Engine Maintenance Tool Kit Essentials

In this episode, John Gamlin from our exclusive service department VesselTec introduces engine maintenance by showing us what tools, spares, and cleaning equipment he recommends all owners should have on board at all times.

John is a rigger and yacht master by trade. He’s got many thousands of sailing miles under his belt up to 80,000, it is safe to say he has been around boats and should know a thing or two about the essentials to have onboard.

Engine Maintenance Tool Kit Essentials

What’s in John’s Tool Kits?


  • SOFT NOSED HAMMER – So you don’t damage anything
  • SCREWDRIVERS- Including small spade and phillips head to get into tight places
  • SPANNERS – Ring spanners with a ratchet system is best
  • SHIFTER – Good last case resort as it will ruin a nut
  • VICE GRIPS – Another last case resort as it will also ruin a nut (better for large nuts)
  • WIRE BRUSHES – Clean off corrosion particularly around electrical and battery systems
  • LUBRICANT – To act as a protectant to future corrosion
  • HACKSAW – To cut away at small items such as metal, timber, fiber glass


TIPS – Ensure you have the correct sized tools before undertaking long voyages. Also, get good quality tools as they will be in the marine environment. 

What’s in John’s Spare Kit?

  • ALTERNATOR BELT – If it frays or gets damaged (otherwise cannot charge batteries)
  • IMPELLER – Vanes become brittle over time and snap off
  • HOSE CLAMPS – Incase one bursts off
  • HOSE JOINERS – Incase you have to cut off a damaged section
  • CABLE TIES – These keep everything neat and out of the way, you may need to cut these off and retie them.
  • RUBBER WELD TAPE – Great  as it adheres to itself with no adhesive.
  • SANDPAPER – For corrosion or if you need to make a surface smooth.

What’s in Johns Bucket?


  • SPONGE – Soak up water
  • SHAMMY – Make sure the area is completely dry
  • RAGS – Clean up anything such as oils. 

TIPS – It is very important to keep the engine clean and clear of any water or oil so you are aware of any leaks or issues as they come up.