You’ve loaded the cooler with sandwiches, beverages and snacks. The fishing equipment is safely stowed on board. You’ve even remembered the sunscreen. But, to be truly prepared, make sure you’ve got a tool kit on board.
The ultimate boater’s tool kit is more than duct tape and a spare tank of gas, however. Here are a few handy items you should always have while underway.
Marine Tool Kit
Designed for boats, this tool kit features screwdrivers with floating handles that won’t sink, stainless steel that won’t rust, and magnetized ratchet bits that will keep them from getting lost. These tools also feature hardened, corrosion-resistant bits that are designed to prevent stripped and damaged hardware or surfaces. Having these tools on hand definitely beats trying to remove bolts with your keys or fishing your screwdriver from the bottom of the lake. Phillips Screw, $63, (866) 508-0289, www.phillips-screw.com.
Making a Spark
This handy item resides in countless purses. Make it a permanent fixture of your boater’s toolbox as well, as it’s a great tool for fixing fouled spark plugs. You probably won’t find many people who’ll want to hone their nails with it after it’s been in the business end of the boat, but it’s okay, they’re not expensive!
Lemon Juice & Salt
Mix these two together to create a very potent, yet eco-friendly stain cleaner that will help get mildew off the carpet and your kids’ chocolate handprints off the upholstery. This stain remover will also come in handy when you spill your beverage battling the latest “one that got away.”
Not only does a tube of this stuff help protect your lips from the damaging rays of the sun, but it can also protect the metal zippers and snaps on your boat from getting rusty. Again, you may want to have a dedicated tube on board that’s strictly for rust repair – unless you relish the thought of dirty penny-flavored flakes in your lip balm.
Swab the Decks
3M Marine Boat Soap
This little bottle packs a wallop of cleaning ability. Mix 2 ounces with a gallon of water to provide enough solution for cleaning the deck and hull, or use it full-strength on stubborn stains. It’ll even help degrease the engine. However, it won’t drive the boat for you so you can take a nap. Trust me on that one. 3M, $15, (888) 364-3577, www.shop3m.com.