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Cigar 101

How to Smoke a Cigar While on a Boat

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Not only is a boat an awesome place to kick back with a premium cigar, it’s the ultimate escape when social distancing is a priority. Cigar lovers have been taking to the waves ever since Columbus sailed back to Spain from the New World with tobacco on board. If you’re like me, you probably don’t own a boat, but you know how to make fast friends with somebody who does. I show my gratitude, though, if I’m invited to hit the waves. I like to say thanks by bringing the cigars. It’s always appreciated. The effort and expense that goes into owning a boat like towing it to the shore or finding a place to park it all winter are worthy of reciprocation.

Whether you’re drifting out for a lazy afternoon sail, blasting over the bay in a speedboat, or you’re hitting the river on a bass fishing trip, smoking cigars on a boat offers unbridled potential for a tranquil day with your favorite cigars. Smoking on a boat also presents some of the fiercest outdoor conditions you’ll encounter to enjoy a cigar. Here’s a few tips for surviving with your cigar intact and to ensure your smoke is as soothing as possible.

Bring a Torch Lighter

Matches and soft flame lighters simply don’t cut it on a boat, unless you’re okay spending forty-five minutes lighting your cigar. There are hundreds of high-performance torch lighters to consider. Lighters that come with a lid to keep water out like the Xikar Tech Torch or the Blazer Original are ideal. They’re also relatively affordable in case you drop your lighter overboard. Take a can of butane with you too. You can use quite a bit of it if the conditions are windy.

Buy the Right Cigars

Despite our best precautions, a good cigar can easily wind up in the water when you’re on a boat. Keep that in mind before you crack open a box of Fuente Fuente Opus X you’ve been aging for ten years. Because you can’t control the conditions when you’re boating, bring a mix of different cigars at different price points. If the waters get choppy, smoke a cheaper cigar that’s less devastating if you accidentally drop it overboard. Save the Ashton ESGs and Padron 1964 Anniversaries for calmer seas, but toss an inexpensive bundle in your beach bag that you can pass out.

Get a Cigar Holder

A good cigar holder is as essential on a boat as it is on the golf course. Sturdy cigar holders like the Get A Grip Cigar Clip and the Stage V Clinger Cigar Clip can secure your cigar when you have to set it down. Each fastens to a wide range of surfaces and will cradle your cigar while you’re pulling up the anchor or manning the helm for the captain.  

Pack a Durable Ashtray

Okay, this might sound like overkill. Can’t you just ash over the side? Yes, but I’ve seen too many beer cans and bottles substituted for ashtrays, which aren’t feasible for a cigar’s dimensions. Consider bringing a car ashtray like the Xikar Ash Can. It’s designed to fit it in a cup holder, plus it comes with a lid you can fasten so your ashes won’t blow around. There are also dozens of inexpensive melamine ashtrays available, including the Holt’s Black 2-Finger. Melamine is a fancy word for extra-durable plastic. The material is easy to clean and virtually indestructible if it’s dropped. Skip impractical ashtrays made of glass or ceramic.

Pay Attention to Fellow Passengers

Unless you’re on a luxury cruise with a dedicated cigar lounge and a walk-in humidor, it’s wise to be mindful of other passengers on the boat with you. If your boat is zipping over the water with the wind whipping through your hair, make sure your cigar’s ashes and embers aren’t blowing off into somebody’s face. Sit where you don’t have to worry.

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