gCaptain Nautical Gift Guide

gCaptain 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

John Konrad
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November 10, 2015

gCaptain Nautical Gift Guide

Santa’s not the only one making lists and checking them twice this time of year. We know plenty of you are compiling wish lists in your tally books, guessing what your loved ones are pining for. This is where we come in. From coffee gear to gadgets and goodies, here is gCaptain’s third annual Holiday Gift Guide!

The Mighty Spyderco Tusk


The Tusk is both a state-of the art mariner’s tool and part of Spyderco’s history. The original design dates back to the early Days of Spyderco’s beginning with Sal Glesser’s desire to produce a high performance mariner’s tool. The technology at the time was not available for the visionary concept. That’s all changed today, the Tusk is now available with new modern twists. Made From all high quality materials the Spyderco Tusk features a blade made from highly stain resistant LC 200 N and fully stainless titanium scales including a Reeve Integral Lock. The 300-series stainless steel marlinspike has round-to-square Cross section to loosen knots efficiently with a high strength Ball Bearing Lock TM made with a ceramic ball bearing. This is the knife I carry with me daily. $220 via Amazon

P.S. If you have no use for the marlinespike and want to save a few bucks then check out Spyderco’s Sage 2 Titanium Knife$169 via Amazon


White Kindle Paper


Bring a library of books with you aboard ship. The newest model of Amazon’s popular Kindle Paperwhite is a fantastic ebook reader. It now sports a 300 ppi display (just like its more expensive sibling, the Kindle Voyage), an improved backlight and a completely new font called Bookerly, which is pleasant to read. At $120, the all new Kindle Paperwhite is less expensive and more capable than competing readers. $120 Via Amazon

Non X-rated Adult Coloring Book

Lost Ocean Adult Coloring Book

Strange as it may sound, countless experts along with millions of people are finding the best way to combat stress is by rediscovering a simple activity they loved as children; coloring books. Johanna Basford is the designer who started the adult coloring revolution by selling 10 million copies of her book, “Secret Garden” and her equally fantastic follow-up “Enchanted Forest” but it’s her newest book that gets gCaptain’s stamp of approval. In “Lost Ocean, An Inky Adventure”, she returns to her own childhood (Johanna is the daughter of two renowned marine biologists) and brings her stunningly beautiful and extremely intricate designs to the marine world. $11 via Amazon

P.S. Don’t forget a good quality set of extra fin nibbed coloring pens. We suggest Staedtler Triplus Fineliner$20 via Amazon


Tripod Mounted Stand Phone Thing


From a selfie on the dock to securing your phone to the ships rail for a killer timelapse, there’s simply no better smartphone tripod mount out there than the Glif Tripod. Its adjustable nature allows it to fit most smartphones including the newest iPhones. Using a tripod will result in better photos and videos but this unit also functions as a kickstand to prop up your iPhone for reading the morning news or watching movies after a long watch. $30 via Amazon

A better tally book. 


Like carrying a tall notebook on deck to tally up deck cargo, pipe counts or just to-do lists but hate having a bulky hard cover book in your back pocket? Me too! The Midori Traveler’s Notebook has a durable leather cover folded around thin yet durable (and bleedproof!) paper. This notebook is highly customizable with water-resistant document pocketsremovable calendar, and custom inserts that can be swapped out and reorganized when you get off the ship. $35 via Amazon

P.S. Don’t forget a pen! We believe the Fisher Space Telescoping Space Pen is the best small yet capable notebook pen. $30 via Amazon


A Hot Hot Hotter Coffee Mug



At gCaptain we take our coffee seriously and like it hot and fresh but sometimes we get distracted by breaking news and our mugs sit for hour’s cooling down on our desks. Not anymore! This year Mike McDonald purchased a Zojirushi Travel Mug and it quickly put my more expensive Yeti Rambler Mug (which I bought after using and loving a friends Yeti Cooler this summer). The Zojirushi not only keeps drinks hot longer than all other mugs but is also spill-proof for those time you accidentally leave it perched above the chart table. $36 via Amazon

