Boating is quite an exciting activity to spend your leisure time on. No matter what kind of vessel you have, cruising across the Australian waters is an experience that’s always unique and rewarding. Still, as fun as it can be, it’s also quite a responsible activity that requires a lot of work. You need to take proper care of your boat, have quality-made and approved life vests that always need to be on board, have proper boat deck hardware, and not to mention all the classes you need to take to even be able to set foot and navigate one. All of these things are an important part of any boating experience.
There really is a lot to do before you can actually make a boating experience as enjoyable as it should be. But out of all of these things, today I’d like to talk about deck hardware. If you’re someone who loves boats, you probably know where I’m heading. From chandlery and deck fills, to things like handrail fittings and ladders, it all needs to be in tip-top shape, durable, quality-made, and most importantly – safely made and safely installed. That being said, let’s see what matters most when you’re off to buy deck hardware for boats, so you can be absolutely sure you’re getting what you need.
First thing’s first, no matter if you’re looking for a hatch, a pair of rowlocks, or anything else, the material the item is made of is always the first thing you need to take into account. By minding what material your boat hardware is made of, you’re paying attention to more than just the composition. You’re taking into account the future of your boat, you’re being responsible with your money, you’re making sure everything is sturdy enough to keep everyone safe and sound, and ultimately, you’re taking great care of your boat.
Now, when it comes to hardware for boats, there are a bunch of materials that are considered good enough and then there are those that simply fall short. Since you’re on the water, things that can and will resist moisture and rust for a long time are essential.
Aluminium is one such material, for example. You can find items made of aluminium all across boat supplies stores and for good reason. Aluminium is quite sturdy, it’s rust-resistant and moisture-resistant, and it’s extremely durable. As a mix of different metals, it’s a relatively new invention, but its performance is evergreen. One thing to keep in mind when considering aluminium deck hardware is the fact that it does gather heat quite a bit, so if your boat doesn’t have shading in place you might want to go with something else, or just install a shade. Everyone loves being in the sun, but the shade makes you appreciate it more.
Design & Quality
When I say design, I really mean quality. But I’m going to take these two as a single category as they’re tightly connected. If something is poorly designed, it means it was probably badly manufactured as well, so it won’t do much good for you or your boat. That’s why, when browsing boat deck hardware you need to pay close attention to the way things are made.
Buying rails? Mind the shape. Buying a hatch? Pay attention to its weight, how sturdy it is and its size. Take your boat into consideration and see if everything will fit perfectly. Getting something as simple as fasteners? Inspect those things.
Always aim to get the best of the best. It’s the only way to make sure you’re going to stay safe, and ensure that everything will be functional, giving you exactly what you need. The best way to make sure you’re buying properly designed and manufactured marine deck hardware is to only buy from stores that specialise in boating and boat parts and accessories.
The other rule is to always consult a clerk, or if you’re buying online, read reviews and ask around. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find quality products. Also, always make sure you get stuff from brands you recognise and that have a rich and long history in the boating industry.
Lastly, you’ll need to make sure you’re not overpaying for the products you want to buy. There are many boating hardware vendors out there, and not all of them have prices that correspond with the quality of the products they’re selling. Once again, trusted vendors and trusted brands can help you make sure you’re not overpaying. As briefly aforementioned, get referrals from other boating pals and people who share your hobby and passion for boats.
Overpricing things is a common practice across all industries nowadays, so make sure you know how much the items you’re about to buy are really worth, especially if you’re new to boats and boat parts and accessories. Also, learn the small differences between two similar items, the importance of each item you’re about to purchase, and how price relates to all that. If you pay attention to this, along with the material, design, and quality of the item, you’re going to have no problem figuring out if someone is trying to overprice something, or if the price you’re paying is justified.