This Year’s Best Nautical Christmas Gifts

Nautical gifts aren’t just for sailors and boaters — many people who live by the sea (or wish they lived by the sea!) have beautifully decorated their homes with an assortment of nautical home decor — items that remind them of sailing and the culture of brave mariners and fishermen who once dominated the coastlines. Shiny bronze instruments look like mysterious relics from a forgotten era, while antique nautical charts and vintage prints hint of adventures in faraway lands.

Christmas is a wonderful time to indulge your nautical fancy!

Christmas is a wonderful time to indulge your nautical fancy!

For sailors and boaters and other fans of the marine environment, nautical items are much more than functional objects; they also provide a constant reminder of one’s passion for the sea, and the one-of-a-kind experiences they’ve shared there.

Choosing a Nautical Christmas Gift

Finding the perfect nautical Christmas gift is not always easy. There are an amazing array of nautical-themed gifts available, ranging from highly practical boating gear like GPS devices, safety equipment, or weather instruments, all the way to purely decorative nautical Christmas gifts like glass buoys, nautical charts, or vintage nautical goods.

Fortunately, if you follow my advice, choosing the perfect nautical Christmas gift is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Does the recipient decorate their home with nautical-themed items? I’ve found people with nautical home decor enjoy evoking the traditional spirit of sailing and seamanship, so look for vintage or antique items, handcrafted artisanal pieces, and purely decorative nautical gifts. Anything that evokes sea or mariners is generally a good bet for such people, so you have a lot of choices!
  2. Do they own a boat? Then you’re in luck! As in boat owner will tell you, boats are constantly in need of maintenance– replacing this, upgrading that — boat owners love to tinker, and for most of them their boat is as much a source of pride as it is a means of transportation. Any nautical christmas gift which helps them improve or repair their boat will be much appreciated!
  3. Do they practice any water sports, like sailing, kayaking, fishing, canoeing, diving, water skiing, etc? Boating sports are very gear-intensive, so a great Christmas gift idea might be the latest gadget or equipment they need to further enjoy their passion. If you’re not familiar with the sport, no problem: see my lists of recommended gifts for each of these boating sports for some ideas of what the true water sports aficionados are into these days!

Nautical Christmas Gifts

  • Ships WheelShip’s Wheel
    Nothing evokes the seafaring days of yore like a wooden ship’s wheel. Alas, you won’t find many of these in use on today’s modern yacht, but the craftsmanship and aesthetic balance of an authentic solid hardwood ship’s wheel is sure to bring joy to the heart of the true mariner.
  • Nautical-bookendsNautical Bookends
    This is an amazing deal on a very unique and fun decorative nautical gift. Even if you’re buying for someone who has every bit of boating gadgetry available, it’s unlikely they’ll have this. Subtle and elegant, it’s perfect for holding together that collection of sailing books!
  • Antique-Desk-GlobeAntique style Desk Globe
    A globe means different things to different people. For a high school student, it might suggest the monotony of memorizing national capitols. But for a seafarer, a globe is the physical embodiment of the world waiting to be explored. With the touch of a finger, a sailor can retrace routes of adventures yet-to-be, and discover new paths between exotic destinations. A cool antique style globe like this one from Lenox also makes for a great decorative piece, and since it’s Lenox, you know that it’s going to maintain its quality for years to come!
  • Christmas CardsThe Perfect Christmas Cards for a Boater
    “May this holiday season and the new year bring you joy and happiness” is written on the inside of the card, but it’s the charming image of a boater zooming to the festivities in a wooden chris craft loaded with presents and a Christmas tree that will really bring a smile to the face of your friends and loved ones. Definitely one of the coolest cards I’ve seen!
  • Galileo Thermometer BarometerGalileo Thermometer and Barometer
    My dad (a sailor, of course) had one of these thermometers perched on the mantelpiece, where with the rise and fall of colored balls, it would magically predict the temperature. Not just fun for kids, this very traditional weather station makes a great nautical Christmas gift for anyone who appreciates science and enjoys the beauty of a precision instrument that still works as well today as it did 400 years ago when Galileo invented it.
  • Sailing World Dr Crash CalendarSailing World “Best of Dr. Crash” Calendar
    Sailing World, one of the popular sailing magazines, has a regular feature called “Dr. Crash” which each month shows one gravity-defying spectacular image of a beautiful yacht on the brink of disaster. Somewhat morbidly, it’s become on of the magazine’s most successful features, so much so that they turned it into a calendar. Particularly appealing for fans of racing — but also anyone who loves sailing — this gift will bring a smile every month of the year!
  • Rooftop Kayak Santa OrnamentOutside Inside Kayak Santa Ornament
    Outside Inside makes some really cool stuff, and their line of Christmas ornaments for outdoor sports lovers is one of my favorite. There are sets for fishing, kayaking, camping, canoeing, etc. What I like best is the solid feel of the ornaments– this isn’t cheap plastic, but a heavy-duty work of art that you can feel good about giving as a gift!
  • Personalized Surfing Santa OrnamentPersonalized Surfing Santa Ornament
    What could be cooler than a Surfing Santa decked out in tropical gear? How about a personalized Surfing Santa ornament that displays your family name or holiday message? Now that’s a cool gift!

Suggest a Nautical Christmas Gift!

What do you think readers? What is the best nautical gift you’ve ever received? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comment box below, and I’ll add your ideas to the list!

Emily R.

Hi, I'm Emily! I'm new to blogging so please feel free to leave helpful comments, suggestions, etc. As you may have guessed, I love boats and all things nautical -- sailing, kayaking, boating, fishing -- if you can do it on the water, I'm into it. I also enjoy coming up with fun, creative, unique gift ideas -- so after years of spending more time than I like to admit browsing shops and surfing the internet for the perfect gift, I finally decided to share some of my favorite finds with others looking for ideas for gifts for boaters. I hope you'll find this website useful! Fair winds! ~Emily

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Your Gift Guru ;-)Hi, I'm Emily! Friends have always told me that I give great gifts, so one day I decided to see if I could put that creativity to work helping out other people. This blog combines two of my favorite things: fun on the water, and giving gifts. I hope you find the site useful!

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