13 Father's Day Gift Guide Ideas for Dad

Published in the May 2011 Issue May 2011 Ask The Expert

Fathers do so much for us when we're growing up. Beyond being providers and protectors, they're the ones who introduce us to the world of outdoor sports and fishing. They are the ones who bait our hooks when we're still squeamish about a writhing worm wrapping around our fingers, and know when to help us when we're still apprehensive about a fish flapping wildly in the air at the end of our line. The least we can do is to get them something other than a tie or cheap cologne for Father's Day, and show them how much we appreciate their impact on our lives.

The items on this list are all sure to please and get you that smile you've known your whole life. If you're still looking for something for dad, consider the following items:

Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool $79.99

Having a multi-tool ensures that your dad will be ready for whatever comes his way. This is Leatherman's most popular multi-tool and includes pliers that have been redesigned to allow twice the squeezing load, and features new bronze bushings for easier access. It also includes wire cutters, a saw, scissors, files, a bottle/can opener, and a lot more.

It comes with a nylon case and a 25-year warranty to ensure that the tool will serve its purpose for a long time. It is useful both on and off the houseboat and can be used for repairs and maintenance work around the home. And you can tell him that it's a rugged survivalist tool, which every manly man should have.

Visit www.leatherman.com to compare multi-tools and models. There are a wide variety of styles and prices. Photo provided by West Marine.

Kart Ahoy Super Folding Dock Cart $79.99

Why should your father labor over carrying stuff on and off the houseboat? This collapsible cart can help make the job a whole lot easier and can carry up to 185 pounds of equipment. It has 15-inch wheels and the cargo area measures two feet long, one foot wide, and one foot deep. It is easy to assemble in less than five minutes, and when it has served its purpose it can be easily folded and stowed away.

Visit www.westmarine.com for ordering information. Dock carts come in all different sizes and carrying capacities. Photo provided by West Marine.

EZ Hang Deluxe Hammock Chair $329

To give dad a break and provide much needed comfort on the deck of his houseboat, look no further than this hammock chair. Available in eight different colors, this chair is easy to install, aesthetically pleasing to look at, and extremely comfortable to sit in. The EZ Hang Deluxe has curved wooden arms, a padded footrest, and even a cup holder for a truly relaxing experience. The durable construction is of the utmost quality. The wooden arms are covered with three coats of polyurethane. The Denier UV-treated nylon material is resistant to mildew and mold. The rope is half an inch thick and triple braided. All this will ensure that the chair will last and last.

Visit www.ezhangchairs.com for more information or to compare the seven different chair models.

Bonaire Wash-N-Rinse Spray Gun $29.99

Give your dad the gift of more leisure time by shortening his cleaning process. This spray gun takes built-up dirt right off the boat and makes washdowns a breeze. It connects to any standard hose and has a pressure adjuster to ensure the right spray intensity. It has a long 24-inch wand and a soap dispenser. It also has a rubberized pistol grip and soft-touch rubber for added comfort. This spray gun can be found at www.westmarine.com as well as other websites on the internet. Photo provided by West Marine.

Wagan 300 Amp Battery Jumper with Air Compressor $69.99

A battery jumper is something you don't think you'll need until you need one. This model from Wagan also features a 260 psi air compressor to fill any kind of tire or inflatable object. It also features five LED lights for emergencies or for working on the houseboat. And it has a charge indicator so you know when it needs to be recharged.

You can find this versatile product at www.wagan.com or at other retailers on the internet.

Ono's Grand Gosier Polarized Sunglasses with Bifocals $89 to $169

Help your dad protect his eyes from the harmful sunlight with these bifocal sunglasses. Featuring 100 percent UVA and UVB protection, they are two glasses in one and very stylish with a black frame and blue mirror lenses. And the polarized lenses reduce glare and sharpen the contrast to provide clarity of vision. The bifocal lens comes in handy for tying on tackle, working on the boat, reading a favorite book while relaxing on the deck, and even come in handy off the water. They come with a case and can be ordered with your eyeglass prescription.

If you're interested in getting a pair for your dad, then visit www.onostradingcompany.com. They have a wide variety of sunglasses on their easy-to-navigate website.

