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Gift guide

Holiday gift ideas for boaters are as varied as boats on the water

The SuperTender from Walker Bay Boats is a rigid inflatable dinghy available in9-1/2- and 11-1/2-foot models (285 ST and 340 ST, respectively). With trim tabs and 13-inch multichamber PVC tubes — which increase capacity and horsepower rating — the SuperTender can reach speeds up to 17 knots, according to Walker Bay. Walker Bay’s new “top of the line” RID is injection molded using the Canadian company’s proprietary high-impact marine composite resin. Features include attachable cushions, two dry storage compartments, stainless steel hand rails, non-skid pads, and drain-through slots in the floor. The 285 ST has a three-person capacity and can support a 7-hp outboard. Retail price is $2,499. The 340 ST has a four-person capacity and can support a 15-hp engine. Retail price is $3,149. The RIDs also are available with Hypalon tubes for $2,799 (285 STH) and $3,499 (340 STH). Walker Bay Boats, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Pelican Products’ new MityLite 3N is a tough little LED pen light that emits a focused beam of white light. The fourth product in the company’s MityLite line, it features a new streamlined design for more comfortable use and a rear tail-cap switch that offers a momentary action feature as well as standard on-off function, according to Pelican. Made of “unbreakable” Xenoy polymer resin, the MityLite 3N is heat, cold and chemical resistant, and is powered by three N cell batteries that Pelican says last for more than 150 hours. Suggested retail price is $24.95. Pelican Products,Torrance, Calif.

Looking for a stocking-stuffer for the powerboater on your gift list? The Sportsman Series PowerKnob from Edson straps or bolts to nearly any steering wheel rim to make quick, one-handed turns easier. The ability to turn quickly can be of help when maneuvering in tight quarters or backing down on a fish. Designed and created by Edson to perform smoothly in the marine environment, the PowerKnob has captive Delrin ball bearings, precision-milled bearing surfaces, and a rugged polymer body. Suggested retail price is $44.95. Edson International, New Bedford, Mass.

Scott’s Knots is a 30-minute DVD that provides step-by-step instructions for various knots — the bowline, bowline on a bite, reef knot and others — hitches and splices, as well as an explanation of various types of line. Professionally shot in Canada, the DVD is presented by Scott Baker, an avid sailor and nautical historian. Baker has taught seamanship aboard sail training ships, and is a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. The DVD is available at marine retail stores in the United States and Canada, or at Suggested retail price is $19.95

A new generation of wool is offering outdoor enthusiasts a clothing insulation option to synthetic materials. Ibex Outdoor Clothing’s line of “performance wool” for boating and sailing is made from 100 percent New Zealand merino. The Shak is a midlayer fleece that offers natural stretch, durability, light wind resistance, softness and ventilation (from a deep front zipper). Turtleneck styling and close-fitting sleeve cuffs lock in warmth. Men’s colors include cerulean blue, leek, burnt orange and black; women’s colors include leek, magenta, burnt orange, ice blue and black. Suggested retail price is $125. Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Woodstock, Vt.

Weems & Plath is an institution for nautical instruments and distinctive gifts. New this year in the 76-year-old company’s catalog (now downloadable online) are a Compass Chart Weight ($28.34) and two nautical books geared toward children. A complement to any chart table, the heavy forged-brass ring weight contains a working, liquid-filled compass. Names, logos and messages can be engraved onto the weight, also available in a brushed nickel finish. For the kids or grandkids are The Boat Book of Fun ($11.54) — a workbook filled with nautical-themed games, puzzles, projects and quizzes — and The Ship’s Log for Kids ($16.99), a colorful and educational book designed to give young mates valuable lessons about the sea and boating. Weems & Plath, Annapolis, Md.

