Dead in the Water?

Here are 11 items that can help you get back home.

September 21, 2007

Perhaps the best items you can have onboard if your engine fails are your owner’s manual and a cell phone. If you can’t find the problem and how to fix it in the manual, a call to the tech-support line may help. Aside from that, the following items can get you out of a bind.

1. Screwdrivers: (Phillips and straight) These tools are essential to have, for obvious reasons.
2. Allen-wrench set: Keeping this onboard can make life a lot easier when it comes to removing certain types of hardware at sea.
3. Spark plugs: A stuttering engine may suffer from fouled plugs, so have some pre-gapped spares on hand.
4. Socket-wrench set: A must-have to turn frozen bolts.
5. Spare fuses: Spade-type fuses are critical on many modern outboards, so carry a selection of the sizes and amperages you need.
6. Adjustable wrench, Vice-Grips and channel-lock pliers: All are useful for turning stubborn nuts and screws.
7. WD-40: If parts are seized and all else fails, spray some WD on it.
8. Duct tape: It repairs cracked fuel lines temporarily, but you’ll find many more uses for it.
9. Flywheel cord (where applicable): Smaller engines can still be started with a hand-pulled cord if the starter unit fails or the battery dies. Who would have thought that a simple piece of rope could be so valuable?
10. Spare prop: A spun prop is never fun, so you’ll be in good shape if you have an extra onboard. Just be sure to carry a tool to remove the prop nut, as well as a spare cotter pin in case you lose the original.


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