worth considering: Lighting EVER LED Rechargeable Headlamp, L3200 High Lumen Bright Head Lamp with 5 Modes and White Red Light, Waterproof Forehead Flashlight for Sailing, Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Running, Survival.   

10. Hand Bearing Compass

A hand bearing compass is an essential tool that every boat should have on board. A hand compass (also hand bearing compass or sighting compass) is a compact magnetic compass that is fitted with a sighting device to record a precise bearing to a given target or to determine a location. It is an essential navigation tool. The Weems & Plath Hand Bearing Compass Model 2005 is an excellent choice. Colorful, sturdy, rubber housing protects compass. Lanyard serves as convenient neck or wrist strap. Directions for use included. Works at high altitudes.   

11. Barometer   

A barometer for the home or office makes a nice gift. Keep an eye on air pressure to see how weather changes. The Weems & Plath Trysail Weather Center has three instruments vertically mounted on mahogany hardwood plaque: Comfortmeter (thermometer/hygrometer), quartz clock, & barometer   

12. Books

A few classic books about sailing would be greatly appreciated. I think every library should have these classics:   

"Sailing Alone Around the World" by Joshua Slocum:   "Endurance" by Alfred Lansing: 

Classic books for boat maintenance:   

“This Old Boat” by Don Casey:   

“Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual” by Don Casey:   

13. Book of Knots   

Although most sailors reference knots online, a classic book of knots would make a nice gift for a sailor. The Ashley Book of Knots is a classic. The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedia of knots written and illustrated by the American sailor and artist Clifford W. Ashley. First published in 1944, it was the culmination of over 11 years of work. The book contains 3,857 numbered entries and approximately 7,000 illustrations.   

14. RYA books  

In my view the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the pinnacle of sailing education. Therefore, these RYA handbooks are essential reading for quick review and reference: 



15. Binoculars   

Steiner is one of the oldest names in optics and the Navigator Pro is designed for sailors. It is expensive, however well worth the money. The Steiner Navigator Pro 7x50 Binoculars - Magnification 7X - High Contrast Optics - Floating Prism System - Sports-Auto Focus - Delivers Excellent Image Clarity   

An alternative mid-range model is the Bushnell Marine 7x50 Binocular, Waterproof/Fog proof Binoculars with Internal Rangefinder and Illuminated Compass. These are good multipurpose marine binoculars, although not widely known in the marine world:   

16. Anemometer

An anemometer would be very useful gift. The HoldPeak 866B Digital Anemometer Handheld Wind Speed Meter is one of the best on the market.   

17. Sailing Gloves   

There are a lot of options for a good pair of sailing gloves. The Gill Deckhand Sailing Gloves - Long Fingers with Exposed Finger and Thumb - 50+ UV Sun Protection & Water Repellent is great:   

I also keep a pair with long fingers for winter sailing:   

18. Sailing watch   

The Swiss-made Ronstan ClearStart Race Timer is made for racers. The Race Mode has multiple start sequence options - World Sailing 5,4,1,0, match racing, user set. SYNChronization function - resynchronize if you start the countdown late. Multi-line display - start sequence + time.   

For a more premium gift check out the smart Garmin Quatix® 7 Standard Edition, Marine GPS Smartwatch, Tide Changes and Anchor Drag Alerts, Waypoint Marking. I have not used this watch but it looks interesting!   

If you are looking for a more simple stopwatch, consider the ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor - A601X Stopwatch, Clock, Extra Large Display:   

19. Reference Cards   

There are several options for quick reference cards for rules of the road and lights that could come in handy. Makes a nice little gift to store on your boat!   

Weems & Plath Marine Navigation LIGHTrule Lights, Shapes and Maneuvering Signals Key (COLREGS, U.S. Wat   

Weems & Plath Marine Navigatn ROADrule Marine Navigation Aids, Rules of The Road and Light Characteristics (USATONS, U.S. Waters):   

Davis Instruments Navigation Rules Quick Reference Card:   

20. Cruising Guides   

Planning a charter this year? How about a cruising guide to start preparing?    

Chesapeake Bay to Florida:   

New England Coast:   

21. Rigger Knife – Sailing Knife   

A new sailing knife would be a perfect gift. We always carry one on our person and have one clipped to the helm station. Here are a few options that have good reviews: 

Spyderco Atlantic Salt Rust Free Serrated Edge Knife:   

Gerber E-Z Out Rescue Knife:   

Gill Folding Personal Rescue Knife:   

Gill Harness Rescue Tool:   

Myerchin Sailor’s Tool:   

22. Flashlight   

A small flashlight to have on your person is a good idea and would make a nice gift. The Fenix models are extremely well made. Use it to illuminate unlit daymarks, buoys and other obstructions.  Fenix TK22 TAC 2800 Lumen Tactical Flashlight:   

23. Sailing Necktie 

A classic necktie with anchor pattern would make a nice gift: 

24. Portable Charger 

Everyone should have a portable charger in their sail bag. The INIU Portable Charger, Slimmest 10000mAh 5V/3A Power Bank, USB C in&out High-Speed Charging Battery Pack, External Phone Powerbank Compatible with iPhone 15 14 13 12 11 Samsung S22 S21 Google iPad seems to have good review and would make an excellent gift: 

25. GoPro: 

Get a GoPro to capture amazing sailing footage to share! The GoPro HERO12 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, HDR, 1/1.9" Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization: 

You might also want to consider an accessory kit to have more options to attach the camera to your boat: 

26. Waterproof Speakers 

Waterproof Bluetooth speakers to play some tunes on the water makes an excellent and inexpensive gift. The JBL Clip 3, Black - Waterproof, Durable & Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Up to 10 Hours of Play - Includes Noise-Cancelling Speakerphone & Wireless Streaming is a good choice:           

27. Sperry Boat Shoes 

Needless to say that Sperry Boat Shoes are a must-have. They are classic, iconic, practical and look wonderful. They define coastal style and would make a terrific gift: 

28. Sailing Sneakers 

Alternatively you could get sailing sneakers. These Helly-Hansen Skagen F-1 Offshore Sailing Deck Shoe are quite nice: 

29. Multitool 

I keep a multitool in my sail bag for small fixes. The Leatherman, Wave Plus Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters, Spring-Action Scissors and Nylon Sheath, Stainless Steel would make a perfect gift: 

30. Sailing Lessons 

(Photo Courtesy: Lindsay Bach / PRSA)

Get them sailing lessons! If you are local to our area check out the Sailing Club of Washington (SCOW) for adult basic sailing classes, here: or check out DC Sail: DC Sail also offers sailing programs for kids: 

SCOW sails out of Alexandria, Virginia and DC Sail is based in Washington, DC.

31. Cooler 

A cooler would make a nice gift for a day out on the water. The Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler is a top of the line option: 

For a mid-level option, consider the Hydro Flask 20L Carry Out Soft Cooler – Insulated Travel Bag:   


#Gifts for sailors 

#Nautical gift ideas 

#Gifts for sailing 

#Sailing gift guide 

#Christmas gifts for sailors 

#Birthday gifts for sailors 

#Sailing gear presents 

#Sailing gear 

#Perfect gifts for mariners 

#Thoughtful presents for sailors 

#Sailing themed gifts 

#Nautical themed gifts 

#Sailors' favorite gifts 

#What's a cool gift to get somebody who's into sailing? 

#Practical Sailing Gift Ideas