Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or a random act of kindness, it’s easy to find a reason to celebrate the boater or fisherman in your life. The real challenge lies in actually finding the best gift for boaters: with so many options on the market, it can be daunting to identify the best fishing apparel, boating accessories, or custom gifts that meet the specific needs of your favorite captain. Fortunately, we’re here to make your search easier with a list of the best gifts for boaters in 2022: whether you’re searching for high-quality fishing apparel or boating gadgets, we’ve got you covered with unique nautical gifts that promise years of enjoyment.
The below list of gifts highlights specific organizations and products. This list is meant to provide you with ideas, as well as recommended brands so that you can explore further and find the exact right gift for your needs.
Best Gifts For Boaters
Custom Captain: Dri-Fit Custom Boat Shirt
Custom Captain’s, self proclaimed love language is gift-giving: more specifically, creating custom gifts for avid boaters and fishermen. The artistic team takes a provided photograph of your boat and transforms it into a custom drawing, which can be printed on a variety of products. Custom Captain’s dry-fit boat shirts are one of our top-selling items for boaters and fishermen: the shirts are made of light and breathable material that blocks harmful UV rays to keep your favorite captain safe, comfortable, and, most importantly, fashion-forward. This versatile shirt is casual enough to wear to dinner or a pre-boating breakfast and comes in five colors, making it an excellent group gift for a tight-knit crew.
If your boater is tired of playing their favorite playlist from a wimpy phone speaker, it’s time to upgrade to this Sony digital media receiver designed for marine use. The DSX-M55BT includes built-in Bluetooth® and a front USB input compatible with iPod®, iPhone®, and Android™ smartphone, allowing boaters to easily stream sea shanties or even take calls on the built-in microphone. The anti-glare display provides the song title, artist info, and caller ID. If your boater anticipates playing their tunes in harsher marine environments, the water-resistant design and UV-resistant front panel ensure years of smooth sound in not-so-smooth waters.
There are various receivers on the market that would make great options.
Pelican: 20 Quart Elite Cooler
What’s a day at sea without cracking open a cold one? We all know the answer, which is why this 20 Quart Elite Cooler is at the top of our list. Pelican is known for their extremely durable products and has even supplied equipment for emergency and scientific expeditions. Their sturdy cooler is on-brand: its extreme ice retention keeps items cold for up to 3 days, with enough volume to hold 15 standard size cans or 3 wine bottles. Despite its tough exterior, the cooler is light and portable enough for easy transportation and includes a bottle opener, cup holders, and overmolded carry handle to make life easy: the ultimate purpose of any boat cooler. Pelican has tons if cooler options and sizes to fit specific needs.
On land or at sea, it’s exhausting to be on your feet all day. Give your sea legs a rest with this folding deck chair: an uber comfortable piece of deck furniture that is easily opened up and stowed away. The composite leg tips protect the boat deck from unsightly marks, while the UV treated and mildew resistant vinyl ensures years of steady sitting in the sun, heat, and rain. Fans of this chair attest to its great value, comfort, and sleek appearance; you can even consider gifting a pair of these chairs for two boating besties or a dynamic deck duo.
Direct 2 Boater: Maintenance Log Book
For the ultra-organized boater, this elegant maintenance log is a beautiful and practical gift. The log includes plenty of recording space for boaters to track maintenance and repair information for their vessel. Divided into specific sections for boat parts, vessel and engine information, and generator and battery specifications, the 100-page log helps captains stay organized and level-headed: truly, the dream gift for any data nerd. Captains can even record the specifics of all work done to their boat (who completed it, when it was completed, etc.) and stow their pen in the log’s nifty pen holder after documenting the day’s records.
Howard Miller: Tide Table Clock
A classic nautical gift for beach lovers and fishermen, this Tide Mate III Table Clock is both functional and beautiful. The clock’s red arrow tide hand indicates the approximate position of high and low tides for the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast, while its white graphics display the hours until the next tide. It’s durable enough for display on a boat (especially with the included Velcro strap) but can also live on an indoor table or shelf as a striking accent piece. Whether your boater uses their clock on the boat or to simply time walks on the beach, this is a perfect gift for all boaters, beach-goers, and beach home dwellers.
If you’re looking for a gift for boaters with a passion for hunting, birdwatching, and all things outdoors, look no further than these marine-grade binoculars. Their 50mm large objective lens and a 22mm eye relief offer an extra wide field of view and comfortable observation angle; additionally, the rangefinder and compass allow observers to calculate the direction, location, distance, and size of faraway objects. If your gift recipient tends to spend long hours in the great outdoors, the included harness strap reduces the weight of the binoculars for more relaxed viewing. Fully waterproof and designed with excellent optics for bright and vivid imagery, these binoculars are an excellent gift for fishermen, boaters, and the everyday birdwatcher with an appreciation for high-quality outdoor gear.
Fisherman’s Sidekick: Boat Seat Caddy Gear Organizer
Every boater or fisherman needs a sidekick, which is why we love this Caddy Gear Organizer. The convenient fishing tray features a cup holder, deep pocket, multiple tool slots, and hook holes for hanging lures. If you know a boater or fisherman who has one-too-many tools on deck, this is the best gift for keeping small gear organized, accessible, and visible. As creatures of comfort, we appreciate that the Fisherman Sidekick can be easily installed with a screwdriver in minutes, with convenient spots for a boater’s coffee, beer, and phone in addition to pliers and lures – all of which are essential for a successful day of boating.
