Five Easy Fixes for DIYers

What's more satisfying than a good day spent on the boat? Maybe knowing that you've worked on it yourself! DIY work doesn't have to mean slapdash or chintzy. With quality parts, the right tools, and some spare time, you can make improvements you can be proud of. Here are five DIY projects to make your boat better.

Seating upgrades. Most boat seats and mounts are easily replaced. Check that the bolt pattern on pedestal and seat match before buying. Once you have the new seat, it's just a matter of loosening the bolts, fitting the new seat in place (matching up the holes), and replacing the bolts with a socket wrench. For seats with swivels and slides, you'll also need a screwdriver, as this video by Daniel Scheer demonstrates.

 

 

Carpeting. Replacing yucky old carpet can make your boat look (and smell) much better. Watch Fireant Fishing's from-scratch carpet install, using adhesive to attach the carpeting to the boat deck.

 

You'll also find snap-in carpet custom fitted for particular boats. If you're a little more ambitious, you can make your own snap-in carpeting. Make a paper or cardboard template by tracing your old carpet pieces or tracing the area that you want carpeted. Use the template to trace and cut your carpet pieces. Enclose the edges with binding stitched down with heavy thread and a sturdy needle; some DIYers let an upholstery shop handle this part of the job. Install decksnaps with a screwdriver and attach snaps to the carpet with pliers.

Stickers/decals/graphics. Your boat's decals crackle and fade with time. Adding or replacing graphics and pinstripe can give your boat a fresh new look. We cover how to do this here. Customer Cheryl M. described to us how she used a heat gun, plastic scraper, and a small scrub brush to remove old lettering from the backrest on her Glastron 235 deckboat. Cheryl used isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth to clean up old adhesive residue before applying the new letters. Don't they look great?

Photo: Cheryl M. Photo: Cheryl M.

Bimini tops. Canvas tops add shade and shelter from rain to your boat. Available in a rainbow of colors, biminis are not difficult to install. We tell you how to measure for and install a bimini top here.

_L5_7811-X3 Photo: Larson Boats

Covers. Any improvements you make to your boat aren't worth much if they're left unprotected. Keep your "baby" snug at the slip or in storage with a well-fitting cover. The Skipper's tips on boat covers will help you make the right choice.

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