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What spares should you carry on your center console boat?

May 14, 2020 3 min read

What spares should you carry on your center console boat?

 "What spare parts or tools do I need to carry on my center console when I travel or go offshore?" 

This is a question we get here often at Sportfish Outfitters. Unfortunately, it's an often overlooked topic. You've checked all the systems and the service is done on your boat so you feel prepared for boating season. In my 25 plus years of boating, I can't even tell you how many times things have broken or stopped working that make for a stressful day no matter how ready you thought the boat was. So, our goal here is to stay ahead of it the best we can. You can have spares for everything but you can also include additional products that will get you through the day or the trip. 

"I'm not going far, so I don't need much."

It doesn't matter. Whether you are going to the islands or trailering your boat somewhere for the weekend, you've invested time and money into the trip. Our goal is to maximize the fun and minimize the stress. If something as simple as a pump fails, the chances you can get it at a local marine store are 50/50 at best.  Also remember, if it's a spare it's not a waste of money. It can always be used for your next service or replacement when it fails. If it's not your boat that breaks, maybe it's someone else's and you're the savior that had what they needed. 

To make your life easier, we have put together this list of essential spares to bring on your next trip. We've included the basics, but also some parts that we suggest you include that perhaps you didn't consider that could save your day, trip, or even (but hopefully not), your life.

Basics that every boat should have onboard:

We have used our extensive experience on the water running, repairing, and building boats combined with input from our sportfishing crew customers, to think a little outside the box for some parts/products that could save the day.

Additional parts you may have not considered...but should:

  • Spare Steering Hose - You want a hose that's long enough to reach from the engines to the helm. Why you ask? It's common to have a broken hose that has chafed between the helm and engines somewhere in the rigging. You can always run a hose on the deck from the helm to the engine to get you going again. If it's a short hose in the splashwell, you can just coil up the extra length of hose and replace it with the correct one when you get home.
  • Replaceable steering fitting - Most people aren't aware that Parker makes a replaceable end fitting for common Seastar steering systems. With just a few wrenches and a cutting tool, you can be up and running again.
  • Jumper wire - A heavy gauge wire with an inline fuse holder, and gator clips that are long enough to reach the entire length of the boat, is not only helpful for troubleshooting an electrical issue, it may even help you jumpstart the boat or get something going where you need to bypass the existing electrical wire run. Make sure it has a fuse in it that you can change out to the appropriate size with the spares you carry onboard. 
  • Emergency crash pump - We designed a compact emergency pump that can save your boat or someone else's in an emergency. Most larger center consoles have a fishing reel outlet or power outlet. If you don't have a basic power outlet on the boat that's fuse protected and easily accessible, it's time to think about installing one. Plug it in, unroll the hose and throw it in the bilge, and in less than 5 minutes you can possibly prevent the boat from sinking. It also doubles as a spare bilge pump. If one of yours fails you can use the one from the kit.
  • Engine spares: You may not be mechanically inclined, but chances are someone around is and they can help you fix something "simple." Talk to your local mechanic or engine dealer and find out what the right spares are for your specific engine(s) because every one of them has its known quirks or issues and it's nice to have a backup. 

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