Boating projects to do now
Get a jump start on the boating season
With a little foresight boaters can get the services they need—sometimes at a better price—now instead of waiting for spring or summer to make repairs or upgrades. Here are some common projects boaters should look at doing before the spring rush.
Engine and prop: Getting your boat’s motor worked on in June is like waiting to buy Billy Joel tickets at the door. Get your mechanic on it now if you have a project in mind. It’s also the time to have the dings taken out of the prop.
Canvas and sails: Canvas and sail lofts are notoriously cyclical businesses so don’t feel guilty about asking for a discount on winter work. Now’s the time to get the new Bimini top made, repair the camper canvas or get the sail stitched up.
Wiring: Every boater needs an extra 12-volt outlet at the helm or knows of a corroded wire or two somewhere on the boat that needs fixing. BoatUS has some tips if you want to take on the project yourself.
Paint and varnish: Generally you need warm weather for these projects, but consider taking home hatch boards, tiller handles or wood trim projects, and working on them now in a well-ventilated basement or heated garage.
Line splicing: Maybe it’s an extra-long spring line you’ve always wanted or dock lines that will actually fit your boat’s cleats. Curl up by the fire, sing a sea chantey and start splicing because you will never want to do this in the summer.
Chart and electronics updates: Does your chart plotter use an old chip, or are you using the same paper chart you had 10 years ago? Your helm electronics software may also have downloadable updates that make them perform better.
Winter tacklebox overhaul: You’re never going to want to do this once the fish start biting. BoatUS Angler pro Steve Chaconas shows you how to get your tacklebox into shape.