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VOL. 14 NO. 2
Take a class

Emergency toolkit

Do you know what tools and parts to keep on board?

Emergency toolkit

Taking preventive measures on shore can prepare you for trouble on the water. Read and study the manufacturer’s service manuals before you depart to save valuable time in an emergency. Knowing how to change a belt, hose, water pump impeller, points or condenser are skills you should learn ashore. When you purchase a new boat, keep the owner’s manual and all equipment service manuals on board.

You should also keep a basic toolkit aboard your boat as well as spare parts you will need in an emergency.

Basic get-home toolkit

At a minimum, your toolkit should include the following:

  • Straight blade screwdrivers (small, medium and large)
  • Phillips screwdrivers (small and medium)
  • Pliers (channel lock, vise grip, diagonal cutting and needle-nose)
  • Socket wrench set (3/8-inch drive; six-point sockets provide better holding power on rusty nuts and bolts.)
  • Spark plug socket
  • Combination box/open-end wrenches (5/16 to 1 inch and 7 to 19 mm, if metric is required)
  • Crescent wrench (10 or 12 inch)
  • 1/4- or 5/16-inch nut drivers for hose clamps
  • Pocketknife
  • Flashlight with extra bulb and batteries
  • Electrical tape
  • Small roll of wire (plastic-coated, #16 or #14)
  • Assortment of electrical terminals and crimping pliers
  • Ball-peen hammers (light and heavy)
  • Pipe wrenches (10 inch and 14 inch)
  • Small pry bar (approximately 16 inches long)
  • Small roll of mechanic’s wire and small box of assorted cotter pins
  • Test light or inexpensive voltmeter to test 12-volt circuits
  • Plastic (non-rusting) toolbox large enough to hold the recommended tools

Emergency spare parts kit

Your emergency repair kit should include these supplies and spare parts:

  • Duct tape (good for stopping small leaks in water hoses. Never leave home without duct tape.)
  • Silicone sealer (RTV) room temperature sealant or gasket eliminator (good for use in the absence of gasket material; surface must be free of dirt and grease.)
  • Silicone spray (used for sticky control cable ends and linkage)
  • Drive belts of appropriate size for all belt-driven units. (Save old belts for emergency use.)
  • Spark plugs, points, condensers, rotors, and distributor caps replaced during preventive maintenance. (Store them in plastic zipper bags to keep them clean and dry.)
  • Extra fuel filters and gaskets
  • Spare hoses
  • Stainless steel hose clamps
  • Electrical tape
  • Fuses
  • Extra batteries and bulbs for flashlight
  • Empty plastic containers to store used oil and contaminated gasoline for disposal on shore
  • Extra engine and gear case oil
  • Thermostat with housing gasket
  • Seawater pump impeller with housing gasket

To learn more about engine operation and useful tips on diagnosis, preventive maintenance and commissioning/decommissioning, take our Engine Maintenance course.

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