The weather has warmed up, and so has the water—summer is here!
Ready to make the most of the sunniest months of the year? I’m going to introduce you to some handy deck boat tips to keep your favorite ride humming all through June, July, August and then some.
When I purchased my first boat, I did so in the spring (around mid-April) with my eyes on the prize—heading out onto the lake in the summer. I wanted to get out there ASAP, with friends, family and anyone who wanted to join.
The mistake I made in that moment was trying to rush that very process. If I had given myself a little bit more time and made a list (like this one), I might have prepared better (and not have forgotten a few things—like a cooler!). That’s why, as we uncover some of my best deck boat tips, it’s going to be all about patience.
Keep your head straight, your eyes on the prize (just as I did) and enjoy some of the best deck boat tips to help you prepare for summer in style.
5 Deck Boats Tips for Summer
1. Give Your Deck Boat a Thorough Inspection
If you’re bringing your pride and joy out of storage for the summer, or even if you live somewhere warm and are simply taking it out for the day, it’s always beneficial to start with a dry run.
Rather than rushing into the water and hoping for the best, give your pride and joy a thorough spring boat inspection. It’s much easier to complete a general cleaning and equipment maintenance check while still in storage or on the trailer.
Debris removal and small improvements will be easier to do out of the water, but if you uncover anything unsavory—like boat pests, for example—you can handle it right then and there (particularly if it involves your engine) on dry land.
If you put your boat away in storage, it should already be dry. However, especially in the summer after you finish each ride, you should make sure everything is clean as a whistle (and dry as the desert) before you head out again.
2. Set Your Deck Boat Party Rules
One of the biggest advantages we know about deck boats is that they’re made for entertaining. They’re the absolute perfect place to host shindigs. Everyone loves those good times out on the water.
Keeping this in mind, one of the best deck boat tips I’ve ever received is this: Give guests a rundown of the rules before they ever step foot on the boat.
If you’re planning a big day out on the water, put together a basic list of guidelines. Set some ground rules for your friends to let them know what to bring and how to act when they’re out on the water. This can be accomplished by through an email chain, a WhatsApp group or a Facebook message.
These rules can include general safety tips, like ones related to alcohol consumption, and even some fun things, like a BYOB policy or requesting favorite snacks.
Set the ground rules early and you’re more likely to avoid headaches later. Putting safety first on your boat is important, both because it keeps people from getting hurt, and it keeps you from getting in trouble with the law.
When you pre-plan your party, and people know what to expect, there’s less chance of them breaking the rules and making a mess (of your boat, or your boating record).
3. Choose the Perfect Deck Boat Environment
This harkens back to my previous point about patience. If you want to know one of the best tips for taking your deck boat, or any boat, out on the water, it’s this.
Choose your weather conditions and destination spot wisely! This means keeping an extremely close eye on the weather for the day, especially if it’s going to be your deck boat’s first time out on the water in months.
Make sure you go out on a warm, crisp day, with relatively still waters. The last thing you want is to have your engine die in the middle of a storm, or in strong winds, which is especially true of more tropical climates where flash storms are common.
In addition, try to reserve your first ride to smaller bodies of water, which generally make maneuvering a deck boat easier. Shallow waters and narrow creeks give deck boats trouble. They’re a wider size with platforms that make them not as agile and zippy as their runabout counterparts.
The conditions you choose to go out on will determine the quality of your ride, and for the first of the season, it helps to ensure everything is in your favor.
4. Bring Along Deck Boat Accessories
Especially if you rely on your deck boat for entertaining, this tip is all about the importance of planning ahead for the next time you invite friends on board.
If you want to make the most of your fun in the sun, you’ll need the proper accessories. When you own a deck boat, that’s especially important—you have more room, and more functionality, to have a better time.
This can be as simple as ensuring you have the proper cooler mounts (check price on Amazon) to keep things from shifting.
- Provides a permanent mounting solution for securing coolers, tackle boxes, and other block-shaped items to a boat floorboard or other stable surface.
- Each kit includes (4) corner pieces with (3) pre-drilled holes for permanent mounting and (2) loops for hook-end tie-down attachment.
- This set will prevent cooler from moving around on the deck.
- The corner brackets have interior screw mounting holes to allow a flush mount against surfaces and to take up less deck space.
Bimini umbrellas (check price on Amazon) are a useful, simple addition for particularly sunny days.
- The Mantis Original Pro Plus offers 36" - 52" vertical height adjustment and virtually unlimited angle adjustment for all day sun protection: 360 degree side to side; 180 degrees front to back; 360 degree rotation on mount (Mounts sold separately).
- · The Mantis connects almost anywhere with 14 mounting options (sold separately). Mantis Mounts include: Swivel Seat, Butt/Pro Seat, Rail, Rod Holder, Suction, Clamp, Deck, Semi-Flush Deck, Side Wall, and Bench Seat (Mounts sold separately)
- · The Mantis shade is 55” W x 35” deep when opened. It is multi-purpose, highly portable and lightweight (6 lbs.), deploys and retracts in seconds, is easily moved to multiple locations, minimally interferes with fishing and other outdoor activities and stores compactly (38
- · The Mantis offers an sleek and attractive aerodynamic design which resists wind and eliminates heat pockets building under the shade.
- · The Mantis is built to last and endure the elements. It features only quality materials (aluminum frames, stainless steel hardware, marine Sunbrella solution dyed acrylic fabric, and strong and UV resistant Nylon 6 plastic) and offers a lifetime frame warranty.
A misting system (check price on Amazon) may be worth the investment if there are people in your party who are known to get overheated.
You could also invest in fishing mounts, or even a deck boat for fishing altogether. You can even accessorize with fun inflatable water tubes or water skiing equipment.
The last thing you want to do is to be running to the store to purchase things for your deck boat, hours before you’re set to hit the high seas. If you plan ahead, and keep your guests in mind, you’re going to be way happier—and they will be, too.
5. Consider the Space for Guests
One last tip! When preparing your deck boat for summer, know when purchasing a larger deck boat—or upgrading from a small two-person boat—becomes the right decision.
There are plenty of proven and reliable deck boat brands out there, and buying a more spacious deck boat might be the perfect way to enjoy having more people out on the water.
I started off in boat ownership with a small little fishing boat. It was perfect when me and my buddies wanted a weekend away, but we soon started getting girlfriends, then families, and eventually wanted something large enough to take everyone out on the water. That’s why a deck boat, with its luxurious amount of space, is typically considered tops when it comes to that very experience. They run anywhere from 18 to 28 feet and have upholstered seating that can sit up to 14 guests!
The best tip I can give? Know when to get a larger boat, and don’t wait until it’s too late. If you could be having fun out on the water with your wife and kids a couple years earlier, wouldn’t you want that? Don’t procrastinate and regret not making that upgrade. Start considering the advantages sooner than later.
If you want more space, agility and acceleration, a deck boat might be the best move for you. Honestly, the best deck boat tip you might receive today is to just—in general—get better acquainted with them.
Ready for the Summer?
Keep these deck boat tips in mind for the summer and you’re bound to have less headaches, less mechanical issues, and way more fun out on the water.
You can thank me later. Until then, let the good times roll!