Apart from a Howard Miller brass chronometer given to us as a gift, the gCaptain office is mostly devoid of nautical trinkets (but you will find us wearing nautical t-shirts and clothing!). You will not find any brass nameplates or paperweights with fouled anchors on our desk or photographs of lighthouses hanging on the wall. It’s not that we are avoiding nautical decor, it’s just that we think most “nautical” stuff is kitsch. But here are a few gifts we would proudly display or tinker in our spare time.
Note: If you want seriously useful gifts then read our article gCaptain Gift Guide 2013, but if you’re just for some fun stuff then keep scrolling.
Model ships are more than toys: they inspire, men and kids alike to take to the sea. They also make for great office and home eye candy but since most of us sailors can’t afford a real replica ship we’ll have to settle for one of these, ultra-cool, Papafoxtrot Wood Model Cargo Ships. ($176 at Amazon)
Historically the boatswain’s
whistle pipe was used to pass commands to the crew when the voice could not be heard over the sounds of the sea. Because of its high pitch, it could be heard over the activities of the crew and bad weather. It is now used in traditional bugle calls such as Evening Colors/Sunset but we would just use it to annoy and harass unwanted visitors. ($9 at Amazon)
A Life Aquatic
This soft and chunky Red G.I. Watch Cap with Cuff is perfect winter hat for keeping you warm on any winter North Atlantic crossing but we want it just because it’s the same hat worn by Bill Murray in Life Aquatic which just happens to by our favorite nautical film. Also don’t miss out on a hip Team Zissou sweatshirt! Or a Steve Zissou Life Aquatic t-shirt) ($10 at Amazon)
Radio Room Wall Clock
Sure you could buy an expensive hideous brass wall clock that’s guaranteed to rust the first time it’s kissed by salt water but we prefer to purchase the thing your more likely to find on the wall of a real ship; a cheap quartz radio room clock. ($18 at Amazon)
The genius behind these wood charts says that “Each chart is solid wood framed, crystal clear acrylic covered, 3- Dimensional, bathymetric chart carved in Baltic Birch wood. Intricate detail is carved and laser etched creating a unique & accurate artwork.” We don’t know what any of that means but we do know that they are cool as hell to look at. ($128 to $250 at Amazon)
A Salty Pipe
Is there anything that yells “Ye Be A Tru Seadog!” more than smoking a pipe on the bridge wing of a great ship? Only one thing: smoking from a pipe carved with a flying dutchman! ($35 at Amazon)
Two of our favorite things in life are Maersk ships and Lego’s….. purchase this and your can have your cake and eat it too. Purchase this one now ($338 at Amazon) or wait until January when Lego releases their version of the giant Maersk Lego Triple-E.
EPIRB Enabled Watch
Have an extra $16,000 burning a hole in your pocket? We didn’t think so but if you did then you could purchase the coolest watch ever made: Breitling’s EPIRB enabled Emergency II Watch ($16,000 at Breitling)
We would never drink on watch but if we did then Cork Pop’s Nicholas Portside Flask would be our first choice for storing a few nips of whiskey. ($25 at Amazon)
A Touch Of Humor
The name “poop” originates from the French word for stern, la poupe, from Latin puppis. Thus the poop deck is technically a stern deck, which in sailing ships was usually elevated as the roof of the stern or “after” cabin but there is no humor in technicalities so our plan would be to hang this sign above the toilet. ($9 at Amazon).
Have a serious case of landsickness this holiday season? Then treat yourself to an authentic Buoy Stool. This device is a swiveling, rotating stool designed to provide an “active sitting” experience. Unlike normal, immobile furniture, the BuoyStool spins and rocks and otherwise simulates the motions of a ship at sea. But, a quick warning, Dramamine may be required for the nauseating landlubbers who try it. ($192 at Amazon)
Sailing was so much more adventurous back in the days of one eyed pirates, sea serpents and uncharted waters. While you can’t turn back time you can get yourself a nice antique map to hang on your wall. While an authentic 16th century maps from famous cartographers like Jodocus Hondius and John Speed will set you back thousands of dollars you can purchase reproductions for just a few bucks. ($4 at Amazon)
Note: If you want seriously useful gifts then read our article The Teak Rail Gift Guide 2013