The Boat Owners Perfect Tool Kit
Whether you are sailing across the bay or across an ocean, it’s important to carry some basic tools for your trip. Things break and wear out - it’s a fact of life, but having the right tools onboard will enable you to solve many simple problems yourself without having to resort to calling for help. Here’s our handy guide to a Boatowners perfect toolkit…
Make sure you have a basic set of screwdrivers, including both flat head and cross head. Make sure you have a small flat headed screwdriver for any electrical work you may need to do. A stubby ratchet driver with interchangeable bits is ideal for work in tight spaces too, such as around your engine compartment.
Bull nose, needles nose and side cutters. A pair of adjustable pump pliers are really useful, and a set of mole grips can be an extra pair of hands should you need to clamp something.
Allen Key Set
Ideally both metric and imperial. We always find the ball ended allen keys a good idea aboard, space is often limited and they allow greater flexibility in use.
This doesn’t need to be huge, but a basic socket set can be a real lifesaver. Make sure it includes a universal joint and an extension to get into all those hard to reach places. We recommend socket sizes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 22, & 24mm metric, as well as 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”, 11/16” & 7/8“ imperial. It’s worth having a long 10mm and 14mm socket as these fit most types of spark plug too (check this on your individual engine).
If you need to remove any filters then a strap wrench can be a vital tool.
A 6” or 8” adjustable spanner is ideal an ideal accompaniment to a basic spanner set. We recommend spanner sizes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19 & 21mm metric and a few similar sized imperial spanners.
A small hacksaw is a must, and it’s worth keeping a few spare blades onboard too. A compass saw is ideal, it works well in small spaces and is extremely versatile as it comes with a selection of blades. A junior hacksaw will work well too.
Sometimes things need a little persuasion, and a hammer can get you out of a bind. If you can find one with a soft face in addition to a hard face this can give you options. A german or machinists hammer works will to as it allows you to pry and separate things.
Multitool or rigging knife
A multitool can get you out of many situations, and while it’s not a replacement for a tool set, it makes a great accompaniment. It will normally contain a good sharp blade too - ideal for basic ropework.
Compact Cordless Drill
This is optional, but drill have become very powerful, even in smaller sizes. Look for a good sub-compact drill of either 10.8 or 12v, ideally with a spare battery and a few basic bits can help with emergency repairs.
Keeping your hands available while working in the bilges is a must, so a good head torch is a must for any tool kit. Try and get one with adjustable brightness levels too - sometimes in a small dark space you don’t actually want a torch to be too bright!
Marlin Spike & Shackle Key
This tool helps with all manner of ropework, as well as being there when you ned to tighten or loosen a shackle.
Once you’ve got your basic tools together, it’s worth investing in a good case to keep them all in. We sell waterproof storage boxes, that can help reduce corrosion issues and protect your tools when they are not in use. It’s also a great idea to keep a compact tool bag that you can attach your person - if working up a mast or from a tender having a small selection of tools securely on your person can significantly reduce the chance of them being dropped overboard.