Prepare for the worst

When you start out on a trip, you expect the best. The crew is all cranked for a great cruising experience – you’ve got your menus planned, you’ve laid out a cruise plan, made sure all the tanks are full – even stocked up on libations. You never expect problems to occur or you probably would just abort the trip. But that needs to be addressed as a “just in case” scenario. Every vessel should have a basic mechanic’s tool kit onboard. This kit should include, at minimum, the following: TOOLS
  • Socket set – 3/8 drive (3/8″ – 13/16″)
  • Open and box wrenches (3/16″ – 1″)
  • Screw driver set – slotted & phillips
  • Crescent wrenches – 8″ and 12″
  • Pipe wrench – 1 3/4″ opening
  • Vise grips – 8″
  • Pliers – regular and needlenose
  • Channel locks
  • Assorted allen wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • DC test light
  • Volt/ohm meter
  • Utility knife
  • Hacksaw and blades
  • Tape measure
  • Spanner wrench (oil/fuel filter)
  • Drill and bits
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Wire #10 and #14
  • Tie wraps
  • Electrical tape
  • Assorted screws, nuts & bolts
  • Two-part epoxy
  • Wooden bungs, assorted sizes
  • Silicone
  • Assorted electrical connectors
  • WD-40 or slick lube
  • Fuses, assorted ratings
  • Bulbs, every type used on board
  • Oil filters , Fuel filters and Air filters
  • Impellers and Belts for engines and generator
  • Hose clamps, assorted
  • Hoses
  • Flexible fuel line
  • Oil and Transmission fluid
If you are a long-range cruiser, you will need to up the ante. In this case, you may be miles from port when an essential system breaks down. Although you may be able to motor to the next port, wouldn’t it be great to be able to eat, drink and use the toilet. You should consider a spare water pump, spare parts for your toilet other critical parts. Of course just having parts and tools does not fix your boat. You need to acquaint yourself with the repair essentials. Keep manuals on board for all your equipment and get familiar with how they work. Stay safe out there!