It's the time of year that most boaters spend dreaming up their next-season wish list. The weather may be biting cold while the fish aren't, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the coming holiday season with some well-intended boating cheer. Whether you are shopping for a loved one, yourself or best of all, the boat, check out our 2008 list of top aftermarket items perfect for giving-or keeping-on any occasion. And with the help of our friends at West Marine, one-stop shopping for the perfect boating gift or necessity is always a cinch.
A maritime classic, the compass has long helped many a boater find his way home. This one is an ideal gift for any ship-no GPS or electronic compass can replace a big, magnetic compass before the wheel. It's the heart of the boat and a symbol of seamanship. It reads accurately even when you aren't moving through the water, and even when the power fails. Ritchie's gleaming stainless Globemaster SP-5C is a classy choice.
A fiberglass-reinforced spherical bowl with a high-capacity roller diaphragm ensures instrument integrity, even in extreme temperatures. Highest-quality sapphire jewels and pivots reduce friction for quick response and long life.
Any-season Marine Commander V Binoculars
For an exceptionally bright view, the Steiner Optical for West Marine, the Commander V is a good investment and carries a 30-year warranty. It is shock-resistant, rubber-armored and waterproof. Its optics are filled with dry, pressurized nitrogen gas to prevent internal fogging and 22mm eye relief allows viewing with eyeglasses while wrap-around eye cups with ventilated oculars protect your eyes from side light. Memory oculars let you set and recall personal focus settings.
Pontoon Captain's Swivel Bucket Seat
If the captain of your ship has been logging long hours behind the helm, it may be the perfect time to offer him a seat-a new captain's seat. This pontoon chair has extra-thick foam padding on the pillow back and seat, and it swivels.
Offshore Crew knife
You never really know when the need for a quality knife will strike. Keeping a useful, yet compact one aboard at all times is the only way to know you will have it when you need it. For routine work and emergency cutaway, every crew member should carry a good belt knife. This one features a slim, all-stainless handle that's only 5/16-inch thick. Both the drop-point sheepsfoot hollow-ground stainless steel blade and marlinspike lock open for safety.
Sewn U.S. Flag
Few things are as symbolic as flying your nation's flag-a symbol of freedom and honor. So hoist yours high and proud. These durable nylon flags are made for marine use. Sewn flags feature embroidered or sewn stars and double-stitched stripes for added strength-and of course are made in the U.S.A. The rule for sizing ensigns and yacht ensigns is one inch of length (of the fly) for every foot of boat length, flown on a staff that is twice as high as the hoist of the flag. The key issue on staff length is that the flag should fly free from the rails and any equipment.
Deluxe Anti-Gravity Lounge chair
Ignore gravity and get comfortable with one of these ultra-comfortable deluxe lounge chairs. Each one features adjustable, multi-position recline and an adjustable pillow for personalized comfort. A stretch cord suspension system conforms to your body for ergonomic support, while the lightweight aluminum chair frame with steel legs offers added strength and support.
Quicksilver Water Eliminator
The Quicksilver Water Eliminator removes water from your fuel tank. Just clip the unit to the fuel cap and lower it into your fuel tank. The unit will absorb any water that it contacts, leaving you with dry fuel. Removing water directly from the fuel helps to prevent a number of service problems related to water contamination including corrosion, algae growth, damaged fuel injectors and carburetors and power loss. The Quicksilver will also remove water from diesel, fuel oil, hydraulic fluid, mineral spirits and kerosene.
Tek Towel and Dry Lite Towel
These thirsty and quick-drying microfiber towels are absorbent, machine-washable and pack down small. The Tek Towel feels like a regular bath towel with its fine terrycloth finish. Greater surface area means shorter drying time. The Dry Lite model is the softest microfiber towel you'll find with its ultrasuede finish.
Men's Performance Mock Boatsafe Engine Compartment Heater
Spending time on the water is usually much more comfortable with the right foot wear. These top-of-the-line mocs from West Marine deliver quality, comfort and durability at an affordable price. The high-quality leather upper is hand sewn and waterproof with an extended reinforced toe and external heel counter for superior support. Breathable mesh side panels, no rusting brass hardware, extra soft padded leather tongue and fully lined rear quarter make this moc from West Marine the ideal all-season footwear.
Boatsafe's thermostatically controlled heater automatically turns on at approximately 45 degrees to ensure the ambient air temperature in your engine room remains above freezing. It saves you the time and trouble of annually winterizing the engine and helps extend your boating season into the colder months. Due to the increased potential for heat loss, boats stored out of the water require the large 750W heater. For single-engine boats up to 24 feet that are stored in the water, choose the 250W model which includes two-inch mounting feet and a 15-foot power cord with a 120V AC grounded plug. The 750W model is for single- and twin-engine boats to about 40 feet. It has two-inch mounting feet and includes a 20-foot power cable with bare ends for hard wiring. Boats larger than 40 feet may require two of the 750W heaters for adequate protection. Both models automatically shut off at 55 degrees to keep operating costs low.
Jetty Express Folding Bike Puma Barrel
Bag Towels, sunscreen, snacks, drinks and toys can be a hassle to pack to the boat-unless you've got them rounded up and packed away in an easy-to-carry bag. The barrel bag is ideal for the marine environment with its bright red color and minimal hardware. It is visible, durable and functional even in extreme conditions and its adjustable padded straps allow use as a backpack. This rugged 20-inch folding bike makes shoreside errands a breeze. Its sturdy, full alloy frame is corrosion-resistant and provides a smooth, stable ride. Its compact folded size is super easy to stow even in tight quarters. Three speeds make for easy pedaling whether it's up small ramps or around the docks at your home marina.
