Looking for a DIY project that will help your boat run better? Adding automated trim-tab control may be just the ticket, since it adjusts running attitude while giving you one less thing to think about. Check out our step-by-step instructions here.
Refit and Upgrade
Refit and Upgrade
Unleash Your Inner Boatbuilder with a DIY Kit
Every boater dreams of stepping to the helm of a boat he built himself. But you’ve got to walk before you run, so check out our take on kits that will help you get your feet wet.
There’s more to getting the propeller off the shaft than meets the eye, and more high-tech props make the job even more complex. Get the lowdown on what you need to know here.
Add another layer of reliable communication on your boat with a cell-signal booster. Our install sorts out the installation, the connectors you need, and tells how to tune the system. Check out the step-by-step installation here.
Are lithium batteries worth the extra money? Lithium batteries are the latest thing, but what advantages do they really bring? Find out the pros and cons of upgrading your batteries to 21st-century technology.
Resident boat nut Capt. Bill Pike recounts one man’s quest to save a 56-year old herring drifter from the scrap heap.
Nothing says you’re a real boater like taking on a refit project on your boat. We offer some expert advice for considering, planning, and executing a smart refit. Here’s how to get under way on that dream project.
When it comes time to select a refit project for your boat, you can go in any number of directions. Make your short list: The projects that fit your boating style and budget will rise to the top. In the interest of simplifying the process, we offer some alternatives if it just isn’t the right time...
Hinckley Yachts rescues a Savannah 54 from a forgotten factory floor. Remember when you were a kid and you saved your allowance until you could go to the local hobby shop? You came home with a box marked Revell or Monogram, opened it, and then had to assemble all the itty-bitty parts? Well, that’s exactly what one owner presented to the Hinckley service yard in Savannah, Georgia. But it wasn’t for a little toy-sized model. It was a 54-foot motoryacht. In pieces. Lots of them.
Install synthetic teak decks and skip the constant maintenance.
Complete professional fabrication and installation runs anywhere from $65 to $95 per square foot. Mazel often accepts templates from boat owners in his shop and delivers finished teak panels, nearly ready to be glued down, for around $50 per square foot. Materials alone, including the three types of glue used and a 15-percent allowance for waste, run $37 per square foot.
Break down a project to manageable parts, and get some added tips from Capt. Bill Pike.
Know how to keep your stuffing box happy? We have some DIY maintenance methods, including tips for both spud- and gland-type stuffing boxes, and some smart ways to head off problems. See an expert take on stuffing box care here.
Give yourself a break without getting a new boat. The Xenta system can add joystick power to many twin diesel boats, providing close-quarters maneuvering on par with pod-powered boats. Learn more about Xenta, including an idea of what it costs, here.
An experienced boater realizes the benefits of retrofitting his 27-year-old boat with LED lighting.
Plumbing for seawater circuits is critical. Centrifugal air-conditioning pumps must be below the waterline to prime, and seawater hoses must rise continuously uphill from the through-hull fitting to the sea strainer and to the pump, and then continue uphill with a single high spot at the air conditioner.
How to Install an Air Conditioner on Your Boat
Boatbuilders want simpler installations, so today many air-conditioning systems now contain all electronics within a single remote-mounted electrical box. This allows flexible placement of air-conditioner units and simpler electrical connections—both are huge benefits for do-it-yourself installations.
How to add a big-boat fishbox ice to a small sportfisher or any boat.
Thruster Installation: A new thruster system offers an alternative to a conventional installation. How to install a thruster on your yacht.
Installing a Cockpit Drawer Refrigerator is Surprisingly Simple. Here's a step-by-step...
Tired of those old electronics? Why not give your boat a whole new helm?
Here’s how one boater recreated his boat's helm. With mounting frustration, Pasquale Didonato eased his 48-foot Sea Ray Sedan Bridge out of the C&D canal toward the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. It was well after dark, and a raster-scan radar screen gave his countenance a spooky glow as he leaned to the right in a half-crouch to check his lineup on an upcoming set of buoys...
The right set of propellers can smooth the ride and increase efficiency.
Cruising in your boat is a pleasant experience. If you could make it more enjoyable while spending less money than you might expect—and throw in some fuel savings while you’re at it—it would be a no-brainer, right? Then you should consider upgrading your propellers.
Interceptors can sharpen up a boat’s performance and efficiency.
For decades trim tabs have been the popular way to adjust a boat’s running angle. They work well on boats up to about 45 feet but on larger boats, you need some seriously big plates, which can create drag and don’t always deploy quickly. That’s why lately many manufacturers are turning to interceptors, such as those manufactured by Humphree and Naiad Dynamics. These blades mount to the transom and drop down vertically into the flow of water coming from beneath the hull to create lift without producing the drag of conventional tabs.
Last month we showed you how to determine your boat’s cooling needs as a first step in an air-conditioning installation or refit (see article here).Now that you know how much space you’re going to be cooling and the size of the unit you’ll need to cool it, it’s time to select the
The owner of Honey Fitz made the right call—twice. First, after the former presidential yacht had paid many visits to various repair yards since the mid-1970s, he decided to undertake a full refit. Second, he hired Jim Moores of Moores Marine to do the job.