- The three bass boat upgrades we recommend are Updated LED Lighting, Increased Storage, and Kemimoto Boat Fenders.
- To upgrade the speed of a bass boat, change the prop pitch, change the propeller, upgrade the engine, or install a jack plate.
- We recommend regular boat cleanings, reduced speeds, fresh fuel, and avoiding sunlight to make a bass boat last longer.
Once we get more experienced at fishing, we notice things that could be improved. Our bass boat could run better with some of the best upgrades.
The best bass boat upgrades are
- Updated LED Lighting
- Increased Storage
- Kemimoto Boat Fenders
- Outboard Prop Guard
- Loc-R-Bar Alarm System
- BoatBuckle G2 Transom Tie-Down
- Newport Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box
- Northcaptain S1 Deluxe Folding Boat Seats
- LUCKY Portable Fish Finder
Upgrading our bass boat can be a great way to increase its performance. This guide will share some of the best upgrades to make our bass fishing trips more enjoyable and efficient. Read on to learn what changes we recommend.
9 Best Bass Boat Upgrades
When it comes to fishing, many anglers enjoy the thrill of being out on the water in a bass boat. These vessels have come a long way over the years and now offer a vast range of features that make them perfect for finding that big catch.
We need to upgrade our bass boat to compete with others. First, take care of essential safety items like life jackets and flares. Next, think about these key essentials like a fishing rod, telescopic boat hook, bait, etc.
This is a basic necessity. But what about the real upgrades? Ones that make the boat more impressive and higher performing like a shallow water anchor, new trolling motor shaft, or boat cover. We’ll cover nine of the best ones worth considering below.
1. Updated LED Lighting
Numerous modifications are available for every budget to enhance any bass fisherman's experience on the water. A good starting point might be adding better LED lighting, like the Oznium Bass Boat LED Deck Light Kit on the boat’s deck.
This kit is available in five different lighting colors. It also includes an eight snap-fit LED with multiple extension wires and an LED dimmer knob. These lights wrap around the deck and provide a bright shine at night.
I like these lights because they are durable. They also work with any 12-volt DC system. Plus, the pre-wired harness can be plugged in for instant lighting. There is no complex installation needed.
Buying this LED lighting kit with a remote dimmer is also possible. Overall, I was impressed with how easily these lights install, their durability, and the superior brightness compared to other lights I’ve tested in the past.
2. Increased Tool, Bait, & Lure Storage
Are you ever scrambling for bait, lures, or tools while fishing? I know I am. A new organizer to increase storage onboard the bass boat is the best upgrade to avoid this problem.
I recommend the Boat Tote All-in-One Boat Organizer. The design includes multiple cup holders, rod holders, a tool holder, and a cell phone or fish finder mount. Using two or three of these is possible, depending on the boat size.
This organizer is lightweight, durable, and easily installed with adjustable straps. It's made of 6061 aluminum and holds up well long term. This allows us to customize it to fit our boat, depending on what we have on board for storage.
There are also three shelves and a few pockets to store keys, lures, bait, and other fishing gear. I can’t say enough about this product. It eliminated the clutter on my bass boat and made my life much easier.
3. Kemimoto Boat Fenders
Another cool upgrade for a bass boat is a pair of Kemimoto Boat Fenders. The versatile nature of these fenders means they are suitable for freshwater and saltwater use. Buyers can also choose from several colors: blue, gray, black, etc.
They easily attach to the boat's sides and protect against dings and scratches. The durable EVA material can withstand repeated impacts without deteriorating quickly.
They also won't scuff up the paint job like traditional rubber bumpers do. I also like how they feature air vents which help reduce pressure buildup on hot days. This makes them perfect for keeping the boat well-protected.
Installing these on our bass boat is simple. The strap attaches to the boat dock and locks. This keeps the fenders in place while we tie the permanent elastic ropes around the hooks on the boat's edge.
4. Outboard Prop Guard
The GHmarine Outboard Propeller Safety Guard is a vital piece of boat safety equipment all boat owners should be aware of and consider investing in. Prop guards are designed to protect people from the blades of an outboard motor’s propeller.
