There’s nothing quite like the nonstop fun of summertime boating adventures, and winter can seem incredibly long when you’re dreaming of sunny afternoons on the lake. But winter can be an excellent time to work on getting your boat into its optimum condition for an epic summer next year. After all, who couldn’t use a few upgrades for their summer boat outings?


At Canvasworks in Cokato, MN, we’ve been helping Minnesota boat owners make the most of their summers since 1979 with custom boat covers and marine products. In this post, we’re breaking down the best upgrades for your boat over the winter months. Check out this list and then give us a call to order a boat cover, bimini top, and more!

1.   LED Boat Lighting

LEDs are one of the most affordable, fun, and easy upgrades to invest in for your boat. Even if you have no DIY skills, you can easily handle LED light installation. LED lights are a fantastic addition because they can be installed just about anywhere on your boat’s interior or exterior and add a surprising level of ambiance to your evening boating adventures.


They’re also available in a wide range of colors and styles. Because LEDs are highly water-resistant and long-lasting, they’ll most likely last a long time. To find the right ones, check out online reviews and look for reviews by boat owners that are complete with images.


Last, but not least, they add a safety feature for those times when you are anchored, making your boat more visible. But don’t forget to check your state’s lighting requirements to make sure your boat is compliant. 

2.   Swim Platforms

Adding swim platform extensions to your boat gives swimmers a safer route in and out of your boat. With non-slip platforms that protect your swimmers from intakes and propellers, making the most of your summer lake days has never been more fun.

3.   Fishing Rod Holders


Fishing Rod Holders are a valuable addition to your boat, especially for the avid fisherman or woman. They are used most often when trolling and allow you to control your boat while still enjoying fishing and avoiding hand and arm fatigue. In addition, using a rod holder increases your success since you are better able to control the locations of your rods, bait and lures when used in conjunction with trolling applications and when using multiple rods when allowed.


4.   Bimini Top

Did you end up sunburned more than you wish you had last summer? This winter is the perfect time to order your custom bimini top ahead of next summer’s first boat outing. After installing a bimini top on your boat, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without one. Bimini tops offer shade and light cover from the rain. When you can take a much-needed break from the sun, the fun lasts a whole lot longer. At Canvasworks, we manufacture our collapsible, free-standing bimini tops using heavy-duty canvas and stainless steel or aluminum. We can even add enclosure options including aft curtains, or a windshield, which in turn can extend your boating enjoyment into the fall color season. The incredible fall experience of Minnesota's blue skies and vibrant fall colors reflected in calm waters isn't something you should miss. It's a perfect goodbye to the warm days of summer before we get to enjoy the unique fun of winter activities.

5.   Upholstery

Cracked, torn, and just plain worn out boat seats are uncomfortable to sit on and bring down the value of your boat. Failure to replace the damaged marine vinyl with new can end up costing you more when the foam or wood that make up the base of your boat cushions starts to rot. Replacing your boat upholstery is best done in the fall and winter months. Waiting for spring can mean getting caught in the spring rush and not getting your upholstery back in time for the summer boating season.


Get Your Bimini Top in Time for Next Summer!

The Minnesota boating season is short. Make the most of it by upgrading your boat over the off season, so you’ll be ready to go as soon as the ice clears! Stop by our online gallery to check out some of our custom bimini tops and beautiful boat upholstery, then call 320-559-0165 to order your custom marine products or contact us online.