Mid-winter is a time that people like to look ahead. Golfers are thinking about that special putter or driver they’ve had their eye on, and boaters are dreaming about the perfect accessories they want to have on board.
The choice of accessories is one of the things that makes every boater’s experience unique, because it’s helps match watercraft to lifestyle. I don’t like to use the word “extras” to describe boating accessories. Sure, some of them are optional enhancements that may count as wish-list items. But others are almost essential to functionality, making a boat fully serve the owner’s needs.
In that second category I put the sorts of option packages that suit a boat for a particular type of fishing or recreational use, such as water-skiing or tubing. Likewise, electronics have become virtually essential, whether for navigation, communication or safety.
Lifestyle amenities are those features that can enhance a boat’s usefulness and comfort for travel, entertaining and other leisure uses.
Here in the mid-Atlantic coast, with challenging game-fishing opportunities both inshore and as far afield as the Gulf Stream and beyond, serious fishermen are looking at such essentials as towers, outriggers and heavy-duty coolers.
Ladders and swim platforms are essential for families who enjoy getting wet. Specialized skiing packages ensure that a boat has everything needed for a trouble-free water-sports experience.
Any boat that goes offshore should have up-to-date two-way radio gear and a GPS navigation system. Sonar fish-finders are the best way to find out where they’re biting, in real time. Weather radios and even radar systems take much of the guesswork out of deciding whether and when to go out, and are indispensable for offshore fishing and long-distance cruising.
Fold-down Bimini tops, more permanent T-tops and other types of sunshades can make any open boat more comfortable, both in bright sun and during those inevitable summer showers. Larger cabin models can also benefit from a weather top on the bridge or tower.
An almost infinite range of possibilities exists for the cabin and galley. Those interested in the live-aboard and travel lifestyles like to add small touches like cup holders, or major refinements such as cooking gear, sanitation equipment and interior furnishings in a variety of styles.
As a final touch, don’t forget the flags. The Stars and Stripes, of course, but how about your school colors or even a Jolly Roger?
I recognize that so many choices might seem daunting for the first-time or novice boater. Our sales and support teams are always ready to offer advice, based on the individual’s preferred boating style, on appropriate gear to consider. To help with some of those decisions, we can offer accessory packages tailored to specific uses.
At MarineMax, we can fully customize your accessory package to fits your needs and lifestyle. We pride ourselves on being your one-stop shop for everything boating.
Thom Cross is the general manager of MarineMaxWrightsville Beach. Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and services as well as provides yacht brokerage and charter services. For more information, visit www.marinemax.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarineMaxWrightsvilleBeach or call (910) 256-8100.
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