New Gear – December 2005

Tie One On

Looking for a stocking-filler for Dad? We’ve long been fans of the natty nautically themed ties ($65) from Vineyard Vines. They’re pure silk, and there’s a huge range of them to choose from, including the Catboat and Anchor & Wave designs pictured here. Or you could go for the full ensemble—VV makes shirts, trousers, and jackets too. Vineyard Vines, 800-892-4982,

Navigate in Style

There’s more to navigating than gaping slack-jawed at a plotter screen. Keeping up the old skills just might save your bacon one day, and even if that day never comes, it’s fun to keep up a plot on a paper chart. This top-notch set of navigation instruments—parallel rules, dividers, compass—from Weems & Plath comes in a wooden case that’s ready for gift-wrapping. $99. Weems & Plath, 800-638-0428,

Nifty Knives

Whoever said that it’s better to give than to receive obviously hadn’t set eyes on these beautiful Myerchin knives. You might buy one as a gift, but you may well end up keeping it for yourself. The $98.95 BW300 and $102.95 BW300P (with serrated blade) have a sandalwood handle and double-lock mechanism that prevents either the stainless blade or the 3-inch spike from closing on your fingers. Myerchin, 800-531-4890,

Telling Tales

Need a gift for a sailor who already has everything? It’s a pretty safe bet he or she won’t have one of these telltale compasses. The Commodore is designed to be mounted above a bunk or chart table, so the captain can check the boat’s heading without having to get out of bed. It’ll work equally well at anchor (checking out those midnight windshifts) or at sea (keeping tabs on erratic helmsmen). $360. Robert E. White Instruments, Inc., 800-992-3045,

Rest at Ease

Here’s a sailing oxymoron for you—comfortable cockpit. It’s a rare boat that doesn’t need some kind of cushioning in the cockpit if you’re sailing for more than an hour or two, and even if your rear end is pampered with cushions, the shallow, poorly angled coamings on many boats don’t do your spine much good. Made by the cockpit-cushion manufacturer Bottomsiders, Coamingsiders fit over wood or fiberglass coamings to provide some relief for aching backs. They’re made from waterproof closed-cell foam. At $45, they’re an ideal gift for your boat, your crew, or yourself. Bottomsiders, 800-438-0633,

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