Best Luxury Marine Technology Gifts This Christmas

With Christmas approaching there are probably a million things on your wish list already, but if you’re struggling for ideas for yourself or your partner who loves to sail never fear! We’ve put together a list of our favourite new technology based accessories to make sailing life that little bit breezier and to really spoil your loved one (or yourself) this Christmas. From smart watches to sound systems there is sure to be something for everyone.

Smart Watch

It’s amazing what we can do with technology these days. There are apps for just about anything and luckily for us this includes navigation and boating safety. Having an iPad or tablet is a great accessory for your sailboat but it’s not always easy to carry that or even your phone around on the deck, so here come in smart watches! These amazing watches can do so much and more from the comfort and ease of your wrist. Take a look at our pick of the bunch.

The Garmin Quatix is an original. Giving you the ability to control aspects of your boat from your watch! You can control your boats autopilot or transfer routes from your iPad without even having to use a wire. Garmin has log been a leader in aquatic technology and boating life. They tailor their products to suit the boating entusist. These watches are made for the salt water, sun glare and the myriad of other things that come with boating life. The Qautix is your first step into the world of marine watch technology. Giving you the freedom and control that you need onboard.

Garmin is a brand synonymise with water life. With a step up from the Garmin Quatix, comes the Quatix 5 Marine GPS smart watch. It connects to compatible chart plotters and other marine electronics to give you autopilot control, data streaming such as wind, depth, temperature and speed. It’s functions don’t stop there. With activity profiles to assist you in other activities like hiking and cycling, the Quatix 5 Marine GPS smart watch is a real all rounder. For the more serious sailor it offers a great racing feature that include a virtual startling line and a distance to startline. A race countdown timer and tack assist are just some of the other features the smart watch has on offer. A one of a kind watch and a prefect gift for the sailor who thinks they have everything.

DeckWatch from Vesper Marine is a smart watch app that takes boating safety next level. The app can give you instant information helping you avoid collisions. It can even help with Man Overboard situations. It uses Andriod Wear 2 and connects your watch directly to your smartAIS Transponder. This is perfect for rough seas and bad conditions as it sends alrets directly to your wrist. It’s a safety feature you do not want to miss out on

Sound System

Some days out on the water it’s nice to take in the sounds of the ocean, the gulls and the wind around you. But other days having music onboard can really help to complement or set the mood on deck. As we know, the ocean seas can do some strange things to sound so sometimes regular portable sound systems don’t quite work the way we ant them to. Here are a few options of speakers specifically made for the seas to give you the clearest sounds possible.

Fusion RV-FS402 Sound-Panel. This is a 200 watt dual speaker with a shallow mount that is specially designed for use on the water and to suit boats and yachts from big to small. With a single unit containing four inch dual speakers, a passive radiator and tweeters are pre tuned to work well together. The Fusion RV-FS402 Sound-Panel is built to IP65 environmental standards which gives you the peace of mind to know you’ll be getting crisp quality sound out on deck.

If you’re in and out of the boat a fair or bit doing day trips to shore you may want to consider a slightly smaller more portable option for your sounds. The Fusion Stereo Active. Like it’s big brother it was built to be around water, delivering clear and crisp sounds across the sea. You can play your music via Bluetooth and it also has an AM/FM Weatherband Radio. The battery life is second to none boasting twenty hours playtime. It has a waterproof cavity and actually floats! So gone are the stresses of an accidental Speaker Overboard situation! Another one of it’s great features is it’s compatibility with Smart Watches including the Garmin Smart Watch. A perfect present for the music lover in your life.

Solar Chargers

Now having a lot of technology on board is all well and good, but having ways to charge them is something to think about. You probably already have power hooked up, but it’s always nice to have some backup, particularly portable backup. Here are a few solar chargers that will do the trick just fine and ensure you’ll always have some power when you’re on the go.

The Upow 5000mAh Portable Charger Solar Power Bank is a inning combination of solar panel and a LED flashlight. It’s built for the elements with rubber cover that seals all it’s ports from anything the ocean and beach and send its way. It is compatible with most 5V USB charged devices and with it’s a Grade lithium battery it’s charging time is lightning fast. This is great for day trips ashore when heading back out to the boat to charge your phone or portable speaker is just too inconvenient.

