Whoever says winter is time to put away your boat clearly doesn’t love boating the way we do. Sure, the weather might be a *tad* bit cooler out there on the water, but as the summertime crowds dwindle away, some might say it’s one of the best seasons for boaters, especially in the southern states. Here are some great winter fashion finds for all of your off-season boat adventures to help keep you warm while looking your best and staying on trend on the water. Not to mention, some great gift ideas for those die-hard boaters on your holiday shopping list.
Winter Boating Fashions. Photo: Matt Hardy.
Gill Hydrophobe Down Jacket
The latest Gill Hydrophobe Down Jacket has had a modern update, now with a removable inner layer with 650 fill power down that has an incredible warmth to weight ratio. The natural insulation traps air effectively and the outer layer is of course water-repellent and windproof. You’ll be surprised at how comfortable you’ll feel in this jacket as it keeps you cozy during those winter sails. We like the navy with orange accents and lining, as well as the fact that this jacket is not only chic and lightweight, but also extremely functional.
Tory Burch Sweater
Take a break from your standard sailor stripes with this playful Tory Burch Merino Linked-Dots Sweater. The oversized chunky ribbed style keeps you snug, with convenient bracelet sleeves for when you need to handle those dock lines etc. Throw on the Performance Satin Down Jacket in Conifer for those cool nights on your liveaboard, perfect for braving the elements in the highest quality duck down, both water-repellent and wind-resistant. The best part about this jacket? The matching Quilted Nylon Boots to keep your feet as warm as your heart (or your Irish coffee) on your yearly migration down the intercoastal.
Cabela Gore-Tex Parka
Whoever said you can’t look great while cold weather fishing obviously hasn’t seen Cabela’s Gore-Tex Guidewear Xtreme Parka in royal blue. You’ll barely notice those wind-driven, icy conditions in this 200-denier super-durable reinforced water-repellent fabric engineered with GORE-TEX to keep you warm and dry. Both the parka and matching bib not only look fierce, but are extremely practical with all the bells and whistles the skilled fisherman might need. Things like articulated sleeves, multiple gear pockets, fleece lined hand warmer pockets, and a retractable tool attachment will prove incredibly useful during your winter fishing season.
Helly Hansen Race Jacket
The Aegir Race Jacket in Alert Red from Helly Hansen makes a giant splash of a fashion statement while being one of the best off-shore sailing pieces in its class. It offers full protection from punishing surf and wind, while paired with a light design for free movement and a contoured tailored fit, so you’ll still be able to show off your figure in those eight foot waves. The latest HELLY TECH 3 ply fabric technology with composite membrane lamination keeps you as dry as if the sun was out and the water was like glass. We also love Helly’s HP Racing Jacket in White, such a classic it never goes out of style. Super versatile and functional, it’s perfect for a woman living the true marine lifestyle in all seasons.
Hats and Headwear For Yachting and Boating
Nothing says winter on a boat quite like anything cable knit, and the new colors available in the Gill Cable Knit Beanie give it a fresh modern look. While we love it in Ocean or Ochre, it comes in a few classic colors as well. This cozy beanie also has an internal thermal headband that retains heat, and an anti-pill thermal fleece lining to ensure your head stays warm under all sorts of conditions. Wear it underneath the Gill Waterproof Hat for those chilly sailing days. The peaked hat, with ear flaps and a removable chin strap has a thermal lining for cold days and a double layer of laminated fabrics to protect against water and wind. It also boasts those much needed drawcords for protection on those really stormy days.
Trendy Yacht-Fashion Blazer
We love this trendy Bask blazer for cooler nights on the water down in the Carribean. It will not only keep you warm, but it’s rich quick dry terry cloth material is literally the perfect back up towel after an impromptu night swim, or perhaps, if you’re lucky, after a dip in your onboard jacuzzi? It’s something you could also easily wear for a dinner on land when you pull into the marina at sunset. Pair it with some great slacks and a blouse and you’ll be restaurant ready in no time.
Stella McCartney Hunter Boots
To keep your feet toasty and dry, these limited edition Stella McCartney x Hunter Boots will do just the trick. With a new sculptured sole, they are the ultimate in comfort and traction for those slippery decks. There’s an inner sock lining that hugs the ankle to keep those splashing cold waves where they belong. The boots are also proudly made from sustainable rubber, sourced from Guatemala and are certified vegan, so you can feel great about this purchase from a humanitarian standpoint as well.
