Did you know that it took 63 years for Father’s Day to be official? Congress believed it would become commercialized. However, thanks to the persistence of many people including Presidents Wilson, Coolidge, Johnson, and Nixon, the third Sunday in June is Father’s Day. And, sure, maybe it’s a little commercialized – but our dads deserve a little compensation for their love and toil. So, we found 16 great gifts for the boating dad this year.
1. Life Jacket (PFD): $88 - $140
Life jackets get a bad rap for being too bulky or not flattering enough to wear on the water. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that they save lives. There are lightweight, inflatable personal flotation devices that remedy most of the complaints with life jackets. Plus, they’re approved by the U. S. Coast Guard.
2. First Aid Kit: $40 - $75
While we hope dad won’t need a first aid kit, keeping one on-board is a top priority. Avoid the small travel sizes and look for the kits that are waterproof and have multiples of supplies. When you’re out on the water anything can happen, and you’re never in complete control.
3. Personal Locator Beacon: $250 - $550
Time can fly or drag by (depending on how many fish you’re catching) when you’re on the water. Even so, when your dad is on the boat, checking in can slip his mind. Knowing dad can use his personal locator beacon to send a distress signal with GPS coordinates will ease your mind and allow him to sail safely.
4. Tool Set: $30 - $250
Your dad can fix anything with duct tape – but why not make his job easier? Tool sets can cost more than $2
5. Navigation System $350 - $5,000
Real men might not need maps or instruction manuals, but no one wants to be lost on the water. Update your dad’s navigation system with options from Garmin, Raymarine, and Humminbird. Make sure you purchase one that is suitable for his boat and comes with the features he’ll appreciate.
6. Sea Tow Gold Card Membership - $169
A Sea Tow membership is like the AAA for your boat. The gold card has the most amenities nationwide for any boat you own and anyone who operates it. Locations are independently owned, so check for one near you before you purchase.
7. Slip Fees: Variable
Depending on where you live, marinas and slips can be pricey. It’s a necessary fee unless you have the space to park your boat at home. You can visit www.usaboatslips.com and talk to the local marinas to see if you can find any deals.
8. New Rod, Reel, Fishing Lures, Tackle Boxes: Variable
Can you really have too many fishing supplies? Maybe, but this is Father’s Day, so what are a few more? Check his supply to see what he likes and what he’s low on. There’s a chance your gift could end up in a fish, but it’s the thought that counts!
9. Boat Shoes: $50-$90
Does your dad cherish a pair of shoes that are falling apart and have acquired a smell that would make a skunk turn up its nose? If so, surprise him with these Shock Light Bungee with ASV performance boat shoes from Sperry Top-Sider.
10. Depth/Fish Finder: $60 -$370
You might be able to get this feature in your navigation system, but it’s handy if your dad likes to fish and doesn't need a nav system. It is a great way to decrease his odds of leaving the water empty-handed.
11. Dog Ladder: $60 -$170
A man and his dog, not many things go together better than that. A dog ladder will make sure your pup can get out of the water more easily. If a ladder won’t attach to your boat, consider a life jacket with handles to easily lift him or her out of the water.
The Boat Should Look As Good As Dad
12. Boat Wash: Variable
Boats get dirty, like really dirty. Pick a day, grab some supplies and show dad’s boat some love. Some favorites in the boating community are Orpine, Shurhold Mop, chamois, NeverDull and Prism Polish. Imagine the look on your dad’s face when he sees a clean boat – priceless!
13. Paint/Gel Coat Job: Variable
If the boat’s condition is beyond a good wash, a makeover can be your next option. You can make it a DIY job or hand it over to a professional. Home Depot and West Marine both carry boat refinishing supplies.
14. Boat Cover: Variable
Covers shield a boat’s interior from a lot of wear and tear, and after a while they need to be replaced from the abuse the environment heaps on them. You need specifics for boat covers (make, model, length), so know ahead of time what you’re looking for.
A Few Extras
15. Wakeboard or Skis: $220 - $450
For the thrill-seeking father, these are somewhere on his wish list. Wakeboarding is growing in popularity, so there are plenty of options available. You also can have the skis or board customized by shops like Epic Board Skins.
16. Cooler: $40 - $800
Did your dad ever pack your lunch while growing up? A cooler is the adult version of a packed lunch. Your dad can be out on the water for hours. Keep him hydrated and his catches cold with a heavy duty YETI Tundra 50 that can keep ice for five days or a simple soft sided cooler. As long as it gets the job done, he’ll be happy.
These items are great gifts, but the most important thing you can give your father this year is time. And, time doesn't cost you anything. Take the day to celebrate what dad means in your life by enjoying his interests. It might be worth more than any of the items on our list.
*The items listed do not indicate an endorsement from Boat Ed® or Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc.