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Old 15-04-2018, 11:13   #1
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Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

As some of you know we are coming to the end of a very long refit. But the plans are underway to get off the dock and head north toward Alaska. The further north we go the more independent we must be. We have too many tools now and have to start thinking "sailing", not "fixing".

Bearing in mind we have most of the mechanical skills we need to do emergency repairs, I'd love to know what are the tools you wouldn't consider leaving shore without.

Especially if it was a surprise - something you didn't consider at first and found you needed later.

As always, thanks.
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Old 15-04-2018, 11:15   #2
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Bring them all. Work on a boat never ends.
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Old 15-04-2018, 11:17   #3
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Bring them all. Work on a boat never ends.
Thanks Don - I thought the first answer would be "beer"!
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Old 15-04-2018, 14:49   #4
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

You transition from refit "big" jobs to cruising "little" jobs. Ditch anything that requires mains power that can be replaced with a cordless tool. Use smaller cordless tools. I have a collection of mains powered, 18vdc and 10.8vdc power tools. Only the 10.8 stuff will stay aboard once splashed. I'd also suggest keeping a collection of decent measuring and marking tools as it is infuriating when you cannot mark or measure something properly that needs either adjusting or replacing.
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Old 15-04-2018, 15:17   #5
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
As some of you know we are coming to the end of a very long refit. But the plans are underway to get off the dock and head north toward Alaska. The further north we go the more independent we must be. We have too many tools now and have to start thinking "sailing", not "fixing".

Bearing in mind we have most of the mechanical skills we need to do emergency repairs, I'd love to know what are the tools you wouldn't consider leaving shore without.

Especially if it was a surprise - something you didn't consider at first and found you needed later.

As always, thanks.
Don't know. With the weather we're having Alaska might come to you!
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:32   #6
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
As some of you know we are coming to the end of a very long refit. But the plans are underway to get off the dock and head north toward Alaska. The further north we go the more independent we must be. We have too many tools now and have to start thinking "sailing", not "fixing".

Bearing in mind we have most of the mechanical skills we need to do emergency repairs, I'd love to know what are the tools you wouldn't consider leaving shore without.

Especially if it was a surprise - something you didn't consider at first and found you needed later.

As always, thanks.
===

1. Small sine wave inverter for recharging your cordless drill and other electronic gadgets.

2. Good quality cordless drill with assortment of drill bits and driving bits.

3. Dremel tool with good assortment of grinding and cutting bits.

4. Large screw driver, large channel locks, vice grips and crescent wrench.

5. A comprehensive tool collection similar to this:

https://www.amazon.com/Crescent-CTK1.../dp/B00F4AVRGW

6. Electrical crimping tool, assorted connectors and assorted wire.

That may sound like overkill but I find myself using these items all the time.
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:39   #7
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

A good multi tool for on your belt. Mostly because sometimes it's easier to use the crappy screw driver or pliers on your belt then climbing out of whatever hole you climbed into to fix a problem.
Also I would bring a decent multimeter with a current clamp. Mine helped me diagnose a dying bilge pump the other day.
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:56   #8
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

So much depends on your storage capabilities. I'm raising the floor under the saloon table by 6" which will then become tool storage.
18v power tools
screwdrivers
full sets of sockets sae/metric
any specialty tools required for mechanical items on board
High quality wire crimpers and tons of various ends and wire
electrical test tools, ohm meter etc
solder gun
heat gun. Highly useful for getting stubborn hoses off/on, loosen frozen bolts without flame etc
Vice grips, multiple sizes.
I'm sure there is a lot more but most of my tools are far away at the moment. I'll be going through them in a month or 2. I'd rather have a few tools too many than not having the needed one at O'dark thirty when something decides to break, stop working
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:04   #9
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Well with a 63' boat, I can't think of any tools I would do without, though they wouldn't be the same size as those for a land-based shop...

Seriously though, all your normal tools, with duplicates or triplicates where and as common sense advises, plus whatever special tools to perform any tasks idiosyncratic to your boat and it's systems.

