Now that your tinnie’s as good as new again, it’s time to think about fitting the electronics and tinnie accessories. In the final of our series, we look at how to upgrade your boat from humble to hi-tech.
If you’re likely to be out on your tinnie after dark then by law it must have navigation and anchor lights. LED lights are economical, use very little power and are widely available. You can also buy removable battery-powered units that attach using a suction cup, but if you prefer to hardwire the lighting, make sure it earths back to the battery and not the hull. If you are at all unsure, have a marine or auto electrician do the installation.
Bow rails and handrails will enhance your tinnie’s appearance and capacity. They not only make it look bigger, but offer endless possibilities as rod holders, oar storage and so on, and effectively restore any height you might have lost when adding a deck or flooring.
Unless you only ever take your tinnie out on placid lakes or rivers, a bilge pump will save a lot of bailing and even reduce the risk of sinking. They’re inexpensive and can be hidden away under your newly installed seating.
Once you have the basic necessities, there’s no reason to skimp when accessorising your tinnie. Add a set of waterproof Bluetooth speakers so you can listen to music on your smart phone, which might in turn have its own waterproof housing.
Your very clever phone can also provide navigation, compass, weather reports, tide charts and so on, so check out the available apps and save having to carry separate instruments and charts. Instead, build housing into your console or deck so that you can use the phone hands-free.
If you’re taking your tinnie out to sea, however, it is advisable that you carry a reliable analogue marine compass in case of GPS failure.
Lowrance has just released a smaller, more affordable sonar fish finder, so you can now get one for under $250. It comes with its own mounting bracket, which releases the unit so you can remove it when the tinnie is trailered.
Possibly the most important item of safety equipment you can have on board is a marine radio. You can purchase one for under $200 that is waterproof, can be handheld or mounted, and which will probably float if it ends up overboard. Don’t leave home without it.
Railblaza has a versatile range of holders and mounting systems for your tinnie. Once the bases are bolted in place on any surface or mounted on the rails, a variety of fasteners offer all the adaptability you need, holding anything from rods and nets to your camera, phone, radio and beer can.
Your restored tinnie’s all shipshape and ready to hit the water, so take a moment to check that you have everything you need to stay within the law when boating.
After all that work to get your tinnie back in the water you might want to think about getting it insured.