Free People Sweater
Even if you’re sailing south for the winter, it’s nice to have something versatile and snuggly to slip into as the sun sets and that evening breeze picks up on the water. Nothing says “I’m ready for my sunset glass of wine now” like the new Free People Cocoa Sweater in Ivory. This oversized chunky knit features contrasting techniques meant to create pieced dimension in a slouch silhouette. It’s a cotton blend, so not too heavy for your warmer winter destinations, and also long enough to wear as a dress for casual card games by the fire.
Orvis Fingerless, Water-Resistant Gloves
For harsher conditions, these Soft Shell Convertible Fingerless Foldover Gloves from Orvis are a winter boater’s best friend. They are both windproof and highly water resistant, and the inside of the gloves are lined with a polyester fleece meant to keep moisture away from your hands while protecting you from the cold. We like them in black and gray, giving them a sophisticated sporty look while maintaining extreme functionality. Plus, the handy “flip over” mitten allows you easy access to your fingertips for fishing, handling lines, or of course, checking your cell phone for those holiday updates.
Athletic Nylon Vest From Montcler
Whoever says Montcler is just for ski culture clearly hasn’t tried on the Gallinule Vest in Navy Blue. This iconic brand can do no wrong when it comes to luxury, fit and quality. This vest, crafted with a down quilted nylon technique, will keep you very toasty without the constrictions in movement that a full jacket might cause. It also features a detachable hood for those inclement weather conditions on the water. This classic style has a feminine form flattering silhouette that we already know Montcler does so well, so you’ll be sure to look your best while you stay warm.
Lululemon Easy Coast Wrap
This Coast Easy Wrap from Lululemon is literally the perfect everyday item to have in your boat closet. It’s made from a soft, modal, french terry fabric, and it’s long length and loose fit make it the most comfortable and practical go to wardrobe piece. You can layer it on top of anything, and it’s thin enough to go under a more substantial jacket should the weather take a nasty turn. It’s chic cowl style collar makes you look a bit dressed up, even though you’ll be cozy as can be aboard your winter vessel.
Yachting Fashions For Men
For men, the City Sweat Pullover Hoodie in the same delightful french terry is an essential classic for everyday boating. We like it in navy blue, and it features hidden pockets to stash those little necessities (your secret is safe with us). This ridiculously comfortable form fitting hoodie also has articulation in the sleeves to accomodate free range of motion, which all boaters need.
Thermal Socks For Boating
There’s nothing worse than being out in cold weather and having your feet get wet or cold. It seems like once that happens, we are doomed to resign to the indoors or cabin in order to warm up. These Gill Thermal Hot Socks are a must have for any sail during the winter months. They are made from polypropylene, which naturally repels water while keeping your tootsies nice and hot. Surprisingly lightweight for how durable and insulated they are, these socks allow for full freedom of movement and allow you to remain on your toes, so to speak. We recommend at least two pairs!
Warm Beanie From North Face
Finally, we couldn’t end this list without adding something just a little bit festive. (Something that Santa himself would approve of?) Even if you’re spending the holidays out in the big blue, far away from all the glitz and glitter (not to mention family drama), it still might be nice to spread a little holiday cheer in this Fair Isle Deep Fit Beanie by The North Face. The classic outfitter makes this fun hat in a few winter holiday patterns, likely to liven up any glass of mulled wine (Or two. Or four.) in the cabin as you chart your course for your next adventure on the water.
Soft Storage SacksBoat design is all about the carefully conceived curves, so rarely will you find nice, neat square storage space. Using a container that has hard, angular edges can further reduce the volume of an already tight storage area. Opting for a soft sided bin or basket means the container can conform to the odd shape of the hold. In dry compartments, try a soft canvas or mesh bag. For potentially wet storage areas a sturdy roll-top, waterproof gear sack will keep goodies safe.
Collapsible ContainersWith the advent of silicon there are now a variety of collapsible storage bins on the market. These pieces are a handy addition, allowing the convenience of having many luxury items onboard without cluttering up cupboards. Full-sized bowls, measuring cups, salad spinners and washtubs all accordion down flat and can be stacked and stowed in small spaces when not in use.
