Well, the long list is… long. I attach a couple of photos which combined are around 80% of my boat toolkit, acquired over the years, but not including any spares boxes, chandlery
connector boxes, wire, etc etc.
If I were to say the top 5, "must have" essentials it would be:
1. COMPLETE ratchet set in both metric and imperial, including complete spanner set + 1/4' drive etc (I kinda consider these all "one" item, though in fact several) Bahco are my favorite brand, in this class.
2. Tool roll of many sizes of screwdriver, from big to small, including at least one of each kind of "stubby" and one ratcheting screwdriver with interchangeable bits, and of course comprehensive bit set. (Again this is more of a "class" but still invaluable, as few people realise the importance of having a properly matched screwdriver for each particular job. And there are many.
3. Professional grade quick action wire strippers and crimps and associated terminals and heatshrinks.
4. Hilti (Preferably) or Makita or De Walt screwgun with extra battery
+ assorted bits.
5. Heat gun. For freeing frozen/jammed parts
, heatshrink, but above all for making hoses manageable to take off/put on.
Oh, and a range of adjustable wrenches and grips, both locking and non are also indispensable, as are complete sets of both metric and imperial Allen or Hex keys, preferably by Bondhus. Damn. Just couldn't even keep it to five "classes". … so much more to want/need/covet.
High on the more specialist list, perhaps top, would be a copper/leather mallet, for freeing things which may otherwise be cracked with a steel
hammer. Such a mallet with a steel
or wood drift has saved me many days of frustration. You can see one in the top right of the tool rolls photo
. Also completely indispensable and really needs to be in the top 5 is a high quality multitester. The latter a MUST have.
And don't forget the fine tools… like a good set of picks. Likewise indispensible.
But this really depends on the size and complexity of the boat you own, or else live/work on.