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Old 04-08-2016, 01:34   #1
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Essential Emergency Tool

We've had a situation come up twice during the past three weeks which required an essential emergency tool that we were lucky to have onboard, nothing else would have worked in each situation.

A length of new fuel hose long enough to reach from the engine fuel tank pick up directly to the engine fuel filter.

One time were were stuck drifting in a busy channel without wind and no engine due to an air leak somewhere in the fuel system.... the length of hose saved us. Just the other day, no engine and no generator while anchored with moderate 15-20 knot winds predicted with not-so-good holding. Again, an air leak causing massive air to be sucked into the engine; but the hose allowed me to diagnose and repair the problem, plus... it could have gotten me out of a potential jam if I hadn't been able to find the source of air coming into the system.

'Just thought I'd throw this one out there in case some folks hadn't thought to have this important tool. I know I didn't, but on the first occasion I remembered that I hadn't yet thrown away an old outboard hose when I'd replaced it two weeks prior; very glad I still had it.

Also with the spare hose and a small jerry can of diesel, you can quickly diagnose if the problem is with the engine or the fuel delivery system.

When you need the hose, nothing else will work to get you out of the mess. The spare hose now resides in the ditch bag.
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:13   #2
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Probably a good idea to carry a backup electric pump or something as well to be able to prime new lines or bleed out any air. You can also use it to polish fuel.
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:36   #3
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

It's nearly impossible to guess in advance which tool or spare part you will need. We can't pack spares for everything, the boat would sink.


Taking care of maintenance and keeping an eye on systems goes a long way towards reducing the emergencies.
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Old 05-08-2016, 22:08   #4
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Probably a good idea to carry a backup electric pump or something as well to be able to prime new lines or bleed out any air. You can also use it to polish fuel.
Adding a simple bulb pump to the hose will also work.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:13   #5
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Sometimes the best emergency tool is using something not designed to do what you need done and getting it done. In some rough seas coming around a cape one day, the engine stopped. I got pretty queasy trying to troubleshoot it but finally discovered my fuel line from the Racors to the fuel tank was plugged.

I got an idea from a fellow cruiser going around the same day and I used my dinghy pump to blow out the crud back in to the tank. I used the little "beach ball" inflator tip and put it in the hose and pumped. Worked like a dream. Of course I still had the issue of a dirty tank but I got back to port that day.

There are a few bits of gear that I consider critical spares or tools though and I'll always find a place to keep them even if it means I can't take a couple more bottles (bags) of wine. A big length of Spectra (like) line is one and one I had to use. A manual bilge pump. An extra dinghy pump. Pipe wrenches big enough, and small enough, for all my plumbing bits, especially thru hulls. A cable cutter. Block and pulleys for various things like hauling something out of the water, tightening something up, realigning something, or a jury rig for the sails. Also some stainless wire and quick setting epoxy putty.

Lots of different things go on this list.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:16   #6
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

A quick wit. Everybody probably already has a bulb pump at the ready for the outboard.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:26   #7
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
It's nearly impossible to guess in advance which tool or spare part you will need. We can't pack spares for everything, the boat would sink.
and we would be broke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Sometimes the best emergency tool is using something not designed to do what you need done and getting it done.
Yep.

Wot dees two said


Creativity can get you out of most problems
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:28   #8
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

The single best emergency tool is a huge roll of cash.

The second best is an agile mind.

BTW....I've used a bicycle pump or inflator to clear a fuel line clog.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:12   #9
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

"The single best emergency tool is a huge roll of cash."

While going up the E. Coast I found a good source of teak so I was working on some interior projects. I had a dock neighbor onboard for cocktails. He looked around and said "Not many cruisers have a table saw as part of their on board tool chest." Then then he tossed his check book on the table and laughingly said there is my tool box these days. He was in his late 80s and was still cruising ( on a beautiful Offshore 54).
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:21   #10
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The single best emergency tool is a huge roll of cash.

The second best is an agile mind.

BTW....I've used a bicycle pump or inflator to clear a fuel line clog.
I would reverse those two. Good problem solving skills can avoid the need for a huge wad of cash...and money does indeed make some problems worse...especially when coupled with a not so agile mind.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:31   #11
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

brains. common sense
deaf ears or very very selective hearing.......ha ha h ah a
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:31   #12
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

I have found that duct tape ...

So my attitude is:
- a small kit of regular tools,
- a few quality power tools,
- PLENTY of small pieces of plywood, polywood, epoxy, 3M5200, hoses, wires and some spectra fill ... fix 99% of emergencies.

Basic tools + some amt of all possible repair materials = bliss.

Or nearly so.

b.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:26   #13
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

toilet seal ring wax. many kits. good stuff. redford needed a lot of it
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Old 06-08-2016, 23:00   #14
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The single best emergency tool is a huge roll of cash.

The second best is an agile mind.

BTW....I've used a bicycle pump or inflator to clear a fuel line clog.
Your first idea doesn't work.... Period. If you spend any time at all offshore or in remote places you'd understand. Having cash does not get you out of an emergency jam, in fact you'll eventually be left standing there holding your wad someday, wondering.... What was I thinking? It's only a matter of time before you're confronted by the fallacy in your idea.

The bike pump is useless when the fuel hose leak is one that's sucking in air.

Tools, spares, mechanical ability and maybe one of these books beats your wad of cash anyday.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:07   #15
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Re: Essential Emergency Tool

I think I'm going to add a length of fuel hose to my spares kit. Cheap.
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