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Old 28-09-2015, 20:08   #1
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Spare Parts

I am working through developing my budget for the purchase of a boat. I know what I have to spend but am struggling with the extras. I do not want to blow my entire boat budget on the boat and have nothing for upgrades and repairs. I also plan to be sailing away from the US and recognize the need to carry some spare parts with me due to the lack of available parts in some parts of the world. Based upon your experience how much money do you have tied up in spare parts on your boat and is it too much or do you wish you carried more?

I have spoken to a few long term cruisers. One could likely build a complete engine and extra head and still have parts lying around. (In his defense most of the parts were given to him when other boat owners left the island and decided not to take them along) Another guy here carries almost no spare parts and says that DHL can bring him everything he needs. I am thinking somewhere in the middle is where I want to be. I would think commonly damaged parts would be beneficial to have on board, but I really don't want to be carrying the weight and cost of a complete rebuild. I greatly appreciate your experience in this area.

Note: I am not asking what boat I should buy. It seems every time I ask a question somebody chimes in that I need to buy XXXXXX. I am only asking what spare parts you find necessary and what I should expect to invest in my "bench stock".
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Old 28-09-2015, 20:43   #2
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Re: Spare Parts

Spares for a Long Cruise

Engine Spares for a Long Cruise
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Old 28-09-2015, 20:46   #3
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Re: Spare Parts

Get one of the new water ballast anchors. Takes up no room until needed
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Old 28-09-2015, 21:19   #4
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Re: Spare Parts

Spare parts for what/which systems exactly? How far off of the beaten (common) path do you intend to travel, & for how long? How long do you figure to cruise for? Type of boat, & systems? Your level of mechanical expertise = ?
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Old 28-09-2015, 21:36   #5
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Re: Spare Parts

I am not looking for a list of parts to carry with me. I fully recognize that will be dependent upon the systems in the boat. I expect to be out long term staying off the beaten path as much as possible, but willing to go to "town" as needed. I am really just trying to get a general idea of what to budget for spare parts. I don't like the idea of carrying too much and figure most things can be delivered or purchased in most parts of the world if you have the patience to wait for them. I am really just trying to get an understanding of how much money different people have wrapped up in spare parts on their boats.


I have a specific budget in mind for my boat but have lumped in the cost of refit and set up together right now. I am trying to refine this budget more, by getting idea of how much cash I should expect to wrap up in different systems.

For example
Total Budget: $270K
Boat: $200K
Repairs and upgrades: $50K??????
Tools: $5K??????
Spare Parts: $10K??????
Household Items: $5K??????

By doing this I am trying to set a realistic expectation of the price range of boat I should be looking at.
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Old 29-09-2015, 07:07   #6
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Re: Spare Parts

Typical engine spare parts kits might range in price from $115 to > $700.
Ie ➥ http://www.mackboring.com/files/spar...ilboat2012.pdf

Add a few ($200 - $400) hundred dollars for water/bilge pump & incidental spares, and you'll be pretty well equipped for $1,000.
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Old 29-09-2015, 10:48   #7
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Re: Spare Parts

There are different kinds of spares. Some are "mission critical - life or death" - like bilge pumps and fuses. There are those with not especially critical but with high failure rates and in the unobtainium range - e.g. toilet pumps. There are ancillary "spares" like nuts and bolts, wire, terminals, tools. There are "once in a blue moon but life will be miserable until we get it fixed" - engine water pumps, starters, gasket sets, injectors. Well, injectors are in the mid-failure rate category for some. There are some spares that may be relatively easy to find but cheap enough to carry any way - belts for alternators and pumps, etc. There are some that have a relatively high failure rate, and could probably be replaced with a suitable (but undesirable) alternative - fresh water pumps come to mind.

But you can get fresh water spare part kits for some pumps, so they are rebuildable. Ditto for some toilet pumps - but they won't fix a cracked pump body. I ALWAYS carry a spare toilet pump. My previous boat came with a spare starter for the engine. I needed it once and then found out it wouldn't fit.

Look at some of the lists and then look at each item's cost and evaluate how much it would affect you if you needed it or not, and the likelihood of needing it. I will not go out and buy a spare starter for my current boat. But I do have spare injectors, several raw water impellers, tons of fuel filters, the toilet pump, nuts and bolts, fuses up the ying-yang, wire, terminals..... And lots more. I would like to have a spare anchor. I have spare halyards and a long length of high-modulus line (like dyneema or amsteel) to jury rig for a rigging failure. I have multiple GPS's and charts (paper and electronic), and handheld VHFs. Two propane tanks.

