Wouldn’t it be nice to stumble upon hardware stores on the water?
If the odds are not in your favor, you better settle for what’s on board. Let these tools give you the confidence to overcome obstacles when they inevitably and impractically arise.
First of all, a good emergency kit is of the utmost importance. You need to make sure that you and your passengers are safe after an accident.
Since storing items with limited cargo space can be tricky, it’s also important to make sure you don’t carry too many tools on board.
The boat tools you need
When all maintenance attempts fail and there is a survival situation, these tools will be a lifeline.
1. Waterproof Flashlight
When your boat breaks down at night, a waterproof flashlight is your best friend. It gives you a clear view of repairs and a way to signal your presence to other boats, so make sure the lantern has a charged battery and is working properly.
For safety reasons, look for waterproof flashlights with a lumen index of 500 or more (the image on the right shows 700 lumens). This way the helper can see you from a great distance.
It is also advisable to memorize Morse code for SOS signaling with a flashlight in case your signal cannot be interpreted remotely.
2. Tow Line
If you are caught in the beautiful situation of being adrift on the water, Tow Line you are out of your ticket. Point to a passing boat for help by waving your hands or flashlight and have it tow it safely to shore. If they can’t, you’re ready for someone who can.
I can attest to this: in a friend’s Larson, who saved the troll for hours by returning via a fishing motor. Our first time on a new lake we came across a large expanse of algae while trying to navigate to a fishing spot. Even though the momentum took us past the patch, the engine overheated and wouldn’t start. We are trapped.
At a snail’s pace with the trolling motor away from the boat, I was tempted to set sail with my beach towel until we made our way to a pontoon for help. The weekend cruise was happy to help us and didn’t disturb the 30-minute trailer that interrupted their schedule. Without that line, we’d be here for an hour or more with that insignificant trolling motor to get home.
3. Jumper Cables
Do you have a tricky battery that leaves you dead in the water? Flying cables help you get home safely. Signal another ship for a jump or use your other battery to return to the home port. These Jumper Cables even come with a sheath to protect them from corrosion.
4. Flare Gun and Flares
Flare Gun kits are essential for emergencies when ships need to send a signal to rescuers. It’s up to you to decide which flashlight is right for you. A flare will be able to point at a distance and a standard flare will produce enough smoke to signal an emergency to pass ships. For infrequent use and exposure to the elements, check regularly to ensure they are not damaged and are still in good condition.
5. Fire Extinguisher
Even surrounded by water, fire is a danger that can get out of hand. Flames can spread quickly without the right equipment at the right time. Having a bucket onboard is not enough. Take no chances and provide an updated Marine Fire Extinguisher at sea.
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