Sail Couture Holiday Gift Guide – by Sailor Personality

Is your sailor a racer or cruiser, fashionista, techie, or more traditional? This year we organized our gift guide by personality and passion. Read on to find the perfect gift for your sailor…

sail couture holiday gift guide - the racerThe Racer

Gill’s stylish new Coastal Racer Jacket has all the features of a coastal jacket, yet the ease of movement racing demands. It’s especially well thought out, cut shorter in front so racers can make fast movements, longer in back for warmth and protection, soft fleece neck and pockets in a waterproof, windproof and breathable shell made of their signature 3Dot fabric – all in very stylish package. You can read our Coastal Racer Review here.

As the pinnacle of racing, America’s Cup merchandise is a great racer gift. The 35th edition has partnered Vineyard Vines as the “official style”. Vineyard Vines is brings it’s usual charm and wit to the collection. We’re big fans of their clever America’s Cup ties and belts, you can read our review here. Swedish tech brand Sail Racing does the official range of gear including an AC Gore Tex jacket, AC Hoodie and more.

holiday gift guide - the cruiser

The Cruiser

A unique way to recognize your sailor’s favorite cruising destination is a Not for Navigation Tote that features a chart of that spot. The image can be just the chart or include land too. Here in San Francisco we love the city just as much as the bay so ours features both. Not for Navigation also offers duffles and pillows. Our friends there are offering a special discount for our readers. Use code SAILCOUTURE for 10% off site-wide on

With space at a premium when cruising, a fab scarf is a must. It’s the one accessory that works so many ways, scarf, halter, wrap, pareo… The very chic India Hicks has an exquisite new line featuring some really beautiful ones. The Crown Imperial (India wearing it above) and Heritage are favorites. For those not familiar with India, she is the daughter of Lady Pamela Mountbatten and famed interior designer David Hicks. A former Ralph Lauren model, she now lives in the Bahamas with her family, where she celebrates her wonderful island life through her books Island Style and Island Life: Inspirational Interiors and new India Hicks Style collection.

Sailing the Bay by Kimball Livingston is a must for anyone planning to cruise here one day. It’s full of Kimball’s signature wit and wisdom and charms even non-sailors. He will also personally inscribe it too. After you have made your purchase, just send a note to and to tell him what you would like.

holiday gift guide - stylish sailor

The Fashionista

If there is a must bag for the stylish sailor, it’s the Ella Vickers Monaco Bag. We’ve received more compliments while carrying it than any other sailcloth bag. It’s a casual tote that can go everywhere with it’s effortless elegance: workday tote, to posh dinner, to weekend at the beach, it’s the bag. Ella Vickers is offering readers 10% off site-wide with code SAILCOUTURE.

A great male option is the stylish North37 Design Messenger. Made in France, these are bags with a story – each one has a tag inside with the history of the sail it was made from. You’ll know what kind of sail it was, where it sailed, and if it raced in a regatta which one. Our friends at North 37 Design are offering 10% off with code SAILCOUTURE – and free shipping in the U.S. though December 31 too!

Fashion historian Amber Butchart’s Nautical Chic book is a new favorite thing. Beautifully written and photographed, it covers at the relationship between maritime dress and the fashionable wardrobe, and traces the evolution of the style back to its roots in our seafaring past. Your nautical fashionista is sure to love.

holiday gift guide - new sailor

The New Sailor

A great first sailing jacket is Helly Hansen’s best seller, the Crew Midlayer Jacket. It’s features a soft, warm fleece lining that’s perfect to wear now. The Crew Midlayer is water-resistant and breathable and has a flattering fitted form featuring contrasting zippers with a pop of color on the pulls. The simple and elegant design is a winner on and off the water.

What is the one piece of gear you wear every time you sail – or at least should? A PFD right? That makes it the perfect gift for your new sailor. Fortunately we’ve come a long way from the days of those big orange things. Now there a low profile and even colorful versions like West Marine’s Coastal Automatic Inflatable Life Vest. it’s not so sexy, but is a gift that says, “I love you.”

Sailing lessons are the gift that keeps giving. Many sailing school offer special holiday packages. Modern Sailing School and Club in Sausalito offers a great one. It includes: the Club Membership Initiation, Basic Keelboat (ASA 101), Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103), $100 Bonus Bucks for Charters, 1 Year Subscription to Sailing Magazine all for $1,195 – a $375 savings.

holiday gift guide - the traditionalist

The Traditionalist

The historically significant Marinière or Breton as is it also known, is a great choice for your traditional sailor. The iconic striped shirt has legions of fans, actors, artists, musicians, models and especially sailors have embraced it over the years. You can read more about the marinière in our article here. Saint James makes some of our favorite models.

A Rope Tote or Original Duffle from Ella Vickers who was one of the first, if not the first, to make bags from recycled sails is also a great idea. It was while working as a first mate on Columbia, the retired America’s Cup yacht, she was inspired to fashion bags from discarded sails. Make sure to use code SAILCOUTURE when shopping – you’ll get a 10% discount!

