A sailboat is a major investment under any circumstance. But it’s an investment not just in terms of your money, but your time and energy as well. A sailboat owner’s work isn’t done after they sign the papers and assume ownership; any type of boat requires long-term upkeep and maintenance. Furthermore, as the boating industry progresses and as a boat accumulates the regular wear and tear that comes with use, you may become interested in seeking out specific sailboat upgrades. The benefits to not only maintaining but upgrade your boat over time are manifold. For one thing, a sailboat tends to experience damage buildup that can be prevented or managed through certain upgrades. For another, upgrading your sailboat actually can add value to your boat. A boat shouldn’t be viewed just as a car would be, wherein it will automatically begin losing value as soon as it’s left the “lot”. Rather, a boat can be similar to a house, wherein your upgrades will actually maintain its value or add value to it. This is why some people choose to buy sailboats that are somewhat weathered and slowly upgrade it over time. Therefore, they ultimately can make a profit when they sell their boats later on.
Whether you find yourself considering sailboat upgrades for a boat that you already own, or are considering buying a boat that could benefit from some upgrades, there are plenty of options available. An estimated 87 million American adults currently participate in recreational boating; and if you simply want to upgrade your boat so that you can have fun with it, with no thought towards the value it might add to the boat financially, that’s fine too! You don’t have to overhaul your boat in order to get everything that you want out of it. Just a few additions can take your boat from acceptable to excellent, ultimately giving you the experience that everyone wants when they first buy a sailboat.
1. A Water Filtration System
A water filtration system is one of many sailboat upgrades that can make it easier for you to go on long-term sailing jaunts. While you should take copious amounts of fresh water with you whenever you go sailing, a water filtration system can add extra benefits that make it easier for you to stay out for a longer period of time. For that matter, if you take a lot of fresh water with you, that water is going to take up a lot of storage space in your boat. Another issue, of course, is that a lot of this water must be stored in plastic water bottles or other plastic containers. If this type of plastic must be disposed of at sea, you risk causing a major ecological issue. For that matter, you could potentially be fined for doing so, depending on the circumstances. With that being said, it’s a good idea to invest in water distillers or some kind of water filtration system.
A water filtration system can essentially take the water that is already available and filter out harmful micro-organisms and bacteria. This will cause the water to be drinkable and usable otherwise, meaning that you don’t have to carry as much fresh water aboard with you. For that matter, you may want to add a new water heater to your list of sailboat upgrades in order to ensure that your filtered water can be used for your showers as well as your drinking water. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a cold shower, even when they’re out sailing on the open sea!
2. Ventilation Fans
The last thing you want to deal with is a hot, stuffy interior within your sailboat. This may not strike you immediately, or during short day trips at sea, because you’ll be spending so much time out on the deck. But if you’re sailing overnight at any time, you’ll quickly notice if your sailboat’s heating and cooling systems are not up to par. The issues, in this case, are long-ranging. Of course, it’s uncomfortable to be in a poorly-ventilated cabin. It’s hot and oppressive and easily can become overwhelming when you’re in a location that is already a bit difficult to adjust to. For that matter, if any dampness is trapped in the cabin, it can be easy for mildew to develop within your cabin. Now, the problem with this is that it can be difficult to get rid of mild while at sea; it’s not as if you can take advantage of mold remediation services when you’re sailing. Therefore, you’ll have to wait until you return home to take care of this issue.
It’s more effective to take care of this issue ahead of time by ensuring that your sailboat is properly ventilated. This can be accomplished through the use of an HVAC repair company, which can help install the correct ventilation systems in your sailboat, made to fit exactly what a boat would need as opposed to a house. Of course, this will serve multiple purposes. Your cabin will be much more comfortable, there will be less of a risk of lingering odors developing within your boat. For that matter, your sailboat will be much cleaner and it will be easier for you to ensure that mold doesn’t develop and that you won’t have to look into mildew removal while you’re on your journey.
3. Updated Plumbing Systems
Dealing with a plumbing problem on a sailboat is incredibly difficult, and this is why an updated plumbing system should be on your list of sailboat upgrades. Unfortunately, professional plumbing services can be difficult to access while sailing. Therefore, while you’re docked you must be proactive and consider how you can best ensure that your plumbing won’t fail you when you most need it to be reliable. The best piping for sailboat plumbing needs to be resistant to chlorine, as well as the algae that can grow within it. This is why many recommend that sailboat piping is made from cross-linked polyethylene. This is semi-rigid, and therefore can be turned and curved to accommodate tight spaces.