The Deep Flight Aviator is a 22-foot personal submarine with a cool $1.7 million price tag. Built by Deep Flight Submersibles and marketed by high-end department store Neiman Marcus, the two-person sub can make 8 knots, dive to 1,500 feet and stay submerged for up to 24 hours, according to the manufacturer. Racing-seat harnesses keep passengers in place, while joystick controls bank, roll, dive and maneuver the vessel. Powered by batteries, the Deep Flight Aviator prowls silently under water. The price includes lessons at Deep Flight Submersibles’ underwater flight school in Malibu, Calif., leading to certification as a licensed sub aviator pilot.

From its start in 1992 as a distributor of wind and water speed instruments, Speedtech has continued to expand its product line. This year, the company introduced the Mariner’s Edge, a hand-held device that features tidal information for more than 500 U.S. ports, an almanac, future tide information, barometric pressure with a 24-hour pressure history graph, 12- and 24-hour weather forecasts, and severe weather audio alarm. Using moon phase, sun/moon position and barometric pressure history data, the Mariner’s Edge also offers fresh and saltwater fishing predictions for anywhere inthe world through 2099. Featuring a backlit screen, the unit runs on two replaceable lithium batteries and lists for $150. Speedtech Instruments, Sterling, Va.

Offshore Sailing School offers a practical way to give the Gift of Sailing this holiday season, with gift certificates for sailing lessons at one of the school’s eight locations. A nautically wrapped box is delivered with a personalized gift certificate card, embroidered sailor’s jacket, and US Sailing course textbook inside. The recipient can choose the dates, location and course level. The 40-year-old school’s most popular course is “Fast Track to Cruising,” which combines the “Learn to Sail” course with either “Bareboat Cruising Preparation” or “Live Aboard Cruising.” Depending on their selection, students sail a Colgate 26, 35- to 46-foot Hunter, or 46-foot Moorings catamaran. Locations include Captiva Island and St. Petersburg, Fla.; Jersey City, N.J.; New York City; Newport, R.I.; Abaco, Bahamas; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and St. Martin in the Leeward Islands. Tuition ranges from $995 to $1,545. Offshore Sailing School, Fort Myers, Fla.

Swobbit Products has expanded its product line of marine cleaning accessories to include personal care and boat painting. Swobbit kicked off its new line of Cabana Club Spa Gear with the introduction of Microfiber Bath Towels. The towels feel like premium cotton, according to the company, but the microfiber design enables them to wipe away water 25 percent faster and dry faster than cotton towels. Robes and bath mats will be added to the line. Suggested retail prices start at $9.99. Swobbit also uses the microfiber material into a new line of tack cloth, which can be used to prep a hull surface for another new Swobbit product, the Paint Pro Boat Paint Kit for bottom painting. Touted as “professional quality painting tools for the do-it-yourself boat owner,” the kit includes an adjustable-angle paint roller with telescoping handle, as well as coveralls, knitted head socks, wiping cloths, towels and drop cloths, all sold separately. Suggested retail price for the roller is $10.95. Swobbit Products, Indianapolis.

Powerboaters can hone their skills with the Offshore Powerboat Cruising course offered by Florida Sailing & Cruising School. The eight-day course is offered on the Sunshine State’s Gulf coast and is designed to give coastal cruisers some offshore cruising experience. Students plan, prepare and provision for a weeklong cruise to and from the Florida Keys. Hands-on learning includes maintaining ship’s systems while under way, offshore and electronic navigation, and night passagemaking aboard a twin-engine 42-foot Grand Banks trawler. Cost per person is $2,595. The school also offers three-day and six-day powerboat courses starting at $895 per person. Florida Sailing & Cruising School,North Fort Myers, Fla.

Failure to lubricate a boat’s propeller shaft at least once each boating season can result in costly repairs and missed time on the water. CRC Marine says its Spin Doctor Propeller Grease is a synthetic, non-drying anti-seize compound specially engineered to provide a superior waterproof seal and protect against corrosion. The biodegradable grease contains no solvents, lead, graphite or clay fillers, according to the company, and is compatible with any propeller material, including stainless steel, aluminum, brass, black iron, galvanized steel, copper, nibral (a nickel, brass, aluminum alloy) and bronze. Suggested retail price is $5.99. CRC Marine, Philadelphia.