Tips for Upgrading Your Runabout Boat
It would be nice if everyone could afford a luxurious 70-foot yacht. Unfortunately not everybody can, which is why plenty of folks instead rely on runabout boats to get around.
Just because it’s only a runabout boat doesn’t mean you can’t add some modifications and upgrades to spruce it up a bit. Here are some tips on relatively affordable upgrades to make your runabout boat a little more enjoyable.
Let’s start things off with comfort, and a little style for your runabout boat in the form of a Bimini top. Shade protection from the sunshine and shelter from the rain are essential to boating comfortably. Choosing a Bimini top for your runabout boat is a great way to ride more relaxed, add a bit of personality to your boat and most importantly, help protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Depth Finder and/or Fish Finder
Collisions with unseen objects cause boat owners millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. A depth finder is a great safety accessory to protect your runabout boat from bottom surface damage. It takes the guesswork out of navigating shallow waters, and could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. If you use your runabout for fishing, then adding a fish finder will be another worthwhile addition.
The “unfair advantage” of a fish finder is an almost surefire way to help you find and capture your catch of the day. Fish finders do what their name says, and like depth-finders, also give you an idea of how far the bottom is beneath the hull.
If you’re looking to enhance the steering capabilities of your runaround boat, try installing a hydraulic steering system. This type of steering mechanism cures any ill-handling traits your runabout boat has, such as torque-steer. Upgrading to hydraulic steering makes controlling and maneuvering your boat much more precise.
Steering Wheel With a Knob
If adding a complete steering system is a bit much, consider the much easier task of adding a steering wheel with a knob to your runabout boat.
Freeing up one hand to control the throttle, a wheel with a steering knob allows you to pilot your boat in a way that provides smoother docking. A stainless steel three-spoke wheel also adds a touch of class to the binnacle, and will stand the test of time compared to a plastic wheel.
A little extra illumination goes a long way toward upgrading a runabout boat. Adding some discreet cabin lights or courtesy lights makes evenings onboard a pleasure, while underwater LED lighting can enhance your night-time boating experiences. Modern LED boat lights last long, use very little power, are pretty affordable, and can help increase the resale value of your boat.
When it comes to word association, “trolling motor” is pretty much synonymous to “fishing.” However, a trolling motor can be used for more than just fishing trips, and makes a great motor for a dinghy.
These types of motor use less fuel than your outboard or sterndrive. Trolling motors are ideal for gently cruising shallow waters and maneuvering through crowded docks and marinas. They also help reduce the use of your main motor, which means less routine maintenance. Additionally, a trolling motor is great to have onboard as a spare engine in case your main outboard or sterndrive fails.