The first wave of beta is around the block, so is the status of the equipment system on Pixel Boat Rush. Here's a pre-beta presentation on this matter.
First of all, every boat has its own array of equipment, guns and statistics. This means that every boat will behave and be developed in its own way.
The main categories of equipment will be engine, body, brakes, guns, passive and active systems. Most piece of equipment will be upgradable and every type of equipment will provide specific statistic bonuses when upgraded. Since some boats may have more equipment slots, this means that they could have more room for improvement. While coins will be used to purchase boats, tools will be used for upgrades.
By making every boat unique in its configuration, the general idea is to make it useful to switch from one boat to another depending on the situation.