Eye Protection For Viewing Volcanos

Maui Jim Haleakala Sunglasses - Polarized

Maybe it’s because we live in sunny California, I don’t know, but the gCaptain team has spent an embarrassingly large amount of time debating the sunglass technology. Some of us prefer Kaenon sunglasses, while others Maui Jims. Personally I’m a Maui Jim guy and, thankfully, I’ve been winning the debate lately due to the fact Jim has a new pair of killer sunglasses. Named after the famous volcano in Hawaii, Maui Jim’s all new Haleakala Polarized Sunglasses feature a sleek, ultra-thin, ultra-light frame made of flexible Grilamid  plastic and PolarizedPlus2 lenses capable of wiping out 99. 9% of glare, eliminating 100% of harmful UV rays, and boosting color for a stunning vision. $159 via Amazon


A Bluetooth Boombox

Logitech UE ROLL 360 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

The rugged, waterproof Logitech UE ROLL Portable Speaker is the best bluetooth boombox for listening to tunes while working on deck according to our friends at The Wirecutter. This flat, UFO-shaped ROLL is easy to pack (5.3 inches across, about an inch and a half thick, and 11.6 ounces in weight) in your carry-on, yet it plays impressively loud audio and sounds excellent for a speaker this small. It’s also shock resistant and waterproof—specifically, it’s IPX-7 rated, which means it’ll survive being submerged in 1 meter of water after bouncing off the ship’s steel deck. $90 via Amazon


Monkeyfisted XL iPhone Cable


None of us enjoy fumbling around for dropped cables or straining to use our devices when they’re recharging. Native Union’s Monkeyfisted NIGHT Cable gives you a 10-foot range to comfortably charge anywhere. Its weighted traditional Monkeyfist knot can be anchored to any flat surface, so it’s there when you need it next. It’s apple certified gear – An Andriod version is available HERE -, so you know it’ll work properly, but we purchased one for a different reason: it just looks so darn cool! $40 via Amazon

P.S. Don’t need such a long cord? Try the Key Chain edition, (available in International Orange!) instead. $29 via Amazon


Tech-Charged Handy Warmer


Whether you’re commuting to an office, or your “office” is the deck of a ship transiting the North Atlantic or just trying to survive life in Maine, you’re gonna wanna keep your hands warm this winter and a quality hand warmer does exactly that. After spending more than 48 hours on new research and testing this year to compare eight different hand warmers our friends at The Wirecutter recommend the rechargeable EnergyFlux 4400mAh Hand Warmer. It has a number of great features but what sets it apart from other rechargeable hand warmers is its battery life—it lasted the longest among all those we tested in this category. $35 via Amazon

P.S. For those who prefer a more rugged analog version try the highly reviewed 2015 Zippo Hand Warmer$16 via Amazon


Uber Lumened Light


Last year a loyal forum reader sent gCaptain a very nice Holiday gift, the Fenix TK75 LED flashlight and we were amazed by how bright and well made it was. It’s so bright we even gave it a nickname; The Tower of Pharos. The name seems appropriate considering the blindingly bright pillar/beam of light it produces and with the latest litium-ion batteries this thing holds a charge. It’s dimmable too which, trust us, is a feature you’ll appreciate here. We don’t know exactly why you’d need this much light but, if your ships mega-gigawatt trillion candlepower deck mounted searchlight ever burns its bulb you will be prepared with this monster light. $199 via Amazon

P.S. If you’re looking for something more reasonable try the Fenix FX-LD02which shines a serious amount off light via a single AAA battery!

Razor Sharp Is Safety Sharp

Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener

There’s always a lot of talk about safety aboard ship but you don’t hear much about making the tool you carry around most, your knife, safer. Spyderco Sharpmaker is a kit that contains two sets of triangular ceramic stones — a brown-colored medium-grit set for the heavy work – repairing nicks and such – , and a white-colored fine set for the finishing touch… along with a pair of brass safety rods for attaching on either side of the Sharpmaker to help protect your fingers while sharpening. The entire system is designed to be used with no oils or lubricants of any kind and, unlike most systems, it also works on serrated blades! $55 via Amazon

P.S. Just remember: a safe knife is a sharp knife!


One more thing…

If none of these items strike your fancy, that’s ok, but please consider bookmarking the following link and consider shopping via Amazon this year because it will likely save you money and will certainly help support gCaptain in 2016.

Here’s the link: gCaptain’s Amazon Affiliate Link

P.S. gCaptain’s previous gift guides are still chock full of great ideas from previous years. Here’s a link to all of them: gCaptain Gift Guide Link.


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