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5 homemade gifts for sailors

Whether you have a sailing fanatic in the family or want to thank the staff at your marina, these 5 homemade gifts for sailors are sure to please.  Or, if you don’t have time to make something, check out our list of 60 boating gifts for inspiration. Read-on for quick-to-make and easy-to-stow gift ideas for the sailor in your life.

This post was based on an article originally published in Good Old Boat Magazine

1. Margarita marmalade

This twisted marmalade is great for both sweet and savory cooking and only requires 3 ingredients that you’ll likely already have on board. My personal favorite, is to put a dollop on top of cheese and crackers for a decadent happy hour snack.


3 lbs of limes

4 cups of sugar

1/2 cup of Tequila

4 tbsp. of Cointreau or Controy (optional)

Makes 4 cups of marmalade

gifts for sailors


Remove and slice lime zest into 1/16” slivers

Juice limes, then add water so that you have 4 cups of liquid

Coarsely chop remaining fruit and tie in a cheesecloth bundle

Boil zest and lime water and immerse the cheesecloth bundle

Once boiling, reduce and simmer for one hour

Remove bundle, bring to a boil, and add sugar

Reduce heat to simmer, stirring until the mixture sets up (about 10 minutes)

Remove from heat, and stir in Tequila and Cointreau

Can your margarita masterpiece

2. Sailboat glamour shots

If you’re excited by the idea of a margarita on toast for breakfast, we should clarify this next one. By “sailboat glamour shots” we mean photographs, not throwing back Crystal on your 1981 Cape Dory 22 (though that would be cool too). Sailors love their boats like they love their children, and you can really never have enough pictures of your floating pride and joy. Take a couple of glamour shots of a fellow cruiser’s boat next time you’re both out sailing, print, and back on cardstock for a personalized card.

3. Catch-of-the-day BBQ rub

Cruisers love things that save time in the galley. Bottling your favorite spice mix or rub makes a great and easy-to-stow gift. Try bottling up this barbeque rub for freshly caught fish:


2 tbsp. ground cumin

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. coriander

2 tsp. chilli powder

2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. salt

Makes ~10 tbsp. of spice mix, enough to fill a small spice jar


Mix your spices and put in a decorative jar

Hot-buttered rum mix

If ever there was a beverage for a cold night on the boat, it has to be hot-buttered rum. This delicious hot rum recipe is sure to warm the cockles and fellow cruisers’ hearts. To add to this gift you might like to include a bottle of your favorite rum.


One stick of salted butter

2 cups of brown sugar

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1/2 tsp. of nutmeg


Mix ingredients well until blended and put in a decorative jar.

Add a label with instructions for mixing (mix one tablespoon of hot rum mix, one shot of rum, and one cup of boiling water).

A cruising care pack

Package some of your favorite goodies for on the boat. Sunscreen, ginger chews, citronella candles, chocolate, solar lights, coffee are all thoughtful little things to have onboard. Bundle them up in a mesh bag and it can later be used on board for storing fruits and veggies.

Whether it’s a card, gourmet galley provisions, or a cruising care pack, these thoughtful, easy-to-stow gifts are sure to leave your fellow-sailors smiling.