Father’s Day is just around the corner, and if your dad is a boating enthusiast, finding the perfect gift can make his special day even more memorable. Whether he loves to cruise around the lake, cast a line in search of a big one, or simply enjoying the serenity of the water, a well-chosen gift can enhance his boating experience. From practical gadgets to water toys and accessories, I’ve curated a list of the top 12 Father’s Day gift ideas that are sure to delight any dad with a passion for the water. Dive in and discover the perfect present that will make this Father’s Day one to remember!

The gift ideas are listed from most to least expensive to help find something for most any budget.

Please note that I have included links to most of the gift ideas for your convenience.  If you click on a link and buy something, BoaterInput will receive a small commission to help defray some of the cost to maintain this site. 

Guided Fishing Trip

Man offshore fishingA guided fishing trip makes an excellent Father’s Day gift because it offers a unique and memorable experience tailored to his love for the sport. Whether he fishes for Crappie, Bass, Redfish or any other favorite species, with a professional guide your dad can explore new fishing spots, learn advanced techniques, and increase the chances of catching his personal best.

Rates for a fishing guide typically range from $350 to $500 (excluding tip), depending on the location and duration.  If you are not sure where to find a quality fishing guide, contact the marinas or tackle stores near the body of water he plans to fish.  Marinas in particular are usually pretty knowledgeable of the better guides since they interact with them and their customers on a regular basis.

Outdoor Watch

My son-in-law got me this watch a few years ago and I have worn it continuously ever since.  It tracks my activity/steps, heart rate and sleep plus I can even use it to set waypoints to help find my way back to the camp or dock.  It connects to your smart phone to notify you of texts or calls.

The face design is outstanding and, unlike previous fitness trackers I have worn, you can easily read it in the brightest of sunlight.  Plus, it is extremely durable and waterproof to 100 meters.

Marine Binoculars

If Dad is into bird or “critter” watching, it is hard to beat a quality pair of binoculars.  I also use mine to check out what lures other people are throwing.  In addition to providing 10X magnification, what I particularly love about this pair is that it has a built-in compass and rangefinder, is waterproof and floats.  That way, you don’t have to worry about losing them if they get accidentally knocked overboard.

Inflatable Life Vest

I purchased a life vest like this a few years ago and never looked back.  When I go fishing, I never remove my life vest for safety reasons.  The nice thing about a “suspender” type vest is that you barely notice that it is on – even on hot Texas summer days.  It will auto-inflate if you go overboard but you can manually inflate it too by pulling the cord.

A key thing to note are the numbers on the life vest.  The “24” signifies 24 lbs of buoyancy which should be more than adequate for most people.  To estimate how much buoyancy you need, take your body weight and subtract 80% (amount of water in the body) and the percentage of body fat (which is lighter than water).   For example, a person who weighs 200 lbs and has 15% body fat will need at least (200 – [200 x (80% + 15%)]) =   10 lbs of “dead weight” buoyancy.  However, you will actually need more than this to account for waves and shoes/clothing.  Nonetheless, 24 lbs of buoyancy should be plenty for the majority of adults.

If you want an added level of security, you can always step up to the larger (more buoyancy) 33 size for an additional charge.

Bass Pro AM|24 Inflatable Life Vest

Battery Jump Starter

All Dads are concerned about the safety of their family.  However, having a starting battery fail out on the water is an inconvenience at best but could even be somewhat dangerous depending on when and where the failure happens.  With this 1000-amp lithium battery jump starter, Dad will look like a hero as he should be able to restart the motor and get everyone back to the dock safely.  Just connect the leads to the proper terminal, power on the device, and then start the motor after your battery has been detected.  It can perform up to 20 jumps on a single charge and handle engines up to 6.0 L.   You can even use it to repower other electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets.

Give Dad the gift of “peace of mind” with this portable jump starter.  It is not only handy to have aboard the boat but is also a smart thing to keep in your car or tow vehicle to help you avoid getting stranded due to a dead battery.

Performance Boating/Fishing Shirt

Boating and fishing during the heart of the summer creates a dilemma.  On the one hand, you don’t want to wear a lot of clothing because it is hot outside.  On the other hand, not wearing much clothing could exposure you to harmful UV rays.  But lathering up much of your body every time you go out (and reapplying every few hours) is not high on many people’s list – mine included.  That is where these Performance Shirts come in.  The special breathable fabric blocks UV rays yet is designed to stay cool and wick away moisture to help Dad feel comfortable.

