7 Must-Have Repair Tools Every Sailor Needs on Board

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Having repair tools on board can save time and money by quickly addressing issues, preventing larger problems, and eliminating the need to find a repair shop while at sea.

Research from Defender Industries shows that over half (51%) of onboard issues require simple solutions such as tightening bolts or cleaning electrical connections.

but having the necessary tools at hand greatly reduces any delays and increases the efficiency and enjoyment out on the water.

What tools should i have on my sailboat?

When it comes to sailing, having the right tools on board can mean the difference between a smooth voyage and a stressful one.

Here are the 7 must-have repair tools that every sailor should have on board.

  1. Duct Tape
  2. Epoxy Putty
  3. Multi-Tool
  4. Adjustable Wrench
  5. Wire Cutters
  6. Sailing Needle and Thread
  7. Spare Fasteners

Duct Tape

This versatile tool can be used to patch up small holes, secure loose parts, and provide a temporary fix for a wide range of issues.

One highly recommended brand for sailboat repair is 3M Multi-use Duct Tape.

The 3M Multi-use Duct Tape offers excellent adhesive strength and can adhere to various surfaces such as fiberglass, metal, and fabric commonly found in sailboats. It also has a strong waterproof seal, preventing water intrusion and further damage.

Epoxy Putty

Perfect for repairing leaks and cracks in fiberglass, epoxy putty is a must-have for any sailor. It is waterproof, strong, and easy to use.

One of the top recommendations is JB Weld’s WaterWeld Epoxy Putty.

This brand is known for its exceptional bonding strength and its ability to withstand extreme conditions, making it ideal for marine repairs.

Another popular choice among sailors is the 3M Marine Adhesive/Sealant Fast Cure 5200.

This versatile epoxy putty not only seals leaks and repairs cracks, but it also acts as an adhesive for various materials, including fiberglass, wood, and metal.

Additionally, West System G/flex Epoxy is highly regarded for its flexible and durable nature, making it a great choice for repairing stress-prone areas on a boat.


A compact and convenient tool that combines several functions in one, a multi-tool is essential for tackling a variety of repairs on your boat. Look for one that includes pliers, a knife, screwdrivers, and other useful tools.

When it comes to multi-tools, there are several well-respected brands to choose from.

Leatherman is a popular choice for sailors and offers a wide range of models to fit every need and budget. Their tools are known for their durability and versatility, making them a great choice for any boater.

Another brand to consider is Gerber, which offers a variety of high-quality multi-tools with features like spring-loaded pliers, scissors, and bottle openers.

Adjustable Wrench

This tool is essential for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts on your boat. Look for one with a comfortable grip and a wide range of sizes.

One that stands out is Craftsman. With a reputation for producing high-quality tools, Craftsman offers a range of adjustable wrenches that are durable and reliable.

Their wrenches have a comfortable grip, making it easier for sailors to handle and use them in various weather conditions.

Another excellent brand to consider is Channellock. Known for their strong and sturdy tools, Channellock adjustable wrenches provide a wide range of sizes to fit different nuts and bolts on your boat.

They are designed with durability in mind, ensuring that they can withstand the harsh marine environment.

Stanley is also a reliable brand to consider. They offer adjustable wrenches that provide good performance and versatility at a reasonable price.

Wire Cutters

These are handy for cutting wires and cables when you need to make electrical repairs or installations

The best brand for wire cutters is the Klein Tools brand.

They are known for their high-quality and durable tools, making them the go-to choice for many sailors and professionals in the electrical industry.

Klein Tools wire cutters are designed for easy and precise cutting of wires and cables. They have ergonomic handles for comfortable use and offer different blade designs and sizes to meet different needs.

The other best brand for wire cutters is Knipex. Knipex wire cutters are known for their precision and durability. They offer a wide range of wire cutters suitable for different types of electrical repairs and installations.

Knipex wire cutters are durable and reliable tools that are suitable for marine use. They have sharp cutting edges that prevent frayed wires and cables. The ergonomic handles ensure a comfortable grip for efficient work.

Sailing Needle and Thread

It’s always a good idea to have a needle and thread on hand for sewing repairs, such as patching sails or stitching torn fabric.

One highly recommended brand for sailing needles and thread is Sailrite. They offer a range of needle sizes and thread options specifically designed for marine repairs.

The needles are made of high-quality stainless steel and are strong enough to stitch through thick canvas and sailcloth. The thread is UV resistant, water repellent, and has a high tensile strength for durable repairs.

In addition to Sailrite, West System is a highly reputable brand offering an array of needles and threads ideal for sailing repairs.

Alternatively, Gutterman is another well-known brand renowned for their sturdy and resilient threads that can withstand the harsh effects of saltwater and severe weather conditions.

Spare Fasteners

Having a selection of spare screws, bolts, and nuts can be a lifesaver when you need to replace a broken or missing fastener.

One such brand that sailors highly recommend is FastenMaster.

Known for its strong and long-lasting fasteners, FastenMaster ensures that you have the right tools to tackle any repair job while out at sea.

Their range includes a wide variety of screws, bolts, and nuts, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

Other reputable brands to consider include GRK Fasteners and Simpson Strong-Tie.

Remember, when it comes to spare fasteners, it’s crucial to choose a brand that provides not only a great selection but also guarantees the strength and endurance required for the demanding conditions of sailing.