Spares to Bring When You Take Your Operation off the Beaten Path
by Steve Katz
I am writing this column during peak tournament season in the mid-Atlantic area. During these tournaments, it seems that there is a service truck for every marine trade in the parking lot or service yard at the tournament marinas. Engine mechanics, propeller companies, fiberglass and paint contractors, electrical and electronics companies – just about all the trades and parts you would need to build a boat are readily available day and night during tournament season. While this is convenient for captains and crews, it is not the normal way of getting parts or service. Many of us have become accustomed to the abundance of parts and service companies that are available quickly and reasonably to help keep your boat in top condition. This is especially true for those whose home port is South Florida, Oregon Inlet, or other popular sportfishing destination. What happens when you travel away from the mainstream areas or off the beaten path?
Travel Case in Point
A sportfish captain recently returned from a summer fishing trip in the northeast, staying on Nantucket Island for a few weeks. While Nantucket is only 100-miles from Boston, it feels like millions of miles away when you need parts and supplies. He indicated that getting things like oil absorbent pads by the case and even refueling the boat was difficult and expensive. Travel farther south, towards the popular fishing destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean and the availability of parts and service becomes much more scattered. Next time you are at a South Florida airport, a quick scan of the parking area will often reveal service trucks of mechanics and trades people flying off to distant location to perform service for their customers. Importing parts or technicians is not the fastest or least expensive way to keep your boat running when away from your home port. Carrying a good cross selection of spare parts can allow you to make temporary or permanent repairs while away from your home port. One boat owner who prided himself in his spare parts inventory mentioned that, “Finding a technician was easier than getting the parts needed for the repair.”
Pack It Up!
When heading out for an extended trip, most professional crew prepare the boat with the important fishing supplies and food provisions for the voyage and destination. What about the spare/regularly consumed parts that you may need to maintain the boat while away? What if something critical breaks – do you bring a spare? What spare parts should you bring? What parts can I get at my destinations? How can I ship parts to my destination? How fast and how much will it cost? Do you have room to bring all of this with you? What to Bring? Let’s skip the typical spares and supplies. Such items as filters, oil, bulbs, fuses, screws, nuts and bolts, oil pads, bilge pumps and the other expendable supplies should be a no brainer on your pre-trip shopping list. How do you determine the other parts you should bring on your trip? The first way to be prepared is to bring parts that your boat………………. to read the rest of this article and the entire issue click here