Folding Tables and ChairsOften times common areas on a boat are multi-use. The cockpit, for instance, needs to be a functional space while underway but it is a favorite hangout spot when on anchor. Having a folding table, whether it is a built in or completely removable, allows you to enjoy a meal under the stars as well as make room for crew to work while the boat is moving. Folding chairs stow easily but accommodate extra guests around the table. The salty, marine environment is harsh, quickly corroding items that may last years on dry land. When buying folding tables and chairs check that the hinges are durable, and the item is made out of high quality stainless, aluminum or plastic.
HooksThere is always a spot on the wall, a strange-shaped nook or a cupboard door that could be utilized for storage simply by adding a hook. Hang keys, bags, hats and other everyday items on a hook for quick access. Adding a few hooks in the head makes for a spot to hang a dry towel, and a hook by each bunk is a great spot for an in case of emergency, easy to reach flashlight. If permanently affixing a hook with screws is undesirable, look for heavy duty 3M removable hooks that don’t require tools and won’t damage surfaces.
HammocksPopular on boats since boats started floating, small hammocks are a terrific way to store items such as clothing and blankets when not in use. Usually made out of netting these hammocks make the most out of empty spaces. Taking up very little room when not in use they expand and accommodate any shaped items, stowing them safely in a conveniently reached spot. Many people also use net hammocks in the galley to store fresh fruit and vegetables instead of taking up precious fridge space. Net hammocks do allow for more airflow around your produce but softer fruit such as peaches, pears and summer squash may be cut or damaged by the thin net strings.
Hanging OrganizersUsually partitioned and designed for use in a closet to store items such as shoes these handy organizers are great on a boat. Pretty enough to be hung within sight they make a great spot to store towels in the head, a place to stow soft toys in a kid’s cabin or hung in a closet to keep clothing tidy. Hanging organizers are also a neat way to keep the crew items corralled while underway. Simply colour cod or number each nook and every crew person can have a place to put small items when not in use.
Overhead BagsTrying to maximize storage space means making use of every available nook and cranny, including the ones directly overhead. There are purpose-made bags on the market like the “T-Bag” that are designed to attach to the underside of a t-top or bimini. Large enough to store items like life jackets and safety equipment that are needed in the cockpit, they provide a spot to stow gear out of the weather but within easy reach. If there is head room down below utilizing overhead nets or bags is also a cleaver way to stow light weight items like bed linens or clothing.
Hanging PocketsWhether it’s on a rail, the wall or over a door, a hanging pocket is a handy way to keep things tidy. Used to keep lines in the cockpit from being dangerously underfoot, the anchor rode from becoming tangled on the bow or a pair of binoculars within reach of the helmsman. Made out of canvas or a weatherized mesh, hanging pockets come in a variety of colors and sizes. Turn the back of a sliding door into a wall of pockets to store shoes, sunscreen, gloves, even fishing lures. Placed in the head, pockets can instantly organize crew toiletries and be a spot to hold precious jewelry items while showering or swimming. Use a hanging pocket in the galley to make frequently reached for condiments, snacks or coffee mugs easily accessible. There are never too many hanging pockets on a boat.
PillowsAt first glance a pillow doesn’t seem like it belongs in this list, after all pillows can take up a lot of space. However, making a pillow do double duty turns it into a super space saver. Stuff pillow cases with extra or unused bedding, clothes or towels to keep the cabin tidy and give people a soft spot to lean. Choosing pillow cases that accent the décor of the boat will ensure that even the most discerning guest won’t guess your secret storage solution.
VelcroHeavy duty or industrial Velcro is an easy way to keep small items from sliding around while underway. Self-adhesive and customizable to any shape Velcro pads can be stuck by the helm to keep small gadgets within sight of the captain or used to secure delicate items down below. Velcro can also be used on vertical surfaces, keeping décor items like photos firmly in place. Strong enough to keep overhead panels stuck in place or chair backs in proper position Velcro is a heavy hitter when it comes to storage solutions onboard.