When you are wanting to charge more than just your electronic devices then it’s great to have a PulseTech SP-5 Solar Charger onboard. The Pulse technology increases battery life dramatically by three to five times so say good by to dead boat batteries! It is a military grade and covered by Lexan which makes it the sturdiest solar panel out there – perfect for rugged days out on the ocean. With a seventeen foot chord it’s easy to mount in a lot of places. And the best part is for all it’s high grade it is still super simple to use. The perfect present for someone who spends a long time out on the sea.

Waterproof Device Cases

Having out devices such as smart phones and tablets out on the water is incredibly convenient. With all the amazing apps you can now get your hands on that making boating and boating safety just that much easier, having devices on board really is a must. Bust as you know, being up on deck can be unpredictable and you don’t want to get caught out and risk losing your phone overboard or getting water damage on your iPad due to not having a proper cover. Here are some covers that will help turn your device into a perfectly durable on deck companion.

LifeProof Nud for Iphones and Ipads. This Genius brand was one of the founders of durable and waterproof casings. Their new Nud range offers a unique sealing around the edges of the screen so you are still able to touch your screen easily without having to navigate thick plastic over your screen. All cases have the advantage of being factory tested and undergoing additional testing so you know you’re getting a working product. They live up to a military standard for shock protection, so you don’t have to worry about those on deck fumbles. They can withstand an hour of water emersion at 2m and are completely splash proof. A great product to ensure your device stays safe onboard.

If you, or a loved one who likes to spend as much time in the sea as floating on top of it then it’s time to take water casing to the next level with the WaterShot Pro. The Watershot is designed to be an underwater camera housing for your iphone. It has a specially made Wide Angle Lens Port which can increase the field of vision to 110 degrees. With a handgrip and wrist lanyards it’s easy to keep a hold of. You can also add mounting accessories to it with a pistol grip and lighting tray. This baby can be taken to depths of 60m so it’s perfect even for scuba diving! It’s a fun gift for the underwater photography lover.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping

We’re sure something on this list will spark your excitement. So this Christmas why not give both a fun and practical gift that is perfect for your sailing companions.

Making sailing safe for kids

If you’re a sailing enthusiast that also happens to have kids then your top priority will be their safety on board. You want to be able to spend days or even weeks out of the open sea and have your kids enjoy the feeling of being under full sail while also being able to concentrate on actually sailing and also enjoying the ride with out the constant worry of the, being in immediate danger. Of course as a parent you will always have a bit of worry and always instinctively be on the lookout for their safety but there are things you can do to really minimize the risk of accidents happening to give you more peace of mind and also to give the kids a bit more freedom.

The first thing we think about when we think water safety is of course life jackets. These are essential and worth investing in good quality and comfortable jackets that kids will not want to rip off, but there are also a lot of other products around to think about that can help your child stay on board and if worst comes to worst, be able to survive in the water while waiting to be rescued.

Bellow is a guide to some of the things we’ve found most useful when sailing with children.

On Deck Safety

Let’s start by trying to keep your kids on the boat! Having a good tethering system is the best way to ensure your children can enjoy being up on the deck while you are sailing but also be safely away from edges and without risk of falling overboard.


Depending on your vessel you will have your own way of putting in a jackline. Many think the best way to put it on for children is straight down the middle and using a shorter tether to ensure they are at no risk of getting close enough to go over the sides. This can be tricky however when it comes to navigating the mast. You want to minimize unclipping as much as possible, so one suggestion we have heard is to create two jacklines down the center either side of the mast, this will give the children a little more freedom to get around without them having to clip and unclip to get around tricky areas.

Wichard LYF`Safe Jackline comes in a range of sizes to suit your vessel and can also be adjusted in size. It has an easy setup and can be fitted with almost every deck fastening. It features reflective stitching that is wonderful at night and the adjust casting has a special locking mechanism to prevent accidental webbing release. A great and lasting product.

Children’s Harness

Now once you have your jackline in place you’re going to need a harness and tether to keep your children in. It’s important you choose a harness that fits correctly and is comfortable for your child.

