When we began looking for a cruising boat, we knew that any boat we found — even one that was seemingly well-equipped — would have some things that we wanted to change. And so, when we sat down and figured out what we’d be comfortable spending on our new home, we decided to divide that sum in two: 75% to spend on the boat itself, and 25% to hold back for upgrades after we’d cruised for a year or so.
I highly recommend a similar approach, for two reasons: no matter how wonderfully equipped a boat you buy, there will be things that bug you and you want to change; and the things you think you want to change when you look at the boat may not be the things that actually bother you after you own her. The only change I’d make is to allocate a slightly higher percentage to the the upgrade fund.
But the big question is still: what were the best improvements we made? Well, one of them was to get rid of the teak deck overlay and have fiberglass panels installed in its place, as shown in the photo above.
I wrote this article at the end of 2006, after we’d been cruising full-time for 4 years. Cruising World published it in April, 2007 as “Best Things We’ve Done to the Boat.” Depending on where you cruise and what your boat came equipped with, your list might be different — I’d love to hear what you think were your best boat improvements!
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