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Gadget and Tech Boating Gifts

Gadgets and Tech Items to Give as Boating Gifts

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Most boaters can't resist the latest tech boating gadgets. Many of the selections below serve practical and safety purposes and can be found in several price ranges to suit every budget. Give these great gadget boating gifts and you will see smile after smile and have the satisfaction of giving a gift that can be used for years to come, and even may save the life of the boater you know and love.

1. Handheld VHF Radio

Photo copyright Ericka Watson

All mariners are advised to carry a VHF radio. One of my top ten boating safety equipment recommendations, a VHF radio is a necessity when boating. Cell phones are unpredictable, but a VHF radio is a trustworthy device useful in an emergency at sea. Available in all price ranges, handheld VHF radios are especially useful for the casual boater, or owners of smaller boats.

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2. EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon

ACR GlobalFix EPIRB
Photo courtesy PriceGrabber

A device that is worth more than its weight in gold, EPIRBs, officially known as Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacons, are designed to save your life if you get into trouble by alerting rescue authorities and indicating your location anywhere in the world. Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are similar to EPIRBs, but they are designed to be carried on a person.

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3. Navigation Kit

Chart navigation is another essential skill all boaters should have and goes hand in hand with a GPS. The Weems and Plath Coast Guard Navigation Kit has the items that the Coast Guard uses for chart navigation including: divider and compass, spare leads, parallel plotter, nautical slide rule and course and leg identifier and instructions in a reusable plastic pouch.

4. Safety Line

Featured in Boating Magazine's October 2009 issues, the Safety Line is a simple gadget that can help to ensure boaters can return to their boat if they fall overboard and possibly save a life. The Safety Line is a 20-foot strap that clips to a life jacket on one end, and the the kill switch and a location aboard the boat on the other. The greatest benefit of the Safety Line is if a solo boater falls overboard, the engine is killed and they are able to pull themselves to the boat and climb back aboard. For more information see Boatsafetyproducts.com

5. Weather Station

Photo courtesy PriceGrabber
Boating and weather are synonymous, so why not buy that special boater a weather station capable of giving an at-a-glance weather report? Weather stations provide temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric readings and more to give boaters up-to-date weather information vital for making safe boating decisions.
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6. Octopus Suction Coolies

The Octopus Suction Coolie is just a good idea for every boater. Drinks stay cool, and in place, with 8 small suction cups on the bottom surface of the coolie. Options include Coolies that have additional side suction cups and/or floatation devices so drinks that fall in the water float and can be easily retrieved. Octopus Suction Coolies can be personalized with the boat's name or logo. For more information, see Yachtsee.com.

7. Handheld GPS

Photo courtesy PriceGrabber
When boating, knowing your location at all times is priceless. Today, waterproof, handheld GPS's make navigation easy and accessible for all boaters. Handheld GPS devices are available in many budget ranges, too. The boater in your life will appreciate this handy, practical gift.
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8. Ice Cream Ball

Photo courtesy PriceGrabber
A fun addition the boating life, this gadget provides homemade soft serve ice cream simply by filling a Lexan plastic ball with ice, rock salt and cream and shaking it or rolling it around the cockpit of a boat for 20 minutes.
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9. Hybrid Solar or Magnetic Flashlight

The Hybrid Solar Flashlight is a solar powered flashlight that generates the greatest amount of light with little impact to the environment. It provides up to 16 hours of light and stores light for years without the need to recharge. It has a backup battery and is waterproof. Another useful flashlight option is a magnetic flashlight that works simply by shaking it. Both of these are useful gifts for all boaters.
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