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Old 27-06-2015, 08:31   #16
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

Like others have said above...sort everything into specific sets. Keep tools separate from parts, which go in their own sets. I prefer small canvas bags instead of boxes...less wasted space, easier to stow, tend not to bang things so much, etc. I also have a "general" use bag of screwdrivers and pliers and such, which I keep handy all the time.

IMHO, sailing is 80% knowing where everything is on the boat...thats why guests are so useless, they don't know where I keep anything!

And finally, your toolbox should be PINK. When my boat was robbed, they took everything of value, except my wife's PINK toolbox. So now its my PINK toolbox...and its never hard to locate.

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Old 27-06-2015, 09:07   #17
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

Big and rarely used tools go into Tupperware and spray with WD 40 (Cheaper than Bosheild and you can buy by the gallon). Everything else for me is in canvas tool tote and I spray on occasion and at end of season. I buy quality jand tools and cheap power tools for Craftsman and Harbour Feight repsectively, My torque wrench that I use once year is from HF and was one tenth the price of Sears. Works fine for my occasional use. Power tools same, buy cheap and they will last 5-10 years if cared for but they all die at some point.
Key is lock out the darn salt air in the Tupperware and spray , spray , spray.All my hand tools are still without rust after 15 years of this care. Spare parts get the same Tupperware or Ziplock bag and spray treatment if applicable

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Old 27-06-2015, 09:23   #18
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

Canvas tool bag for the stuff you use real often. Sealed plastic case for the less used.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 27-06-2015, 10:15   #19

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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

The USN literally used mothball blocks ("mothballing" ships in storage) because they sublimate at room temperature and the thin coating prevents corrosion on metals. Except now camphor is expensive and para is an insecticide and carcinogen so there are reasons to look for better things.
3M and others make "vapor deposition tabs" that look like waxy postage stamps, you can get them from gunsmiths and tool suppliers for this purpose, even Amazon, in bags of 100. You throw the "stamps" in with your tools or guns and they emit a supposedly harmless vapor that will coat things & discourage rust the same way. THEY WORK. Assuming you are using a tool box that doesn't allow breezes to flow through and use them up rapidly.

I'm also a fan of tool rolls now. For a while they are impossible to find, now they are all over Amazon. One for the screwdrivers, another for the "pliers" and cutters. Spray the tools and the inside of the roll with something like BoeShield and it protects them very nicely, spray again every year or so as you feel necessary. The nice thing is no rattles and more flexible storage, easy to unroll as see "everything" without having to dig through it.
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Old 27-06-2015, 10:49   #20
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

For common hand tools, I like a simple electricians bag. If I need to go up the mast of somewhere awkward, I dump everything out I don't need and use it as a bosun's haul bag. Dual purpose.

Larger tools are awkward. I have removable trays that hang in the salon seat lockers and larger tools under them.

"Climbing (sailing) is like fun, only different."

Tom Pattey, Scottish ice climber
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:12   #21
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

Not much to add to any of the above 'cept this: A FEW tools should be stored where they are used.

On the inside of my engine box a custom made box holds the strap wrench required for changing my oil filter. Separate little bulkhead mounted boxes hold the wrenches (what hereabouts is called ""box'n'open spanners") for the fuel filter and the liggle 10mm box'n'open required for adjusting the idle.

In my battery locker is a 1/2 inch wrench for handling the terminal clamps. Feeds for the house circuits come off studs with wing nuts so no tools are required. There is a terminal brush. And a Hygrometer for taking the gravity of the electrolyte along with a "paint can opener" (free from your paint suppliers) that is just perfect for popping the press-in caps on the cells of the batt.s A screwdriver works too and, if chosen, should live in the battery locker.

In the propane locker is a 7/8" wrench for the nut on the bottle-to-hose union.

Tools sufficient for a tear-down and rebuild live permanently in my van, as do the power tools required for invasive surgery on the hull. I can't see any probability of my doing invasive surgery except when secure in my home slip with the dockside 120V readily to hand. Bei mir, the boat and the van are complementary units.

