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Carry onboard spares and why they’re important

Vessels can often be at sea for weeks or even months. If galley equipment fails and can’t be repaired onboard, it can have serious implications, ranging from a very unhappy crew to unscheduled downtime. That’s where carry onboard spares come in.

A cruise ship at sea prepared with carry onboard spares

What are carry onboard spares?

Galley equipment is used is some of the harshest environment, so it’ll come as no surprise that faults do occur occasionally. Carry onboard spares are the parts you need to repair the most common faults you’d expect from your equipment. For example, the most likely parts to fail on a hot plate range would be the elements and switches. By carrying these spare parts onboard, it allows your engineers to fix equipment when it fails minimising disruption to your operation. Whilst some spare parts will be specific to individual pieces of equipment, there are also many generic spare parts that should be carried onboard, including cables and switches.

How do you choose your carry onboard spares?

Ships have limited space and it’s simply not possible (or cost-effective) to carry a spare for every single part of every single piece of equipment. It’s a case of prioritising the spare parts that will allow you to fix the most common failures. But how do you decide which parts to take? The best place to start is speaking to your supplier or manufacturer. At Wathen Marine, we are able to advise our customers on the spare parts they should be carrying, as well as supplying them with spares. The number of spares required can vary greatly depending on the piece of equipment and how frequently it will be used. Some simpler pieces of equipment may only need four spare parts, but for more complex equipment, you could be looking at 50 spare parts or more.

Who would carry out the repair?

Your chief electrician or galley maintainer would be responsible for repairing equipment when it breaks at sea. Ideally, they should be trained on every piece of equipment in your galley. At Wathen Marine, we provide our customers with training when we supply them with equipment allowing them to carry out repairs safely. If your ship’s electrician isn’t trained on the piece of equipment, they may be able to contact the supplier or manufacturer for advice or get access to the wiring diagrams. Repairs should only ever be carried out by a competent electrician.


Equipment should only be repaired if it can be done safely. Your supplier or manufacturer will only recommend carry onboard spares that can be used by a qualified engineer for a safe repair at sea.

At Wathen Marine, we understand how important it is to be able to repair galley equipment quickly at sea. We always supply our customers with the spares, training and information they need to be able to repair most common faults safely. If you need advice on galley equipment, get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

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