A classic bow or rep tie featuring the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup of course, rounds out our selection.

holiday gift guide - the techie

The Techie

Is your sailor always up on the newest tech and trends? If, so, check out Gill’s innovative new i2 Baselayer. It uses activated carbon derived from bamboo which is both naturally and permanently anti-bacterial and moisture wicking. How fab this tech is natural too.

Carbon Fiber is cool and Ragged Edge Gear makes some stylish carbon fiber wallets. These competitive J/24 sailors set out to make gear with the “strength of a sail and touch of an artist.” They’ve succeeded with wallets and more that are as durable as they are attractive. We gave Ragged Edge Gear wallets as gifts seven years ago and they are wearing incredibly well. Their belts and dopp kit are great gifts too.

Helly Hansen’s Regulate Midlayer Jacket is quite techie, the H2 Flow ventilation system allows you to adjust the insulation level – with your own body heat providing an extra layer of comfort. Designed to be both a stand alone jacket or insulating midlayer, the Regulate has Polartec brushed fleece in the main body with clever air pocket perforations in the back. The Poly shell of outer fabric is what locks heat inside the air pockets.


The DIYer

A gift card to your local chandlery of course! If you live in the U.S., a West Marine Gift Card is a great option.

holiday gift guide - the adventurerThe Adventurer

Adventurers in all forms will be inspired by a North37 Design Legend or Duffle bag. Many of them are made from sails used in prestigious international regattas, a tag inside shares the type of sail it was cut from, the type of boat it once graced, where it sailed and if it was raced in a regatta, which one. They even have some made from the sails used during AC34 here on San Francisco Bay! Use the code SAILCOUTURE for 10% off site-wide on North37 Design.

The West Marine Black Tip Big Catch Fishing Shirt conjures up thoughts of adventure with flapped cargo pockets, lanyard loops and ventilated back. We have it in each color. It’s great for a day on the boat or a casual dinner out. The Big Catch evokes a bit of a Hermingway-esque vibe too, what a great way to help your guy channel his inner Papa!

One of the greatest living adventurers is Sir Robin Knox-Johnson. In 1969 he became the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. Later he founded the Clipper Round the World Race so others could achieve their dream of sailing around the world and at 75 he continues to inspire, finishing third in the solo Transatlantic Route du Rhum this year! Sir Robin’s book A World of My Own: The first ever non-stop solo round the world voyage or Knox-Johnston on Sailing are both fabulous gifts. Your friends will thank you for introducing them to this amazing man.

holiday gift guide - the oenophile

The Oenophile

Wine lovers are always on the hunt for a new boutique wine and Silver Trident Winery is a wonderful new discovery. Founded by two men with a shared passion for wine and the sea, hence the great name, their highly-rated wines delight. The Playing with Fire Napa Valley Red Blend, Symphony No. 9 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Apollo’s Folly Sonoma Coast Rosé are sure to please. The rosé makes a particularly beautiful gift given how beautifully it presents. We love the bottle as much as the wine.

Ella Vickers charming sailcloth wine bags and wine buckets are also fab gifts for the wine lover. Be sure to use code SAILCOUTURE for a 10% discount on your entire order on

Another fun gift is the Waypoint Wine Stopper from ChART that features your home port.

holiday gift guide - foodie

The Foodie

Let your Foodie entertain in style with one of Picnic Time’s nautical themed cheeseboards. How fun are the Sailboat and Mariner? The Mariner has four cleverly designed tools as parts of the wheel and the sailboat has a pullout drawer with two knives and a waiter-style corkscrew.

Give your hostess a break from the galley with a Bon Appetit Box. Each box has 7-8 scrumptious gourmet items from France. It’s all so good, but we adore the artichoke pesto!

holiday gift guide - the traveler

The Traveler

Give your sailor the gift of a travel, either on the water with a wonderful charter with a company like Sunsail, offering bareboat and skippered charters in the world’s best sailing waters or one with a land base, like the one and only Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda.

What can improve on this wonderful trip? Some fabulous resort wear of course. we’re big fans of Calypso St. Barth’s island boho chic. We love it all and so will she. Some favorite resort pieces are the Yavia Paisley Printed Tunic, Sirmic Paisley Serenade Caftan and Ondademar Cactus String Bikini Top.


holiday gift guide - the connoisseur


The Connoisseur

When only the best will do, we head to Hermes. Although known mostly for equestrian items, Hermes had a long connection to the sea as well, most notably with their iconic Chaine d’Ancre. We wrote about it here. The Chaine d’Ancre Necklace or cufflinks are gifts that will be treasured forever. This year we’re in love with the men’s, unisex really, Chaine d’Ancre 2.0 scarf in the chain pattern and the classic tie is always a can’t miss gift.

Have we forgotten anyone? Let us know so we can feature them next time! Happy Holidays everyone!

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