Pelican Slip-on Garmin Etrex Vista HCx Handheld Gps Navigator Valley Extension Tow Mirrors
The right hitch isn't all you need to tow safely. A pontoon boat on a trailer can be quite large and capable of obstructing your view of what's behind or parallel to you. Extension Tow Mirrors from Valley provide the added visibility you need to see all that's around. "Extension mirrors for towing are more than a safe, smart idea," explained Anders Nordin, marketing manager, Valley. "In some states, they are required by law, depending on the size of your trailer." Valley towing products can be purchased at leading automotive parts and retail stores. To find a Valley dealer in your area, visit the company online at www.valley.us.com and select the "Where to Buy" link or call 800-344-3112.
Worried about wine storage for your relaxing sunset cruise? Perfect for transporting or storing up to six wine bottles per box, these stackable, modular boxes uniquely connect together with used wine bottle corks-for virtually unlimited storage of wine. One of the smallest pocket handhelds with all the features outdoor enthusiasts love, the HCx version of the eTrex Vista now has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver. This means you won't lose your signal when you're geocaching off the shore, boating through canyons or in a secluded cover. It also has a barometric altimeter and an electronic compass for continuous bearing information. The elevation computer provides current elevation, ascent/descent rate plus the total, maximum and average ascent/descent rates, and minimum/maximum elevation. Add to that a bright, full-color TFT display and long, 17-hour battery life, and you've got a great companion for your next outdoor or boating adventure. Whoever said boat shoes couldn't be fashionable didn't know about these fun Pelican slip-ons. Not even a little rain can get you down with this Sperry Top-Sider shoe. It is specially constructed for a dry fit in wet weather. Its cushioned micro-fleece lining adds comfort and warmth, while non-marking rubber outsole with Wave-Siping offers ultimate wet/dry traction.
Hullkote High-Performance Speed Polish
Hullkote combines the same world-renowned McLube proprietary formulation of its bonded PTFE suspension system with an entirely revolutionary citrus-based long-lasting high gloss polish. The environmentally friendly, citrus-based hydrophobic polish is designed for an easier, faster hull-coating application. It provides superior UV protection for your hull from the damaging rays of the sun and is highly hydrophobic to repel water, dirt, salt, grime and oil deposits. D-Shock freshwater spinning combo Interested in taking up a little angling but don't know where to start? Late season is a great time to start because traffic is slowing, allowing new fishermen ample access to prime spots. This freshwater combo pairs a DSC-3B spinning reel and a two-piece, six-foot, six-inch fiberglass rod. The reel is comprised of a graphite body with an ABS aluminum spool.
Garmin Rino 520HCx
Know exactly where you are at all times with Garmin's Rino 520HCx and the precision of high-sensitivity GPS. This waterproof FRS/GMRS radio plus GPS navigator sports five watts of transmit power, a microSD card slot and brilliant color display along with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver-so you'll never be lost again. Automatic routing with alert tones let you find an address or point of interest and drive there (with optional MapSource map data). Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 14 hours of outdoor use.
Pro Softshell Jacket
Looking for the latest in marine outerwear? This versatile jacket features a new micro-grid ripstop outer fabric for improved abrasion resistance in tough marine conditions. It's also ten percent more breathable than the previous generation of Softshells. Combine that with a water-resistant laminate film and a warm fleece lining and you have a jacket that's capable of fending off rough edges, windchill and light showers to keep you warm, comfortable and protected. Water-repellent finish, taped seams, cuff and hem adjusters, high collar with soft mesh lining for reduced chafe and two micro-fleece lined hand-warmer pockets with water-resistant zips make this the perfect gift for any captain. *Unless otherwise stated, all items are available through West Marine at www.westmarine.com.
Nautica Chronograph Watch Box Set Sealife DC800 Camera
A unique combination of marine precision, style and functionality for on or off the water, the finely crafted chronograph watch keeps up with your changing lifestyle. Three wristbands include resin, carbon and leather that are easily switched with the included tool. The watch features a black dial with easy-to-read Arabic numerals, stick indicators, tachymeter and seconds sub-dials, plus a date window at the six o'clock position. SeaLife, the world's leading maker of underwater dive cameras, introduces its most advanced digital camera. A sleek, modern design meets high-tech functionality in SeaLife's new DC800 8-megapixel. With five new dive-specific color correction modes, the DC800 makes it easier than ever to take sharp, colorful, underwater pictures. Set the camera to Sea mode to restore lost colors typical for underwater pictures. Easily expand the camera with one or two SeaLife external flash accessories. Other features include a quick shutter response for fast action photography, long-lasting lithium battery for all-day diving and automatic focus from two inches to infinity. Depth tested to 200 feet, this camera also comes fully rubber-armored for shock protection.
Gill Cargo Bag
Another great cargo bag for stowing your boating gear, this one features a large main compartment, two zipped end pockets (one with drainage) and two external pockets for quick access to essential items. A wet and dry compartment keeps the rest of your goods dry and the detachable shoulder strap offers anatomical non-slip padding.