Spare Parts

You can almost guarantee that whenever something breaks on a boat, it will be the one thing that you are not carrying a spare part for…

It is very cool though when something critical does break and you not only have got the bits but also the expertise to make a repair and carry on sailing. This is called good seamanship.

The Ocean Yachtmaster course I am doing requires me to know what spares boats going off shore should carry. So short of setting up an entire chandlery on board, what should you have in the spare parts kit?

First of all, what you carry on board will depend on your proximity to a chandlery. If you are crossing an Ocean, you are going to want to carry more spares than if you are cruising around the harbour.

According to a recent survey of boats crossing the Atlantic, nearly 60% had a breakage of some kind. The most common repairs required at sea were as follows:

  • Ripped Sails and broken battens
  • Halyard chafe & failure
  • Vang & gooseneck fittings
  • Steering issues – rudder breakage or steering cable coming apart
  • Toilet blockages
  • Watermaker malfunctions
  • Generator issues
  • Battery charging problems
  • Broken boom (poorly set up preventers)
  • Deck fittings being ripped out of the deck
  • Rig issues

On Wildwood we have got a crate filled with Sistema Containers of all sorts shapes and sizes. They stack together nicely in the crate, they are see-through so you can easily see the contents, and we have labelled everything as well. Nothing worse than having to rummage around in lockers searching for stuff, particularly if it is rough.

For lots of small bits, like nuts, bolts & screws I have got organisers like these. Again the clear top means its easy to see what is inside.


You will also need some tools to help make these repairs. Here are our tool kits.

In addition to all the parts, it can be very helpful to have the instruction manuals for all the various equipment on board. I have still got all of Wildwood’s original 30 year old manuals.

Engine Spares

  • Engine Oil
  • Gearbox Oil
  • Air Filters
  • Fuel Filters
  • Impellers
  • Fan belts
  • Oil absorbent pads
  • Gaskets, gasket paper
  • Anodes
  • Thermostat
  • Dinghy engine spark plugs
  • Hoses
  • Hose clamps – stainless, various sizes
  • O rings
  • WD40


  • Refrigerant – or whatever type is used in your system – comes in a canister
  • Filters


  • Solder
  • LED bulbs – replacement lamps for all lights
  • Fuses
  • Crimp terminals
  • Wire
  • Breakers
  • Batteries – all sizes to fit torches, cameras other portable devices
  • Cable ties
  • Electrical tape
  • Self amalgamating tape


  • PVC adhesive
  • Pipe
  • Solder for copper pipes
  • Assorted fittings
  • Thread tape
  • Thread join compound
  • Plumbers putty
  • Bucket
  • Bilge pump parts


  • Spare halyards
  • Small mousing line – double the length of the mast
  • Split rings
  • Cotter pins
  • Clevis pins
  • Shackles
  • Rivets


  • Sail repair thread
  • Needles
  • Sail slides & webbing
  • Sail repair tape & patches
  • Spare sheets


  • Epoxy
  • Fibreglass fabric
  • Underwater epoxy
  • Dinghy repair kit
  • Superglue
  • Duct tape


  • Disposable Gloves
  • Rags
  • Shoe polish
  • Stainless polish
  • White vinegar
  • Exit mould


  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Paint thinner
  • Mineral turpentine


  • Containers – for mixing paint, cleaning parts, epoxy etc
  • Ziplock bags of various sizes
  • Extra Sistema Containers
  • Rags
  • Bungee cord
  • Old fire hose – for chafing protection
  • Magnets
  • Matches, lighters
  • Permanent markers
  • Labels
  • Tarpaulins
  • Tapered plugs
  • Sunbrella fabric – in same colour as bimini, dodger etc
  • Marine ply
  • Old sheets, halyard, line
  • Small floats
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Roll of small line – good for lanyards, lashing
  • Rubber bands
  • Sellotape & packing tape
  • Short lengths of chain
  • Stainless & bronze nuts, bolts, washers and screws in various sizes
  • Carabiners of various sizes
  • Silicone spray
  • Zipper wax
  • Sewing kit
  • Windscreen material

What have I missed? I’d love to see your list if you have one. πŸ™‚


13 thoughts on “Spare Parts

  1. Pingback: Ocean Yachtmaster | Astrolabe Sailing

  2. Nice list, I picked up a few things I don’t have but should. Here are a couple of things I spotted missing: shackles, seizing wire, whipping twine, bedding compound (we have several types butyl tape, 3M 4000, Sika 291, etc.), coolant for the engine if you are freshwater cooled, rebuild kits for your pumps (raw water, pressurized water system, macerator), head spare parts (joker valve, rebuild kits, etc.), grease for the head pump, penetrating oil (you have WD40 but no real penetrating oil for those rusted on nuts and bolts), Teflon grease and extra needle bearings for the steering system, 12 volt fans (depends on your cruising area but in the Caribbean we run them nonspot), electric fuel lift pump (many diesels have them plus you can make a quick and dirty fuel polisher if you get bad fuel), you had spark plugs for the outboard but what about other spares and service stuff like lower end oil, water pump rebuild kit and carburetor rebuild kit, even a spare prop.


  3. Impressive list. I’ve never been a sailor but bicycle toured and had to also carry spare parts, tools, etc. Mt list was never so extensive, and that is good because staying as light as possible made the trip more enjoyable. Cheers.


  4. What a list! Don’t know much about boats and didn’t have a clue just how much stuff you need. So much to think about and keep on top of as you travel. I’d love to sail sometime though as feel I’m missing out on something really special. Really like the blog Viki.

    Liked by 2 people

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