Boating and fishing are great hobbies for relaxing and enjoying time with friends. If you’ve decided to join the thousands of people who love the lakes in and around Southeastern Michigan, take some time in finding the perfect boat for your needs. Make sure it runs well, is built solid and safe, and find out if it needed any major engine repairs.

The areas that get the most wear and tear on a used boat are the hull, the motor, and the electrical system. But, remember to also check the engine mounts, bolts, and connections for rust or corrosion. Inspect the hull carefully, noting any variations in paint color or staining. Boat accidents can damage the hull, and you don’t want the surprise of a weak area when you’re out on the lake, far away from shore.

Cosmetically, the boat can be improved on after you purchase it, so don’t let that be the breaking point of a sale. However, a boat owner who takes pride in his hobby usually takes the time to keep the upholstery clean of mold and mildew, treats the wood to avoid dry-rot, and keeps the carpet clean if there is any.

Depending on where the boat was previously moored, there may be extensive sun damage that can cause the vinyl to crack. Cleaners and sealers can bring a fresh look to old vinyl, and if you’re only going to use the boat for get-away fishing by yourself, that may be adequate.

However, since the appearance of the boat reflects on you, think about the long-term appeal that others have when they go boating or fishing with you. Boats with high quality marine upholstery give the impression of prestige and success. Visually, new boat upholstery can take an old boat and make it look nearly new again!

And remember that a well-fitting boat cover not only protects your investment, it also gives endurance to the interior, so that dry rot and vinyl cracking don’t begin.

So, congratulations on your decision to become a boat owner! Shop carefully and find the right used boat for you, and remember that boat upholstery with new marine vinyl can be the facelift it needs to look like a “new” boat again.