All year long we’ve showcased our favorite gear and gadgets to better your yachting experience, and there’s no better time to revisit these selections than now, with the holiday season upon us. From watches and sunglasses to electric surfboards and must-have electronics, all of your favorite boaters should be covered with this gift guide.
714 Series by Persol
Full-acetate frames give a firm backbone to these seriously stylish shades from Persol.
Ideal for sailing, this watch features a bidirectional rotatable bezel made of platinum or gold to track elapsed sailing time; large hour markers and hands ensure legibility.
Despite expanding its brand to include sneakers, boots, flip-flops and other types of water-resistant footwear, Sperry Top-Sider’s most popular model is the Authentic Original School Spirit 2-Eye boat shoe.
Bose built the SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker to strap onto coolers, bicycle handlebars or just about anything else that might go into the tender before heading ashore. The speaker is less than 4 inches tall and wide, and it weighs just a hair more than 10 ounces, so attaching it to clothes or a backpack is also an option.
The Paralenz Dive Camera weighs 5.6 ounces, so it can easily attach to a mask strap. It logs the dive and the photos, so users know at which depth they shot which image (and can share that info with friends via an app). And in what Paralenz calls a first, the camera auto-filters for lack of light at various depths — meaning photos never come out murky greenish-blue.
Lampuga‘s Boost model is carbon fiber and can reportedly top 31 knots, while the Air model is inflatable (to stow in smaller spaces) and hits 27 knots. Riders control the speed through a handle grip and steer just as with a regular surfboard, by shifting body weight.
The touchscreen Elite-12 Ti, the largest unit in the Elite Ti series, has serious fish-finding ability. It’s also quite connective with Bluetooth, wireless, and NMEA 2000 capability.
The Garmin inReach Mini allows friends to track a boater’s adventure via Garmin’s MapShare tracking Web page, which inReach Mini updates in user-selectable intervals. It is also engineered to IPX7 and MIL 810F environmental standards and has Bluetooth connectivity.
Uniden’s MHS335BT is the first handheld VHF radio that lets users send SMS messages — via a paired wireless device — over VHF frequencies. This 6-watt VHF device has an integrated GPS receiver and Class D digital selective calling (DSC), allowing users to issue blanket-broadcast emergency calls or directly contact individual DSC-enabled VHF users via their nine-digit maritime marine service identities.
While earlier-generation, fixed-mount thermal-imaging cameras worked exceptionally well at short and medium distances, their image sensors and digital (and/or restricted optical) zooms limited their ability to spot objects and vessels at great distances — drawbacks that FLIR solves with its new M500.
The B&G Zeus3 Glass Helm has a wide-angle, HD display that can be viewed through polarized sunglasses in bright sunlight. The unit also has an all-weather touchscreen and a low-profile design, and can be controlled through a Zeus Controller.
Swims’ Cruise Collection evolved the loafer further, especially in terms of color. The Braided Lace model is molded construction, while the Breeze Lace is mesh and lighter. “Both perform equally well,” Jake Brandman, president of Swims, says. “The Breeze Lace is sort of a nod to a sneaker.”
An electronic tachymeter, a countdown timer for regatta starts, and other sailing-inspired features are built into the Exospace B55 Yachting. Pressing the crown or tilting your wrist activates two backlit LCD screens with smartphone-style features.
Wayfarers by Ray-Ban
Does it get more classic than these unisex Wayfarers, also from Ray-Ban? Our vote is no.
“The idea has been floating around in my head for a while,” Guy Howard-Willis says. “Having a bike to ride on water was pretty obvious, but I’ve always been fascinated by how foils work on boats, how they lift the boats out of the water.” The first Manta5 Hydrofoiler XE-1 bikes bound for U.S. shores are due to arrive in early 2019, at a retail price of $6,895.