The WEST MARINE Child’s Safety Harness is perfect for young sailors. They have cut down on some of the hardware so that what they have is close to a weightless product but that can withstand a 1000lb pull on the chest strap. Using strong nylon Nexus webbing it is made to be worn tether forward while a cross back strap kept it firmly in place. There is the option on a between the legs strap which can help stabilize the harness.


A good tether is also very important. The Wichard Proline Tether with a 1m 1 Clip and 1 Loop is our choice. This features a snap hook that can be used one-handed. It has an ErgoLock system where the snap hook automatically locks and closes with a wider opening so it’s a lot easier for young hands to use.

They also have an interesting feature called Overload Indicator Stitching. This is stitching that shows where it is more used and when it should be replaced. This way you’ll always know that your child’s tether is in good working order.

Children’s Lifejackets

When it comes to life jackets for children you really don’t want something that will be too big and bulky. It a child can’t move freely in their jacket then chances are they will take any opportunity to take it off. Lifejacket shopping is something you should really do with your children so they can try on different types and styles to see which one fits their size and body shape the best. Having said this, it is also an item where you cannot compromise on quality, so at the end of the day that will be your main focus. You need to consider the age of your child also, for preteens and teens you will not need as much neck support but for a smaller child, it’s great to look into jackets with the neck support that can turn their face floating side up. These tend to be a bit bulkier but the extra safety feature can be worth it.

One that we love for kids in the older age bracket is Austral’s Otter 2.0 Youth PDF. As well as being a safe and comfortable jacket is also environmentally friendly, using organic Kapok that is extremely buoyant as its fill. It’s a great jacket that allows older kids a bit more room to move and comfort, so they won’t mind keeping it on all day.

MOB Signaling Gear

As much as we don’t want to think about worst-case scenarios it is something we have to prepare for. MOB (man overboard) signaling gear is something worth investing in and teaching your children how to use. To start with, never underestimate the simplicity of a whistle. A whistle does not rely on batteries and electronics, simply a child’s blow. This can still be an effective and not too expensive piece of safety gear. A floating knife for older children can also be something that comes in handy for having to cut their way out of and ropes that may be surrounding them or tying them down. Not a nice thought, but like I said, we need to think about worst-case scenarios.

You can also get Man Overboard gear that can transmit signals containing your position and ID via an Automatic Identification System. The McMurdo SmartFind S20 AIS MOB id one such device. It is designed to be fitted to lifejackets and manually activated but there is also the option to get it properly fitted with an inflatable jacket so that when the jacket is inflated it automatically sends out your signal. It also has a flashing LED light on it that makes it easier to spot your child. These devices while expensive, should not be overlooked. As much as we can plan for good weather and calm seas we are still at the mercy of nature and need to be as best prepared as we can be.

Teaching safety

You can have all of the right equipment and have your children in lifejackets 24/7 but the most vital thing you should be doing before taking them out of the water is teaching them the importance of safety. Swimming lessons are a great place to start. These days there are swimming lessons even for babies! So there really is no excuse to not have your children learning how to swim from an early age. Having them familiar with the water can help them to not panic in a dangerous situation and of course, help them stay alive. If they are only having lessons in a pool it could be a great idea to also take them to the ocean and get them swimming in different kinds of water. Getting familiar with being in waves can really help them navigate rough water. Also giving kids lessons about currents and rips will help them in knowing the dangers that they can face in the water and have the confidence to stay calm because they know what to do.

Being able to have full command of your kids on the ship is also of utmost importance. Your children should know that when you give a command it should be followed immediately because it is for their own safety. If your children can’t obey orders then consider not taking them out on voyages until they can. If you are preparing for a big trip, or even just, in general, it can be a good idea to run through some safety drill with your children first, do some role-playing and help prepare them as best as you can for what can happen in an emergency and how to deal with it. Showing them things like how to radio for help could be a life-saving skill.

Sail with Peace of mind

Once you do have your kids and yourself kitted out with safety gear you’ll find the whole experience a lot more relaxing. Knowing that you have taken all the precautions you can for the safety of your children will be a weight off your shoulders and help seriously reduce the risks of dangers and heighten the likelihood of survival if things do become out of your control. Now all that is left to do is enjoy the amazing feeling of being out of the water with your family.