Table of Contents

Recent Articles

Tips For Post-Ride Boat Maintenance

7 Red Flags to Avoid When Buying a Boat Online

You Need These Supplies to Regularly Maintain Your Boat

Man wiping down boat

The boating season may seem far away, but now is a good  time to start thinking about your regular boat maintenance. You don’t want to head out on the water in your power boat, pontoon or other boating vessel without making sure it’s in good condition and you have the right tools on board. To help you get ready for the upcoming season, Boatline has compiled a list of supplies you need to have onhand for routine boat maintenance. 

Basic Boat Maintenance Supplies

When you’re doing basic dockside maintenance, a few simple supplies will help keep your walkaround boat or other watercraft ready for open water.

  • Spray wand
    For washing/rinsing your boat. Can attach to a hose or pressure washer. 
  • Environmentally-friendly boat soap
    A clean hull maximizes your fuel economy. Use soap specially designed for boats. Do not let soap dry on your boat, it can damage the finish and leave ugly streaks.
  • Long-handled Brush
    Soft brushes are best for cleaning the gel coating and fiberglass on your boat without scratching or damaging it. Firmer bristles can be used for areas with tougher dirt and grime, but must still be used carefully. Most brush manufacturers grade their brushes with degrees of hardness, so check to see what they can be used for before cleaning. 
  • Boat wax
    For waxing the hull. Do not use car wax. Cars are made of different materials and used in different environments than boats.
  • Multipurpose absorbent towels
    Can be used for cleaning, buffing, etc.
  • Basic tools
    Keep basic tools handy, such as a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a pair of pliers for small, simple repairs.
  • Disposable Nitrile Gloves
    Industrial-grade nitrile disposable gloves come in handy when doing tasks like oil changes and cleaning the bilge. Industrial grade is much more durable than lightweight medical-grade gloves.
  • Bilge cleaner
    Loosens the grime and sludge so it can be pumped out.
  • Motor flusher
    For flushing outboard motors.
  • Digital multimeter
    Measures quantities such as voltage, current, and resistance.
  • Belts, hoses, and filters
    Replace any which are cracked, dirty, or worn.
  • Anti-corrosive/lubricant compound
    Applying a marine lubricant to moving metal parts like latches, hinges, linkages, bow rollers, and the like will help keep all these parts moving. Check your owner’s manual to see what should be lubricated. 
  • Marine Engine Oil
    It’s recommended that you change your oil for every 100 hours of engine use. Check your other fluids as well and top them up as needed.

Maintenance and Repair Supplies to Keep on Your Boat 

In addition to boating safety supplies, boaters should always have basic repair tools onboard for maintenance and to help out in an emergency. Murphy’s law suggests that whatever you don’t have is what you’ll need, so help thwart Murphy by being prepared. The following tools are helpful as part of your onboard toolkit: 

Pro-Tip: Most of these are simple hand tools that can all go into a single, dedicated toolbox or bag, which can be easily stored someplace with easy access for when you need them.

  • Screwdrivers
    Keep a variety of good-quality screwdrivers onboard. Long, short, slotted (flathead), Phillips (crosshead) and Robertson are good to have. Impact screwdrivers are another must for loosening over-tightened or corroded screws.  
  • Pliers
    Pliers will come in handy for a variety of reasons. Regular and needlenose are both good to have. Also consider locking pliers.
  • Hammer
    Hammers are important to have around, whether it’s for loosening something or banging it back into place. 
  • Wire Cutters/Strippers
    Your boat’s electrical system is an area that can often have issues, so being able to cut and strip wire is important. Crimpers are also a good idea.
  • Digital Multimeter
    Measures quantities such as voltage, current, and resistance. This will help track down the source of electrical issues. 
  • Wrenches
    While open-ended wrenches can perform basic functions, they can slip and don’t have as much leverage as some other wrenches. Consider also having box-end wrenches, ratcheting box-end wrenches, adjustable wrenches, or combination wrenches onboard. Allen wrenches also come in handy.  
  • Socket Set
    Sockets are used with a ratcheting wrench and let you turn a nut or bolt without having to reposition the tool in the fastener. 
  • Hacksaw
    And/or a PVC cutter for cutting plastic, vinyl, and rubber tubing. Hacksaws are more versatile and can cut items other than tubing, but may be awkward in some cases. If using a hacksaw, make sure you take extra blades.
  • Booster cables
    Good quality booster cables, about 20’ long, will help if your battery is low or dead. Look for 4 or 6 gauge, but nothing higher than 8. A marine battery charger is also helpful. 
  • Utility knife
    A utility knife can be invaluable for a variety of cutting needs. No boater should be without one. Great for cutting dock lines, fishing line, wire, or canvas. Remember to bring spare blades.
  • Telescopic Retrieval tools
    Magnetic and flexible claw tools, plus a small mirror are ideal. These are invaluable for seeing into tiny spaces and retrieving dropped items.
  • Pinless moisture meter
    A pinless moisture meter can help you track the source of a leak and doesn’t need to be in contact with the surface.
  • Battery Terminal Puller
    These are designed to remove the terminal clamps from the battery post without damaging the battery.
  • Flashlight
    A good flashlight and spare batteries are necessary. Or consider taking a headlamp along. Headlamps leave your hands free for other things and typically have long-lasting batteries.
  • Drill
    Consider a manual hand-crank drill that doesn’t require electricity or charging. If you want power, take along a quality cordless lithium-ion unit. Keep a full set of drill bits in your toolkit as well. 
  • Tape Measure
    Keeping a measuring tool handy can be invaluable.
  • Scissors or Heavy-duty Shears
    Scissors are versatile and handy to have on board.  
  • Silicone
    There are times when creating a new waterproof seal is necessary. Always have some in your toolkit.
  • WD-40
    WD-40 has many uses. It’s great for lubrication or when you need to loosen something. 
  • Disposable Nitrile Gloves
    These gloves are handy to have on board as well.
  • Spare Parts and Fluids
    Don’t forget to take spare parts and fluids along. Items like extra fuses; wires; belts; bulbs; screws; marine engine oil; fuel and air filters; transmission fluid; and spark plugs should all come with you. 


We hope Boatline’s list of boat maintenance supplies helps as you prepare for the new boating season. Proper maintenance keeps your craft in tip-top shape and prolongs its life. If you’re wondering how to maintain your boat, we’ve broken it down into 25 season-specific boat maintenance tips. In the market for a new vessel? Shop the nationwide online marketplace for new and used boats for sale at


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Keona Frasier
Keona Frasier

Other Resources

Tips For Post-Ride Boat Maintenance

7 Red Flags to Avoid When Buying a Boat Online

9 Tips For Deep-Sea Fishing From Your Boat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *