Get Onboard with this Holiday Gift Guide from KVH


Adventure, entertainment, connectivity – boaters want it all, and what better way to give it to them than by starting with a brand new rig? Santa has a hull or two that might do the trick: Westport, Viking, and Sea Ray are but a few makes that come to mind. And if you insist – as some do – on exploring under sail – then Nautor’s Swan, Oyster Yachts, and Jeanneau will send you over the horizon in style. Mobile satellite Internet communications connectivity, voice service, and television entertainment from KVH antenna systems are standard equipment on some of these models and can be installed on the others. Contact a KVH partner for more details.

If a new boat’s too big to fit under your tree, or your budget bottom line means an upgrade and a refit are more likely, no problem. We asked some boaters we know for a holiday wish list of items certain to put a smile on the face of all the mariners in your life:

Stocking Stuffers

Early on in their liveaboard lives, James and Jennifer Hamilton received a Megapro 151SS 15-in-1 stainless steel multi-bit screwdriver from cruising friends. “It’s been used to fix more equipment over the years on MV Dirona than any other single tool,” James says. The Hamiltons would know: There’s always something to repair during an open-ended circumnavigation like theirs, which began in 2012 from Seattle. Onboard their 52-foot Nordhavn, they stay entertained with KVH TracVision and connected to the Internet with KVH TracPhone and the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband service, and share their explorations, as well as hands-on repair experiences, via their website,

Hero5 GoPro Camera
Hero5 GoPro Camera

You can’t get a stocking stuffer any more compact than mobile software, so here are eight fishing apps from Discover Boating. When you hook the big one, the Hero5 GoPro family of cameras promise new hands-free ease in capturing images on deck.

The Streamlight Survivor Flashlight
The Streamlight Survivor Flashlight

Once the anchor’s down, captains will appreciate their gin better if it’s swimming in boutique tonic water brands like Fever-Tree and Q, which don’t contain corn syrup. The light weight Streamlight Survivor LED Right Angle Flashlight will help the crew out in tricky locations. For close-range communication, a handheld VHF radio, the M93D from ICOM, includes a built-in DSC receiver, active noise canceling, and an internal GPS and compass.

The Titanium Captain Knife from Myerchin, whose products are used by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, is corrosion-proof, light weight, and strong, making it a plus in the harsh marine environment. And don’t forget Christmas Boating Ornaments for the onboard evergreen.

Under the Tree

Skipper Gentry is the captain of the 43-foot Viking Carolina Gentleman and a longtime professional sportfisherman. He knows what it’s like to pass the time while he’s heading out where the fish are running, how to keep his kids entertained when the family is out on the water, and how valuable a link to the Internet can be when he’s aiming to give his charter customers the best fishing of their lives.

Skipper, who has a KVH TracVision satellite TV system and a KVH TracPhone system with mini-VSAT Broadband onboard, also knows what he wants from Santa. The Transformer Light Jigging Rod from Maxel is extremely nimble and has a soft tip, which help make it ideal for attracting fish. And if Skipper wants aerial photos of the sea life acting up around his boat, the Phantom 3 Standard Drone from DJI, suitable for beginners, includes a camera and live HD view.

FitBit Charge 2
FitBit Charge 2

The iPhone 7 would also make a wonderful gift, says Bailey Driscoll, because of its high-powered camera, long battery life, and resistance to damage from water. When she’s not outdoors or kicking up her heels in an Irish step dance, Driscoll, the 2016 recipient of the KVH A.H. Kits van Heyningen Technology Scholarship, is a freshman sweating through exams at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She also won’t mind if Santa gives her a lavender Fitbit Charge 2, so she can track her workouts and sleep, as well as receive reminders to do those things “because it’s very easy to forget about them,” she says.

The U.S. Coast Guard, whose cutter fleet is equipped with the KVH TracPhone system and mini-VSAT Broadband service for satellite communications, weighs in with approved gifts for the safety conscious, from life jackets to first-aid kits and fire extinguishers.

Responsible sailors round out good safety gear and prudent seamanship practices with on-target navigation. Stay on course with the award-winning KVH Azimuth 1000 digital compass and the breakthrough KVH Sailcomp digital tactical racing compass. Both feature large, easy-to-read displays, simple operation, and unsurpassed accuracy.

Still casting about? Now more than ever, boaters want to stay connected while they’re onboard. With KVH TracVision, no one has to miss Monday Night Football on ESPN or Spongebob Squarepants on Nickelodeon; with KVH TracPhone, no one has to get behind on their gift giving because online shopping is always available, whether at the dock, on the hook, or on the move. Consider these award-winning high-speed satellite communications and entertainment solutions from KVH:

  • New SATCOM solution for the era of onboard networking: KVH's TracPhone V3-IP with a streamlined belowdecks Integrated CommBox Modem.
    KVH’s TracPhone V3-IP with a streamlined belowdecks Integrated CommBox Modem.

    TracPhone V3-IP: Spend more time onboard with always-on broadband data connections and crystal-clear voice service via mini-VSAT Broadband, the world’s no. 1 marine VSAT service.

  • TracVision TV1, TV3: These award-winning, compact marine satellite TV antenna systems are perfect for sailboats and powerboats cruising the coast and up to 100 nautical miles offshore.
  • TracPhone Fleet One: Small boats can enjoy the benefit of satellite Internet and phone connections with this basic antenna system and Inmarsat airtime service.




About Chris Watson 73 Articles
Chris is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for KVH Industries. A lifelong sailor and storyteller, he's a self-professed geek who finds all of this technical stuff fascinating.