outboard motor
Photo by Zach Klein

21 items to keep on your boat

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Add these useful items to your onboard boat box:

  • Spare kill-switch clip
  • WD-40 or other lubricating/cleaning spray
  • Wrench
  • Voltmeter
  • Spare engine pull cord
  • Portable jump-starter or jumper cables
  • Spare spark plugs
  • Socket wrench set and extension
  • Rubber mallet
  • Owner’s manual for your engine
  • Heavy monofilament fishing line
  • Small funnel
  • Spare propeller and floating prop wrench
  • Landing net

Other practical items:

  • Losing a gas cap overboard when refuelling can be a major headache, especially if rain is forecast. Carry a spare.
  • A classic cure-all, duct tape can be used temporarily to fix anything from leaky hoses to damaged hulls.
  • Green, red, and white light sticks can sub in for running lights if yours fail.
  • A portable electric bilge pump that’s battery-powered can keep you afloat if your onboard pump fails or is unable to keep up with an emergency leak. Just make sure the batteries are fresh.
  • Because you know you’re going to lose the original someday: a spare bilge plug.
  • Found at marine supply stores in a variety of sizes, conical wooden bungs can be used to temporarily fill circular voids caused by broken through-hull fittings or damaged hoses.
  • Modern engines often have a variety of 
fuses to protect their electrical systems. Carry spares in the proper sizes.