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Team Ripl
Team Ripl

Hi, this is Stefanie Saleem with Black Girls Boat! Women are taking over the waterways and the helm, and it’s obvious why: boating is a great way to relax with family and friends and unwind after a long day. Here are 10 Holiday Gifts for Boaters—perfect for anyone looking to take on the waves!

I first learned how to boat with the Freedom Boat Club (FBC), and have now been an FBC member for three years. Being part of this club has allowed me to boat in the states of Florida, California, Georgia, and Maryland. With locations across the country, I’m able to boat nearly anywhere there’s a body of water. The best part? I don’t even need my own boat!

As an avid boater who’s also looking forward to the holiday season, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite gifts for boaters.

Whether you're buying a stocking stuffer for a new boater who just finished BoatClass® or a gift for an advanced boater who owns their own yacht, you'll want to look for holiday gift items that are attractive and functional enough to justify taking on the boat! As a boater myself, I've personally tested the products below to make sure they're both durable and practical enough to take on board.

If you are looking for great gift ideas for boaters, check out my list below.

Stefanie's Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Boaters:

  1. Dry bag: I love my dry bag because it keeps my personal belongings dry when boating. The dry bag is an essential item for boaters. I have a 60ml dry bag that holds my keys, wallet, flip flops, extra clothing, first aid kit, life jacket, towel, charger, sunscreen, hair ties, sweatshirt, hats, bottle of water, etc. You name it, it’s in my dry bag. I prefer the backpack design since it’s easier to carry! Don’t leave home without!
  2. Fashion items: The best way to boat is to be prepared for all things on the water. I start my outings rocking either a “Black Girls Boat” or “Boating Babes” shirt with Nike® shorts. I prefer to wear shorts when leaving the dock, as they allow me to easily anchor and dock my boat at the beach, sandbar, and/or restaurant. I do not want to have a flowy dress getting caught on the motor, bow, or stern on the boat. I still like to keep it cute so you will find me rocking some Jimmy Choo™ sunglasses for the bling! After docking on the beach and the boat is secure, it’s beach time and that’s where you will catch me in my swimwear, flip flops, and cover ups. There’s a time and a place for everything, but make sure to always dress (and pack) appropriately for the weather, winds, tides, and the unexpected!
  3. Silk scarf: Every woman needs a silk scarf when boating. Definitely brings a feminine touch to the traditionally male-dominated sport. Silk scarves look chic with shades, help prevent messy boat hair, and absorb the heat! You can leave the wig at home and still look amazing!
  4. Hat: I prefer to wear the hats from Chat ‘N’ Chill® because the hats are unique and can only be found in Exuma, Bahamas. Plus, the hat keeps me protected from the sun as it keeps me cool.  Chat ‘N’ Chill is the ultimate barefoot beach bar, nestled within a boaters’ paradise. At Chat ‘N’ Chill you can find sting rays in the water and the BEST conch salad ever. And the coolest part? You can only get there by BOAT.
  5. Boating boots/deck shoes: Leave the flip flops for the beach! Flip flops are a definite no-go when you are docking and anchoring. I use boat deck shoes or Grundéns boots. Your feet should be completely enclosed for stability, as well as for protection against the anchor. Plus, in the event you need to jump in the water to get properly anchored, boots or boat shoes work best!
  6. Portable charger: This slim travel battery pack has 5 outputs and works for most phones. While boating you need to keep your cell phones charged—to talk to the family, call the dockmaster, navigate to the restaurant, or to use in case of an emergency.
  7. Waterproof speaker: Whether you like Country, R&B, Rap, Gospel, and/or Jazz, you can’t leave home without a waterproof speaker to keep the boat party going all day! Relaxing to your favorite tunes on the water is a win-win for the entire crew.
  8. Poncho towel hoodie: When you are soaking wet after a day of boating and beaching, the unique poncho towel pulls over your wet bathing suit to keep you warm while you dry off. It also helps keep you covered while changing in or out of your swimsuit!
  9. Life jacket: A life jacket is an essential boating item. The life jacket keeps you safe on the water; think of it as your on-water seat belt! I like the Mustang Survival life jacket because it’s lightweight, easy to wear, and slender in fit with easy adjustments.
  10. Insulated cup & cooler: Whether you’re on the water all day or just a couple hours, having cold items to drink and stay hydrated is critical. The YETI® tumbler and cooler make great gifts for the beginner, moderate, or advanced boater. Everyone needs to stay hydrated out there in the sun!

BONUS Gifts:

  • Membership to Freedom Boat Club (FBC); Say “hello” to Boating Made Simple®. Freedom Boat Club takes the hassle out of boating by offering recreational boating to beginners and seasoned pros alike. Anyone who loves the water and boating is embraced at FBC!
  • BoatClass®:  The perfect gift for those new to boating (or those who have taken a long break), BoatClass teaches introductory boating skills including boat engine control, boat operation and handling, rules of the ‘road’, and docking. It’s the perfect place to find confidence on the water!