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Guide To Father's Day Boating Gifts

Dad's are notoriously hard to shop for. Lucky for you our colleague Daniel Harding at out sister-publication has done all the leg work you need to look like a hero come Sunday. Behold, the essential guide to treating the admiral in your life.

In recent years AIS has morphed from a fun technology to a serious piece of safety equipment. Receivers help you contact nearby boaters and transceivers help you to be seen by passing ships. Combining their safety background with modern AIS technology ACR recently released its AISLink CB1. Easily installed, this is an item that will make dad happy and keep him safe.


Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon Whiskey

Nautically themed spirits are nothing new but bourbon that is aged out at sea; now you have our attention. Bourbon whisky maker, Jefferson’s uses the unorthodox method of letting their spirits mature while in oak barrels aboard a research vessel that is out to sea.


As the story goes, the idea for this maturing method was born when Jefferson’s founder, Trey Zoeller spent an afternoon at sea drinking bourbon. He watched as the bourbon in his glass swirled from side-to-side with the rocking of the boat. Thinking that the motion would have a positive affect on barreled whiskey, he loaded the research vessel, Ocearch, and let time go to work.

Zoeller was thrilled to discover that his hunch was correct. After 5 months at sea, the bourbon had absorbed salt air and humidity providing a unique flavor. The motion, according to Zoeller, made the bourbon a bit thicker. Besides a hint of salt, the bourbon boasts notes of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla.

Today Jefferson’s Aged At Sea retails for $80 with a list of retailers available on their website. It hasn’t been proven if keeping a bottle aboard your boat will enhance its flavor after bottled, but maybe your dad is willing to test it out, all in the name of science!

Sperry Footwear

New for this summer, Sperry’s Voyager Sandal ($100, at right) and the Kingfisher 2 Boat Shoe ($140, at left) are both quick drying boat shoes with superb grip in the wettest conditions. The Voyager goes from fully submerged to totally dry in just a few minutes under the summer sun. The Kingfishers dry completely in about 20 minutes.


TotalBoat Trailer-Mounted Boat Lift

Do you know someone who paints the bottom of their trailerable boat? Give them a lift with the TotalBoat Trailer-Mounted Boat Lift ($599) from Jamestown Distributors, which allows you to paint your bottom or work on your trailer without hiring the yard to lift it for you.


Leatherman Tread

Equal parts style and function, each clasp on Leatherman’s newest multi-tool/bracelet called Tread ($150) is a tool that can come in handy on a boat. Just some of the tools include a cutting hook, bottle opener, carbide glass breaker, an array of screwdrivers, box, and hex wrenches, and a Sim card tool. Now that’s a handy fashion statement.


Maui Jim Five Caves


Nothing spoils a day on the water like squinting in the sun. A pair of glare-reducing Five Caves from Maui Jim will cut down on glare and increase your old man’s style.

Bluefin Apparel

Those who spend a lot of time out on the water and under the sun have to pay special attention to the clothes they wear. We all know long sleeves are best for warding off harmful UV rays and sunburn, but a garment also has to be breathable or it will be unbearable. Bluefin USA’s new tech shirts ($30 to $50) may be a smart option. Breathable and antimicrobial, their moisture-wicking material has a rating of SPF 40. What’s even cooler, though, is that you can have a custom photo printed on the shirt and, thanks to a process called dye-sublimation, it won’t have that annoyingly sticky back to it.


Overboard Survival Pack

PFDs save lives. You know it, I know it, but how many among us can honestly say we wear one every time sea conditions turn sporty? Like many, Capt. Dan Cohen rarely donned a PFD, even during annual deliveries of a 39 Contender from Florida to New York’s Sag Harbor. After a couple of close calls almost threw him from the boat, he realized he needed to be smarter, so he invented the Overboard survival pack ($600). The lightweight pack comes equipped with an assortment of survival essentials like a flotation device, matches, chapstick, duct tape, a knife, and food and water rations. Electronics are not included in the base price but items like a PLB and VHF are easily incorporated into the pack.


“The number one concern of people who fall overboard is drowning. You can die of hypothermia before that. That’s why we added a Landshark on the back, which is a hypothermia bag,” explains Cohen. “Essentially, it’s shaped like a sleeping bag with one hole in it. It fills with water, which eventually warms up to your body temperature. You can be in 40-degree water in that thing and survive in the ocean. Without one in 40-degree water you would last 15 to 20 minutes at the most.”

Whether your dad is a delivery captain, offshore angler, or a coastal cruiser, the Overboard survival pack might just give him a fighting chance if things go very, very bad.

WheelHouse Damage Control Kit

There are numerous products available, like the previous Overboard Survival Pack that will help you stay alive should you fall overboard or abandon ship. But what about those wanting to fight tooth and nail to keep their boats afloat? Those might want to consider adding a Damage Control Kit ($350-$600) from WheelHouse Technologies to your onboard kit. It features plugs, patches, wedges, a saw, hammer, and ax, as well as an assortment of fasteners and clamps. Should your father ever need to fix a major leak in the hull or a slight split in a fuel line, he’ll be thankful he had this lit aboard.


