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Old 02-08-2017, 17:51   #1
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Spare nuts, bolts and screws

I wondering what other people do about carrying a selection stainless steel nuts, bolts and screws etc onboard. My boat is a South African cat and it's a mix of imperial and metric hardware.

Is my best option to buy a few of those assortment kits with a variety of everything?

I'm wondering what others do? We live aboard and are hoping to circumnavigate.

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2017, 18:14   #2
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

Have always kept an assortment of nuts, bolts, screws and a few odds and ends fasteners in my spares. A couple of times it has paid off big time. Once on a cruise the gooseneck ripped out of the boom. We motored to the nearest island, disassembled everything, found appropriated bolts, drilled and tapped the holes one size larger and a day later were better than new.

Things are a bit trickier now the world is a mix of metric and SAE standards. Even on my 30 year old engine I have both which can be annoying. I've got a stack of six parts boxes, about 30 cm X 50 cm full of mixed sizes, probably 5 Kg total of SS parts and half the time I still end up going to the store for the right size. Still in an emergency I could almost always find something that I could make work.

When I do buy a size I don't have for a repair I try to buy a few extra to toss in the spares bin.
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Old 02-08-2017, 18:18   #3
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post



When I do buy a size I don't have for a repair I try to buy a few extra to toss in the spares bin.


+1

Anytime I need a fastener, I always buy what I need plus one to drop overboard, plus two for the "collection".
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Old 02-08-2017, 18:42   #4
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

I also have a couple of bins with maybe 2kg of assorted nuts and bolts. Never seems to have what I need, though.

I'm spooked a bit and wondering what we will do once we're in the Pacific. I've heard some cruisers say they're carrying a veritable hardware store onboard.
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Old 02-08-2017, 18:55   #5
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
+1

Anytime I need a fastener, I always buy what I need plus one to drop overboard, plus two for the "collection".


Don't forget one more to lose in the bilge.
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Old 02-08-2017, 18:59   #6
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Spare nuts, bolts and screws

Take a hundred dollar bill to Lowe's or other home improvement store, buy a a half dozen cheap plastic storage boxes and go to the nuts and bolts section and buy 10 ea of everything you think you could possibly need in SS.
You have just bought at least $500 of hardware if you buy it in those marine kits
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Old 02-08-2017, 19:05   #7
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

I have 2 levels of hardware. At some point just about everything on our boat gets rusty or wet. So the rusty SS hardware is in one container and the good stuff is in another.The old stuff gets buried somewhere near the middle of the boat. I try to remember what's in it.
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Old 02-08-2017, 19:20   #8
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

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I also have a couple of bins with maybe 2kg of assorted nuts and bolts. Never seems to have what I need, though.

I'm spooked a bit and wondering what we will do once we're in the Pacific. I've heard some cruisers say they're carrying a veritable hardware store onboard.
Never made the middle of the pacific but spent a lot of time 40 years ago in the nether regions of the Caribbean with the usual issues of breakage and associated repairs. Always managed to jury rig something to get to the next stop. If that stop had no resources we would make a slightly better jury rig until we got to the next stop.

Some of the repairs were not exactly to "yacht" standards, sometimes using mild steel, welders and grinders to fabricate something that looked like carp, left rust stains on the deck but was more than strong enough to get us home.

Carry a good selection of tools, essential spares, anything essential that can't be easily make or jury rigged (belts, pump impellers and the like) then if something breaks you will learn that necessity is a mother and you'll figure it out.
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Old 02-08-2017, 19:31   #9
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

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Take a hundred dollar bill to Lowe's or other home improvement store, buy a a half dozen cheap plastic storage boxes and go to the nuts and bolts section and buy 10 ea of everything you think you could possibly need in SS.
You have just bought at least $500 of hardware if you buy it in those marine kits
Have been doing exactly that but kind of piece meal instead of all at once. So far the Home Depot SS fasteners have held up pretty well. At least they haven't turned into little blobs of iron oxide after a few years on the boat.

I might be fooling myself and it could be the same stuff at a higher price but I do go to other sources for what I hope is better grade hardware for bits that handle high loads or hold really important boat bits.
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Old 02-08-2017, 20:21   #10
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Take a hundred dollar bill to Lowe's or other home improvement store, buy a a half dozen cheap plastic storage boxes and go to the nuts and bolts section and buy 10 ea of everything you think you could possibly need in SS.
You have just bought at least $500 of hardware if you buy it in those marine kits
The above is a good way of doing it, but still...... you might not have the size you need.
I bought a box of each (?most) sizes of nuts, bolts, selftappers, washers, split pins etc. I must say I was working on boats at that time, still have most sizes, 3-14 mm and 5/32 to 5/8, self-tappers gauge #4 to 14. I must say I use very little and mostly give them away to others in need.
Here is a photo of some of the Sortimo boxes; hmmm, they are steel, but they have lasted for 10-12 years, while none of the plastic boxes lasted that long.

As far as Guy's box of rust stained hardware.... I too keep a container with that and every so often, soak the content in a solution of oxalic acid, rinse with fresh water, dry and dip them in a thin lanolin oil, then let that drip and dry. As new!
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Old 02-08-2017, 20:49   #11
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

If you keep a dremel (or equivalent) on board you can minimize your inventory by buying all your bolts and screws in 4" lengths (or whatever you think is longest you will likely need) and cutting them to size when you need them.
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Old 02-08-2017, 21:29   #12
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

For our South African catamaran, I have recently converted my inventory to totally metric.

I used to stock both, but mainly Imperial because they were so much cheaper.

But once I found boltdepot.com , that reason is no longer valid. I build up a shopping cart there so shipping costs can be offset by lower prices than Lowes, for example.
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Old 02-08-2017, 21:58   #13
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

Hi rescher. Aboard Seaweed I keep most of mine sorted into empty bottles such as the ones from pharmacies, or old spice bottles. I label the top with the size if I know it.

Like others, when I need four of something for a project I'll purchase ten. All the 8 by 32's are in one bottle regardless of length. Nuts are in the same container along with washers.

I have a separate peanut butter container filled with larger mixed bolts.

The system is not perfect however I can usually find something that will fit.

We're I to d this from scratch I would buy spice rack sets and sort the nuts bolts and screws into their tidy compartments. Personally I do not care for the plastic bin method. Stuff never for me stays in the right compartments and inevitably I'll spill the thing. Argh!

Here are some of mine:


Good luck, and happy sailing.
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Old 02-08-2017, 22:13   #14
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

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Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
Hi rescher. Aboard Seaweed I keep most of mine sorted into empty bottles such as the ones from pharmacies, or old spice bottles. I label the top with the size if I know it.

Like others, when I need four of something for a project I'll purchase ten. All the 8 by 32's are in one bottle regardless of length. Nuts are in the same container along with washers.

I have a separate peanut butter container filled with larger mixed bolts.

The system is not perfect however I can usually find something that will fit.

We're I to d this from scratch I would buy spice rack sets and sort the nuts bolts and screws into their tidy compartments. Personally I do not care for the plastic bin method. Stuff never for me stays in the right compartments and inevitably I'll spill the thing. Argh!

Here are some of mine:


Good luck, and happy sailing.
Not sure if these are the "plastic bins" that you don't like, but I found them to work much better for me. You don't have to take the tops off a zillion different containers and juggle all those containers. Clear tops let you see what's in there, and open one lid to get at everything. Even if a screw or 2 falls into the wrong slot, its easy enough to see since you can look at all the compartments at once.
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:17   #15
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Re: Spare nuts, bolts and screws

Also remember to take spare hose clamps...all sizes.
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