Thursday, April 11, 2013

9 Toolbox Essentials for Boats

Keeping an organized boat tool box can prevent you from cursing the fact that you left a wrench or flashlight on the mainland when something goes wrong. Plus, you’ll be able to fix many common problems without having to call for help. Here are the 9 most essential items to keep on the boat.

1. Multi-Tool: No matter the shape or size of your tool box, a multi-tool will always fit. More complex than a Swiss Army Knife but easier to figure out, a multi-tool conveniently combines tools, including a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Multi-tools are more expensive than stand-alone tools, especially those made out of stainless steel, but are well worth their price.

2. Oil: Have a stuck screw or wire? A bit of oil will smooth things over. The ubiquitous choice is WD40 in a can. If a screw is stuck because of a little corrosion or a wire doesn’t slide easy on your engine, you can just spray it on. It’s a handyman classic.

3. Tape: Duct and electrical tapes can be lifesavers out on the water. Tape is a quick fix. If you find a hole in your small watercraft, you can bring it onto shore, turn it over, dry it as much as you can, and apply tape. That would be enough to get you back home. Even if a little water seeps through, you’ll be able to bail the incoming water and stay afloat.

4. Wrenches and Screwdrivers: Two of the more necessary tools to keep on board for any type of boat are the wrench and the screwdriver. Both are adjustable and come in handy for a large number of fixes, like replacing spark plugs and tightening loose bolts.

5. Spark Plugs and a Toothbrush: It’s always good to keep a few extra spark plugs around, but what’s crucial is being able to keep them in good condition. A toothbrush for cleaning plugs when they’re fouled or a bit wet. You can brush spark plugs off and you’re back in business.

6. Pliers: If you need to hold something or want to apply a lot of pressure, pliers will do the trick. If possible, use the small size because they can get into tight spaces that aren’t easily accessible, however the bigger the boat the bigger the pliers needed.

7. Flashlights: Getting stuck out on the boat at night can be scary without a flashlight. Having a backup flashlight saves you if your batteries die and gives your boating friends some light as well.

8. Extra batteries: Having these is so important, especially when you’re far from land. Keep an extra set of batteries for any electronic tools you may have, such as a portable GPS, handheld radio, or flashlight. You can also purchase rechargeable batteries and charge them at home before your boat ride.

9. Extra gasoline: If your boat takes gasoline, carrying extra supply should be a no-brainer. Running out of gas is often the major cause of a mechanical breakdown.

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