Tools that have multiple uses are a huge advantage in reducing load and clutter. A good example is a small, high quality drill press, which has many uses in the fabrication of small parts...
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:07   #10
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

multimeter
magnet on a telescoping wand
mirror on a telescoping wand
impeller puller
infrared thermometer
strap wrench (great for slippery strainers and filters)
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:14   #11
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

I've owned boats since 1983 and have been boating most of my life. I thought I had everything. Just last week I had to buy a nut splitter. Wouldn't be without it now. Glad I didn't need it before.

That said, I have a meager 34 foot boat and have always felt being self-sufficient was critical to safety. My wife complains I have all my tools on my boat. Where else should they be? I keep reading posts on other boating forums that include, "But I couldn't finish the job because my screwdriver was in my tool kit at home." Sheez...

Perhaps a better question to ask would be: "I have tools X, Y & Z on my boat. I haven't used X & Z in ten years, and just finished using Y for a one time refit of project ABC. Do you think it would be reasonable to leave them at home for this trip?"

It's kinda like the recurring "What tools do I need on my boat?" posts. Not fair to the tools.
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:20   #12
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Right angle cordless drill
Filter wrench
Large pipe wrench
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:35   #13
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Hi Redhead. Congrats on getting towards the end of the big jobs. They won't stop - but getting off the dock is a big step.

I'll second some of the tools by listing what others have said - these are what I found useful on coming up to Alaska

2. Good quality cordless drill with assortment of drill bits and driving bits.

3. Dremel tool with good assortment of grinding and cutting bits.

4. Large screw driver, large channel locks, vice grips and crescent wrench.

6. Electrical crimping tool, assorted connectors and assorted wire.


18v power tools (these worked best for us)
screwdrivers
full sets of sockets sae/metric
any specialty tools required for mechanical items on board
High quality wire crimpers and tons of various ends and wire
electrical test tools, ohm meter etc
solder gun
heat gun. Highly useful for getting stubborn hoses off/on, loosen frozen bolts without flame etc
Vice grips, multiple sizes.


infrared thermometer
strap wrench (great for slippery strainers and filters)


Others I have needed:

Hammers - metal; hard rubber mallet; hard plastic head
small tap and die set
We are a fiberglass boat, but have wood on the boat as well as metal. Small keyhole/mixed use hand saw for wood and a good hacksaw

Shop supplies - many zip ties - multiple sizes; tapes of all kinds; good selection of ss fasteners. There is a good post if you can find it that references an article by Evans Starzinger about what he keeps handy - ready to go - and what tools are good candidates for longer term/deeper storage. I know that helped us out a lot.

Lots of 'mcgyver' intuition.

Ron
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:54   #14
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Sorry, Redhead,

I can think of no excuses for leaving any tools behind on a cruiser the size of yours... [We somehow manage this philosophy on our 43 footer including electric impact wrench (400ft-lb) and complete impact socket sets up to 2" and 30mm...]

Don't forget things you might need for underwater repairs [whether in the water, on a grid, or hauled-out] including wrenches/socket for prop nuts, prop-puller, spare cutlass bearing and prop, cutlass bearing press, anodes, underwater epoxy, etc.

Even though we have spare hose clamps up to 6", I also carry one of these Clamptite wire seizing tools which is very handy for many repairs and the odd hose clamp.

Best wishes deciding what ballast to leave behind...

We hope to see you in Alaska this summer.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 16-04-2018, 11:03   #15
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Re: Surprising Tools You Can't Live Without

Hmm... “surprise” tools. They tend to be tools needed for only ONE (1) application on board. And the only way to find out is the hard way. Then you have to remember why they’re on board and sometimes what they are.
The snap ring pliers needed for the raw water impeller.
Honking huge screwdriver for the rudder bearing plate.
Weird thingy for inserting mainsail battens.
Special driver bits for roller furler
That one croissant wrench that actually opens wide enough for the shaft packing nut but is short enough to actually turn in the space.
That big truck wheel-bearing socket that is needed to remove the through-hulls.
I’m sure there are more, but I’ve forgotten what they were and threw them away...
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