10 Great Holiday Gifts for Boaters

Between the Christmas tree we just put up in the Main office and talks of the upcoming company Christmas party, we are really getting into the holiday spirit around here! And there has been some exchange of gift ideas for friends and family, who are fellow boaters.

Giving a boater a gift for their boat is a great idea because you know it is going towards something they really care about and is something of interest to them. There are thousands of boat accessories out there that would make great Christmas gifts, so you make not know where to start.

Below are 10 great gifts to give boaters that our brokers have suggested over the past few days.

(1) Cruising Guide or Travel Book– If you know someone who is getting ready to cruise somewhere or has always talked about a specific travel destination then a cruising guide or travel book about the destination would make a great gift!

(2) A Boat Grill– This is an essential item for anyone who loves entertaining guests out on the water!

(3) Customized Burgee – Burgees are a great personalized gift for the boat’s bow or flag pole at the stern.

(4) A Mariner Knife Every boater needs a good knife! There is always a possible need to cut a line free, use it for rigging or to scale a fish.

(5) Framed Picture of the Boat Underway– Pictures of a boat while underway may be hard to come by for the owner. If you happen to have a great shot of the boat, blowing it up and putting it in a snazzy, nautical inspired frame would be a great gift!

(6) Handheld VHF Radio – A Handheld VHF can serve as a great back-up. Some manufacturers can now offer them with integrated GPS receivers and DSC hailing capability.

(7) Safety Bag- Chances are the boater has mandatory safety and emergency gear already on board, but may not have everything well organized. A commercial-weight, ventilated bag such as the one below is ideal for storing PFDs, first-aid supplies, safety flares, distress flags, air horns, etc.

(8) Membership for Marine Assistance – A membership for marine assistance can give a boater peace of mind while enjoying a day out on the water.

(9) Gift Certificate (to a Marine Related Store or for Marina Dockage) – You can’t go wrong with a gift certificate! If you are unsure of what they already own, then a gift certificate to a store like West Marine or for marina dockage at their favorite weekend destination would be a great choice!

(10) Life Vest for a Pet – A gift all the furry, four legged boaters out there that celebrate Christmas!

Do you have any other boat-related gift suggestions? Leave a comment below with your ideas!

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2011 Holiday Boat Parades

As you may have noticed, Floridians have their own unique ways of celebrating Christmas.

Without the promise of snow-covered streets or wintry nights by the fire, we’ve had to create our own way to get into the Christmas Spirit. One way we’ve effectively done so is by taking the Holiday tradition of Christmas parades and adapting them to our beloved boating lifestyle. And thus, the birth of Holiday Boat Parades! You can’t help but get in the spirit with the Christmas lights and colors beaming off the cool ripples in the water and the Christmas music playing from such lavishly decorated boats.

We are gearing up for Sarasota’s Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. The parade will take place at Marina Jacks on Dec. 10 at 6:00pm. The best place to view the boats are Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park. In keeping with the Holiday spirit of giving, all proceeds from the event will go towards the Suncoast Charities of Children, Inc.

Sarasota Yacht has entered in the event several times over the years. We look forward to this event every year and whether we enter or not, we always have a great time.

In 2009 we won second place with our theme was “Christmas Elvis”. Check it out!

Luckily for those of you who can’t make it to the Sarasota Parade of Light, chances are there’s a parade in your area. The folks from Florida By Water have compiled a list of 47 boat parades happening between Pensacola and Key West this month.

CLICK HERE to view all 2011 Holiday Boat Parades!