Jim Knight, waterski enthusiast and a marine manufactures representative with Redwood Marketing, was convinced that with a little bit of planning and a lot of due diligence there's no reason any boat owner couldn't successfully rehab his old boat during the winter months and end up with a “new-to-you” boat next spring. To prove it, his company invested in a 1995 Malibu Response and gave it a full makeover — revamping everything from the audio setup to the upholstery to a new tower. Here's what he learned along the way:
PHASE 1: BUDGETING
• Consider the investment. Without a budget you are asking to spend too much. It doesn't make much sense to spend $20,000 rehabbing a boat that will be worth $18,000 when you are finished.
• Be flexible. Find the right shop willing to work on your boat in their spare time, and this may mean you won't have to deal with storage for the few months while they keep it at the shop. Many shops may also be willing to offer you a discount for your flexibility.
PHASE 2: PLANNING
• Be specific. Use the Internet to get a jump on ideas about what you want to change in your boat. The more details you can provide at the beginning, the happier you will be in the end.
• Consider colors. Keep in mind basic patterns and colors tend to stay fashionable longer. While darker colors can be bold and eye-catching, they tend to get hot in the sun.
• Time projects together. As long as the boat is apart, do the projects you have been thinking about. If you are thinking about a new deck, amps and woofer, now is the time. At this point, also consider installing a second battery and a battery isolation device, which will always reserve one of the batteries onboard for running the boat.
• Think towers. Can the shop that is doing the tower make you a tower that looks the way you want it to look? What about holes in the boat? In this case they were able to put the tower in the same place to cover up the holes from the existing Bimini.
• Don't forget the Bimini. The tower guy can most likely fabricate a Bimini for you as well. If you are not going to be installing a new tower, make sure you have that angle covered with your upholstery shop. You can't have a boat all shined up with new carpet and new upholstery and an old Bimini; that won't fly.
PHASE 3: SHOPPING
• Consolidate. If you can find an upholstery shop that does audio and video work, it may save you a lot of time and hassle of running the boat from shop to shop.
• Enforce deadlines. Pay close attention to the clock as the deadline gets closer. If you don't care about the due date, odds are neither will the shop.
• Keep copies. Keep copies of all agreements as well as copies of all diagrams and descriptions, including colors chosen, patterns, audio selection, estimates and time frames.
• One amp for the speakers in the boat (Concept HA-704 — 70 watts X 4) and four 6.5″ coax speakers. (Concept CFX600)
• One amp for the subwoofer (Concept HA-600 — 600 watts X 1) up under the bow and one high-performance subwoofer — loud but not a space hog. (Concept HZ12CP)
• One amp just for the tower speakers (Concept HA-902 — 90 watts X 2). Why use a separate amp for the tower speakers? So I could simply use the fader to turn it off when I am not using it. (Concept Tower Speakers 4 ea CFX-692)
• One electronic multiple battery regulator isolator that allows you to use two batteries and always have one ready to start the boat! (Concept Battery Isolation MBR-100)
• A new deck and controller that will allow you to add up to four controllers if you were so inclined. It changes sources, volume up and down and changes tracks and stations — even satellite radio stations if you have a satellite subscription and tuner box. (Kenwood KDCX791 radio and Kenwood Wired Remote KCS-RC50MR)
• OK, how much for all this glorious new technology? About $2,400 plus installation and wiring. Not too bad if you consider the flexibility.
To learn more about this project, go to redwoodmktg.com