Monday, June 27, 2016

Tool Buying Guide for the Cruising Sailor

One of the things we all love about boating is preparing and keeping the boat in perfect condition. Performing good maintenance to your boat minimizes the potential for serious breakdowns. You assume you will never have problems with your boat, but then reality hits. Things break, get blocked, oxidize, etc., etc., etc. 

Nowadays, boats are much more complex machines than they were a generation ago. Having a spare part aboard for everything that could break, is almost impossible, regardless of the size of your boat or the depth of your pocket.

Fortunately, an astonishing number of common repairs can be made with just a few basic tools.There are a few specialty items that will make fixes and routine maintenance so much easier.  In this article we will offer a short list of the most important tools to keep on board before heading out to open waters.  Having the right tools makes boat maintenance or repair jobs a lot easier and can make all the difference in your boating experiences. 

The following is a list of supplies we recommend you have to keep your boat in great working condition, and also in preparation for unexpected mechanical failures while out in the water.

Blown fuses are a common problem.  It’s important to keep your spare fuses away from water, and safe from vibration or shock damage.


A set of wrenches (some metric and some SAE) that covers both systems with no overlap.These wrenches are invaluable for tightening nuts and battery connectors.

Should you need to change a fuel filter, or repair the hatch on your boat, these are always a good idea to have around.If you own a small boat, you’ll do just fine with an 11-piece set, which will still give you options, yet save space.

A telescoping mirror will help you fix what you can’t see, and the claw retrievals can help you reach deep and come back with the lost loot.

An assortment of pliers is also recommended to have on hand, including locking pliers and snap-on pliers. Pliers can solve most problems a wrench won’t.

A few rolls of electrical tape can be used to make emergency repairs to wiring, as well as having many other uses.  Gaffer tape is stronger than electrical tape, but isn’t suited for use on wiring repairs.  This is why electrical tape is a must.


Also recommended are a 3-pound sledgehammer, a set of 16-inch arc-joint pliers, and a giant screwdriver. If traveling afar, add a full set of 1/2-inch drive sockets (with a long-handle U-joint ratchet), and an open-end wrench big enough to fit the flexible mounts on your engine(s).  Remember, if you have a mechanic flying in, send him or her an accurate list so travel can be as light as possible.

Please remember to always keep these tools on board the boat, even for the shortest trips. It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  Even if you are handy with the tools, an engine that is experiencing, electrical issues or some other major mechanical issue will more than likely require major surgery in a marine repair hop. Luckily, the increasing popularity of recreational boating has led to the widespread growth of specialized service centers along popular world cruising routes.

Whether you are on your way north, or sailing down south to the Bahamas, you can access our location at Harbortown Marina through the convenient and easy navigational Fort Pierce Inlet.You can rest at ease knowing you are leaving your boat in the hands of the only fully staffed, sail rigging department in the Ft. Pierce area. 

Can’t get to us? 
No problem. We will quickly come to you and safely deliver your boat to our top notch marine facilities.

Whiticar and Shearwater Marine also offers all of our professional services remotely. We will actually come to your dock or marina to service your vessel. We will provide, deliver, and install the quality OEM parts your vessel requires.

For larger repairs, we can remove engines, generators, or other miscellaneous systems. We will bring them back to our facilities for full repair, and then reinstall them to maintain the highest quality service for your vessel.

Our technicians have extensive knowledge and training to assist you with your boating needs.

For more information, feel free to contact Whiticar Boat yard at (772) 287-2883 or visit our website