I don't normally love the holiday season because here in the states it can get a bit crazy. But one thing I always look forward to is the holiday decorations that can be turned to good use for wargaming. Today I found a Christmas tree rug 30" in diameter with a nice green grass surface on one side and a smooth black rubber surface on the back. it was under 10 dollars and I bought one and headed home with my gaming wheels turning!
I got home and gave the rubber backside a coat of blue acrylic loosely applied letting some of the black show through...making a nice ocean texture. Then I got out a hex "template" that I had saved after punching out a Battle Cry boardgame a few years ago...(my wife calls me a hoarder but it's for just such a moment that I save things.
I got a hole punch and punched the vertices of the leftover hex sheet giving a good sized template to use for laying out some ocean "terrain" for my predreadnoughts. I just used a white gel pen to mark dots at the vertices and then freehanded the sides of the hexes...(a little drawing ability helps here...) The result is loose but effective. And the board is 12+ hexes across ...and at the game scale I think works with my ships, (1 hex to 1000 yards)which would be extreme engagement distance for ships of that era. Ships are allowed to use movement points to turn more than one hexface since the scale of the hex allows even the largest ship to turn within the hex. This is a variation of Bob Cordery's Naval version of his Memoir 44 based rules.
I enjoy the way the circular board gives a sense of there being a horizon. It also reminds me of the "battle board" in the old Avalon Hill Bismark game...which I think I still have somewhere in my garage.