I think any bass boat owner with an outboard should consider this upgrade. It will instantly increase the safety of all boat passengers. So when someone falls off the boat, enters the water near the motor, or comes close to it during operation, they have no worries.
This product offers comprehensive protection for any outboard engine size and works on regular and long-shaft motors. This guard can easily be mounted to nearly any recreational vessel, regardless of size or weight.
This prop guard is available in four different colors. The polypropylene is durable and lightweight, making installation easy too. Add in a foot pedal or keel protector with this too.
5. Loc-R-Bar Alarm System
Once before, I was stolen from. I failed to secure my bass boat and someone stole all of my gear and valuables on board. That's why the Loc-R-Bar Alarm System is an invaluable security measure for any serious bass fisherman.
The Loc-R-Bar is an advanced burglar alarm system that fits directly onto your bass boat and offers a comprehensive range of features to protect it from theft and vandalism. It’s super easy to install with long bars that attach to each side of the boat.
There are no wires or complicated sensors to set up either. Instead, these bars lock on each side so removing getting inside the boat is only possible with the code or key. It can work with boat covers too.
I also was impressed with the motion-activated 110dB alarm padlock. It keeps all fishing rods and gear safe on the boat. It also won’t slow boat owners down because it’s fast and easy to lock and unlock.
6. BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Transom Tie-Down
One of the most crucial safety measures for anyone securing their boat to boat trailers. I like to use the BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Transom Tie-Down for my bass boat when transporting it to different locations.
I've noticed that traditional tie-downs don’t always provide enough security. This revolutionary product offers more control over the boat’s tightness and can handle all types of boats, from small dinghies to larger vessels.
The padlock has a stainless steel construction for better durability. The vinyl-coated steel hooks won’t chip or scratch the paint on the boat’s exterior. It’s also a one-touch product so it’s pretty easy for anybody to learn how to use.
The buckle has 1,500-pound breaking strength and 500 pounds safe working load. This is plenty of strength for most bass boats. We recommend using this product right away to see how easy life gets moving your boat around.
7. Newport Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box
If you're a serious bass fisherman, upgrading a bass boat is key. One of the best bass boat accessories I recommend is the Newport Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box. This will protect the boat's battery and improve durability.
This battery box offers many features and benefits to enhance our fishing experience. First, its patented design always delivers reliable performance with optimal levels of power management to ensure our trolling motor runs smoothly and efficiently.
It can charge our phone or hook up directly to our boat battery for more juice. It also has adjustable battery monitor settings and works with trolling motors. This will allow us to precisely control how much power gets drawn depending on what we need it for.
It also has a 10 Amp and 60 Amp circuit breaker. This is plenty of power and I noticed it does a great job protecting the trolling motor from burning out or overcharging.
8. Northcaptain S1 Deluxe Folding Boat Seats
The Northcaptain S1 Deluxe Folding Boat Seats have an ergonomic design providing superior comfort and support while on the water. These seats feature a deep-contoured shape that hugs your body, providing maximum support and stability.
They also come with adjustable swivel mounts that let you customize the seat height and angle to suit your needs perfectly. They can be used as replacements for existing seats in the boat or installed as new seats to increase the boat’s seating capacity.
These seats measure 23.6” X 16.2” X 15.4”. I also love the number of colors available. There is something to match every bass boat design.
These boat seats have a sleek design that adds a touch of style to any boat interior. Plus, they fold down flat when not in use. This makes them incredibly easy to store and transport when needed.
9. LUCKY Portable Fish Finder
The LUCKY Portable Fish Finder is just what every bass fisherman needs. This high quality fish finder will help users easily locate and identify fish targets in bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and oceans.
It features a compact LCD display with adjustable brightness settings that can be seen clearly from any angle. It also has a sonar depth range of up to 328 feet and can detect fishes between .6 inches - 6.5 inches in size and other underwater objects.
This portable device is ideal for smaller bass boats. It also features connection capabilities for external GPS chart plotting systems, making it easy for anglers to pinpoint their exact locations while fishing on their favorite waterways.
