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At some point your friends and family will ask what kinds of gifts you’d like for holidays and celebrations after moving aboard. It’s hard for non-cruisers to know what to purchase while you live a minimalist lifestyle. Although you might be tempted to ask for donations towards the future purchase of a big ticket item, like a water maker, this can be misunderstood and not well received. Instead, send them a link to this article! All of these items are practical, small, and nothing costs over $35 (U.S. dollars).


CamelBak Chute Mag Vacuum Stainless Water Bottle, 40 oz

Staying hydrated is super important, and we’ve found that when everyone has a dedicated water bottle, we consume more, which is a good thing. We tried plastic bottles, but condensation made a mess. We tried the kind with a straw, but they were a pain to clean and the kids had a tendency to chew on the bite valve, which eventually broke. These stainless bottles have been with us since day one on the boat and we love them. No condensation, they don’t rust, and if you’re fortunate enough to have ice, it keeps your water cold for a really long time. Having so many color options allows each family member to have a different color! Click here to buy this water bottle on Amazon.

There are also 20 oz kid-sized versions of this water bottle linked here.

Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas 4th Edition

Of all of the fish guidebooks available, this one is the best handsdown. It has over 500 pages and color photos of 683 species with helpful info beyond the norm, like their behavior (so you know where to find them) and their reaction to divers. It’s divided into 12 identification groups and very easy to use. This guide will help you identify which fish everyone saw during your snorkel or dive adventures. This is also a great browsing book for the kids. Click here to buy this book on Amazon.

This book is in their ‘reef set’ and all are recommended. If these aren’t your cruising grounds, Humann & Deloach likely has a guide available for your area.

Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket – Multifunctional Folding Bucket (23 liter = ~6 gallon)

Admittedly this is not small, but it’s collapsible, and you will seriously love this bucket. So many uses, but it really shines when doing laundry. It’s super durable (the seams are double stitched and sealed). You will not be disappointed with it’s quality and will be happy to know it’s free of toxins. When not in use, it’s lightweight (only ~1 pound!) and easily collapsible. With some manipulating, it can even stand upright without water which makes this a very multifunctional tool. Perfect for cruising, camping, and travel. Click here to buy this bucket on Amazon.

For smaller jobs there is a 10 liter = ~2.5 gallon and 16 liter = ~+4 gallon. And for laundry, don’t forget your hand powered clothes washing wand!

Illuminet 3 Pack Floating Bait Nets: Great for Kid’s Critter Catching

These really do float and are super sturdy. The metal hoop is anti-corrosive and the handle gives your kids a 24 inch reach. They’re also great for catching minnows off the back of the boat because the net’s mesh pattern is tight. Click here to buy these nets on Amazon.

The company offer’s a single net too, but it’s not Prime eligible and having three works well when boat kid’s gather to explore (which they do often).

YETI Rambler 30 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler w/ MagSlider Lid

You’ll want frosty cold beverages throughout the day, and especially for sundowners. When you’re fortunate enough to have ice, this cup will keep it frozen ALL DAY. You can have your evening drink with the same ice you put in your cup that morning. It’s incredible. We were diehard Tervis users until we found these. Just like the recommended water bottles above, these tumblers have no condensation issues and don’t rust. Click here to buy this tumbler on Amazon.

Yeti-Authorized really is the ONLY Yeti authorized dealer on Amazon. They offer a few colors, but beware…there are more colors available but by other retailers, and I wouldn’t recommend purchasing from non-authorized dealers.

DEWALT Professional Kneepads

I know what you’re thinking…kneepads on a boat? Oh yes friend. There is some truth in the saying ‘cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places’ and using knee pads literally makes your job less painful. Not only will you want kneepads…you’ll need good ones. If you’re super petit, these might not be the right model for you, otherwise, they are perfect. The hard cover flexes a bit which is good on uneven surfaces, the gel cushion is nice and thick, and these straps are simply the best. Buy these. You’ll thank me later. Click here to buy these kneepads on Amazon.

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