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News // Dec 22, 2022

Coast Guard Foundation Last Minute Gift Guide for the Boater in Your Life

  • Ron LaBrec

It’s December 22 and if you are reading this article looking for gift ideas, you are as behind in your shopping as I am in my writing.

Here are five maritime-themed gifts that are available in local stores, online, or for fast delivery by Christmas. And just because they are last minute, does not mean they are not high quality. These gifts truly show how much you care for the boater in your life and they have stood the test of time.

1. America’s Boating Course Online

This online version of the United States Power Squadrons’ premier boating safety course is designed for all types of boaters. It is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and it meets the requirements for boater certification in many states. America’s Boating Course has been around for decades. If you can’t take an in-person boating safety course with a Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or prefer to enhance your skills at home, this is a superb option.

2. Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

Available via a variety of online retailers

Knowing the rules of the road on the water is vital to keeping yourself, your family and friends, and everyone else out there safe. This handbook contains critical knowledge to keep you from hazarding yourself and others. And you can use it to quiz your boating friends when at anchor or caught in the doldrums.

Question: The Navigation Rules and Regulations handbook is required to be carried on what size vessel?

Answer: All vessels over 12 meters (about 39 feet). (The book is not very big so it will fit on smaller vessels too.)

3. Chapman Piloting and Seamanship, 69th Edition

Available in stores and via a variety of online retailers

Chapman is the classic maritime reference for boaters, sailors, or those simply interested in the sea. Comprehensive, beautiful in hardcover, and full of knowledge from traditional to modern. It includes 1,500 drawings, photos, and charts. A required reference for all Coast Guard Academy cadets and Coast Guard deck watch officers, I have had a copy for decades and it is a cherished reference and artifact.

4. A Coast Guard-approved 406 MHz EPIRB/Personal Locator Beacon

Available in stores and via a variety of online retailers

A modern Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is one of the most important pieces of boating safety gear one can own. This is particularly true if you venture outside of harbors, bays, and inland waterways. When activated 406 MHz EPIRBS and PLBs send a unique distress signal to Search and Rescue Satellites with your GPS position. If you have properly registered your EPIRB or PLB, it can identify you, your vessel, points of contact, and other information vital to helping the Coast Guard or other agencies rescue you. Costing as little as a few hundred dollars, they take the “search” out of “search and rescue” and can mean the difference between life or death in an emergency.

5. The Greatest Coast Guard Rescue Stories Ever Told, Edited by Tom McCarthy

Available in stores and via a variety of online retailers

This collection will inspire and leave readers in awe of the heroic work of Coast Guard members in some of the most demanding circumstances imaginable. And if the reader enjoys these stories, many are available as full length books by the same writers.

Happy shopping, Happy Holidays, and thank you for being a part of the Coast Guard Foundation community!

Title image: Two Coast Guard Air Station Miami HU-25 Falcon jets fly over the Florida coast on Feb. 17, 2007. The HU-25 is no longer in service, but it looks fast. USCG Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Johnson.

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