You don’t have to spend mega dollars on boating equipment to make your boating and fishing easier. The fun you have in a boat isn’t proportional to the amount you spend and you’d be amazed at how many readily available household items can be turned into DIY marine accessories. All the items in this guide can be purchased from a variety of outlets and all can be made at home. And the best part? They’re all dirt cheap.
9 simple DIY additions for your boat
Carpet strip lure, trace and squid jig holder
Any marine trimmer who won’t give you a thin strip of marine carpet is a mug. When glued to a flat surface, the carpet becomes a convenient holder for lures, squid jigs and traces. It can also serve as a drying rack prior to proper storage.
Hot dogs in a thermos
This is the most convenient way to have a warm meal in a small trailerboat. Hot dogs will stay hot for ages in a good thermos, and all you need to carry is the buttered rolls and condiments. Yum!
McDonald’s straw/clear vinyl tube lure
There’s just something about McDonald’s that lures ’em in. It’s the diameter of the thick-shake straw and its bubble trail when cut into three sections and connected straight to a 1/0 or 2/0 straight shank hook. Salmon, tailor and couta just love ’em! Clear vinyl tubing is available in many diameters and can be an effective lure on species from the smallest to the largest. Don’t worry about colour on either of these lures; it’s the action and the bubble trail that catches the fish.
Anchor retrieval buoy
Possibly one of the greatest inventions to hit trailer boats in many years. When set up and used properly the retrieval buoy not only saves the strenuous exercise of lifting an anchor off the bottom by hand, but it can also be one of the safest methods of retrieval in rough conditions. However, when used badly it can also be one of the most dangerous!
Diamond-shaped rodholder cutouts in a cutting board
This is an excellent alternative to expensive stainless steel configurations. The diamond shape accepts any size rod butt and locks it firmly into position. The angler can strike and remove the rod in one smooth motion, hooking the fish and giving much better results.
Spare bung holder
How many times have you arrived at the boat ramp only to realise that the bungs had either fallen out or been removed? Why not have a spare bung permanently mounted in a suitable area for just such a time?
Simplicity is the key. A section of leather strap or nylon webbing screwed to a cuttingboard in varying widths makes a very effective knife holder on working surfaces.
PVC or onion net burley bucket/bag
There are a million versions of the PVC burley bucket. I’ve seen versions using diameters as small as 50mm right up to 250mm monsters. Onion bags, keeper nets and even ladies stockings will do the job, depending on your style of fishing. However, don’t be surprised if you lose the occasional bag to a toothy critter, or even find the occasional crab or crayfish caught up in the stockings.
Mobile phone holder
These can keep your mobile phone secure and convenient in any boat and double as a handheld GPS mount. They can be purchased from most $2 shops, auto outlets and even supermarkets. The ones that stick directly to a surface are the best; the type with a flexible mount don’t perform well in a choppy sea. It doesn't matter if you have an old Nokia (like the one shown here), or the latest iPhone, keeping your phone safe is an important investment.
Originally published in TrailerBoat #266, February 2011. Why not subscribe today?