Find exactly what you're looking for...

What tools should I keep on my boat?

What tools should I keep on my boat?
boat tools
bow of yachts

Preparation is key when you own a boat. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by a problem while out on the water, without the necessary tools to tackle it. It is essential to have the right tools on your boat to handle any sticky situations that may arise, and to prevent being stranded.

We’re not talking about the basic tool box at your local marine retailer that often produces unsatisfactory results — we’re talking about the essentials often needed to make emergency or routine repairs when trouble comes knocking. Whether aboard a sportfish yacht, luxury motor yacht, center console, or any other type of boat, these are the best tools to keep on your boat.


Top Items to Keep in Your Boat Tool Kit

 

1. Klein Crimpers and Strippers

These robust crimpers are designed to get electrical boat repairs done with precision and quality. Klein crimpers effortlessly cut insulation without scoring the wire. Don’t forget to pack terminal ends to go along with these tools.

 

2. Marine Battery Terminal Puller

Experiencing battery troubles while out on the water? Make sure to have a battery terminal puller on your boat, allowing for effortless replacement of worn or corroded terminals.
 

3. Wrench Set

Wrenches come in handy for several things onboard — replacing lights or fuse blocks, fastening and tightening loose bolts and nuts, installing watercraft fittings and fixtures, and more. Your set should include a variety of adjustable wrenches for those hard-to-reach places.

Specific jobs may work better with an open-end wrench and socket wrench set, but having a six-, eight-, and 10-inch adjustable wrench is more than capable of completing a job and saving space. Additional tools such as a prop wrench, crescent wrench, vice grip, filter wrench, and a spark plug wrench are also convenient to keep in your boat tool kit.

 

4. Screwdrivers – tools to keep on a boat

Screwdrivers are like the Swiss Army knives of your tool kit, serving a multitude of purposes on your boat. Not only can they loosen or tighten objects, but they can also come to the rescue as a makeshift gearshift handle or a pry to open stubborn lockers. It’s important to have a variety of lengths and sizes in your onboard toolbox for different tasks.

If you’re looking to save space, consider a multi-screwdriver that comes with a handle and replaceable heads. However, if you have the room on your boat, investing in a cordless screwdriver set will provide simplicity and ease – just make sure to keep it charged or have a backup battery onboard.
 

5. Pliers

Pliers come in handy when fishing and for minor repairs on your boat. Relatively small, these tools can fit in a pouch for easy storage. We suggest getting a variety of self-adjusting pliers, arc-joint, locking, and needle-nose pliers for jobs of different sizes. Also, it is a good idea to invest in corrosion-resistant instruments to avoid replacing them every so often.

 

6. Tape & Thread Locking Fluid

You would be surprised how many times tape can come in handy for temporary repairs onboard. Duct tape can temporarily fix leaks, colored electrical tape for loose wiring, Teflon tape to seal potable-water pipe fittings, and silicone rubber tape for radiator hose repairs. Thread locker, a liquid adhesive, is also a lifesaver for screws and nuts that constantly vibrate loose, leak, or corrode.

 

7. Hacksaw – tools to keep on a boat

Although not the most manageable tool to stow away, a hacksaw makes cutting repairs like a wire-reinforced hose, rigging wire, metal tubing, threaded rod, and more fast and easy. While usually used to cut metal, this tool can also cut through fiberglass and wood. Keeping it in razor-sharp condition is recommended as a dull blade will do you no good.

 

8. Telescoping Mirror & Magnet Tool

As any boat owners know, vessels are notorious for having hard-to-reach spaces with limited visibility. A telescoping mirror works wonders, especially when fixing an issue in tight quarters. If you ever had to work with nuts and bolts, you understand how easy it is to drop them while repairing something. With a telescoping magnet, you can retrieve items such as bolts and screws often lost in the bilge quickly and easily.

 

9. Waterproof LED Flashlight

You can’t fix what you can’t see, especially if your boat day unexpectedly turned into a night outing. An LED flashlight is necessary to keep on your boat — assisting in many different situations, especially in poorly lit spaces. Do you prefer to have your hands free for repairs? Opt for a LED headlight instead, or purchase both.

 

10. Mask and Snorkel

Not all boat issues arise above deck. Having a basic snorkel and mask in your tool kit will allow you to fix problems below the waterline. You will thank yourself for the clear vision in instances where you have to cut away a line from your propeller or tangled kelp on the keel.

 

11. Cable ties

Cable ties are cheap and easy to store and come in handy for many issues that may arise, such as managing loose wires or acting as a temporary fastener. Purchase an assortment of sizes and lengths to keep in your boat tool kit.


Other Tools to Keep On Your Boat For Repairs:

In addition to the essential tools mentioned above, there are several other items that can prove invaluable for boat owners when it comes to repairs and maintenance. These tools may not be used as frequently, but they can still come in handy in certain situations. Here are some other tools that you should consider including in your boat tool kit:
 

  • Scissors and Shears: Having a good pair of scissors and shears can be useful for cutting ropes, lines, or any other materials that may need trimming or cutting during repairs.
  • Rigging Knife: A rigging knife is specifically designed for cutting and splicing ropes. Look for a knife with a serrated edge and a marlinspike, which can be used for untying knots and opening shackles.
  • Chisel: A chisel can be handy for various tasks, such as removing old sealant or adhesive, shaping wood, or making small adjustments to fittings.
  • Dental Tools: Dental tools, such as picks and probes, may seem unconventional, but they can be incredibly useful for cleaning and removing debris from hard-to-reach areas or unclogging small openings. They can also be useful for detail work and precision repairs.
  • Tape Measure: Look for a durable and rust-resistant tape measure that can withstand the marine environment.
  • Hammer: Choose a hammer with a non-slip grip and a head made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant material.
  • Putty Knife: A putty knife is useful for applying and removing sealants, adhesives, or other substances during repairs. It can also be helpful for scraping off old paint or varnish.
  • Line & String: Keeping a roll of spare line or string on board can be useful for various purposes, such as tying temporary fixes, securing loose items, or creating makeshift repairs.
  • Ratchets and Sockets: Ratchets and sockets are great for loosening or tightening bolts and nuts. They provide better leverage and control compared to traditional wrenches.
  • Stainless Steel Utility Knife: Look for a utility knife with a retractable blade and a handle that provides a comfortable grip.
  • Pry bar: A pry bar can be useful for removing stubborn fittings, prying open lockers, or making minor adjustments. Choose a pry bar with a sturdy construction and a comfortable grip for better control.

About Galati Yacht Sales

Looking to buy or sell a yacht? Look no further than Galati Yacht Sales, the industry leader that has been setting the standard for over 50 years. With our unwavering commitment to excellence and a team of over 200 experts, we bring unparalleled value to your yachting experience.


For more boating information, click to view the articles below.

What goes in a ditch bag?
Filing a float plan before embarking on a boating excursion
Top Tips for Pets Aboard | Yachting Guide
Disadvantages of Ethanol Fuel & Additives | Boating 101