Vacuum BagsNeed to compress large items like bedding or store seasonal clothes? Vacuum bags to the rescue. Buying provisions in bulk but want to preserve the freshness of half your order? Vacuum bags to the rescue. Need to ensure that items like flares and the emergency medical kit in the ditch bag are waterproof? Vacuum bags to the rescue. Available in sizes ranging from 8” x 10” to suitcase-sized, vacuum bags are an amazing, and extremely versatile, storage solution. Vacuum bags not only compress items by removing air but also seals them in a heavy-duty air-tight, and waterproof, bag. When opened the items like clothes and bedding are dryer-fresh. Foodstuffs that are vacuum packed are not only free of bugs and moisture but removing air prevents spoilage and extends potential shelf time. For the avid fishermen a vacuum packer is the quickest and easiest way to portion and preserve the days catch. Items frozen in vacuum packed bags are less prone to freezer burn.
Magnetic StripsPerhaps one of the best storage solutions for the galley a magnetic strip is both handy and unobtrusive. Mounted on a bulkhead a magnetic strip is the best way to keep knives out of harms way. Strong enough to keep items secure in a rough seaway magnetic strips are also a convenient place to stow a pair of scissors or a bottle opener. Mount one in the cockpit and keep fishing lures from becoming tangled or falling underfoot, not to mention keep the fileting knife ready for action. Some magnetics strips are sold with a selection of metal canisters which provide a convenient way to sort spices in the galley or keep small items like nuts and bolts tidy in the tool kit.
Bungee CordsUsed to gather and hang lines in a storage hold, tie down odd shaped equipment or keep canvas from flapping in a breeze bungee cords, or shock cords, are indispensable on a boat. One stretched around a storage bin or long a wall makes a spot to tuck flip flops. Use a bungee to hang a roll of paper towel or create a spot to hang sunglasses so they won’t get scratched. Stretch a bungee cord overhead to make an instant clothes line to dry a wet towel after a swim. Fasten a length of shock cord along a wall at regular intervals to create a custom storage solution for hand tools like screwdrivers or a spatula in the galley. A bungee cord never stays idle on a boat.
Hanging Glass Racks & Cup HooksOnce only found in your favorite local pub, hanging racks are now common place on boats. Used to store drinking glasses these simple metal racks install under cabinets or overheads and add a touch of class to any boat. Hanging stemware not only frees up precious cupboard space but delicate glassware is stored safely in an easy to reach spot. Cup hooks are traditionally mounted on the underside of a shelf or cupboard and are a way to store more durable items like coffee mugs.
Nesting Pots and DishesCupboard space in the galley can quickly get taken over by dishes and cookware. One easy way to maximize galley storage is to invest in dishes that neatly stack and pots that nest inside one another. No need to break the bank at the chandlery, although there are lots of thoughtful products available there. Simply keep storage in mind when you are choosing pots and pans - make sure they stack together neatly, avoid long handles on pans and lids, look for a pot and pan that are the same diameter so one lid can be used on two items. For dishes choose low profile plates and make sure they are small enough to fit inside the cupboard, many galley storage areas are narrower than a typical dinner plate.
Charging StationsIt seems impossible to live without handheld gadgets these days, and it doesn’t take long before there is a tangle of cords clogging up the counter next to the nearest outlet. To avoid an unsightly mess, and to charge as many devices as possible at once consider installing a dedicated charging station. Designed to hold multiple devices while tastefully hiding all those USB cords, charging stations are a cleaver way to stay charged up and clutter free. For an even more boat friendly solution, turn a drawer into a charging station. The stack of devices will be out of sight and won’t fall off the counter while the boat is in motion.
Custom Built OptionsSometimes the best option is one that is tailored to your specific needs, especially when it comes to getting the most out of storage space on a boat. Tables that fold against a bulkhead walls, a sofa that conceals a built-in fridge, a lift away counter top that hides the onboard bar. If you are in the market for a new boat, then exploring what custom storage options each design offer could buy you a few more square feet of usable space. And, for those who are already boat owners, custom modifications can mean the difference between boating in chaos or living clutter-free.
Think Outside the BoatThere has been a trend in recent years to downsize and declutter, to live with less and do more. With an increasing number of people choosing to live in small spaces there are more products and storage ideas for those spaces. Yes, there are a few more obstacles on a boat- items have to be secured for sea and often need to be waterproof – but don’t get stuck at the local marine store. Many of the storage ideas used by RV-ers and Tiny Home owners are perfect fits for boat storage as well, you just have to think outside the boat./>
Here are a few tried and tested Space Saving Storage Solutions to make stowing your boat a pleasure rather...