Presents for people living in boats
December 16, 2018 1:47 AM   Subscribe

Looking for something useful to buy my father, who has recently moved back to living on a boat (catamaran, sailing boat, 32 feet) after about 7 years on dry land. He's got the basic necessities and doesn't do the more kitschy end of things - what might he need? The boat as they always do needs some work. I have seen this thread.
posted by paduasoy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can't speak to boat upkeep supplies, but does he read or have a type of liquor he enjoys?
posted by bunderful at 5:18 AM on December 16, 2018

A lot of the specific upkeep supplies would depend on his particular boat... is he based out of a particular marina, and do they do any kind of gift certificate? What about his nearest/preferred provisioner?

Other angles to consider (i.e. other threads to read) might be those related to travelers with space constraints, or even tiny house denizens, since even on a 32 foot cat, storage is relatively limited compared to land dwellings. So what about something like a kindle if he likes to read? He'll be able to keep SO many more books that way. Or check out an outdoor store like REI -- not sure how kitted out his galley is for example, but a lot of higher end camping gear (e.g. cookware, etc) is a bit of an upgrade over the standard galleyware that I've seen.
posted by somanyamys at 6:17 AM on December 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

The classic LL Bean Boat and Tote? This version with the zippered top is practical for climbing in and out of dinghies.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:22 AM on December 16, 2018

Home depot or west marine gift certificate. Best gifts I ever got when I lived on my hole in the ocean into which I threw money constantly.
posted by danapiper at 6:40 AM on December 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

He might fall into the category of folks for whom a really nice headlamp flashlight would be useful.
posted by salvia at 6:57 AM on December 16, 2018

The classic LL Bean Boat and Tote?

Boat people sometimes appreciate stuff like this monogrammed with the name of the boat. Likewise little fuzza blankets you can put over you when there's a chill in the air (so not full on blankets, just lap blankets almost). Small photos of stuff to put on the wall. Engraved multitool/leatherman. Insulated coffee mugs with name of boat on them (if he's a coffee guy). Those little rocks you can freeze for cocktails (if he's a cocktails guy).
posted by jessamyn at 6:58 AM on December 16, 2018

I spent seven years at sea and here are some of my recommendations, along with a few dozen more answers (most from people who don't know boats). That little Maxam multi-tool has so many specialized tools on it like a fid and a marlinspike-- buy three or four of them-- they are so cheap in a good way.
posted by seasparrow at 7:09 AM on December 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Price range? I don’t own a boat but I charter regularly, and some things I’ve bought and like are:

Luci solar lanterns
Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS/GLONASS Reciever – sends your phone a really accurate location
Nikon Monarch binoculars
Uniden MHS75 Waterproof VHF handheld radio
A really bright flashlight – I like the Fenix PD35
Anker PowerCore Lite 20000mAh Portable Charger

The best sailing shorts I’ve found are O’Neill’s Loaded Hybrid board shorts – they dry really fast, have a hidden drawstring, the pockets zip shut – and they look really nice!
posted by nicwolff at 7:10 AM on December 16, 2018

To live on a boat is to have no storage. In your place, I'd try to think of something consumable.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:15 AM on December 16, 2018 [4 favorites]

Rescue tape is good for a wide variety of repairs.
posted by metasarah at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2018

As someone with lots of boat and boat living experience, a free haul-out would be greatly appreciated.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2018

Thanks for suggestions. I'm having a bit of difficulty finding some of these things in the UK (Maxam tool for instance). He's not interested in food, doesn't drink and doesn't read much now (has dementia). He does a lot of work on the boat so I guess I'm thinking specialised boat tools, if there is such a thing? But he may have most of these already - certainly has a fid and a marlinspike.
posted by paduasoy at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2018

Rope. From a marine store, a couple hundred feet. Never have enough line. Perhaps a couple shorter lengths of newer ultra high tech line like Amsteel Blue to make up soft shackles. Small tools although hard to know what's realy needed, a battery dremel with a bunch of attachments. Just a pack of dremel attachments if he has one already.
posted by sammyo at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gone With The Wynns just did a gift guide, though it's fairly tech-focused.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:53 PM on December 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another sailboat youtuber just released a video about his favorite/most used DIY boat repair tools this morning.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Boat person here. I have enough tools and materials to keep me busy for years and a constant lack of storage space. The best possible present you can give him is to volunteer to show up for a day or two and help him do work on the boat.
posted by automatronic at 6:17 PM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Came back to update. I bought him some rope - thank you sammyo, he was pleased and I shall use the idea again. Bought him various books and other crap too and, in case it is useful to anyone else, am logging here the epiphany I had - because of his dementia he was confused about having so many presents (there were about 6, plus ones from others), and I kept having to nag him to open more - ended up being quite stressful for him and I realised I am buying him presents to satisfy myself, and because that's what I would have done pre-dementia, rather than for him. So will keep it to fewer items in future and manage my own feelings about feeling mean.
posted by paduasoy at 1:38 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]

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