Prepare for any on-the-water trip with an onboard checklist of all the tools and supplies you should have on your boat. The suggestions below go beyond what’s required to pass a Vessel Safety Check. Some will be more suited for outboards and some for inboard-powered boats. Although not all inclusive, this list will get you thinking about your boat’s specific needs.
At minimum, you need
- a pair of pliers
- screwdrivers (flat and Phillips)
- an adjustable wrench
- a sharp knife
- a stainless steel multi-tool
You can store small groups of tools in zippered baggies. The farther from shore you venture, the more tools you should carry. Tool kits in form-fitted plastic cases are great. Before putting them away, give the tools a dusting of metal protectant. These kits usually contain an assortment of sockets.
Additionally, a dead-blow mallet (rubber/brass) can encourage a hung-up starter. A hacksaw and spare blades are mandatory if you have all-chain rode. Consider adding magnetic and claw part retrievers, locking pliers, and tongue-and-groove pliers. A small stainless steel wire brush for cleaning electrical contacts just might save the day.
Duct tape, electrical tape and stainless safety wire can be used to fix leaks, tears and hold things together. (A great substitute for electrical tape, the new silicon tape can even temporarily seal a leaky fuel hose.)
You also might need
- a small selection of hose clamps
- a tube of sealant
- oil, fuel, coolant and steering fluids and filters
- fuel filters and spare fuel
- swim masks and snorkels
Tapered wooden plugs (or even a Nerf football) can be shoved into a broken sea cock or hole in the hull. On inboards, a spare impeller and puller could come in handy. –Capt. Ted Schindler II
Prepare for any crisis
Learn how to handle any emergency while underway by taking our Emergencies Onboard seminar.