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Old 20-05-2010, 22:21   #1
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The Minimal Tool Kit

The majority of the boats I sail are brand new , many times they are launched and handed over and there's not even a spare sheet let alone a tool kit . The safety gear is usually part of the commissioning but tools are not , so the skippers need to carry theirs . Along the years skippers will bring the tool kit down to the minimum , or one's interpretation of "minimum".

I am flying tomorrow to the Virgin Islands to join a new boat and the person who was to inform me about the inventory couldn't do it , so in the likelyhood that there is nothing on board I am packing my tool kit and took this picture. Not shown , and things that I don't go without , are a multimeter , a climbing harness , a hacksaw and a spool of thin line , plus the epirb , a selection of fuses and bulbs , and all charts . This passage will be 1500' but I have crossed the Atlantic several times with this as my tool kit on empty boats . My philosophy is that I don't need to re-fit or fix everything that breaks or fails , I need to prevent that , and get the boat safely to the next harbor when things break , and for that these tools have so far been enough , this is my minimum.
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Old 20-05-2010, 22:37   #2
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A good friend a respected mechanic told me, "The first thing I put in my tool kit is a good pair of scissors." I never really thought about it before but I use them all the time. Things I would add trying to stay minimalist.

- 3 files - round, half and flat
- inspection mirror
- side cutters
- duckbill pliers
- channel locks
- set of precision (small) screwdrivers
- some wet and dry sandpaper
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Old 20-05-2010, 22:42   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Ventura View Post
. This passage will be 1500'
1,500 feet?

Hell, I'd take a spare boat!

Its a great question because you are flying so your kit can't be too heavy.
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Old 20-05-2010, 23:47   #4
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here's mine:
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Old 21-05-2010, 04:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Ventura View Post
in the likelyhood that there is nothing on board I am packing my tool kit ...


My philosophy is much like yours, although I probably tend to carry more tools than I need… generally I carry tools and spares for all the stuff I actually know how to do (not including stuff for cosmetic repairs… although on longer outings I’ll also take along sandpaper, brushes and the usual coating potions). I regularly carry the typical adjustable/clamping devices but try not to rely on them… in years gone by a simple set of SAE boxes and sockets with the usual allen-head and screwdrivers (multi-meter, and duck tape, etc.) would suffice (did I mention duct tape…) , but now days with so much mix and match, one must carry both SAE and metric – don’t like tool wraps, however, usually use a GI surplus tool bag… Bottom line is, know the boat and carry the correct tools cuz I don’t want to have to put in somewhere just for mechanical reopairs – although for deliver skippers in unfamiliar boats, that may be more than one can expect… but always carry duck tape… and hose clamps (cuz I don't think I've ever sailed aboard a new boat…)
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Old 21-05-2010, 05:19   #6
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here's mine:
And a roll of duct tape.
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Old 21-05-2010, 06:27   #7
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Your hammer is way too small. How to do expect to fix anything with that?
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Old 22-05-2010, 08:00   #8
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Don't force it, use a bigger hammer.
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Old 23-05-2010, 19:45   #9
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And a roll of duct tape.
And WD-40.

If it doesn't move and should - WD-40
If it moves and shouldn't - Duct tape
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Old 23-05-2010, 20:03   #10
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jv, where did you get the tool roll? They're just about impossible to find these days, or else priced like monogrammed luggage.
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Old 23-05-2010, 23:25   #11
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Some things that I go offshore with include (but are not limited to)
Decent bolt cutters (sealed in a vacuum bag)
12 volt angle grinder with cutting blades & 2 batteries (also sealed in vacuum bag)
Packing nut wrench (for prop-shaft glad packing nut)
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Old 24-05-2010, 04:18   #12
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Lose the hammer! Replace it with a larger adjustable wrench and a smaller one.

Also you need to add a multimeter, wire cutter/stripper and assorted crimp connectors with crimp tool. You might also consider some tapered wood plugs (about the only thing to use a hammer on in a boat) but you could bang them in with the large wrench.
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Old 24-05-2010, 05:22   #13
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Like it!

Like Ventura's kit...would also include a telescoping magnet & mirror. Sears sells a good one for only about $20...not that I would ever drop anything
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Old 24-05-2010, 07:49   #14
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so then, we're settled on two options

Option #1: Standard tool kit
***leatherman
***duct tape
***WD 40

Option #2: Deluxe tool kit
***leatherman
***duct tape
***WD 40
***large adjustable wrench, suitable for hammering
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Old 24-05-2010, 07:56   #15
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Okay, finally dug up my old tool list (add subtract as suits):

· Metric/SAE Allen wrench set
· Torx bits for screwdriver
· Multi-bit ratchet screwdriver
· Conventional straight flat blade screwdriver
· Conventional Phillips screwdriver
· Bent/curved flat-blade screwdriver (don't ask...)
· Flex-shaft for screwdrivers
· Extension-shaft for screwdrivers
· Vice-grip combo tool
· Regular Vice-grip
· Regular pliers
· Wire striper/crimper
· Side cutter pliers
· Needle-nose pliers
· Channel Locks in two sizes
· Crescent wrench in two sizes...
· Ratcheting Metric/SAE box/open combo wrenches
· Metric/SAE quarter-inch drive socket set
· Metric/SAE 3/8ths drive Combo ratchet with sockets
· Awl-style circuit tester (plus VOM meter, now that I’ve figured it out)
· Army stainless pocket knife
· AF survival knife
· Stainless surgical clamp
· Fist-full of wire-ties
· Rigging tape
· Small ditty bag with the usual needles, thread, palm and wax
· Fuses in ten or so flavors
· Bulbs for cabin/nav-lights
· Spare spark plugs and sparkplug socket
· 25' of parachute cord
· Electrical tape
· Fid
· Couple of small wood chisels
· Cold chisel and punch
· Smallish hammer (well, mine is a small boat)
· Spare shop rag - usually wrapped around the oil
· Flashlight with spare batts (beyond the several in the boat)
· Various other odds and ends left over from long-forgotten projects
· Partridge in a pear tree, as well as the obligatory roll of duct-tape



Not sure I know how to use all that and it does weigh just a smidgeon; however, most of this packs in a small 6x6x12 mil-surplus tool-bag and goes on and off the boat with me... Plus, small coil of electrical wire, some cotter pins, couple of hose clamps, and the usual potions like WD-40, white grease, electrical grease and quart or two of oil appropriate to what I'm running. I've pretty much carried something like this (metric, whitworth or SAE) for years and if I ever get stranded, I'm hoping someone will know what to do with `em...
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