It can also work with a wired transducer for better readings. The 4 AAA batteries should provide at least 4-5 hours of battery life and total usage. So bring extras for longer fishing trips.
Can You Upgrade A Bass Boat To Go Faster?
If you’re an avid bass fisherman, you know speed is vital when catching the big ones. But not all bass boats come with engines powerful enough to get us where we need to be in a timely and efficient manner.
So for those of us looking for increased speed on the water, can we upgrade our existing boat? The answer is yes. We can make our bass boat go faster without spending too much money or time with a few simple modifications.
Change Prop Pitch
Changing the prop's pitch is one of the easiest ways to increase speed. The pitch refers to the angle at which air moves through the propeller blades.
A lower pitch will give you greater top speed but less thrust when accelerating from zero to cruising speed, while a higher pitch will trade off the top end for increased acceleration power.
It’s important to note that this isn’t an all-or-nothing change. Finding the right balance between good acceleration and maximum peak speed can take trial-and-error to find the best setting.
An easy way to upgrade a bass boat is to choose quality props designed for high-performance applications. This directly impacts speed.
It will help reduce drag and increase efficiency by allowing more of the engine's output power to reach its intended target. Different props are also available depending on whether we need more forward thrust or better lateral control turning left or right.
Be sure to test them out on various conditions before settling on one type, as they all perform differently depending on conditions like wind, waves, or current strength.
Swapping out the existing motor with one for racing may be necessary for speed demons looking for some extra edge.
Opt for an outboard engine with more horsepower than currently installed in the boat. This will drastically improve how quickly and efficiently the boat accelerates while improving the top speed.
Install a Jack Plate
A jack plate is an adjustable mount used to raise or lower the transom of your boat to adjust the trim angle. This will increase speed. This adjustment can drastically reduce drag and improve efficiency overall.
When the transom is angled too low, it creates excessive drag, which hinders speed. When using a jack plate, we can easily adjust the mount to an angle slightly higher for improved balance and more efficient movement through the water.
This gives you more maneuverability on waters with varying depths and when traveling in tight spaces like marinas or bays where shallow areas are common.
How Can I Make My Bass Boat Last Longer?
Bass boats are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy your favorite hobby, but with maintenance and care, these vessels can avoid damage over time.
If you own a bass boat and want it to last for years of enjoyment, here are a few tips to help you keep it in good condition.
Avoid Exposure Sunlight Exposure
First, avoid exposure to sunlight as much as possible. The sun's ultraviolet rays can damage the boat's exterior and interior surfaces over time if excessive exposure occurs.
Make sure all exposed areas have proper UV blocking protection or regularly apply an effective UV protective coating for better protection against sun damage.
Cover up any susceptible areas on the boat when it’s not used. I always try to keep it out of direct sunlight while in storage.
Only Run The Boat With Fresh Fuel
Make sure to always use fresh fuel when running your boat. Old fuel has contaminants that can gum up the engine and cause corrosion over time. It’s also important to regularly check oil levels and change the filter as needed before refilling with fresh fuel.
If fuel has been sitting in the tank for three months, it’s better to flush it out and refuel. This is a good way to protect the engine long term.
Next, reduce speeds when going out on extended trips or hauling heavy loads in your boat. High speeds create drag, putting extra strain on the engine and other components like gears and propellers.
Slower speeds will also save gas while reducing wear and tear on your vessel over time. It’s not a problem to drive faster occasionally, but excessively hitting top speeds can wear down a bass boat.
Regular Cleanings & Maintenance
Next, ensure the engine and boat are well-maintained. Regular oil changes and tune-ups can help keep the motor running at peak performance levels.
After each outing, take a few minutes to check for any signs of wear or damage, then give the entire boat an exterior cleaning with soap or wax for added protection against external elements like sun exposure or saltwater splashes from nearby waves.
Cover The Boat
Finally, cover the bass boat whenever possible when not in use. This will further protect from environmental factors like wind blasts or dust storms, which can rub away paint finishes if left exposed over time.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson