So many gift guides are filled with a lot of expensive items . . . but most of us are on at least somewhat limited budgets and like less expensive ideas. My list of gift ideas under $10 was really popular — but if you can spend just a tad more, there are a bunch more great gifts. And again, many of these are things that the recipient may not be familiar with — but will love using. With the exception of the SoLite, I own all of these and LOVE them!
Links are to the item on Amazon unless otherwise noted.
The Boat Galley Cookbook — yep, it’s shameless self-promotion. But the whole reason that Jan and I wrote it was to have one galley book with all the information in it that we wished we had . . . 800+ recipes from ingredients you can actually find, over 150 substitutions, recipes designed to be made without electrical appliances, how to clean and prepare fresh seafood and so on. Want more info? Here’s my more detailed description.
Individual Ice Cubes — many boats don’t have room for full ice cube trays in the freezer, but do have room to tuck just one of two of these “ice pop molds” in. The molds are actually intended for moms to make their own healthier popsicles for kids, but they work just as well for making individual ice cubes, frozen yogurt or anything else you can think of. These are made of pure silicone and are pretty rugged — as long as you tuck them in so that the “cap” is up, they don’t leak even with just water.
Kuhn-Rikon 4th Burner Multi-Pot — a weird name for a wonderful pan. It won’t replace a skillet or saucepan, but it’s perfect for steaming (with a steamer basket included), boiling pasta and so much more. Drain holes in the lid mean that you don’t need to dirty a colander, and silicone covered handles mean that you don’t need to grab a pot holder, and with the glass lid it’s easy to see what’s happening in the pot without taking the lid off and letting heat and steam out.
Insulated Mug — okay, so you can go down to the local 7-11 and get a mug for five bucks. So why would you spend $20+? Simple. These great mugs from Thermos are vacuum insulated, which keeps drinks hot or cold so much longer than the cheaper ones. And these are made of stainless so they’ll last forever . . . and they’re sized to fit in standard drink holders. I’m a basic cheapskate and resisted buying an “expensive” insulated mug for a long time but it’s been so well worth it!
Spanish for Cruisers — regular translation guides don’t give you a lot of the words you need when cruising, whether it’s the names of foods, methods of food preparation, boat parts, maintenance or radio calls. Spanish for Cruisers and its sister publication French for Cruisers are indispensible if you’re heading where either is spoken . . . even if you’re already fairly fluent in the language.
SoLite Hanging Solar Light — great for drinks or dinner in the cockpit after the sun has gone down. No power needed (just leave it in the sun during the day), off-low-high settings and can be hung almost anywhere to provide 6+ hours of soft light. No, you’re not going to read by it, but you won’t stumble or knock your wine glass over. And I’m a big fan of seeing what I’m eating!
Chamois — one of the best and smallest dish drainers you can have on a boat. Just be sure to get a true leather chamois and not an imitation! Works a lot better than the “dish drying mats” you see in many kitchenware departments . . . buy a true chamois in the auto department (used for washing vehicles). The best size depends on the galley counter configuration, but in general a 2-square foot chamois is good for most trailer-sailors, and a 3-square foot one for anything larger — and you can easily cut one for irregular shaped counters.
Got some other favorite galley items that could be a good gift and generally sell for less than $25? Please leave a note — and if possible a link — in the comments!