I personally own several of these shirts from HUK (pronounced hook) and wear them year-round.  The “Pursuit” style is made entirely of their cooling fabric while “Icon” is vented across the back for added breathability.  I use the former throughout the Fall, Winter and Spring but wear the latter during the hottest days of summer.   They are available in a variety of patterns and colors.

Wash & Wax His Boat

If you have read the book The Five Love Languages, you know that many people respond positively to “acts of service”.  What better way to show Dad how much you care than by washing and waxing his beloved boat.   Start by washing it down with a “boat wash” or Dawn dish soap.  Dawn will strip the wax but that is Ok since you plan on waxing it afterwards.  Then, to make the job easier, use a liquid polymer (synthetic wax) like this Starbrite Premium Marine polish.  It is easy to apply and rub off and lasts a lot longer than a natural (Carnauba) wax.  This is exactly the product I use on both of my boats with excellent results.

And after you get Dad’s boat looking spiffy, he might even treat you to a family fun day on the water.  But if you are unable to finish the job before Father’s Day, just do what my kids used to do and give him a coupon for a free boat wash and wax along with a bottle of Starbrite.  He will appreciate the sentiment even if he, like me, may never redeem it.

Sun Gloves

Though often overlooked, your hands are exposed to a considerable amount of UV Rays during a day of fishing or paddling.  These gloves are lightweight and have exposed fingertips so that they don’t inhibit Dad’s ability to cast.   Most importantly, they provide UPF50+ protection.  I wear mine throughout the year.  After you put them on, you quickly forget they are even there.

What I especially like about this pair is the nearly full-finger coverage (for greater sun protection) and reinforced sections for increased grip and durability.

Insulated Tumbler

Credit for this suggestion goes to my friend Diane W.  When you are out on the water on a hot summer day, it is important to stay hydrated.  Help Dad keep his cool and stay refreshed by giving him an insulated tumbler.  Each of these tumblers are double wall vacuum insulated to keep his drink hot or cold for several hours.  And they come in a variety of designs that reflect his passion for the water.

Rechargeable LED Flashlight

My wife got me one of these flashlights a couple of years ago and I love it.  I use it nearly every week since I typically head out fishing about 45 minutes before sunrise.  It comes in handy while walking to the dock or to help untangle a line or unhook a fish during the pre-dawn period.  This mini LED flashlight is also useful when traveling or walking the neighborhood at night.

Some of the things I love about this particular flashlight is its small/compact size (fits in your pocket), has multiple light modes, is water resistant and can easily go from wide to narrow beam.  However, one of my favorite features is that it is rechargeable.  You don’t have to worry about finding batteries.  If it happens to be running low, just plug it in with the USB cord and you will be good to go the next time.

Floating Drink Holders

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than floating on the water and enjoying a cold beverage with family and friends.  And with these floating drink holders, Dad can now do it hands-free.  I included this item in my “Top Mother’s Day Gift Ideas” article earlier but am including it again here because I really love this product and even purchased a set for my wife.  The unique thing about this design is its versatility.  You can use it with a regular 12 oz bottle or can with the koozie portion and Neoprene ring.  However, it also works with many 20 oz stainless steel tumblers by using the ring portion by itself (without the koozie).  Comes in a package of three.

Floating Strap for Sunglasses

One way to make a grown man cry is to see his precious sunglasses drop into the water and sink to the bottom.  Many of us have been there before.  One year in particular we lost multiple pairs of prescription sunglasses while swimming off of our boat.  That was an expensive lesson.

To insure against this happening to good ole’ Dad, get him this floating sunglass strap.  They are made of a stretchy Neoprene material, are comfortable to wear, and come in a variety of colors and styles.  That way, if Dad’s sunglasses accidently fall off while landing a fish or jumping into the water to cool off, the strap should at least keep his sunglasses afloat.  After all, no one wants to see a grown man cry.

There you have my top 12 Father’s Day gift ideas for boaters and anglers based on my decades of experience as a boater along with a suggestion or two from some of my boating friends.  Let me know which were your favorites in the comments section below.  And, if you have other gift ideas, please share those as well for possible inclusion in next year’s article.  In the meantime, happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there.

Jerry Mona - BoaterInput

About the author

Jerry Mona is an avid boater and angler and long-time boating industry insider. With over three decades of experience, he is often considered to be the leading research expert with boaters and has helped numerous manufacturers and trade associations to understand the needs, wants, attitudes and behaviors of boaters. He now shares many of his insights about boats and boaters for free on his BoaterInput.com website.

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