Boating can be an enjoyable hobby that provides both relaxation and exercise; but, to stay safe while boating it’s essential that everyone involved adheres to all relevant safety precautions.
When something goes wrong with your boat, the sooner the better is usually the case. Luckily, you can carry certain tools onboard that will make quick boat repairs much simpler without leaving home.
1. Extra Batteries
For easy boat repairs when out on the water, extra batteries should be included as standard equipment on larger vessels with higher electrical loads. This is especially crucial if your repairs require you to be out for extended periods.
It is recommended that each engine on your boat be equipped with its own starter and deep cycle battery; that way if one engine stops functioning, all other systems on board will continue functioning without interruption.
An alternative solution would be purchasing a hybrid dual-purpose battery that offers both starting and deep cycling features, making them the ideal option if space is at a premium or you plan to fish in remote areas where battery replacement might not be easily accessible.
2. Basic Toolkit
Even when taking great care to maintain your boat, things may go wrong and require quick repairs. That is why it’s vitally important to carry an essential toolkit aboard for quick fixes, according to Kappler’s Marine Detailing and Repair.
Have a variety of wrenches of different sizes on board will allow you to address a range of problems quickly, from loose bolts and nuts to replacing lights and fuse blocks. Plus, having a ratchet set and extra spark plug on hand will eliminate the hassle of calling for assistance.
Locking pliers are especially helpful for reaching hard-to-reach nuts and bolts on a watercraft.
3. Emergency Flares
Emergency flares are essential when it comes to fast boat repairs, providing a universal signal that alerts rescuers of your need for assistance.
Distress flares come in various forms, from orange smoke to handheld red signals with 60 second burn times and SOLAS grade flares which burn brighter and last longer while remaining waterproof.
Although SOLAS-grade flares aren’t required, they’re highly recommended because of their brighter light output – up to 50 times brighter – that can be seen up to 41 miles offshore. Furthermore, many come equipped with illustrated instructions printed right on their bodies, making them easy to read in fog, rain or smoke conditions.
4. Life Jackets
As part of quick boat repairs, one of the essential items is a life jacket. They come in all kinds of types, styles and sizes from marine supply retailers.
These jackets feature bright colors and reflective strips so rescuers can easily locate their wearers, with pockets designed to store important items such as keys or sunglasses for easy accessibility.
When purchasing a life jacket, make sure it fits well and comfortably with your body type and lifestyle. Look out for features like mesh panels to allow airflow in hot weather as well as tightening systems which can quickly apply tightening at times of rough water.
5. Fire Extinguisher
Fires on boats can be among the most dangerous scenarios for mariners. Unfortunately, many boaters do not realize that having a fire extinguisher on board should be seen as essential safety equipment.
The United States Coast Guard mandates that all boats carry at least one marine fire extinguisher (type B). These should be located in engine rooms, storage compartments or any place fuel might be stored.
Fire extinguishers come in various materials, from carbon dioxide and aqueous film-forming foam to other options like nitrogen. These extinguishers are particularly effective at extinguishing fires involving gasoline or other flammable liquids.