ICOM M34 Floating Handheld VHF Radio $169.99

Although dad might not want to admit it, he can be clumsy at times. This radio is great in that if it were to be dropped overboard, it would simply bob around like fishing tackle or a buoy. The M34 features a long Lithium Ion battery and is rated IPX7 in water resistance. If it takes on water, it even has an AquaQuake water draining mode which makes the radio vibrate to clear water from the speaker. It includes a battery charger, AC adapter, a Lithium-ion battery pack and belt clip. This radio is available at www.westmarine.com. Photo provided by West Marine.

Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual $48.99

Inside every man lurks a handyman. But a handyman is nothing without knowledge. Nigel Calder's book, now in its third edition, is written in plain English and has helped many boaters troubleshoot and repair their boats. It has full-color photos and illustrations. It covers rigging, furling, plumbing, electrical installation, maintenance and more. If that isn't enough, Professional Boat Builder, in reviewing the book wrote, "Several feet of shelf space in [our] technical library is devoted to material published in recent years on marine systems for small craft. But the single most frequently reached-for reference in this collection is [this book]... It has effectively supplanted everything else on that shelf." This book is available on a myriad of websites and bookstores. If you're having trouble finding it, check out www.westmarine.com.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Spinning Combo $64.99

There is nothing more thrilling than landing the big one on your favorite lake. No rod seems to have more universal appeal and reviewer approval than the Ugly Stik line of rods from Shakespeare. They are durable and affordable. And there's no worry if the rod and reel are compatible, since they both come together in a package deal. If your dad's rod could use an upgrade, you can't go wrong with a combo rod and reel from Shakespeare. This combo package is available at shakespeare-fishing.com. There are also different combos to choose from, with varying pole lengths and string weights. Photo provided by West Marine.

Henri Lloyd Men's Vista Jacket $165

These lightweight and stylish jackets provide comfort for those cool early mornings and come in handy in case of foul weather. Ergonomically designed, they are 100 percent waterproof, windproof and come in four different colors. A Durable Water Repellency (DWR) finish helps shed surface water, which maintains the performance and comfort of the garment in inclement weather. If you're interested in this jacket, visit www.us.henrilloyd.com or other fine retailers like West Marine.

Casio Men's Pathfinder Forester Fishing Moon Phase Watch $49.95

This watch takes the guesswork out of finding the perfect time of day to catch fish. It takes into account the time of day, the phase and movement of the moon, the longitude and latitude of your location, and sunrise/sunset data to give accuracy within 15 seconds per month. It has a large digital readout and has a backlit display. It is also water-resistant for 100M. This watch is available on a lot of different internet retailers, but is also available at www.westmarine.com.

PowerCap Pilot Series 5 LED Night Vision Cap $39.95

Sailors are taught to keep two flashlights handy, one for themselves and one extra for the crew. By simply wearing this stylish baseball cap, the mariner will always have a convenient, hands-free light for whatever the situation demands. The PowerCap features four LED lights under the brim, two in red and two in regular white, and one bright light on the edge of the brim on the front which can project over 60 feet. All the lights are controlled by pressing buttons hidden under the visor. This seamless cap is very useful for sail trim checks, deck clearing or spotting buoys, and you can add your own logo to the plain cap as well. If you're interested in one of these caps, visit www.sailorsnightvisioncap.com and your purchase will be shipped the very next day.

Garmin GPSMAP 740s Value Pack $2599.99

Don't look at the price. First, think of the braces your dad got you. Or think about that first car he reluctantly gave you. I won't mention the old "clothes on your back, and roof over your head" speech. This Garmin GPS map does it all. It has only one button on it, which is to turn it on and off. All other operations are through the touch screen. It has a chart plotter; it has sonar; it can give you satellite weather imagery; it comes with an 18HD Radome; it has realistic 3-D views with Mariner's Eye View and Fish Eye View; it has a fish finder; and it also has Auto Guidance, an easy way to route towards a destination. But it unfortunately doesn't come with a kitchen sink.

For ordering information, visit westmarine.com or visit Garmin's website at www.garmin.com. Photo provided by West Marine.

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