Building the Perfect Boat

We asked for your input, and have received some great answers so far.

We asked Boating readers what features they would find on the boat of their dreams. Quite a few of you responded, and this post will be updated every time we receive another great idea. Be sure to check back often for the latest additions to our dream boat wishlist, or comment below to contribute to the discussion.

Boat of Your Dreams Wishlist

Windshield Washers
"My 50 years of boating experience has been on salt water. With one little bit of spray, my windshield wipers become useless because they just spread the salt around. I have yet to figure out why none of the boat companies install windshield washers. Not wipers. Washers." — Ted and Sue, Harpswell, Maine

Heaters
"Our season lasts from mid-May to mid-September, if we're lucky. That's four months. We could get a lot more use from our boat if the cockpit weren't so cold. I know some ski boats have heater vent tubes that you can tuck under a shirt. Even better would be a heating element in the seats, like you see in autos." — Andrew Wood, Madison, Wisconsin

Visible Battery Switches
"Finding the battery switch sometimes requires CSI detective work. To put something so important in such impossible places (under the cockpit sole, behind a hatch) is just crazy. Accessing the switch shouldn't require you to hang upside down. Put it in plain sight, or label an access panel. Make it easy." — Dennis Honeywell, St. Lawrence River

Dimmer Switches
"I've done a lot of nighttime boating over the past 40 years and am constantly blinded by the glare from the dashboard lights. So now I put a towel over the dash to reduce the glare. What would it take to put a dimmer switch on the dash?" — Randy Cail, Lake Winnipesaukee

Flexible Canvas
"It takes two people to snap and zip our eisenglass into place. On cold days, our fingers literally turn raw trying to do the job. It has taken us over an hour, with tools, to get our canvas and glass secured. Why not use a stretchier fabric, at least around the connectors, or small bungie straps around the edges to make it as simple as possible?" — Todd and Jennifer, Chicago

Female Friendly & Hard Covered Cockpits
Getting our female counterparts into boating would be a lot easier if boat builders would take into consideration the reluctance of females to climb ladders or to get their shorter legs up and down the poorly designed steep stairs found on just about any boat requiring them. In a house stairs are built so that the rise seldom exceeds 7 inches but to save floor space in boats it is often 11 inches or more.

Another design change I would love to see would be hard covered cockpits. They are a lot easier to hang canvas and windows like those available on Duffy Electric boats, as well as a lot more convenient for those of us wishing to stay out of the direct sun. —Michael Roche