Timely Gifts For 'Tooners | Boating Magazine

Timely Gifts For 'Tooners

Holiday shopping ideas for the pontoon boat lover.

Timely Gifts for ‘Tooners

‘Tis the season, and here are three pontoon boat-related gift ideas to consider giving – or requesting – for the upcoming holidays.

You can never have too many cup holders aboard a boat, right? Well, actually, you can. But if they’re not located where people actually sit and drink, they’re worthless. That’s an issue aboard pontoon boats that often offer long bench seats and no drink holders with reach of those who are occupying them. You can solve the problem with a portable cup-holder armrest from Everything Pontoons. The vinyl-covered mobile consoles offer two cup holders – one with an adapter to hold wine stems – and come in a variety of colors to match your – or your intended’s -- boat interior. What’s more, they float, so you can use them in the drink to steady your drink! Look for them for $50 at everythingpontoons.com.

As with cup holders, most boaters can always use another boat hook, ideally a telescopic model that takes up little space until needed. That’s especially true for those of us who own high-profile pontoon boats, with which breeze and current can conspire to make docking troublesome. I found a great book hook that doubles as a bilge pump, boat washer and super-charged squirt gun. I’ve had a ball using the Bridgenorth Bailer as the latter on hot summer days when the last thing folks expect is to get soaked by a stream of water jetting from the end of an extended boat hook. We use it to wash mud and sand off feet before boarding and to blast dirt off the logs and deck. You can buy these triple-duty boat hook/bilge pumps/power washers for $60 direct from Key Largo, Florida-based Spot Free Enterprises at 800-217-1546; spotfreeh2o.com/bailer

Boating’s fastest-growing category is kayaking, and for good reason. The boats are simple to use, inexpensive to buy, easy to store and allow you to get into places that no pontoon boat may venture. Kayaks also represent a fun way to get a little exercise while enjoying the water. That’s why so many pontoon boat owners – as well as owners of other craft -- are towing or carrying kayaks aboard their larger boats. They anchor-up and break-out the lightweight paddle-craft when they want to explore, fish, get closer to nature or a want a little workout. Prices on roto-molded ‘yaks have come way down in recent years, and you can them new for under $200. I recommend giving or requesting a sit-on-top (SOT) model for ease of entry and exit from boat swim platforms, but there are hybrids with wider-open cockpits that offer the protection from the elements of a sit-in kayak with the mobility of the SOT models. You can see examples of both types at westmarine.com or check out the kayak deals at Amazon.com