Category: Boating
Boating Toolbox Essentials

Every boat should have a toolbox on-board for emergencies and minor repairs. We have all encountered circumstances on the water where things have broken, come apart or otherwise failed. A few simple tools can, in many circumstances, correct these problems and turn what is a day ending problem into a minor inconvenience.


Electrical problems can be disabling but many are easily correctable with just a few tools and supplies. Battery cables and connections should be taken apart at least twice a year, cleaned with a wire brush, and greased before being put back together. Loose or damaged connectors should be replaced. Check and add water to your batteries as necessary. It is a lot easier to do this at home than on the water.

Despite proper maintenance, however, problems do arise. You are in a marine environment so expect corrosion.

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Now’s the Time to Prep Your Boat

Now is the time to get your boat ready for the upcoming season. Spend some time checking the batteries — don’t forget to polish and grease the posts — and make sure everything is in working order.

Every year I see guys at the ramp struggling and fighting on their first trip of the year. It’s always something, and rarely is it their fault. (If you don’t believe me, ask them. They’ll tell you the same thing!) There’s no reason for that. A little time spent in preparation for that first trip will pay huge dividends in the long-run. Fishing time is hard to come by. Why waste it because of a lack of preparation?

And while you’re checking out the boat make sure you give the trailer a once-over. It’s every bit as important as the boat. Check the tires, grease the bearings and check all the lights.

Last, but by no means least, check you life vest or PFD. If it’s an auto-inflate model make sure the switch and gas canister are replaced and in proper working order. If it’s an old-fashioned jacket check it for holes, rips, tears and mouse damage. Mice love life vests. I guess the filling makes a comfortable nest.

Do these things before you get to the ramp and your first trip out this spring will be a fishing trip, as opposed to an exercise in anger management. Besides, working on your equipment is a great way to kill time while you’re waiting for the weekend.