It’s that fun time of year again when the holidays are just around the corner. This means it’s time to pull out those Christmas lists and find the perfect gift for everyone special in your life. Because we love houseboating so much, we want to let you all know about the fun products out there this year. This guide is to assist you in finding the perfect present for the houseboater in your life.
Reef Sandals—Bottle opener, flask or safe?
Not only are they comfy and stylish, but Reef sandals can be so much more. These sandals are built for those of us who like the efficiency of two-in-one items. Different versions of the sandals come with a built-in bottle opener, flask or safe. Whichever of your needs is greatest, pick the sandal that works best for you. These sandals were created by two brothers who had an extreme passion for surfing, so each pair is built with living on the water in mind. They are made out of material that is waterproof and will comfortably mold to your feet in no time at all.
Each pair will set you back around $50 but they are available at a number of different online stores so you should be able to comparison shop for the best price. Visit www.reef.com to learn more about the company.
Once you use your sandals to open your drink, you need a way to keep it cool on those hot summer evenings. This gift idea fills this need perfectly. The Chillsner is an innovative product that works by chilling from inside the bottle out. It comes in a two-pack with one freezer storage case and two instructional coasters. Simply freeze the Chillsner, stick it in the bottle and drink from the spout. It will keep your drink cold for up to 45 minutes, which eliminates the unpleasant encounter with a warm drink at the bottom of the bottle. Give the beer, soda or fruit juice drinker in your life a gift they will enjoy over and over. Head over to www.corkcicle.com to buy a set for $29.95.
Kai Lounge Pool Float
Who doesn’t love the feeling of a good bean bag chair? Now picture that feeling while floating on the open water. Sounds like heaven, right?
Check out this line of floating bean bag chairs. While they are called pool floats, they are made to be used in any freshwater environment. Each one is filled with millions of buoyant, body-hugging foam beads on the inside and fade-resistant, stain-resistant, mold/mildew resistant Sunbrella marine fabric on the outside for years of outdoor enjoyment. Plus, they dry within a half hour of being out of the water so you can throw them on the floor of your houseboat for people to lie on while watching a movie. No more cheap blow-up float toys for you. Prices range from $169-99 to $249.99 depending on the size and you can pick them up at www.brookstone.com.
iFloat is a company that makes economically-priced aquatic mats and other fun accessories. Everything they make guarantees your family a good time. They use proprietary material in the center of the float to give iFloats superior tensile strength. The company has also invented a new sport called iSki, where you pull the mat behind your boat! It does not require any skill and you can lie down, sit down or standup to enjoy it. The floats cost between $330 to $2770, depending on the size.
The company also has iBeach, which is a newly developed product which brings the beach to your boat. It’s a floating beach that moves up and down with the water. Each beach uses about 400 pounds of sand for every 100 square feet. iFloat can make custom sizes and each 10- by 10-foot area can support about 7,000 pounds of weight. The cost is about $16 per square foot or $1,600 for a 10- by 10-foot beach. The company also has a great lineup of economical aquatic mats and accessories. Check out www.ifloats.com.
Aqua Assets Saddle Float
You’re probably picking up the theme of our Holiday Gift Guide. Water toys make a great gift, even if they can’t be used for a few months depending on where your dock your houseboat. Another great option is the extra thick saddle float. This water toy will provide the greatest experience for floating in the water, relaxing and socializing with your friends and family. No matter where you’re at, you'll enjoy the extra support the saddle float provides. This product is specifically designed to hold you up in the water, so instead of wearing your life jacket like a diaper, using two or three noodles, or trying to balance on a throw cushion, get a saddle float instead.
It’s made with two-inch thick closed cell foam for extra support and is vinyl coated to resist mildew. It’s available for $49.99 at www.aquaassets.net.
So, given the usual logistics of houseboating, you probably don’t have a lot of room for holiday décor storage. But you have to have a couple of things to brighten up the boat for the holidays. Caron’s Beach House has a lot of fun holiday décor items to show your holiday spirit. Our favorite item is the featured Joy sign, but that’s certainly not all they offer. If you can make it out of seashells or drift wood, you can probably find it in on this website. Besides holiday stuff, Caron’s Beach House is all about creating a unique experience, offering distinctive seaside and nautical home decorating solutions for customers who enjoy life on the water. Head over to www.caronsbeachhouse.com to start browsing or pick up this sign for $69.95.
Isotherm Smart Energy Control
Here’s a great idea for the environmentally-conscious houseboater in your life. The Isotherm Smart Energy Control (ISEC) maximizes the performance of your boat’s refrigeration system automatically. When the engine or shore power charger is on, the ISEC will lower the temperature in your refrigerator to take advantage of the “free” energy available, and will use the extra-cool contents to “store cold.” When it’s time to operate using battery power, the ISEC will slow down the compressor to maximize the efficiency of the system, allowing the temperature to rise for greater savings. The result is up to a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption. This product was a 2012 IBEX winner and is available for $147.99 at www.westmarine.com.
Solstice Inflatable Quest Boat
An inflatable dinghy is the perfect gift for the houseboat dweller in your life. This one from Overton’s is one of the best. Sturdy quality construction combines with user-friendly features to make the Solstice Inflatable Boat a perfect choice for on-water adventurers. It’s made of tough three-ply material and the outer anti-abrasive surface is designed to resist cuts and scratches. H-R valves offer rapid inflation and deflation.
Each Solstice Boat comes with carry bag, oars, seat, repair kit, and bellows foot pump and has a six-person capacity or 1,000-pound maximum weight. It’s practically a steal at $549.99 at www.overtons.com.
Sandless Beach Mat
Does it make you cringe when sandy items come aboard? Here’s an idea to help out a little: a sand-less beach mat. Developed for military use to contain sand and dust when helicopters take off, this beach mat is impossible to cover with sand. It is made from two layers of patented woven polyurethane that instantly filter sand to the beach as soon as it falls on its surface. The specially woven polyurethane acts as a one-way filter to prevent sand from reemerging through the bottom of the mat. The 36-foot-square mat also eliminates dirt, dust and water from its surface, preventing mold and mildew.
They are available at www.hammacher.com for $59.95.
Go Pong Floating Palm Island Drink Holder
Stocking stuffer alert! These caught our attention because they are fairly inexpensive and brightly colored. They allow you to conveniently float your drinks in style and will fit almost any size cup or beverage so you will always have your drink by your side. Extra high side walls mean the raft will not tip over, unless you cannonball on top of them. They come as a three pack for $13.99 at www.amazon.com.
Hulltimo Smart Hull Cleaning Brush
Hulltimo continues to revolutionize hull cleaning with its battery-powered, easy-to-operate boom-mounted brush: Hulltimo Smart. It is the perfect option for boat owners who prefer to do their own hull maintenance. This product is the first automatic brush for a fast in-water hull cleaning.
Hulltimo Smart is designed to clean the hulls of small watercraft and boats up to 41 feet in length. Equipped with a very low voltage, portable and rechargeable battery, the Hulltimo Smart brush has 60 minutes of battery life between charges. It is small in size and weighs approximately ten pounds. The unit comes with a resistant, ergonomic storage pouch for easy onboard storage. Clippable tubes with a variety of curves can be assembled to adapt to different hull shapes. Cleaning operations can be easily performed in port from the boat deck or the dock.
The Hulltimo Smart solution can be operated by anyone, thanks to its patented hull-hugging and waste-vacuuming technology. This product comes out of France, so the price varies on exchange rates, but you can expect to spend about $4,000. Learn more at www.hulltimo.com.