Toilet repairs cannot be managed easily at sea either, which is why you need to make sure that everything in that arena is taken care of before you set sail. Some boat owners choose to work with professional restorers when they repair or replace different types of fixtures. Others like to do it themselves. No matter what you’re leaning towards, understand that you need to have a firm handle on how to make those types of repairs or replacements if you’re trying to handle them yourself. Don’t attempt to save money by handling something by yourself. You could very well end up losing money through the expensive repairs you’ll need to make to fix your attempted repairs made earlier.
4. Entertainment And Recreation
Chances are that you didn’t buy a sailboat to simply hang out and do nothing in; nor did you buy it to work within. A sailboat is meant for entertainment and recreation, and so your sailboat upgrades should also be made with that in mind. So, when planning your upgrades you should think about what exactly you want to get out of your boat. How long are you going to spend out and about? How long are your journeys going to be? A lot of people add electronic devices to their boats, like television sets or stereos. While these certainly offer a number of benefits, if you’re looking to add value to your boat, keep in mind that many view a boat as an opportunity to escape our technology-obsessed world. Some may not be impressed by these types of gadgets, and the fact is that if you view your boat as an investment you may want to focus on sailboat upgrades that are crowd-pleasers, rather than those that are specifically made to fit what you like.
There are a number of different add-ons that can make your boat much more enjoyable. For example, why not add on an outdoor showerhead so that you can easily shower off after spending some time swimming around your boat? Keep in mind that if your sailboat’s deck gets wet, there may be a minor increase of risk for slip & fall injuries. You may also want to include a barbecue. Your barbecue may include propane tanks to ensure that it’s easier to use while you’re sailing. It’s always fun to grill, and it’s even more fun to grill while you’re out on a sailboat. For that matter, if your goal is to go deep sea fishing, you may even be able to cook your catch while you’re aboard! Certainly, you may also be able to get a bit more out of your boat if you make it more livable in that sense. Another addition you may want to consider adding, of course, is a dinghy hoist. This may make it a bit easier for you to go out in a dinghy if you’re weighed anchor somewhere else. A lot of people love taking a dinghy out to enjoy themselves further.
Furthermore, it can be considered another safety option, just in case you ever need to exit your boat for any reason.
5. Solar Power
Perhaps one of the more advanced types of sailboat upgrades is that of solar panels. Solar power is incredibly important and is connected to some of the possible upgrades we mentioned above. For example, a lot of modern water filtration systems can be powered through solar power, and for that matter so are some lighting systems. The great thing about solar power on a sailboat is that it can allow you to be more energy efficient, and can also enable you to be more environmentally friendly as well. Solar power essentially means being powered by the sun, and if you don’t understand how that can work while you’re at sea, then you aren’t sailing during the right weather conditions! The interesting thing about solar power is that you can’t harness it without having solar panels installed on your sailboat. This obviously can’t be done by people who don’t know what they’re doing; fortunately, there are solar power companies that can install these panels for you, and teach you how to properly use solar power. Don’t worry; if it’s something that you aren’t overly familiar with, it’s not too much of an adjustment on a practical level!
The fact is that when you’re out on a sailboat, there is a lot of potential for you to have a negative environmental impact. Aside from the plastic issues we mentioned above, there is also the problem of sailboats having carbon emissions and of course fuel emissions in general due to the use of diesel fuels. Fortunately, solar allows you to cut down on your carbon footprint. This energy is renewable, and furthermore is more cost-efficient for sailboat owners as well. Solar power doesn’t cause corrosion problems either, unlike some forms of fuel and energy, and it’s something that you can truly rely upon.
Sailboat upgrades are not that difficult to do at the end of the day. Much of the time, you can work with professionals to ensure that your sailboat is as up to date as possible; furthermore, you don’t have to look too far to find that assistance! Sailboats are machines, after all, and you can probably find refurbished sailboat parts at the same vendor where you would find Sikorsky helicopter parts. But you still need to think about what you want and try your best to put a personal spin on your sailboat.
At the end of the day, unless you plan on selling your boat very soon, a sailboat is meant for personal enjoyment. It can be difficult to accumulate the funds to buy a sailboat in the first place. Therefore, you should take your time and choose the sailboat upgrades that will ensure that your next voyage is a dream!