Essential engine spares for the cruising sailor

Sailing around the world is a romantic dream for many. And it’s actually not that hard to make true. However, there’s a couple things that you need to know before you take that step. The most important of which, which spare parts you need to bring.

  1. Fuel filters are important because your boat will have at least two filters, a primary filter between the tank and the engine and a secondary one on the engine itself, and both need to be replaced regularly because contaminated fuel can cause a lot of damage.
  2. Fuel injectors, like filters, are important because of how disastrous fuel contamination and carbon build-up can be on an engine. It’s good to have at least one spare injector, if not a full set.
  3. Engine oil needs to be changed regularly, so cruisers who plan on being at sea for awhile should carry a minimum of 6 changes, or about 600 hours of engine operation’s worth.
  4. Oil filters are usually a lot harder to find than engine oil, so it’s better to stock up than have to worry later. Because oil filters tend to corrode, stow them with silicone beads in a water-tight box to ensure a longer shelf life.
  5. Belts like V-belts for your alternator are good to keep on hand. It’s hard to find high-quality belts overseas. They also need be replaced about every 500 hours of engine operation, especially once they start showing sidewall wear or cracking.
  6. Alternators have a relatively high rate of failure, but repair is usually simple. However, keeping an identical spare is always a good idea in case simple repairs aren’t enough because using a different alternator needs a lot of recalibration to work.
  7. Gearboxes are important, but usually neglected. The fluids don’t last and need to be changed regularly, at least every other engine oil change or 200 hours of operation.
  8. Water pumps can cause a lot of problems when at sea for a long time as sediment in the water wears down the shaft, which isn’t an easy fix.

Here at Aviation Purchasing Platform, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are the leading supplier of marine electronic parts such as fuel injectors, engine oil, and the other items on this list. For more information or a quote, call us at +1-714-705-4780 or email us at


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