Must-Have Tools

With a comprehensive tool locker aboard, you’ll be able to handle just about any maintenance issue that your boat deals you.

The modern cruising boat is a complicated machine that needs to function off the grid in a harsh marine environment. It requires constant maintenance and on-the-fly fixes that would make MacGyver proud. Assuming that your vessel has the usual tool kit of wrenches, screwdrivers and duct tape, here are useful tools to have aboard.

Magnifying glass

gear, led magnifying glass
Magnifying glassCourtesy of the Manufacturers

A good-quality magnifying glass with an LED light is often overlooked. Use one to inspect ­metal for hairline cracks or simply to see better when you are working on small objects.

Pocket Multitool

gear, pocket tools, multitool, pocket multitool
Pocket MultitoolLeatherman

A good multitool such as the Leatherman Wave is indispensable. Always close at hand, it can be used for opening shackles, slicing line, filing corrosion and oh so much more.

7-inch polisher with polishing kit

gear, polisher, waxer
7-inch polisher with polishing kitMakita

If your hull needs a polish and wax, a good polisher does a better and quicker job than rubbing with rags.

Magnetic LED light

gear, led lights, portable led light
Magnetic LED lightCourtesy of the Manufacturers

Many spaces in a boat are dark. A bright LED light is a must-have in many situations — preferably one with a red option and a strong magnet. In engine-room spaces, the light often can be placed on the motor to keep both hands free for working. The magnet can also fish out the nut or wrench that just fell out of reach.

Oscillating Electric Multitool

Oscillating Electric Multitool, boating gear, sailing gear
Oscillating Electric MultitoolFein

With a variety of blades and sanding pads, a tool such as the Fein MultiMaster can make small, clean cuts and sand in tight corners.

Retrieval claw

gear, retrieval claw
Retrieval clawCourtesy of the Manufacturers

Things fall into inaccessible ­spaces on boats all the time. A quality magnetic-retrieval claw with a light can save the day.