By Kara Hugglestone
Few things are as satisfying as giving the perfect gift, something truly special that will be treasured.
This year we searched out unique gifts for the special sailor on your list and some even have a Sail Couture discount!
Racers and cruisers alike will appreciate a present from North37 Design here in San Francisco. North37 imports one-of-a-kind recycled sailcloth items made by boutique companies in France, many items are made from sails used in international regattas. Their 727 Sailbags feature sails from the the likes of Solitaire du Figaro Figaro and Tour de France a la Voile.
I love the romance of the 727 Sailbags line…They are sailbags with a story. Each one has an authenticity label inside explaining it’s particular predigree: the designer’s name, the type of sail it was cut from, the type of boat it once graced, where it was sailed and if it was used in a regatta which one.
The most popular bags is the 727 Legend model, but the same elegant design can be found in 727’s other bags: overnight, beach, duffle and messenger. The messenger is perfect a guy gift, allowing him to show off his personal style.
727 also has a wonderful line of limited-edition bags, my favorite being the one made from sailing’s most prestigious regatta, the one that took place last year here in San Francisco with 72’ foiling catamarans. It’s named the Flying Edition in fact.
It’s a special opportunity to own a piece of sailing history and a beautiful one at that. I love how the black carbon-fiber sails catch the light.
Another exquisite line imported by North37 is Relations de Voyage Design. Their designs have a captivating whimsical elegance. The La Manta is made from spinnaker sails and is as stylish as it is light and strong. It can carry as much as a tote but is dressier. It can go anywhere and does.
The Conchiglia Bag by Relations de Voyage has more of vintage, rustic elegance look about it. I love that both the Conchiglia and Manta feature only nautical components, all the hardware is something found on a boat.
North37 Design has curated a great collection, you really couldn’t go wrong with anything from the site. Very exciting news too – Sail Couture readers enjoy a 15% discount on North37 Design orders now through December 31, 2014 with the code SAILCOUTURE.
I’m a real fan of the spinnaker jacket and so is Vicky Ellis, the sole female skipper in the 2013/14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. She shared how much she liked mine when I interviewed her and the folks at Sea Fever sent her one.
“Its eye-catching and always draws compliments, especially at the boat show,” said Vicky who wore it at the Southampton Boat Show. “Usefully it packs to nothing so it’s very versitle, I have taken it walking home in the countryside too,” she continued.
They make bags too, my favorite being the Nautical Tote. These unique bags capture the sails journey from the head, tack, clew to line!
Sea Fever Gear is having a customer appreciation sale now through December 31, enter code THANKS for 20% off your entire purchase (excluding their cruising guides).
Books are always a great gift idea and Sailing San Francisco Bay by Kimball Livington is a must for anyone who sails here or hopes to one day. It’s full of Kimball’s signature wit and wisdom and charms even non-sailors (significant others of sailors I’ve gifted to have told me how much they enjoy it). He calls it his little love letter to San Francisco Bay and if you haven’t already, you too will fall in love to after reading.
Kimball will inscribe it with a personal message too. Just send an email after the purchase. What a nice touch!
Blue Planet Times is the name of Kimball’s wonderful sailing blog, you’ll want to check it out too.
A good choice for an America’s Cup enthusiast would be Jack Griffin’s ebook Turning the Tide which tells the story of Oracle Team USA’s successful AC34 defense. Like many, I learned so much by reading Jack’s Cup Experience newsletter during the AC. Now he’s put it all together with a focus on the design and tech aspects. It’s an opportunity to relive that amazing comeback with a better understanding of how it was accomplished.
All good sailors know safety is important and I’ll take it a step further. Safety is sexy. Giving safety gear says you care. West Marine has wonderful selection of Personal Floatation Devices in many styles and colors. Their coastal automatic PFD line is available in grey with lime, raspberry or royal blue accents. I love my lilac PFD from West Marine. It’s feminine without being too girly and yes, was a gift from my sailor guy. For more serious off-shore sailing I recommend a Mustang Survival Deluxe PFD which is available there too.
As someone who loves to entertain aboard, I’m always on the lookout for tasty, easy and attractive appetizers. A great new discovery is Bon Appetit Box which delivers the best in gourmet French foods directly to your doorstep.
Bon Appetit Box catered the Nautical Holiday Shopping Party we recently co-hosted with North37 Design and norcalsailing.com and it was delicious. We sampled the Provence Aperitif Box and the artichoke pesto is divine as is the tapenade. I’m not a pate person, but people raved about it at the party. It all looked so elegant atop petite toasts!
It doesn’t get any easier and attractive than that. You’ll want to order two, one as a gift and one for yourself. Use code SAILCOUTURE10 for $10 off any monthly order now through December 30, 2014.
The holidays are a time of celebration and nothing says celebration like sparkling wine. Lately I’ve been impressed by California’s own Chandon, owned by French Champagne House Moët & Chandon. I especially like the Limited Edition California Blanc de Noirs featuring clever nautical-themed and Winter White California bottle designs. I like them so much I sometimes use the bottles as vases for informal dinners.
Chandon’s Prestige Brut Etoile makes an excellent gift. I’m particularly fond of the Etoile Rose; it’s elegant and complex with lovely berry and pastry notes. The Chandon Tete du Cuvee, representing their finest wine, is a symphony of honey, citrus and toasted hazelnut. It’s a great option for that very special sailor on your list.
Of course the best gift of all is sailing itself. Why not gift a sailing holiday? The Moorings has a wonderful worldwide charter selection, everything from a bareboat 37’ monohull to a luxurious 58’ captained catamaran. The Caribbean is calling!
Looking for a little more inspiration? Visit the 2013 version of the guide here. I hope you’ve enjoyed my gift suggestions. I’d love to know yours too, please share your own favorite sailor gifts in comments. Happy Holidays everyone!