By: John Tiger
It’s that time of year. The boats are inside (or in the South, they’re maybe used less). There’s more time for hunting, honey-dos and football. The holidays are coming up fast; you have gifts to buy and turkeys to eat.
But what about your boat? Doesn’t it deserve something for the holidays? A gift, a token of appreciation for all the enjoyment it provides? Here are ten gifts for your boat this holiday season.
1) New Prop: Everyone loves new propshaft bling. A new stainless wheel would be a big spend, but well worth the coin when you see an improvement in acceleration, fuel economy or top speed. Your boat deserves it!
2) Refinish the Trailer: That old rusty trailer has seen better days. Give it a trailer makeover. Put the boat on dollies, strip off the parts and sandblast it to accept new paint. If you have a powdercoater with a big oven nearby, have it coated; it’s more durable than paint. Check to see if you need a new axle, springs and hubs. New lights are cheap, as is a new tongue jack and winch. Replace the old rotted bunks and cover them with new carpet or plastic slicks. New brakes if they’re needed, a new coupler and some cool aluminum rims and new tires will make that boat roll up to the launch ramp proudly.
3) Buy a New Trailer: If yours is just too much work, forget No. 2 and buy a new aluminum rig for your hull.
4) New Tunes: For slow days on the water, new sounds make the ride smoother. A new system with marine speakers, subwoofer and IPod-compatible head unit looks great under the tree (and in the dash).
5) Detail Makeover: Is your boat’s finish dull and chalky? Gelcoat chips and crazes make it look run down? Bring your rig to a professional fiberglass shop for a makeover and detail. For a small wad of cash, your boat can shine like new again. Have the carpets and seats professionally cleaned too.
6) Dash Upgrade: Old gauges become faded after years in the sun. New gauges and switches will brighten your boat’s dash and monitor performance more accurately.
7) Trolling Motor Swap: You’ve always wanted more power to maneuver in the wind and against the current. A new, more powerful troller will get you there. Don’t forget new batteries; rewire with larger-gauge cables to carry more current.
8) New Steering: An upgrade from cable to a hydraulic system will make a day on the water much easier, with far less effort to steer your boat in any conditions.
9) Add An Accessory: If the previous eight suggestions are just too much cash for the budget, consider a smaller purchase. A new GPS speedometer, a 12-volt outlet, a new steering wheel mounted power trim switch or a foot throttle for better control in rough conditions—these are all under $500 and great upgrades for any boater.
10) Or, on the other hand—if your boss was generous with the bonuses this year—splurge on a new or rebuilt outboard! Your tired old 150 has seen better days; how cool would it be to bolt on a new one with more power, a better idle and better fuel economy?
While your family may not appreciate these gift suggestions, you sure will. Happy holidays, everyone.