If you had to rank your boat upgrades - what would be your top two or three???


Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
West Michigan
Boat Info
1997 Sundancer 400
7.4L Gassers
I'm sure a lot of us like to tinker almost as much as we like to boat. It's a disease...

Lots of folks have upgraded flooring, TV's, stereos, electronics, dinghy's, etc and so on. So which are your favorites? Which enhancements have given you the most satisfaction (we're talking about boat upgrades only :smt001)?

As I enter my third season with our 340 I think I'd say the following:

1.) Stereo upgrade - we are listening to our favorite music just about anytime we are on or near the boat. I couldn't be happier with this investment.

2.) Dashboard "touchup" - I still have some work to do here but last year I painted all of my sun covers and removed/replaced an Atari era fishfinder with a remote for the stereo and a new backing plate. Eventually I need to replace the burled panels and will likely use some wood to dress up the rest of it when I replace my VHF.

3.) I think this year I'm going to have a tie between the bunk I built so I can sleep three kids in the aft cabin and the dinghy I bought. I'm pretty excited about the convenience each of these are going to add to the 2017 boating season.

Future Ranking.) I'll be replacing my cockpit sink and faucet with SS this spring, maybe wood flooring in the cabin this summer...then I should be ready to sell her. ha.

So let's see your lists!!!
1) Bow thruster w/wireless remote
2) Engine room camera
3) Stereo & 40" 4K TV
4) RayMarine a127 w/wifi
1. Delta Canvas
2. Stereo Upgrade (sounds so good)
3. Hardwood flooring
4. Infinity Cockpit Carpeting
5. Large Hatch behind transom door
6. Upgraded mattress
7. Battery watering system
8. led lighting
I would say the complete electronics package upgrade -
Converting the entire boat to a NMEA 2000 based data system
Noland analog to NMEA 2000 converters (engine sensors)
Garmin GPSMAP 7612xsv 12 inch touch screen display, plotter, CHIRP sounder
Garmin 48" open array HD radar
Garmin Reactor Autopilot with shadow drive
Garmin GPS
2 Garmin GMI-20 multifunction displays
Garmin VHF 210 AIS
And most importantly a new EPIRB

Oh and yes that all important audio system upgrade....
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Our best upgrade on our previous boat was the Nuteak inside and outside. Still waiting for the Nuteak for GT II and now that he has several years experience installing Nuteak I can't hardly wait! Should be done within the next two weeks.

New 7612 Garmin with engine room and cockpit cameras.

Probaly will be replacing Salon A/C and combo W/D if I can't find and fix the leak as we spend lots of time on board and will be headed North for about 30 days then back down to KW for the winter!
!. Epoxy barrier coat and bottom paint. I won't have to worry for 5 years. I told the admiral it's like getting a new roof.
2. Garmin auto pilot to go with my GPS MAP 7212 with the Vision HD chart.
Let it draw a route set it and go down below for a nap. LOL (reminds me of the story of the lady who set her cruise control on her motor home and got up to go to the fridge. It didn't end well. She tried to sue the manufacture.
Bow thruster with wireless remote
New Raymarine GPS/Plotter and radar
Generator exhaust water separator
Props reconditioned
New Garmin chart Plotter
New Garmin xHD Array

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1. Zantrex 3024 Inverter runs the entire boat
2. Reupholstered cockpit bench seat in distressed ultraleather
3. Cockpit sunshade
4. Bow lounger (adjustable) backrests
5. Custom teak hi-lo table ( delivery date this week)

Dinghy upgrades:

1. fixed mount vhf
2. JBL gauge style stereo
3. 4" Fusion speakers

1. All new digital electronics including entertainment systems.
2. Subscribing to Sirius Marine and Aviation weather channel for live national and regional/local weather.
I've owned my boat since 1997 so I have replaced a lot of stuff. Even though I made improvements for function and technology when I replaced something like changing a monochrome plotter to a color MFD when the old plotter failed, those aren't really upgrades as muh as replacements. Some of the additions to the boat we've done that added the most usability or reduced labor the most have been:

Bennett ATR (auto tab retractor)..when I switch off my electronics master, my tabs retract
Complete custom aft enclosure
120V bilge lighting ….let there be light, and a lot of it!
Tornado holding tank flushing devices
Clock at the helm
Digital volt meters …no more trying to guess if I had 12 or 14 volts showing on the Sea Ray gauges
Digital tachometers
LED instrument panel lighting
2nd VHF ….
Custom made tables for the cockpit and salon
Nylon extensions for the AC cooling outlets and deck drains to keep the algae and black marks off the sides of the boat.
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1. 4" memory foam bed mattress (V berth bed)
2. cockpit stereo upgrade
3. transom mount stereo speakers
4. slide-out cooler in cockpit galley with bottle opener and hand towel
5. cockpit galley upgrades (new faucet, granite counter top, paper towel holder, sink cover, redesigned drink holder, Jack Daniels sign)
6. cockpit seats re-dyed
7. new camper canvas
8. new cockpit carpet (woven vinyl)
9. 9" screen Garmin GPS/plotter
10. two TV's (28" in cabin and 24" in cockpit)
11. Magma grill with pedestal mount on swim platform
12. grilling prep table mounted to transom locker grab handle
13. flag, pole and mount on transom
14. bow rail flag and pole
15. CO detector in cockpit
16. two cloud based security cameras (cabin and cockpit)
17. remote temperature monitors (engine room, cabin, cockpit)
18. stainless steel cup holders in cockpit
19. stainless steel cabinet slam latches in cockpit
20. added stainless steel cup holders in cockpit table
21. 'Easy-up' swim platform/ladder handles (coming soon)

the list of repairs and replacements would easily be just as long if not longer......................
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Frank. I would love to see your nylon outlet extensions.

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Here ya go………………

thru extension.jpg

As they say, the devil is in the details. To make them work correctly, the nylon stock is turned with a slight taper to fit the i.d. on the thru hull fitting. Coat with a thin layer of silicone and insert in the thru hull. There is a slight shoulder left on the o.d. of the extension about 3/8" from where the bell begins. That fits the outside of the thru hull and prevents you from inserting it too far. The thing that makes the extension work is the bell shaped end. When the AC shuts down, water dripples out of the thru hull for a few seconds. The bell forces it to run to the furthest point away from the hull, accumulate there, and then drip into the water and not run down the side of the boat. The extensions are compact and fit fairly close to the hull. From 5 ft away you tell they are there other than the side of the hull remains stain free.
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Frank. I would love to see your nylon outlet extensions.

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I did something like this but 'on the cheap'......I just got a couple feet of clear plastic hose from Lowes (3/4" if I remember correctly) and cut off 2" sections.....then you can take a rubber mallet and drive the sections of hose into the thru-hulls for a tight fit.....


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