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Five Tools Every Boater Should Carry: Multimeter

Boaters often steer clear of electrical issues, finding them mystifying and daunting. And truth be told, many electrical jobs are best left to an expert. But you can usually trace—and often fix—an electrical glitch if you have a multimeter. Unlike a circuit tester, it doesn’t just indicate, it measures—volts, amps, and most important, ohms, which allows you to find an open circuit. Multimeters require just a little study to take full advantage of their abilities, but once you understand what they can do, there will be few electrical issues that are beyond your diagnostic abilities. You can spend $50 and up for a digital unit; I paid $19 for my analog, and it’s served me well for many years.