There are several basic boat chores you must regularly perform to keep your vessel shipshape for the next excursion or if you plan to store it for any time. From top to bottom, there are things to keep an eye on when deciding to get some upgrades. Here are five improvements you can make to enhance your boat.
Replacing the Engine
Your boat engine works harder than your automobile or any other type of engine since it runs more often at a higher rpm for a longer period. With proper treatment, your existing engine will serve you well. While you may be well-versed in the skill of tinkering with your engine, the more you play around with it, the less reliable it may become. As new motors provide better performance, more torque, speed and fuel economy, there are times when replacing the old one with a new model makes more sense. You also get more benefits with a new, lighter weight engine such as a manufacturer’s warranty, improved maintenance programs, better corrosion protection and warning alarms.
Canvas and Upholstery
Weathering is a risk with all outdoor materials, and this is no less true than on the water. Marine canvas may quickly appear outdated or show the signs of wear and tear from use and exposure to salt, moisture and direct sunlight. Upholstery is subjected to use, sand, dirt, food and water, all of which take their toll as time goes by. You can give your boat materials the greatest care, but there comes a day when seating needs reupholstering and canvas needs to be replaced. While you are at it, inspect the seat bases. Plywood backing can breakdown faster than composite materials. It could be a perfect opportunity to upgrade to a sturdier backing that is more stable.
Bow and Stern Thrusters
Docking is never easier than when you have thrusters to help maneuver your vessel while still having forward propulsion to aid in turning. Externally mounted thrusters attached to the bow are suitable for boats that cannot have a tunnel thruster installed due to the shape of the hull. Since their introduction in 1982, Vetus thrusters are among the world’s most popular bow and stern thrusters, offering optimal solutions for any boat in any environment. You can rely on their efficiency because they are made from the highest quality materials.
Lighting Above and Below the Water Line
There is hardly anything more aesthetically pleasing than the appropriate use of lighting. As an area that is always providing newer and better options, you cannot go wrong with lighting upgrades. Replacing halogen or tungsten lamps with revolutionary LED lighting reduces your power draw while cooling things down. Placement of recessed lighting strips under seat cushions or under counters light the way without being overpowering. Underwater lighting not only improves the appearance of muddier waters, particularly if they are green, but they also assist when reversing into a slip in the dark. They can also attract bait.
Upgrading power may be the best thing you can do to help save on your main power supply. Amp-drawing systems such as stereos, screens and coolers often risk draining the onboard battery power. A house battery using a selector switch alleviates this challenge. Another option would be to go with lithium-ion batteries for a higher capacity, lighter weight reliable power source. Then again, there are compact portable generators when beached or sitting at a dock.
Whether you plan to keep using your boat or have an idea that you might want to sell it, boat enhancements will certainly help. These improvements will make your time on the water more enjoyable and give a renewed sense of appreciation while increasing the value of your pleasure craft.
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds