Feb 8, 2018

Essential ToolsA selection of the most important and versatile tools to keep aboard

In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. Now is the perfect opportunity to take stock of what you have onboard, what needs to be replaced or repaired, and the wish list of purchases for the 2018 season. Coincidentally, this gives you lots of time to shop for the great deals that you’re after for tools and supplies that will help with routine maintenance and/or in an emergency.

As a marine mechanic, I occasionally cringe when I see the types of tools and supplies that boaters keep onboard as I’m completing repair. I’ve seen sockets with no wrench, imperial wrenches for an engine that requires metric, oil filters that don’t fit, dried sealant, and connectors that don’t fit the wiring onboard. Of course I’ve also seen some fine collections and that’s where I hope to take you.

So – here’s a wish list of items that every boater should keep onboard (whether you are handy or not); the must-haves that everyone can use, and are relatively inexpensive to buy and store. I’ll divide the list into tools, supplies and replacement parts.

ask-andrew-indispensible-400.jpg caption: Indespensible: WD40 when it should be loose. 5200 when it should be watertight

Tools:

An adjustable wrench. Find a model that is of medium size that will allow you to turn both small and large bolts and nuts, and is of sturdy construction.

Side Cutters. These allow you to cut wire and zip ties and are handy for removing split pins and cotter pins
Vice Grips. These locking pliers are handy to have and can act as a second set of hands to turn, pry or lock in place
A Hammer. Sometimes bolts, pins, levers, hinges, drawers, doors and bulkheads need a bit of persuasion
A Screwdriver Set. Flat head, Philips and Robertson are the most often needed

Ask Andrew Essential ToolsSupplies:

WD40 (or similar lubricant). Its amazing how often this can make the difference between a bolt turning or not

3M 5200 – a sealant that can be used above or below the waterline, and can continue to cure even when wet or immersed in water. Handy to seal holes, windows, hatches and acts as a bedding compound for deck fittings

An assortment of screws and bolts. Multiple sizes, in stainless steel. Often the difference between a quick repair getting done, or not.

Replacement parts:

Filters: Carry one replacement (at minimum) for every filter onboard (oil filters and fuel filters especially)

Belts: Carry a replacement belt aboard to match your engine. This may by a single alternator belt, or a complex serpentine belt, depending on the type of engine you carry.

Spare Oil – 1 litre or two. Enough to tide you over in the event of a leak, accidental spill, or engine problem.

Coolant. If your engine is cooled with an internal cooling system, carry a jug of coolant (matching your engine specs) in case of an overheat.

Spare impeller. The impeller draws water through the water pump to cool the engine. They are made of rubber and designed to be replaceable. In the event of an overheat caused by water not running through the engine, a new impeller may be just the trick.

I could go on and list all the fluids, fasteners and spares you might need. But in the interest of saving space for enjoying your boat, I’ve limited this list to the ‘must haves’ – the items that no boater should be without, and can make the difference between getting back to dock safely (or being able to leave for a cruise in the first place)!

Safe and happy boating!

 

Andrew McdonaldAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...


The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...