OK, let’s start with the very basics! The following list should be self explanatory to anyone who goes offshore and may need to make some kind of effort at self maintenance or emergency repairs. These are pretty commonly known, but none the less we must remember that some are just beginning this nautical adventure and may need some help in getting a good tool bag aboard.
All the tools below in this Basic List should be stowed someplace dry, easy to get to, and immediately handy at all times. Also, keep in mind that you don’t want them rattling around so it is a good idea to stow them where they will not roll around. A good canvas bag, or heavy duty fishing tackle box, or anything that will contain these tools and keep them quiet would be a good idea.
Please forgive me if what I list sounds too much like I am preaching to a choir! But, they may be forgotten or overlooked and you will NEED them!
- Leatherman tool, or some kind of stainless steel multi- purpose tool like the Leatherman to have really readily available or, better yet, always attached to your belt and carried around at all times!
- The multi drive screw drivers you can find at West Marine or any hardware store. This is one screwdriver handle that holds several different screw driver heads for single slot and Philips Head fasteners. It is best to have a couple of these handy around the boat. We buy them by the dozen to give as gifts to friends along the way who do not have access to them. They come in different colors and if you give them to say, many in a tribe, or community, they can be unique for everyone in a different color!
- At least one set of stainless steel wrenches. Good to have a metric set as well if traveling where metric systems are used. Use an envelope type roll up and write with magic marker each size on the pockets. That makes it so much easier to find the right size without checking each wrench.
- Adjustable wrenches, try to find stainless steel ones in two or three different sizes
- Socket wrench kit of stainless steel and of course the handle drives for the sockets, ratchet drives are wonderful.
- Several different size and styles of vice grips, needle nose would be good as well as regular ones. They too should be stainless steel
- Some sandpaper scraps, plumbing tape, silicone seal 3oz tube, underwater epoxy, MarineTex kit, 3 in 1 oil, WD-40, T-9 Corrosion Block, masking tape, duct tape, and a MUST Tef-Gel should all be readily available to quick and daily use.