Weego portable charger

Most boaters know that cell phones searching for a signal while on the water die quickly, which is why you probably have (at least one) portable phone charger in the saloon drawer that’s reserved for your miscellaneous tools and accessories (come on, you know you have one). What if that portable charger was capable of jump-starting your boat’s batteries in a pinch? Now that might just earn a place of honor onboard.


Well, clear some room in your toolbox because the Weego Jump Starter Battery+ ($100-$190) can go from charging your laptop one second to jumping your dead batteries the next. Simply connect the included terminal clamps to your battery and hit the power button. The smallest model (JS6) is rated to start a 2.4-liter diesel engine and the largest (JS18 Professional) is rated for powering a 4.8-liter diesel or a 6.4-liter gas engine. A built-in fuse and diode protect the device—and you—while charging.

Besides powering your boat and subsequent day on the water, 11 additional plugs allow you to power your phone, tablet, speakers, and an array of other devices.

A built-in LED light assists with night-time charging and a preset S.O.S. strobe can alert nearby mariners if all else fails.

According to company president Brian Bell, the 12-volt Lithium-ion batteries in the device will only lose two percent of the charge after each month without use, which allows the Weego to be forgotten about for a season and then summoned when needed. All three models are easily stowable, with the largest version weighing in at just 1.5 pounds and measuring 9 inches by 3.5 inches by 1.3 inches.

Liquid Image Camera

Today’s smart phones are more than adequate for capturing your on-the-water adventures. But underneath the surface is another interesting world that you’re going to want to photograph. This is where a Hydra Series dive mask/camera ($120) from Liquid Image comes in handy. It has an HD 720P underwater camera built into the frame of the mask, allowing you to swim (snorkel or scuba dive) with both hands then touch the shutter button on top of the mask to capture still images or record a video. This could be a useful tool when documenting issues with your bottom or running gear.


Its 120-degree wide-angle lens captures a large portion of underwater scenery, sometimes too large when trying to shoot a wayward clownfish, but the good news is the high-quality 12 MP images (which allows for 11-by-14-inch prints) can be cropped down afterwards and still maintain their high resolution. Four AAA batteries allow for 2 hours of uninterrupted video shooting.

After drying off, an included USB cord allows for speedy uploading of your media to your computer and then on to Facebook. Because when you have stunning underwater photos, how can you not share them?

GoPro Hero 4 Black

Speaking of recording your boating adventures, the recently released GoPro Hero 4 Black ($500) features a processor that’s 2x more powerful that the company’s previous model. It also features new setting for shooting at night, a SUP board mount and a lightning-quick 30 frames per second shooting mode allows you to grab super-crisp still shot from the video.


Cascade Inflatable SUP

SUP boards are all the rage these days, and that makes sense. They’re a fun way to explore skinny waterways while getting a great workout. One of the favorite boards of your PMY gear editor is the Cascade Inflatable SUP ($700) and I’ll tell you why. Stowage on a boat is limited so the ability to take a 10-foot board, pull a plug and then roll it up into a 2‘ x 2’ bag is a nice option. Also, when using the board to wax your hull or perhaps add a coat of varnish to your toe rail, the soft rubber can hit your boat without with as much as a scuff.


Steiner Navigator Pro 7 x 50 Binoculars

“Hey, do me a favor and give these a try,” I asked colleagues while handing them a pair of Steiner’s new Navigator Pro 7 x 50 Binoculars ($539). “Woahhh” was the response 3 out of 3 times. These auto-focusing binoculars give you high-definition viewing of obstacles with 7x magnification. From watching birds to making navigating a new inlet easier, good pair of binoculars like these are a smart thing to have aboard.


Yeti Hopper

The company best know for building coolers capable of standing us to bear attacks and dropped off mountains, Yeti Coolers is embracing their soft side with its Hopper 30. Capable of holding 18 cans of, err, soda or 26 pounds of ice, this traveling bag boasts a lot of stowage. Yeti says that the bag is 100% leak proof and all their claims have proven true so far.


Johnnie Walker Blue

One of the most easily recognizable liquors out there, Johnnie Walker Blue Label ($230) is scotch whisky needs no introduction. Their new customizable option though, does. A few months ago, the company announced that you can now customize the bottle by having is engraved with your special message. “Happy Fathers Day” engraved on the side gives this bottle a nice touch.


Harding-Lane Hat

Help dad upgrade his style with a hand-stitched hat from Harding-Lane. You can feel especially good about ordering the fashionable and nautical caps because part of the proceeds goes towards various environmental organizations.


Custom Yacht Pool


Going for a swim off the back of your boat on a summer night can be extremely peaceful. Getting stung by a jellyfish, or being bumped by passing fish or debris can flip the script on your swim. A custom yacht pool ($10,000) from Ahalife provides peace of mind by using a fine mesh to protect swimmers from all things lurking below the water.

See this list on our affiliate site, Power & Motoryacht, here.