Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gifts for Sailors this holiday SEAson.

It's that time of year were neighborhoods on the Isle of Long begin to look like the Vegas strip. Luckily, these light displays are mostly inland and therefore won't confuse a sailor trying to enter a harbor. But, it also means that Christmas is near at hand. Even if you are in a generous mood the AIS/GPS/RADAR/VHF radio/CD player/coffee maker device is probably not a good idea to buy as a gift.  Not all sailors will think that is really useful (or they may already have one). But, something in the way of a "stocking stuffer" may be more useful and appreciated. So here are a few of Capt. Mike's gift giving ideas for the Holidays:

1) Survival Whistle like the ACR WW-3  This simple, cheap device could save a life. In fact if you are feeling very generous you might want to buy several so that every life jacket on board has one attached. 
WW-3 Survival Whistle

2) The Smith and Wesson 44 Mag Tool knife. I was first tipped off to this baby by a post by Bob at  BOAT BITS. While I still do prefer my Gerber MP400. But, I recently found myself working in a location where I needed a multi tool and had left my Gerber several hundred miles away. So I ordered one. The blades and tools do not lock like the Gerber but, it does have some things to recommend it. Instead of one knife blade it has two. One is a straight edge and the other serrated which is good for a sailor who needs to cut through lines with minimal hassle. It also has a smaller Phillips head screw driver than the Gerber which can be very useful. There is also a saw blade which cut through butcher block impressively in my test. Along with scissors, file and the needle nose pliers it is good to have on board even as a backup. For less than ten dollars why not put one in the ditch bag too! In short it makes a great useful gift for a sailor even if it is a spare.

Smith & Wesson G7118 Smith & Wesson 44 Mag Tool

3)A copy of the  NAVIGATION RULES As a Licensed Captain I'm required to have a copy of the Navigation Rules on board. Even if the sailor in your life is not a licensed Captain it's good to have a copy on board. They can check to make sure they or other boats are meeting the requirements in terms of signals, lights etc... Plus it could be fun and very educational to identify the various tug and barge combinations you might see on the waters. If they are new to boating may even make them a better boater.
Navigation Rules

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