5 DIY Projects to Spruce Up Your Boat

You likely spent a lot of money on your boat, but you don’t necessarily have to go to great lengths or spend a fortune to breathe new life into it. 

Do it yourself boat improvements

It’s amazing what a big difference a little money on new parts and accessories plus a bit of elbow grease can make on your boat. Here are 5 simple do-it-yourself projects to help you get a bit more enjoyment out of your boat.

Buy boat cleaning supplies

Buy marine gelcoat repair products

Replace Outboard Cowling Decals

Giving the outboard cowling a bit of TLC is an easy project that shouldn’t take more than an hour. A gleaming outboard with new decals makes a significant difference to a boat’s overall appearance, and the whole process doesn’t cost much. It involves removing the old decals from the cowling, giving it a thorough polishing to remove scuffs and scratches, applying new decals and finishing the job with a coat of marine wax.

Polish and Wax the Hull

Now that your outboard looks great again, what about some love for the boat it powers? Polishing the hull smooths out oxidization in faded gelcoat, and a couple of coats of marine wax protects the gelcoat from further oxidation and restores the hull’s mirror-like shine. Plus the more you wax your boat, the less you’ll have to polish it. 

Do it yourself boat improvements wax

Service the Outboard

Off with the aesthetics now and on with maintenance by servicing your boat’s outboard. A well-maintained outboard runs smoother, performs better and improves on fuel efficiency. A typical outboard service includes changing the engine oil, oil filter and gearcase oil, plus replacing the spark plugsfuel filter and fuel/water separator filter, inspecting the anodes and greasing the trim/tilt mechanism.

Install a VHF Marine Radio

Now that we’ve covered maintenance improvements, let’s move on to gadgets, or marine electronics. The first thing to put on your shopping list as far as marine gadgets goes is about safety and survival.  As the US Coast Guard Navigation Center says; “Before you purchase anything else, make sure you have a VHF marine radio”. 

Do it yourself boat improvement VHF radio

Why a VHF marine radio? Because it’s the most important piece of safety equipment you can have on a boat. A fixed-mount VHF radio has a range of up to 25 miles; works where a cellphone won’t; and unlike your cellphone, the USCG constantly monitors VHF marine radio transmissions for distress calls.

Install a Fish Finder or Depth Finder

Whether you’re a weekly angler or only cast a reel a handful of times a year, adding a fish finder to your boat takes your fishing game to a whole new level. 

Do it yourself boat improvements fish finder

A fish finder enables you to locate prey and track it until you get a bite. Fish finders also give you an idea of how deep the water is beneath the hull, although they’re not as effective at it as a depth finder. Even if you don’t fish, get a depth finder anyway to detect how far the bottom is from your boat’s hull. A depth finder can save you hundreds of dollars in propeller replacements, and allow you to safely navigate shallow waters.

DIY boat improvement tips

Speaking of making improvements to your boat, have you considered rigging it to improve its overall performance? Watch the video below to learn more about rigging a boat.



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