Still looking for a thoughtful Christmas gift for the discerning sailor in your life? Don't despair! Here are a few ideas...
Following our Christmas gift guide of best-on-test items from 2020, here are some more nautical gift ideas from the Yachting Monthly team.
From bobble hats for a worthy cause to sailing gloves, baselayers, oilskins, marine torches to calendars, deck shoes, books and personalised logbooks, we hope our guide will have something to suit everyone.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has launched a range of festive gifts and treats, and every purchase will help to support young people in recovery from cancer.
These include a unique Trust tree bauble, a big Trust bobble hat and a new grey zip hoodie, as modelled by the Trust’s founder and patron, Dame Ellen MacArthur herself.
**Use the code YMRITES2021 for a 20% discount**
For some, sailing experience is measured through harbours visited and miles logged. But, certain stretches of water pose unique challenges and their reputations hold a strange power in the imagination of all who set sail. Completing one of these passages is an initiation, a rite of passage that leads to respect of others and a new self-confidence.
Yachting Monthly, the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation and Imray have collated a dozen or so of the milestone passages through, around and across British waters that should be on every cruising sailor’s to-do list. The resulting Rites of Passage is an inspiring and informative book which will help all sailors, from those new to cruising to the much more experienced, reach those milestones.
With a nod to the 1980s book Classic Passages, and published as a series of abridged features in YM magazine from January 2019, the book includes expanded features, illustrated by photographs and pilotage information, about the passages and about the arrival cruising grounds including plans, tide diagrams and other key information.
Passages covered include:
- Falmouth to Isles of Scilly (Sam Llewellyn)
- Lulworth to Salcombe across Lyme Bay (Megan Clay)
- Crossing the Thames Estuary (Peter Gibbs)
- Penzance to Milford Haven across the Bristol Channel (Jane Cumberlidge)
- West of Scotland to the coast of Northern Ireland (Norman Kean)
- Solent to Alderney across the Channel (Ros Hogbin)
- Harwich to Vlissingen across the southern North Sea (Garth Cooper)
- Falmouth to L’AberWrach (Jason Lawrence)
- Through Chenal du Four and the Raz de Sein (Nick Chavasse)
- Orkney to Western Isles round Cape Wrath (Hugh Stewart)
- Shetland to Bergen across the northern North Sea (Paul Heiney)
- St Kilda and back (Mary Max)Across Biscay (Madeleine Strobel).
RRP: £24.95 (use discount code YMRITES2021 for 20% off)
Sealskinz Fusion Control sailing gloves
Sealskinz’s Fusion Control technology gives its new gloves ‘unrivalled dexterity, breathability and precise control’ – presuming your hands are up to the task!
A 100% waterproof hydrophilic membrane is sandwiched between a merino wool inner and a softshell outer layer – for a closer-to-skin fit and improved grip, with no risk of liner pull-out.
The ‘open mesh’ bonding process allows moisture to transfer out, while retaining warmth.
These sailing gloves are available in range of sizes from small to extra-large.
We all have lifejackets on board, but do you know what yours is actually like to use? We test 10…
Maritime book recommendations by Yachting Monthly literary contributor Julia Jones, plus our pick of this year’s reviewed boat products
Sailing waterproofs needn’t break the bank. YM put seven sets of inshore and coastal oilskins under £350 to the test
Fernhurst Books’ best-selling Logbook for Cruising Under Sail can now be personalised with the name of a boat or a person and even the year.
Designed to last a season, the sail logbook allows space for electronic navigation information and for narrative. It doubles as a visitors’ book and has pages to record the engine and logs, maintenance checks and waypoints.
A personalised Cruising Under Power logbook is also available.
Both are published in hardback; laminated with gold lettering.
Limited edition club logbooks are also available to order.
Visit www.fernhurstbooks.com and search for ‘logbook’
Spinlock’s Lume-On is a small water-activated light that’s glued to the back of the lifejacket bladder.
The effect is that the bladder glows in the dark, which makes it much easier to judge the distance to a casualty in the water on a dark night.
ZHIK INS200 oilskins
Zhik’s INS200 inshore and coastal wet weather gear takes a streamlined approach – offering protection and performance for regular sailing, yet minimal bulk.
The lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket, £199.95, and high-fit salopettes, £169.95, feature a three-layer Vecta fabric technology.
Plus taped inside seams; a fully adjustable hood with internal Spandex gusset to keep it in place; two side-zip pockets with tiny laser-cut drainage holes, an expandable chest pocket and an inside pocket for valuables.
A non-absorbent PU fabric inside the wrist cuff creates a seal when the outer cuff is tightened. The unisex salopettes have a pre-formed waist and ankle adjustments. There is abrasion-resistant 500D fabric on the cargo pocket, knee, crotch and rear panels. Behind the two-way front zip, a large waterproof gusset is promised to enable easy dressing.
The jacket is available in men’s S – XXL and women’s XS – XL versions, black or ‘platinum’ colour. The salopettes come in XS – XXL sizing.
RRP: From £169.95
Helly Hansen Lifa Merino midweight hoodie
Helly Hansen has added a hood and high neckline to its Lifa Merino Midweight baselayer pullover for extra warmth and protection.