Tools for maintaining the bright-work live in plastic buckets that once held litter for the ships cat. They are rectangular in section and therefore stow efficiently in a cockpit locker. They have reasonably secure snap-lids, but if you suspect a lid of not being what it once was, "ducktape" will save the day. Sandpaper lives in a "zip-lock" bag kept flat under the log book in the navigator's desk

The Sailmaker's kit lives in a "food keeper", a Tupperware job that snaps closed with the lid seating on a built-in gasket, the needles in a patch of canvas kept in a ziplock bag misted internally with WD40. That food-keeper lives in a cat-litter bucket, of course along with the net twine and the whipping twine. The fids for braided line are ally and live loose in the bucket.

Rigger's and Bosun's supplies in cat-litter buckets. Rags misted with WD40 keep them from rattling and absorb moisture as well.

Electrical spares, and carperter's bits'n'pieces, sorted, in ziplock bags which in turn are kept in cat-litter boxes.

The "roll-yer-own" lead-line likewise. And a goodly supply of gaskets.

"A place for everything and everything in its place" is the watchword particularly when your ship is only...

...TrentePieds :-)
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Old 27-06-2015, 13:44   #22
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?


I like your re-purposing the cat littler boxes. At one time, we found bakeries would give us the large, rectangular shaped tubs that margarine comes in, they stack well. Good on the recycling.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 27-06-2015, 16:59   #23
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

  • Sedna has a wooden toolbox under the bottom companion way step: lift up the hinged step or slide out the box when needed... That's where a few emergency items and everyday wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, tape, etc. go. Every once in a while I have to clean it out to avoid junk drawer syndrome.
  • Under settee: tubs hold wire, electric tools, and spare parts.
  • Dry locker in cockpit: holds canvas tool bag with cordless drill, saw, blades, and bits, cable cutters, hacksaw, and a plastic "briefcase style" toolkit with sockets, allen wrenches, bits etc.
  • I don't keep any 110v tools on board.
__________________ Jim K.
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Old 27-06-2015, 17:20   #24
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

One of the handiest tools I have aboard is a 4=1/4 high-speed grinder with its own batterie pack. they are cheap enough to buy two or three and are ever bit as useful. They were 9.95 a piece at harbor freight. I keep one of them with a cut off wheel. If you ever need to strip the rigging from your dismasted boat you can cut cable and fittings as fast as you can move the high-speed blade. Try to cut some stainless cable with a hack saw. mac
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Old 27-06-2015, 20:23   #25
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

I have a ~ 14 in plastic tool box in which I store my mechanic's tools, and that sits on the sole between the forward berths on My 29.5 foot sloop. It is used as a step to get onto the berth. My larger tools (hacksaw, caulking gun, packing nut tools, etc., are in a larger storage box under the quarter berth. My bolt cutters are in a hanging locker behind the head. and there are several small lockers for all the small stuff. I rely on six10 for all epoxy repairs. I do keep a VOM on board, but the bulk of my wiring supplies go home.
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Old 27-06-2015, 20:50   #26
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

We were fortunate on board 29 foot Taleisin as we did have a dedicated workbench with room on it for six tool boxes. When we were outfitting, we spent the money on quality boxes from a company called Flambeau, those boxes are still in good condition after 32 years. Cheaper ones tended to grow brittle, shatter and break up and were affected by the oil spray Larry used to mist all the metal parts of tools each time he stored them away before a passage.

The drawer cabinet made by these people was wonderful for keeping a full selection of fasteners, cotter pins, and very small tools.
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Old 28-06-2015, 23:45   #27
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Re: Best Storage Solution For Tools etc?

The 'soft' tool bags with handles seem to work well--I have 4 different ones/sizes. smallest for standard and metric open/box end wrenches, screwdrivers, nut drivers, wrachets, sockets, allens,--what I call the small mechanical stuff. Then, I have one for wire cutters, strippers, crimpers, chisels, --what I call the electrical and odd small stuff. Then I have the BIG wrenches, pipe wrench, BIG crescent, BIG flathead and phillip screwdrivers, BIG vise grips, hack saw, etc., with things I use for leverage. These are stored in the easy to get to compartment adjacent to the companionway. Then the biggest bag but not easiest to get to is the one with the "other stuff" including some small electrical tools such as heat gun, cordless driver, etc. A small assortment of "emergency tools such as screwdrivers, vice grips, most commonly used open/box end wrenches, crescent, are in a very quick reachable drawer for emergency.

The 'soft' heavy canvas tool bags are easy to grab and stabilized on deck instead of boxes. I also have oiled rags amongst the tools to reduce the rusting.

Over the years I have bought power tools that came with nice heavy canvas handled bags--I have kept them to use like this.

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