But the most important "spare" you can every have is doing preventative maintenance on your boat - religiously. This is hard work and sometimes tedious. Better to fix it now than on the high seas in rough weather.

Cruising ain't a cheap lifestyle (for most of us). Even the guys who claim to go on $500/month have breakdowns, and they do not have the complicated systems you will find on a $200,000 boat.

P.S. some engines have known high failure/hard to find parts. For my old Perkins 4.108 it is the engine fuel pump (not injector pump). The recommendation is to carry one. And a rebuild kit for your raw water pump.

You can get stuff DHL'd to most places but it involves varying degrees of pain and suffering depending on where you are at. Getting parts that way to Mexico is hit or miss despite it being a non-third world country. Customs and theft are the main problems. So much that cruisers replace important bits by flying back to the US to hand-carry parts back, or have friends who are coming down carry them. We had water maker parts carried via the "Mexican Parts Express" from San Diego. A boat (we did not know) took the parts from a chandlery there and carried them as far as Cabo. Then they passed them off to another boat (we did not know) and they carried them farther south where they passed them on to another boat (who we did know) and they delivered the parts to us. Took about 6 weeks.
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Old 29-09-2015, 18:32   #8
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Re: Spare Parts

Start with reliable engines and equipment. Check ebay for spares. Used is just as good as new for a spare. Just make sure it's a working spare. Also, if you're handy, keep rebuild kits.
I like remote places, I have storage space and keep many spares so I don't have to go to non-remote places for parts. Most of my spares I bought on ebay. I have 2 mains and 2 generators. I keep pumps, starters, injectors for all. I changed all the engines to use the same type alternator. My water maker is home built and spares are cheap.
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Old 29-09-2015, 18:58   #9
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Re: Spare Parts

We sailed with an engine that was 20 years old and we carried no spares. We had filters, belts, spare oil, etc. but no engine parts.

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Old 29-09-2015, 19:40   #10
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Re: Spare Parts

An older thread on this subject...

Spare Parts Inventory
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Old 29-09-2015, 20:15   #11
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Re: Spare Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostParadise View Post
I am working through developing my budget for the purchase of a boat. I know what I have to spend but am struggling with the extras. I do not want to blow my entire boat budget on the boat and have nothing for upgrades and repairs. I also plan to be sailing away from the US and recognize the need to carry some spare parts with me due to the lack of available parts in some parts of the world. Based upon your experience how much money do you have tied up in spare parts on your boat and is it too much or do you wish you carried more?

I have spoken to a few long term cruisers. One could likely build a complete engine and extra head and still have parts lying around. (In his defense most of the parts were given to him when other boat owners left the island and decided not to take them along) Another guy here carries almost no spare parts and says that DHL can bring him everything he needs. I am thinking somewhere in the middle is where I want to be. I would think commonly damaged parts would be beneficial to have on board, but I really don't want to be carrying the weight and cost of a complete rebuild. I greatly appreciate your experience in this area.

Note: I am not asking what boat I should buy. It seems every time I ask a question somebody chimes in that I need to buy XXXXXX. I am only asking what spare parts you find necessary and what I should expect to invest in my "bench stock".
Your budget is reasonable. But the condition and configuration of the boat you buy may or may not fit those numbers.

The time taken to gather the spares you want can be significant.

When we purchased our Liberty 458 we waited until we found a boat in good condition that was well equipped.

A full engine rebuild sounds excessive. Do you have the necessary skills? There is no point carrying spares you can't use. We conduct oil analyses regularly and track key parameters like oil and fuel consumption, noise and vibration as part of a predictive asset management program. We have spares for starters, pumps, gasket set, injectors and the injection pump. We dont carry a spare head, liners, pistons etc.

We categorize systems in terms of their importance. Think Safety, living, cruising and sailing. We then want redundancy. 5 levels for safety critical systems.

For example navigation. Electronic chartplotter, laptop with cpn, paper charts / compass / handheld gps, sextant, paper charts / handheld gps / spare sextant and tables in ditch bag.

For sailing, which is mission critical we want 3 or 4 levels of redundancy. Fuel pumps and filters have triple redundancy. Engine has no redundancy. We are considering an electric motor around the propshaft. This would be powered from our generator. This is a potential future enhancement.

We also manage all these systems in terms of their maintenance demands. Corrective maintenance of safety critical items is always priority one. But we can keep going with degraded systems because we have redundancy.

