I've seen a couple threads on buying a new boat and I thought I'd pass along the things I've found out the hard way that I needed on my boat and had to add as time has gone by. I go out in PWS a lot in my 17ft.
1. Best money I ever spent was on a float switch for the bilge pump. You'd be amazed at the amount of water that comes in during nasty weather, with the float switch it just turns on/off as needed and I dont have to worry about it.
2. Kicker motor, never go out in the salt with only one motor, AK is too sparsely populated to rely on rowing to the shore and finding a town. Saves gas when trolling too.
3. Windshield wipers, lot of rain/spray, otherwise can't see dammit when on plane zipping along in rainy weather, rainx didnt help much. Too many logs in the water.
4. 12v suction-cup defogger for inside windshield, cold+rain = really foggy windows, again cant see dammit when zipping along. No fog crud isnt worth much.
5. Bow docking lights, pucker factor is high when trying to find the boat ramp in pitch black on a cloudy night.
6. Fish finder of course
7. GPS with bottom map, mines a Garmin handheld and have a dash holder, REALLY easy to get turned around in fog/low vis condition.
And then are the "Nice things to have":
8. 2 x 12V plug in sockets for dash, plugs in GPS/cell phone charger/ coffee maker/ all kinds of other gadgets.
9. Downriggers, only way to troll deep, planers are a pain.
10. Waterproof bag with a set of extra sweats, deck shoes & socks. Somebodys gonna get drenched sooner or later, and when its your wife you'll be hearing about it for years afterwards......
11. Ziplock bag with toilet paper, sooner or later gonna have one of those "gotta go" moments.
12. Oh yeah... cupholders, gotta have somewhere you put your beverage of choice down where it won't tip over....
Anybody else think of anything I missed?