The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Maui Jim…Aloha*

John and I have been ardent fans of Maui Jim sunglasses for many years and many pairs. Their glasses get ever lighter in weight and more comfortable and their lenses get ever better at cutting glare on the water (we prefer their super-thin polarized glass lenses in gray).

However, John’s last pair had a problem: the rubber tips on the arm pieces started coming off soon after purchase. Because we were out cruising, we didn’t have a chance to send them in for repair. That is, until we came to rest on the dock here in Charleston SC for the winter. By then they were a right mess: John had drilled holes in the arms through which he ran green leech line to both act as a neck strap and to keep the rubber pieces from falling off. When this didn’t quite work the way he wanted it to, he added small florescent wire ties to hold the leech line glasses holder in place. Then, when one of the arm pieces broke right off, he used duct tape to reattach it. And then, to add insult to injury, he wore this fluorescent, twine and duct tape bedecked contraption with his old disreputable Tilley hat. It was really quite terrifying.

When we finally sent the glasses in for repair, despite the elapsed time and John’s various Rube Goldberg inspired adaptations, Maui Jim replaced the frames and only charged us a shipping fee ($10.00). Now that’s service!

*Aloha traditionally meant affection, peace, compassion and mercy before being taken over by English speakers as a way of saying hello (Wikipedia). I think Maui Jim gave John his new frames for free based on the original definition of Aloha: compassion and mercy for the state of his old pair!

Which sunglasses have worked well for you? Please leave a comment.

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Tom Hildebrandt

They must be good glasses, but a bit pricey for me! REI shows them at $210 bucks!

I usually order three or four pair at a time from REI, and try to keep the price to under $30; I would not rave about any of them, but they do the job and I do not feel so bad when I step on one or they get crushed in my dry bag!

Now that Tilley Hat, now we are talking a piece of kit well worth the bucks! I have two, one of the really old school original ones, heck it must be 20 years old, and one of the newer ones; I prefer the older one, the mildew stains and what not sort of give it a seasoned patina look that is hard to duplicate!

Tom Hildebrandt

Hi Phyllis

Maybe I will get a pair, as a gift, from Santa next year!

On the story of saving old glasses, I just throughout my coffee bin full of lenses, frames and arms that were the remains of my dead reading glasses that I accumulated over the past four years. Sometimes it was d…. hard to find new, inexpensive reading glasses (Jacarre, Brazil comes to mind) so having the bits you could cobble together with duct tape ala Joh’s fix, was a necessary thing.




I find to be an excellent source of the hard-to-find, non-prescription, bifocal sunglasses. They come in a variety of styles, are reasonably priced, and save having to change glasses to read charts etc.


I was a bit leary of reading this article based on the title; thought you had learned they were going out of business (Aloha)!

I’m a big Maui Jim fan as well, but just ran into an issue with my #1 pair and new technology — I was outside on a sunny day and turned my I-Pad 2 on to catch up on e-mails, and thought I had a dead battery; screen was absolutely blank. Only after finally removing my Mauis could I see my app’s!



You should be able to solve you i-Pad blank-out problem by rotating it 90 degrees.



maui jims rock! i have 2 pairs excellent!


I have 2 pairs of Maui Jim sports sunglasses that I wear while sailing. Both of them developed cracks in the lenses where the frame is screwed to the lens. Even though I had both for quite a while, when I sent them to MJ for repair, they only charged me $11 for both. They were like brand-new sunglasses when I got them back! I am very happy I did not go out and buy new ones like I originally thought I would. Its so nice to find good customer service in a world where that is rare these days.

Ronnie Ricca

Hey yall!
My wife and I both work in the offshore oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico on a large OSV, I’m a 2nd Mate, she’s a 1st engineer. I’m always in the sun’s glare in the bridge every day so good glasses are an absolute necessity when on 12 hour watches. That said, I have Costa del Mar sunglasses with the 580 plastic lenses and they are by far the best polarized sunnies you can buy for being on the water. I had a pair of Maui Jims and while they were very nice and comfortable and they did their job well, in my opinion they just don’t hold a candle to the glare-cutting, polarizing job the Costas do. If you haven’t given them a try, do so next time you are looking for a pair of glasses. They make different lense colors for different water types, blue would be our best for blue water. They also have plastic and glass lenses. The glass lenses are very nice, super clear, don’t scratch as easily as a plastic lens(the plastics are pretty scratch resistant too like Maui’s), but depending on the frame type and you nose shape, they can get get heavy on the nose after long periods of wear. So hears my recommendation for Costa del Mar after wearing them for over a decade.


John Harries

Hi Ronnie,

Thanks, nothing like a real world review. I will keep the Costas in mind next time I need new dark glasses.