As summer approaches, anglers outfit their boats with the latest tech gear to maximize efficiency on the water. Some additions are more important than others. So, what do you select from the litany of options available? These 10 boat upgrades will guarantee your boat functions at the highest level.
Start at the back of the boat and work forward and choose options that work best with your driving or fishing style. Shallow-water anchors became standard equipment on bass and inshore boats across the country. Power-Pole delivers a product that covers everything from large bay boats to kayaks.
Running dual Power-Poles, keeps the angler and boat in line with the target, even in high winds. One Power-Pole works, but in a high-wind event, your boat may spin like a top.
Props may be the most overlooked detail of upgrades on a boat. Having a wide range of props can make it difficult for anglers to select the best fit. However, a local shop or dealer can help locate which prop gives you the hole shot you desire. A boat carrying a ton of gear demands the right prop to eliminate strain on the motor. The Fury props from BBLades work well, but make sure you find the right fit.
Hydraulic Jack plates simplify engine height. Slight adjustments can be made to deliver the best performance in any conditions. Plus, a jack plate makes a difference in performance while running across smooth open water. When the boat takes out, the hull pushes water down. ATLAS Hydraulic Jack Plate is operated from the steering wheel and adjusts quickly.
Whether baitfish or a limit of bass, anglers demand the best for keeping fish alive. The T-H Marine OXYGENATOR generates pure oxygen to keep fish lively. Most live well aeration systems pump ambient air through the water, which is only 20.9-percent oxygen.
No bigger advancements have been made like in the world of electronics. Companies continuously produce fish-finding equipment that makes locating hot spots easy. This could be a reason why young anglers seem so eager to get into the fishing game. Humminbird Solix series makes fishing seem like a game rather than running lost around a lake. The MEGA Imaging delivers nearly three times the output of standard Side Imaging.
Anglers find hot spots, vegetation lines and hard bottoms easier with technology built right into each unit. This becomes a massive deal when exploring uncharted areas. Treat yourself to good, solid electronics. These cost a pretty penny, but they’re well worth it.
A T-H Marine Hot Foot puts your hands on the steering wheel instead of one on the throttle. Why is this important? If you’re driving across the lake in rough water, the ability to control the throttle with your foot and keep two hands on the wheel is crucial to staying safe.
Designed to power your boat when the big motor goes silent, trolling motors keep stride with the most technologically advanced electronics. Minn Kota remains ahead-of-the-curve with the development of the Ultrex line. Possibly one of the coolest features of the Ultrex is Spot-Lock. It maintains your GPS location, so when you can’t deploy shallow-water anchors, your boat stays in the sweet spot.
Did I mention it comes equipped with Autopilot? This handy little feature keeps you on that heading automatically. Yeah, it evens corrects for the wind, waves and current.
Trolling Motor Cable
The most abused piece of equipment of any boat is the trolling motor cable. Durability and strength aren’t strong suits of factory-installed cables. Simple to install, the T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Handle maintains rigidity over longer periods of time than factory ones.
Safeguarding the keel reassures anglers the gel coat and keel remain pristine when faced with a lack of dock space or anglers must beach the boat. Hamby’s Beaching Bumper easily protects against all elements and stiffens the keel. Many boat manufacturers outfit their boats with a keel guard, but if your boat isn’t equipped, get one quick.
If you go out, you might as well go out in style. LED lighting gives anglers abundant light for frigging gear during daylight hours and safety while running across the water. Rigid Industries makes quality lights for trolling motor mounts, interiors and tow vehicles. Backing down a long, dark boat ramp with little light is nearly impossible. Most boat trailers and boats are poorly lit, requiring additional light be added. Rigid Industries produces lights that make life much easier on the water or on the boat ramp.
With all the options available, picking 10 ways to trick out your boat may be the most difficult part. Boat upgrades that benefit the end user are the most important. If you don’t plan on fishing shallow water, skip the anchors and move to the next on the list.