the month before Christmas all through our offices
the hottest items in the daily mail delivery are
holiday gift catalogues, especially the ones
selling boating gear.
Just as weíre settled into tackling the to-do
lists of work, the clatter of familiar footsteps
outside alert Vic and I to the real priority of
the day, laying claim to the best four-color
printing that bulk mail can bring. Oh, we
commiserate with our blue-suited St. Nicholas
about his heavy load, but then we shut the door,
close the shutters, divvy up the booty, and speak
not a word as we get straight to our work.
Vic, a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy, really gets
excited about hardware for hull and home. What
quickens Vicís pulse are new navigational tools
and, Iím not making this up, the latest stud
finder. I have also noted a certain attraction, as
it were, for weather instruments Ė barometer,
thermometer, anemometer, Doppler radar. Hmmm?
Even after the holidays are over Vic and I will
continue to cruise vicariously through the boating
equipment catalogues and the new gear pages of the
boating magazines. For us, these are the gifts
that keep on giving.
Here are some of the items that have caught my
eye. Naturally, the ones with the dearest price
tags jumped out at me first.
When your sweetheart says "the sky is the limit,"
he must have had the Aeroboat in mind. This
creation is part aluminum boat and part glider
with a 34-foot wingspan. When you hop aboard to go
gunkholing, you might not be the most popular
cruiser in the anchorage, but if you can afford
the $21,000 price tag, I suppose you'd have your
own island, too. (www.hammacher.com)
If you are a traditional navigator like Vic, you
would like nothing better than to be offshore
alone with Tamaya. The Tamaya Spica Sextant from
Weems & Plath, that is. This top of the line
navigation tool is a favorite of ocean-going
navigators. It comes with its own carrying case
Can't afford a Hummer? Never mind, it won't fit on
the decks, anyway. However, you can make the
Hummer statement as the proud owner of the Hummer
folding bike. The Hummer LX is $795. (www.hummerstuff.com)
Anniversary Collection, offered by our friends at
Weems & Plath, (weems-plath.com) manufacturers of
fine nautical instruments. Quartz Clock, $599, and
matching Barometer, also $599. I like this set,
especially, because Vic and I are celebrating our
20th anniversary (business and
marriage) in 2004.
For the guy who has everything on his desk except
a clock, the gimbaled Box Clock is a high quality
quartz clock inside a beautiful mahogany box.
you are buying for a gear head like Vic there's no
shortage of gadgets for boaters who like to be
hands-on in the marine maintenance department.
When just a Sears gift card won't do, try Fluke's
new Digital 170 Multimeter ($219).
When the GPS fails, it's time to fall back on
ages-old and proven nautical tools and Weems &
Plath has the best: The Primary Navigation Set
has all the basics for charting, including
plotting tools such as dividers, parallel rules,
and nautical slide rule. Itís all packaged in a
plastic storage pouch. The set sells for $44.99.
Alas, for those who take their boating pleasures
vicariously, settle in with a good boating book (www.bluewaterweb.com)
or get your mate a subscription to one or more of
the great boating magazines that serve our dreams
and days off.
One of the greatest gifts you can give each other
is time. How about making time for a boating
vacation? How about giving yourselves a charter
yacht vacation, a liveaboard sail or power boating
course, or even a new boat? Vic and I can arrange
a gift certificate. And if youíre a last-minute
shopper, thereís always a gift card from West
for the boater in your life.
you want that sleigh to arrive loaded with boating
toys, do your homework. Let those visions of
boating plums dance in your head.
And, from Vic and all our crew on site, wishes for
a happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.