Essential Spare Parts and Supplies to Carry on a Boat
Stuff breaks. It happens sooner or later, and boat components and parts are no exception.
That's just how things go. It's not so bad when things break while your boat is on its trailer or docked safely, but when something busts while you're on the water, you can find yourself stranded out in the middle of nowhere! No boat owner should take his or her watercraft out without a few essential tools on board. Likewise, he or she should also carry some essential spare parts that could make the difference between simply being stalled or flat out getting stuck!
Fuses are prone to bowing, and when they do, the electrical circuits they were protecting become useless. Fuse blowout could happen to something minor like the onboard stereo system, or something major like an outboard motor. Always carry spare fuses on your boat, especially main engine fuses if your outboard uses them.
2. Spark Plugs
A cracked, broken, or fouled spark plug can stop your motor dead in the water. Always keep plenty of spark plugs on board for emergency repairs, and make sure you have spares to replace the spares!
3. Length of Hose
Rubber hoses of a few feet in length are essential spare parts to keep on a boat. They can be used as makeshift fuel or hydraulic lines, and could come in handy as tie-downs in extreme circumstances.
4. Hose Clamps
Spare hose clamps of varying sizes can hold a worn fuel, water or hydraulic hose or pipe in place temporarily until you can dock safely and make proper repairs.
5. Cable Ties
Cable ties are comparable to duct tape as far as versatility goes. You can use them to solve a plethora of problems, and they're incredibly handy to have on a boat for unexpected situations.
6. Light Bulbs
Spare light bulbs — particularly navigation bulbs — are essential for all boats that sail after dusk. Bulbs are fragile, so don't forget to check the spares from time to time to make sure they still work.
7. Fuel Filters
Spare fuel filters are priceless, especially if you buy a batch of bad gasoline, or if the old fuel filter in your tank has gone bad. Switching out a fuel filter that has become overwhelmed with water or debris with a spare filter will protect the motor and keep it running as it should.
A dead battery will leave your boat dead in the water. Carrying a spare battery gives you the peace of mind that a backup is available whenever you need it. Don't forget to regularly check spare marine batteries to ensure they are fully charged, otherwise having them on board becomes useless!
A spare supply of oil is an often overlooked yet essential item to keep on a boat. An extra couple of quarts of engine oil and transmission fluid will get you back to the dock if your engine springs a sudden leak or unexpectedly consumes all of its lubricant.
You should always have a spare impeller for every water pump onboard. An engine can overheat in minutes, which can destroy the impeller immediately. Impellers break easily, but are easy to replace, and are pretty inexpensive compared to a trip to the mechanic. Always have a spare impeller on board and a spare to replace that spare.