We always carry a spare tyre for our car – making sure we have those essential spare parts for our boat should be no different. It’s ok when something on your boat breaks when you’re safely docked or it’s on a trailer, but when you’re on the water you can find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere!
You can take care of most issues by yourself if you’re carrying the right parts and tools to fix them. We’ve put together a checklist of 10 essential spare boat parts that you should take with you when you set sail on every journey.
Impellers can get easily damaged. An overheating engine can break a impeller very quickly, regular use can wear them out and lack of use can make them brittle. However, they are easily replaced, so it’s best to carry at least two spare impellers for every impeller-driven water pump onboard. A failed impeller can cause real damage to your boat’s engine, so be sure to keep a look out for any signs of damage or problems.
- Fuel filters
Fuel filters protect your engine from water, harmful debris and anything else that might find it’s way through them. You need to make sure you regularly replace boat fuel filters, but having to switch out fuel filters is common whilst during a trip.
Having these as part of your collection of spare parts is very helpful and changing them regularly prevents leaving your boat motor unprotected, potentially leading to damage.
- Belts and hoses
Belts and hoses are essential for keeping your boat engine cool and that is why they should definitely be included on your spare parts list. These can get easily damaged if not stored properly so take care where you keep these – a damaged belt or hose will be prone to fail or will be uninstallable.
In an emergency situation you should always have an extra supply of oil, transmission fluid and marine lubricant to hand. Having a couple of litres of engine oil and transmission fluid will help get your boat back to shore should your engine have a leak. Having a spare supply of oil onboard may help you avoid having to get towed.
Fuses can often blow and then the electrical circuit they are protecting becomes useless – fuses can blowout on something minor like the onboard stereo or something major like the outboard motor. You should always carry spare fuses on your boat, especially main engine fuses if your outboard uses them.
- Spark Plugs
A broken spark plug can stop your motor dead in the water – you should always have plenty onboard for emergency repairs and make sure you have spares to replace the spares!
- Hose Clamps
These can be used to hold a worn fuel, water or hydraulic hose or pipe in place temporarily while you dock safely and can make proper repairs.
- Cable Ties
Cable ties are so versatile, you can use them for a range of problems and they are incredibly handy to have on your boat just in case of any unexpected situations.
- Light Bulbs
Spare bulbs, especially navigation bulbs, are an essential spare for all boats that sail after dusk. Bulbs are fragile, so don’t forget to check the spares every now and then to make sure they still work.
Carrying a spare battery gives you the peace of mind that a backup is there if you should ever need it. Remember to regularly check spare marine batteries to make sure they are fully charged, otherwise they are useless.
Being prepared with spare boat parts takes the pressure off when you have a minor problem that is fixable out on the water. It’s also important you have the right spare equipment to get you back to shore for those more major boat issues that you may need extra assistance with. Safe sailing – we hope this spare boat parts checklist has been useful!