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Refit Guide

Do it yourself. Do it right.

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About

Refit Guide is a curation of the best techniques and gear to improve your boat. Whether you’re a cruiser, blue water sailor, weekend joy rider, or new boat owner, we make it easy to keep your boat ship shape.

Our advice and recommendations are made after poring over online reviews, forum discussions, magazine articles, books—any information we can get our hands on. Every article on the site is updated as new resources and products become available. We thoroughly research all options and compare them against explicit criteria, deferring to experts where appropriate.

So basically, we do exactly what you would do if you had the time.

We look for what we think is best for most people. We may not recommend the top of the line option if we don’t think it’s appropriate for the everyday mariner. If you have specific needs or criteria, we hope you still find our research helpful for making the decision that is right for you. If you think we got something wrong, please let us know!

Our recommendations are rooted in a particular philosophy.

Our Philosophy

Boat ownership should be enjoyable, but it also takes maintenance—you know the sayings about how much time and money a boat can require. We think it’s all about balance.

Our philosophy helps us strike this balance:

  1. We believe the Reliability of the vessel and safety of the crew should never be compromised. We never simply hope for the best; we prepare for the worst by outfitting our boat with the right gear and properly maintain it.

  2. We prefer simple over sophisticated. Simple systems are easier to fit, easier to maintain, more resilient to failure, and easier to replace when they inevitably fail. We avoid dependencies between systems where possible.

  3. We respect tradition and welcome progress. There are troves of age-old wisdom and skill that every mariner would do good to understand. Congruently, advances in engineering and technology are changing almost everything about our world–for better and worse. We welcome those advances and account for them in our contingency plans.

  4. We weigh cost versus dependability. There’s a deferred cost to cheap products, and there’s a point of diminishing returns at the top-of-the-line. If you take care of your boat—and outfit it appropriately for your use—it will take care of you.

  5. We prefer to do it yourself–at least once. By doing it yourself, you learn about it, you understand it, you know it’s done to your standards, and you known how what to do when something inevitably goes wrong.

“If a [failure] involving a fitted piece of gear onboard will dramatically alter a voyage, no matter how statistically improbable the [failure], there must to be a contingency in place to deal with it, or that piece of gear should not be fitted.”

Who we are

Refit Guide was founded by Brandon Keepers, Dustyn Keepers, and Andrew Bredow in 2019. We all fell in love with sailing in Lake Michigan during our mid-30s, bought boats, and began the unending process of preparing for the next adventure.


Avatar of Brandon Keepers
Brandon Keepers
Editor-in-chief
Avatar of Dustyn Keepers
Dustyn Keepers
Writer, Editor
Avatar of Andrew Bredow
Andrew Bredow
Editor-at-large

We started Refit Guide because we longed for more modern curation of resources for boat owners. We are already wading through lengthy articles, outdated reviews, and inconclusive forum discussions for our own projects, so we decided to take it a step farther and curate a library of evergreen resources to save you some time.

If you would like to contribute, get in touch.

How we make money

If you choose to buy products we recommend by following the links on this site, then we may earn a small affiliate commission–depending on the retailer. We never make product recommendations based on whether or not we have an affiliate agreement with the retailer. There’s no incentive for us to pick inferior products, because if you return them, then we don’t make anything.

Contact us

We want to hear from you! Do you have a question or suggestion? Want to share your experience or contribute to the guide? It doesn’t matter the reason—don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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