When not in use, both the hood and neck lay flat. The hoodie uses Lifa Merino technology with a two-layer construction: 100% ethically-sourced Merino exterior and 100% 225g LIFA fabric interior.
LIFA yarn technology wicks moisture away from the skin to the fabric surface where it evaporates. The two-layer combination offers 56% better moisture management than 100% wool. The soft and durable Merino wool is promised to be non-itchy and benefits from natural antimicrobial odour-control.
A 160G/m2 lightweight version is available (£80). The Midweight Hoodie comes in men’s and women’s versions, in green, navy, black, blue and purple. Matching baselayer pants (£70) are available.
Now in its 33rd year, Rick Tomlinson’s latest Portfolio Calendar (£19.95) showcases
12 stunning images including JOG racing off the Needles, the Fast 40+ Class and a killer whale in the Falklands. 56cm x 42cm in size.
His 25cm x 15cm, free-standing Desk Calendar (£7.95) features photographs from the Moth Worlds, the Hamble Classics, and Ineos training. Corporate branding is available.
For the gift that will continue to deliver through your loved one’s door, subscribe to YM from just £22.49 (every six months, six issues) and save 35% on the usual cover price. This rolling subscription can be cancelled online at any time.
Plus you’ll receive a £5 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card. Digital subscriptions for iOS / Android / Web are available for £18.99 per six months (six issues).
Best deal: £22.49 (every six months, six issues)
Nebo NB6713 Inspector trimmer’s torch
A super-bright slim torch that boasts 180 lumens of brightness. It’s 152mm when extended, with a 12mm diameter so is small enough to keep in a pocket or be clipped to your lifejacket belt.
Great for shining up the sails at night to check your trim. It has three light modes (high, low and flashing), is waterproof to IP67, has a removable steel clip and is powered by 2 x AAA batteries (included). Weighing in at 62g.
Gill Marine has long been a go-to for state-of-the-art, practical sailing gloves.
The latest Waterproof Gloves are made of a durable nylon outer layer with a thermal inner lining (including Merino Wool) and wicking capability ensuring they are 100% waterproof but also breathable.
Finished off with touchscreen fingers and a non-slip silicon printed palm, these gloves are available in sizes XS – XL.
Other items in the extensive new active range include jackets, mid layers, technical t-shirts, waterproof and cable knit beanies and a neck gaiter.
This comic and touching sailing novel is set in the later 1960s mainly in a Yorkshire coast town very like Bridlington. It tells the tale of an obsessive who (so his wife thinks) has never grown up. Seymour Pilbeam runs electric trains round the living room, builds kites and sledges and is a stalwart of the pub dominos team.
He’s gripped by a longing to build and sail a boat, though when the story begins, his experience is confined to books and experiments on the now-defunct model yacht pond. It’s a tale of friendship and the joy of craftsmanship, though with shocking damage to family relationships along the way. A heart-warming story for men in sheds and those who love them.
This unpretentious account of a 4,000-mile voyage through the Baltic and Russia’s inland waterways to the White Sea and the Kola Peninsula; round the North Cape and down the Norwegian coast to Holland stands out as an epitome of the cruising life. Irene and Gordon Campbell-Grin were part of the Cruising Association’s millennium Baltic rally.
They were away from work for five months but not away from home as their yacht Fereale is also their home. Campbell-Grin is not writing in her first language yet she achieves individual eloquence.
She is pragmatic as she tells of mechanical problems, tiredness, bizarre happenings and bureaucratic confusion. There is awe and wonder in this book, welcome friendship and unassuming courage.
‘Some of us […] think the more you have to wear the greater the adventure.’ Jon Amtrup advises on preparing yourself, your boat, equipment, safety. His advocacy of ketch rig wins my heart but he admits the perfect boat is usually the one you already have.
Bob Shepton has undertaken voyages to every ocean in the world in a Westerly 33. He’s also a climber and his photos make one gasp with their grandeur and austere beauty. Trond Aasvol sailed the NorthWest passage with reindeer meat in his rigging – until the Russians stopped him.
Elena Solovyeva, the only woman to have sailed round the North Pole in a single season, explains how this should be managed. An informative and beautiful book.
Sebago Triton leather boat shoes
Part of the long-running Docksides range, which has been going strong since 1970, the stylish Sebago Triton keep your feet dry even in foul weather conditions, thanks to the shoe’s cement being seam-sealed.
Over several months, these deck shoes were put through their paces and our tester was impressed. Even from new, the soft-leather shoes were incredibly comfortable, with no rubbing or pinching. As the shoes can be washed, the tester was happy to go barefoot in the summer.
Sweaty feet was not an issue as the lining is both fabric and leather, allowing plenty of air movement. Despite multiple soakings in salt and rain water, the leather outer shows minimal signs of staining. There is also no sign of any cracking or pitting along the seams.
The nickel-free eyelets remain in good condition and securely in place. The Triton’s are very flexible and incredibly comfortable due to a padded tongue and collar. This is enhanced by a removable fabric-topped foam insole which really moulded to the foot. The strong nylon laces stay done up once tied. The rubber outsole means there is no risk of decks getting marked. Despite being lightweight, the Triton’s grip well, even on wet decks and slippery pontoons. Available in several colour options.