This highly-insulated stainless steel bottle by YETI is the ultimate beverage holder for boaters who love long days at sea and all-day access to warm beverages. The bottle uses double-wall vacuum insulation to keep those beverages hot until the last drop, while the No Sweat™ technology lets boaters grab their coffee and go without losing their grip. We can’t skim past the shatter-resistant and 100% leak-proof Hot Shot Cap, which locks in hot drinks for hours and removes the stress of breaking bottles due to choppy waters. For the caffeine enthusiast who happens to own a boat, this nearly-invincible bottle is one of the best gifts for boaters who anticipate many years of boating and coffee drinking ahead.
Gift Ideas for New Boater
Reference Ready: NautiCards Nautical Knot Tying Kit
If your boater is still learning the ropes, this portable nautical knot tying kit is an essential beginner’s guide to boating and sailing knots. The kit includes a waterproof knot guide for on-the-boat learning, with easy-to-follow diagrams for 20 fundamental boating and sailing knots. Also included are two 3′ lengths of 550 cord that match the colors on the knot tying cards and a 4″ horn cleat for practicing the cleat hitch and midshipman’s hitch.
You’ll find lots of knot related guides in the market, and finding one that can be kept on the boat is a great option.
Shimano: 7” Solara Two Piece Spinning Rod
If your gift recipient is both a boater and an aspiring fisherman, we recommend this high-quality yet affordable 2-piece fishing rod by Shimano. Perfect for beginners, these rods are built with Shimano’s aeroglass construction, which is lighter and more responsive than traditional glass material. The rod functions beautifully in various circumstances including saltwater fishing, bass fishing, and sheepshead fishing. A legion of loyal fans recommend this highly affordable Shimano rod for its versatility, sensitivity, comfortable cork handle, and solid locking graphite reel seat, all of which make for a smooth and relaxed fishing experience. There are tons of amazing fishing rods on the market, so Shimano certainly isn’t the only quality brand. See our article on the choosing the best spinning reel to pair with the rod.
Best Boating Apparel
Conner Hats: Mojave Boater Recycled Hat
Featuring an organic cotton sweatband, inner pouch with care instructions, and secure chin cord, this no-nonsense hat is one of our go-to’s when considering gift ideas for boaters. The hat is made from recycled plastic bottles and designed to be durable, with a firm brim and snug fit that protect against sudden gusts of coastal wind. The hat will never shrink or fade, and in the rare event that it goes flying in the wind, don’t stress: it floats!
Conner Hats is committed to sustainability: the brand uses biodegradable packing, water soluble garment bags, biodegradable tag connects, and 100% recycled paper tags to reduce their carbon footprint. The Mojave hat is even crafted with a high-performance flexible bloom foam derived from algae biomass: an alternative to petroleum-based foam that removes algae from marine habitats and recirculates freshwater. Consider this hat a win-win for boaters who love the sun and sustainability.
PELAGIC or Costa Polarized Sunglasses
These polarized sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses are a functional and stylish gift for serious boaters. PELAGIC is known for its anti-scratch and oleophobic lenses, meaning they repel pesky skin oils, sunscreen, and sweat to ensure easy cleaning and clear vision. The sunglasses also contain melanin in the lenses, filtering out harmful UV to protect the wearer’s skin and eyes. For a zero-glare, anti-reflective and ultra-crisp view, PELAGIC’s high-tech lenses are a go-to gift for professional boaters, fishermen, and all outdoorsy types.
If the boater is a fisherman, check out our article on choosing the best fishing sunglasses.
AFTCO: Original Fishing Short
One of the top runners for best fishing and boating apparel, these simple-yet-stylish shorts are a fan favorite among boaters. Introduced in 1989, not much has changed since the inception of these classic shorts, which are constructed of Dupont Supplex 3-ply nylon and treated with a stain resistant coating. 7 pockets (including a pliers pocket), hidden stretch elastic waistband, and durable water repellent fabric give these bottoms rockstar-status in the competitive world of boating apparel. Longtime wearers appreciate their varied color selection and extreme comfort and durability, as well as their availability in women’s sizing.
Every boater needs a pair of casual sneaks to slip on before, during, or after a long day of boating. These waterproof sneakers by Loom are a perfect fit for the job, promising to become any boater’s go-to shoes for all weather conditions. Loom’s sneakers are waterproof, breathable, and engineered for supreme comfort through multiple rounds of testing. They also contain Vibram in the outsoles, which is non-marking and improves grip on slick surfaces: a must for boaters who understand the struggle of shoe marks (and slipping!) on a freshly-swabbed deck. Purchasers are repeatedly in awe of these sneaks, which are 100% waterproof (unlike some of their competitors that claim the same): boaters can expect warm feet, dry socks, and full protection against the rain and wind.
We’ve listed out a bunch of ideas to help your shopping experience be a bit easier. While we have listed individual products that are all great products, don’t hesitate to do further shopping, and don’t let this list hurt your creativity. It is meant to inspire you to find similar gifts as well. Please support this content by shopping through the affiliate links in this article. It helps support the creation of helpful content like this.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about