12 Easy Upgrades to Make Your Boat Even Better

power boat with gadgets

Buying a boat is a lifelong dream for many. Taking your boat onto the water for the first time can fill you with excitement and pride. But if you’re dealing with the quirks of a used vessel, or if you’ve owned this boat for many years, you may wonder about how you can make it better.

These days, upgrading a boat is easier than ever. Even if you have a limited budget and limited technical skill, you can add and modify several onboard items to make your life easier – and make your boat more attractive as well.

The Best Easy Upgrades to Improve Your Boat

These are some of the best easy upgrades to improve your boat:

  1. Upgrade the engine. Okay, this upgrade may not exactly qualify as “easy,” but it does have the power to fundamentally improve your boat – and permanently. The cost of a new engine is highly variable, but if your current rig is struggling or if you just want some more power, you won’t regret making the change. 
  2. Install more fishing rod holders. If one of your main passions is fishing, you already know the value of fishing rod holders. Set up a rod with some bait, drop the line, and watch for a bite – and if you can do it 10 times over, you’ll have 10 times the odds of landing a catch. It’s also useful if you have multiple people on your boat at the same time. Installing more fishing rod holders is cheap, easy, and permanent for as long as you want to keep them. 
  3. A better fish finder. While you’re at it, consider pouring some money into a new fish finder. While fish finder upgrades used to be an expensive hassle, modern units can be purchased inexpensively and installed with relative ease. A new transducer can instantly make your existing system more viable, and you can complete this upgrade for just a few hundred pounds/dollars/euros etc. Plus, you can upgrade the software (usually for free) to improve its capacity. 
  4. Add a place to store your mobile phone. Storing your mobile phone in the glove box isn’t necessarily a problem, but it keeps the device out of reach (and can lead the device to hit the edges during turbulent moments). Instead, it’s better to have a cell phone cradle where you can keep your phone secure and readily accessible – without it being in the way. Nicer ones may cost more but it’s well worth the upgrade – especially if you get one with built-in charging. 
  5. Add new charging ports. Your cell phone cradle might have some built-in charging capacity, but what if you don’t want one? Or what if you have guests who also have charging needs? It might seem like installing USB charging ports is going to be a complex, electrical nightmare, but the reality is it’s a relatively simple job. For about 20-50 pounds/dollars/euros, you can get everything you need to upgrade your boat’s existing electrical system. 
  6. A boarding ramp. A simple boarding ramp can instantly make your life easier. Attach it to the side of your boat when docked, and you’ll have an easy way to walk onboard. Some of your guests may find this particularly convenient. Plus, ramps make it much easier to move things on and off the boat – which is especially beneficial if you find yourself lugging heavy coolers on a regular basis. 
  7. New seat upholstery. You might think that new seat upholstery is merely a cosmetic change, but it has the power to make your ride much more comfortable as well. On top of that, upholstery will be more resilient to the elements, keeping your interior in nicer condition for longer. Best of all, upholstery is relatively inexpensive, and if you take good care of it, it could last you a lifetime. 
  8. A bimini top. Many modern boats come equipped with a bimini top by default – and there’s a good reason for that. Bimini tops provide you with shade, some protection from the elements, and a stylish touch – and most of them can be collapsed if you want to ride without one. 
  9. A high-water alarm. Are you the type of boat owner who’s always a little worried that something’s going to go wrong? If so, you can establish more peace of mind by installing a high-water alarm in the bilge. Cheap alarm systems are less than 50 pounds/dollars/euros, and more advanced systems are just a of couple hundred. Once installed, you’ll get an audio notification if the water level ever exceeds a certain threshold. 
  10. More cupholders. This upgrade definitely lands on the superficial side, but you’re not going to be mad about having too many cupholders. If you’re in the habit of bringing on multiple guests, everyone will be able to enjoy their own beverage – and if nobody’s drinking anything, you can use them as a bit of extra storage. 
  11. High-quality speakers. Whether you enjoy listening to podcasts on your way out to sea or relaxing classical music when fishing, a high-quality speaker system can instantly make your experience better. Buy the best quality speakers you can afford for rich, well-rounded tones – and enough power to fill the vessel even when it’s traveling. 
  12. Better lighting. Even if you don’t typically struggle with seeing below deck, it’s helpful to upgrade your lighting. Better placed, bright lighting can help you see more clearly. And you can upgrade the rest of your vessel with warm, coloured lighting to add atmosphere to the vessel.

Choosing the Right Boat

If you’re willing to make some upgrades, choosing a used boat is an especially attractive option. You can save a bit of money, get something reliable, then modify it until it serves all your needs. If you’re in the market for a new boat or a used boat, check out our wide selection of vessels for sale today!


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