The sudden proliferation of boater Christmas lists

BonVoyage5 (2)If you are a cruising blog reader, you’ve probably already figured this out but if not, let me clue you into a little secret.

The main reason that people who read boating blogs are inundated with Christmas present suggestions this time of year is to trick Amazon into giving boaters money. The gear links in the posts are usually tagged with the boaters’ Amazon Affiliates number. Whether you buy the piece of the gear that they link, or something else for yourself or your loved ones, whether you buy it right then or in the next day or so, the boater gets paid by Amazon for generating a sale.

This is, as I see it, a win-win situation. Obviously, it is a win for the boater, but how is it a win for YOU?

First of all, you have managed to give money to a boater without any money coming out of your pocket. You buy yourself a present, the boater gets a beer. You get to feel good about that without having to pay a single cent for it. You win!

Second of all, we boaters feel guilty about being money grubbers and so we usually put a lot of time and energy into our gear recommendations. The motivation may be suspect, but the recommendations are real. Most of us are probably sitting at our nav or salon tables, looking around our bluewater cruising vessels at all of the gear inside, and trying to think what our favorite (linkable) pieces of gear are. Good solid useful recommendations for fun well tested gear – you win!

And so, with that in mind, I tried to think of three inexpensive items that we use regularly, have lasted, and have solved problems on our boat.

P1070610 (Copy)1.) Black Diamond USB rechargeable headlamps. Now that I have said that, you will ask yourselves, why did it take so long for these to be invented?! BD now makes headlamps that can be plugged into any 12V USB charger (which are everywhere in our boats 12 outlets now that all of our electronics are USB chargeable) and recharged. This solves two problems: not having to carry batteries around and the corrosion that is a constant problem on the metal prongs that touch the battery. No more running out of batteries, or carrying around so many that they get old and leak. And no more sanding the corroded little metal prongs in order to make the stupid things work!

P1070609 (Copy)2) Stick on velcro. This may sound weird but good stick on velcro is difficult to find and has solved numerous install issues for us. What problem does it solve? Holes in your boat! You can mount remote controls, ipads, pictures, all kinds of things on your boat without drilling any holes in your boat. When you change your mind, pull the velcro, use some residue remover, and it’s like it never happened.

P1070611 (Copy)3) Reusable produce bags. We’ve all switched to reusable shopping bags already, right? But you still use the plastic bags in the produce aisle, don’t you? I’ve posted about these before as they were a liquid motivation purchase, but years later these babies are still going strong. All they are is a small mesh bag with a drawstring that can hold an huge bundle of produce, and are washable and long lasting. I have used these at every market from French Polynesia through Fiji and New Caledonia. Every small plastic bag you can avoid using in the islands is a big gain. I used them today in Australia at the Newcastle farmers’ market.


  1. RECHARGEABLE HEADLAMP?!? I have no choice. I have to click on that. I can't believe I haven't already run across that in my recent headlamp shopping. Thanks for sharing the list :)

    1. I know - crazy cool, huh?

      I've fixed the link. Make sure you don't buy the BD SPOT (which I incorrectly linked to on my first draft). It is the BD REVOLT. Now fixed.

  2. Can you check your rechargeable headlamp link? I think it goes to the battery operated unit.

    1. ACK! Fixed and thanks for letting me know. It is the Black Diamond REVOLT that we have.

  3. As a fellow list-maker, I agree, it's a win-win situation! I'm putting that headlamp on my wish list now - our last rechargeable headlamps lasted less than a year before charging cord contact points rusted out (wish I could recall brand). Will be interested to hear how these hold up for you.

  4. OH and also, two thumbs up on the other items. Good sticky velcro is a total problem solver and I'm a big fan of produce bags!



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