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Tools of the Trade

By: Shaun Cagley  |  April 11, 2024

What’s in your toolbox? Or more importantly what’s not?

On this segment of asking your wife if you can buy more tools (and a drift boat) I’m going to give you a list of things that will save you money in the long run. Whether you’re looking to refinish your boat, upgrade it, or just want to do some tinkering you have come to the right place. To get started let’s make sure you are set up with a tape measure and a marking utensil (I’m partial to a Stanley FatMax and a Dixon Tinconderoga #2), because it’s all about having a good foundation. The following list is my five favorite items from the boat shop and how you could benefit from having them at home. I love working on these boats, but if I can save you a trip up the mountains I’m just as happy.

#1 A good solid drill and impact driver

The impact driver is an extension of my hand within the boat shop, so much so that my 3-year-old son knows that we are a DeWalt family. A good drill and impact is not only great for tightening a few pesky screws every few weeks but at the end of the day they are just good tools to have around the house for any projects that might end up on your honey do list. We use a wide mix of tool brands in the shop, but all of our drills and impacts are DeWalt. They have enough power and torque for what we need while not absolutely breaking the bank. A combo pack drill and impact with battery and charger is the way to go if you are just getting into outfitting a toolbox.

#2 Zack Rabbit Bits and Drivers

You might notice that nearly all the screws holding your boat together are countersunk which is only made possible by Zack Rabbit Bits. While there are other methods to counter sinking screws, there is nothing easier or more efficient than the Zack Rabbits. In a matter of seconds you can pilot your hole, counter sink it, then without grabbing a new tool, drive the screw home. This is an effective method to keeping surfaces smooth while giving it a clean look. With a set of your own Zack Rabbit bits, you can easily upgrade components to your boat by purchasing the latest and greatest components we offer.

Use discount code BOULDERBOAT for 15% OFF

#3 Block Plane

A block plane can be used on many different components on the boat from the inside to the outside. We use them nearly every day on both wood and our polymer components. They can quickly break the edge on a sharp component or remove some serious material when fitting an oddly shaped piece. They are the perfect tool for smoothing out the chine on your boat as well. None of us our perfect on the water and avoid every obstacle, but the block plane will allow you to clean up and rough spots before your buddies even see them.

#4 Random orbital sander

While a sander is by no means a necessity, it’s a good way to broach the subject of finish work. If you are diligent in your boat care, then this is a tool you will never need to own. However, as I know from experience many of you are like myself and your truck is never clean, and the finish work on your boat has taken a backseat to other things in life. Well, I’m here to say that a small bit of work every year can save you countless hours and dollars in the long run. If your wood pack is getting scuff, knicks, dings or chips from use then touch it up right away. If it spreads and becomes a larger problem then break out the random orbital sander, some 220-grit sandpaper and go to town. Disclaimer: reach out to us via our service request form before you undertake refinishing your boat and we will point you in the right direction for materials as well as dos and don’ts to keep your boat looking great.

#5 Wooster Amber Fong Varnish brushes

The right brush will make all the difference. Just like the other items on this list, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get what you need. The Wooster Amber Fong is a natural bristle brush that fits the bill. It holds varnish well and lays down finish that looks like glass. I’ll be the first to admit that laying varnish is not like painting your bedroom wall. It takes practice, planning and a pile of patience. But with right tools and a little know how you can keep your boat looking new for years to come.

When it comes down to it, I believe people buy a Boulder Boat Works boat for many different reasons. I am clearly biased due to dedicating the last 6 plus years of my life to building them, but I ultimately think that the boat’s beauty plays a role. Our goal is to build boats that our customers can be proud to own, not only on the day of purchase but for years to come.

Written by Owner & Production Director – Trevor Hanson

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