Next comes preventative maintenance. We have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual schedules. For example dock lines are checked daily. Heads are serviced annually.

You also need tools, a workshop, test equipment and materiel. I have 3 trades and 3 engineering degrees. So I have a fully equipped workshop including a tig welder and lots of semi finished materiel.

Finally we have an enhancement schedule. Here we deal with obsolesence, upgrades and harmonization. We've swapped out some fasteners, fittings, hoses etc so we can carry a greater quantity of fewer sizes of spares.

I wouldn't spend much time on a spares list until you buy a boat. Upgrading skills before you buy is probably more useful pre purchase.

We manage our inventory using bottom of box reorder cards. Putting it in a spreadsheet is a waste of time. We have 7500+ spares in total. If we see a red or orange card indicating out of or low on stock we reorder on the spot.



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Old 29-09-2015, 20:28   #12
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Re: Spare Parts

Again I am not looking to put together a list yet. I don't even have the boat so who knows for sure what systems I will have on it. I am only trying to get an idea of how much of my boat and refit budget I should be expecting to keep aside for spare parts. I am an engineer and grew up on a small farm where we fixed everything ourselves. I am confident if I can look at something and figure out how it is supposed to work I can repair it.


I am starting the process of boat buying and developing my overall retirement budget. Based upon the numbers I have 300K to spend to get the boat, do any repairs, and equip it for the first year or so. I have a separate budget that will be used to live off of and fund the cruising.


My intention of this question is to begin narrowing down my boat budget by figuring out how much of my budget should realistically be dedicated to the boat versus the other line items in the budget. I don't want to get a 290K boat only to figure out I should expect to keep 20K in spare parts and repair items in addition to another 15k in tools. I have just blown my budget greatly.
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Old 29-09-2015, 20:56   #13
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Spare Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostParadise View Post
Again I am not looking to put together a list yet. I don't even have the boat so who knows for sure what systems I will have on it. I am only trying to get an idea of how much of my boat and refit budget I should be expecting to keep aside for spare parts. I am an engineer and grew up on a small farm where we fixed everything ourselves. I am confident if I can look at something and figure out how it is supposed to work I can repair it.


I am starting the process of boat buying and developing my overall retirement budget. Based upon the numbers I have 300K to spend to get the boat, do any repairs, and equip it for the first year or so. I have a separate budget that will be used to live off of and fund the cruising.


My intention of this question is to begin narrowing down my boat budget by figuring out how much of my budget should realistically be dedicated to the boat versus the other line items in the budget. I don't want to get a 290K boat only to figure out I should expect to keep 20K in spare parts and repair items in addition to another 15k in tools. I have just blown my budget greatly.

Looking at your original list, repairs and upgrades will be entirely based on the boat. Hopefully if the boat is more expensive the refit is less, and vise versa.

I don't see how you could spend 5k on tools, unless the boat is a steel behemoth requiring welders and compressors, etc. You need good hand tools, socket sets, wrenches, crimpers, etc. a couple of battery operated items like drill, saber saw, etc. splurging this could not amount to much more than $1500. You probably already own most of it.

The spares, which is your question, is the big one. Depends on systems and which ones you want to fix without waiting for DHL. Washing machines, air conditioning, and other niceties, are probably on the wait list. While bilge pumps, charging systems (this may include the engine), head, and water maker (if your life depends on it, which it shouldn't, but maybe undesirable living conditions without) need to have the appropriate spares.

So if you want to be reasonable equipped, spare starter, alternator, all the other components, I could see getting close to 10k but not much past it.

House hold items. I can only contribute on thing: get a real custom mattress, this will use up almost $2k but will be on your list best investments for the life of the boat.


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Old 29-09-2015, 21:03   #14
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Re: Spare Parts

Sorry for the confusion. Those numbers I threw out earlier had absolutely no basis. I am actually surprised they even added up.


Unfortunately, I moved to a remote id in the pacific and sold off most of my tools and such so I will be basically starting from scratch. I have asked a similar question in other sections about setting up the galley, tool room and such.


I am giving myself a firm 300K budget to get the boat ready. If I misestimate something I have room to adjust but would prefer to keep the entire set up under the 300K mark to know I will have plenty of cash available and n to enjoy the lifestyle.


I am thinking the 10K is a safe number to start with. I am also sure that many boats come with some spare parts already on them. I was just looking for somewhere to start the process.
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