10 Essential Boater Tools & Supplies

If you're a boat owner, be prepared for the fact that stuff is going to break, often in the most inconvenient times and places. 

essential tools for boat owners

You may not be able to prevent some mishaps from occurring, but you can be prepared for them when they do. Part of being prepared is never leaving shore without bringing some essential tools along for the ride. You don't need to haul a heavy mechanic's tool cabinet on board, but every boat owner should have at least a handful of basic tools at their disposal at all times. Here are some essential boating tools to always carry onboard.

PRO TIP: Your tools are going to be in a marine environment, so invest in ones made from non-corrosive metals such as stainless steel or aluminum. Tools with non-slip handles will also prove their worth in wet conditions.

1. Pliers

Probably the most versatile tool found in any toolkit, pliers can be used for almost anything, including securing loose bolt heads, clamping hoses, or crimping pipes.

essential boating tools pliers

essential boat tools adjustable wrench

2. Adjustable Wrench

Another versatile tool to have on a boat, an adjustable wrench is indispensable when it comes to tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, but can also be used to clamp and crimp if necessary.

3. Small Socket Set

A socket set makes short work of freeing up corroded nuts and bolts. A small socket set should be adequate enough, but make sure it includes a spark plug socket. If it doesn't, then carry a separate spark plug wrench.

essential boating tools socket set

essential boat tools screwdriver set

4. Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are also essential tools for a boat. An onboard toolkit should include a Phillips, a Torx and a flathead screwdriver. If your boat has hex screws or bolts, you will also need a set of hex keys.

5. Utility Knife

A retractable utility knife is another must-have tool on a boat. It will cut through rope, pipes, plywood and fiberglass if the need arises.

Essential boating tools knife

essential boat tools hammer

6. Hammer

It doesn't need to be a 10lb monster, but a small hammer is always handy to have around for flattening/straightening metal or helping to free heavily corroded bolts.

7. Multimeter

Electricity and water are not best buddies, and electrical failures are not uncommon on boats. A multimeter will make identifying and diagnosing electrical issues much simpler.


Pro Mariner digital multimeter

Star Brite spray lubricant


8. Spray Lubricant

Spray lubricant is another multi-use item that should be in every toolkit. Commonly used to penetrate and help loosen corroded nuts and bolts, spray lube is also excellent at displacing water, which prevents electrical shorts and corrosion.

9. Electrical Tape

Have you ever tried fixing an electrical problem without electrical tape? When it comes to electrical mishaps, this small roll of tape can make the difference between getting stranded on the water or cruising right along.


Scotch electrical tape red

Star Brite liquid electrical tape

10. Duct Tape

Is there anything duct tape can't help fix? A roll of duct tape is useful for taping up just about anything, and comes in handy during emergencies. 

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