17 Practical Gifts For Boat Owners: Guaranteed To Make Waves

Gifts Boat Owners Will Love!

It’s time to enjoy long days, warm weather, and time spent out on the boat. Whether you are an angler, sailor, pleasure boater, or just along for the ride…I’ve hand-picked a list of 17 practical and useful gifts for boat owners.

From handy gadgets to essential accessories, these gift ideas will enhance the boating experience and make your time on the water even more enjoyable.

NOTE: US Harbors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, and earns money from qualifying purchases. 

Auto-Inflating Life Jacket

First up on the list is an auto-inflatable life jacket. These comfortable life jackets are slim and comfortable, yet still, coast guard approved. Ideal for sailing, fishing or any boating activities that have you moving around on the boat. The ONYX M-16 Belt pack automatically inflates when it comes into contact with the water (for example, accidental man-over board) and it allows for manual inflation as well. Remember, life jackets are required when boating, so might as well get one that is comfortable!

Boating Bean Bags

No one enjoys a choppy ride, but one way to beat the bounce is with a marine-grade bean bag chair. Made with heavy-duty marine-grade vinyl, they won’t absorb water and are easy to clean with a quick spray of the hose. Take them in and out of the boat as needed, and plop them down on the sandbar or the dock for a relaxing sit.

Dock Lines

Every boater needs spare dock lines to help manage tieing up and securing their vessel. The 4 Pack by INNOCEDEAR is made with marine-grade nylon to withstand damage caused by UV light, salt, and sun. Each rope is 15 feet in length and ideal for vessels 12-20 foot vessels. But whatever you do, don’t call them a rope!

Anti-Slip Cup Holders

There is nothing worse than a spilled drink on a hot summer day. Most boats come with cup holders, but they’re often only at the helm or console…so where do you keep your drink secure when you’re relaxing on the bow? Anti-slip cup holders are meant to suction down to any flat surface, which makes them ideal for sticking onto the boat deck, coolers, or wherever you’re catching some sun. Toadfish makes a few different models for 12-ounce cans and a larger universal size.

Marine Grade Boating Grill

Stop eating soggy sandwiches while out on the boat, and instead fire up the grill! This stainless steel grill made by Magma is available with various mounting options. Secure it to a railing, your gunwale, or even into a pole holder. You’ll be the life of the party and sandbar when your grilling burgers and brats!

Inflatable Dog Ramp

For all the dog owners out there, sometimes it can be a struggle getting the pup in and out of the boat. With an inflatable dog ramp, you don’t have to worry about injury. And the best part is they work just as well off the dock or at home in the pool.

Waterproof Dry Bag

Keeping your gear and clothing dry can be challenging on a boat, but with a waterproof dry bag, you can protect all your valuables from inclement weather or sea spray. Not only are these great for just everyday gear storage but their mobile too. Throw in a change of clothes, your camera, and your phone and sling it over your shoulder while you walk the beach or explore coastal towns. I keep one of these on my boat at all times!

Digital Anemometer (Wind Gauge)

Monitoring the weather is one of the most important tasks for boaters, both before you embark and during your journey. With a handheld digital anemometer, you can monitor wind speed and direction in real-time. This really comes in handy when you are planning your trips, finding anchor locations, and trying to determine the leeward side (wind protected) of land or islands.

Floating Water Pad

You’ve probably seen these floating water pads at your local sandbar, beach, or pool. Not only are they great for relaxing in the water but they’re perfect for boat days. These roll-up floating water pads are easy to store, and provide a floating surface to lounge on. Leave the pool noodles at home, and get your own floating water pad!

Personal Locator Beacon

If you enjoy boating solo, or venture offshore, consider getting a personal locator beacon for safety and peace of mind. This GPS-enabled device will send out an SOS signal when activated, alerting authorities of your location. You can even get a subscription service that allows you to send SMS texts and emails of non-emergency messages, making it ideal for long-term excursions and adventures.

Boating Safety Kit

Every boater should be prepared for the worst, and this Coast Guard-approved marine boating safety kit comes with everything you need to handle small emergencies should they arise. Packaged in a waterproof bright red hard case, this kit comes with an electronic flare signaling device, whistle, multi-tool, SOS flag, and a first aid kit.

Boat Cleaning Kit

Part of being a boat owner is doing boat upkeep! In fact, keeping your boat clean will actually help keep its resale value, and improve performance on the water. The Better Boat exterior cleaning kit comes with everything you need to keep your boat bright and shiny, including soap, foam gun cleaner, microfiber towels, and the boat eraser. This is especially important if you boat in a salt environment, which can wreak havoc on your boat exterior!

Stainless Steel Boat Steering Wheel Knob

You simply don’t know what you are missing, if you have never used a steering wheel knob when boating. As a boat operator, its very important to keep your hands free and eyes on the bow. By adding a steering wheel knob to your steering wheel, you can effortlessly spin the wheel with one hand, making turns easy and keeping your other hand on the throttle.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Can you believe they used to make boats with CD players and tape decks? Nowadays, with streaming music services all you need is a quality waterproof Bluetooth speaker to have tunes out on the boat. The JBL Flip 4 is one of the most popular models because it holds a charge for hours, and can handle rain or splashes. Clip it to your backpack when you hop off the boat and bring your tunes with you.

EVA Foam Decking

Customize your boat decking and hatches with EVA foam decking for a soft and durable feel. Previously only available to boat manufacturers, EVA foam decking and flooring is now available in various colors and sizes for the average boater. Not only is it great at covering scratches and cosmetic damages, but it sheds water and is easy to clean. Also works great on coolers and paddleboards, too!

Emergency Multi-Purpose Paddle

Whatever you do, don’t get stuck up the creek without a paddle! This telescoping emergency multi-purpose paddle is ideal for small canoes all the way up to 18-foot boats. The telescopic handle makes it easy to store in a hatch or under a seat, and the hook-shaped handle makes grabbing lines and cleats very easy. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but if you do…you’ll be thankful you have it.

Insulated Soft Cooler

Gone are the days of big clunky plastic coolers that scratch up your boat deck and are difficult to load and carry. Soft coolers like the RTIC 30 can cooler has durable and safe rubber grommets that do not damage your boat and are easy to carry with shoulder and handle straps. Pick out a color to match your boat, and keep refreshments cold all day long.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to boating, there are two factors that are paramount: Safety and comfort. I chose everything on this list with those in mind. So whether you are a new boat owner or a seasoned salty dog, I hope this gift list for boat owners provides you with value. Stay safe and thanks for reading!