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Old 17-12-2015, 19:00   #1
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Must-have tools aboard

As a newbie looking for advice outfitting my first boat: what are the must-have tools for life aboard? Perhaps those replying can list the top five essentials or even those tools they didn't think they would need but have since found invaluable or at least those that are necessary but are not available or really expensive outside of the US. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:25   #2
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Corkscrew and pocket knife
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:33   #3
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Jim View Post
As a newbie looking for advice outfitting my first boat: what are the must-have tools for life aboard? Perhaps those replying can list the top five essentials or even those tools they didn't think they would need but have since found invaluable or at least those that are necessary but are not available or really expensive outside of the US. Thanks for your suggestions.
===

The absolute essentials in my opinion:

A large screw driver.

A combination screwdriver with different bits.

A ball peen hammer.

Large, medium and small crescent wrenches.

Several different sizes of vice grips.

Large channel lock pliers.

A filter wrench appropriate to your engine filters.

An electrical crimping tool with an assortment of lugs and splices.

Some spare wire and cable.

Extra fuses as needed.

Diagonal cutters.

Needle nose pliers.

A utility knife with extra blades.

Cans of WD-40 and PB-Blaster.

A small saw with different blades for wood and metal.

A rechargeable drill motor with drill and driver bits.

A good set of socket wrenches both SAE and metric.

Masking tape, duct tape, rigging tape, electrical tape.
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:45   #4
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

I used to rank corkscrew at the top, but now most wine I purchase is in a box or has a screw top. I guess this says something about the wine level I operate at .

If I'm serious then I would first divide your list into manual and electric tools. Sorry, I can't keep to five only.

Manual:
  • Weatherman (good quality one with interchangeable bits and good pliers)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches (metric and imperial)
  • Pliers and vicegrips
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Small portable vice
  • Files
  • Hacksaw
  • Mallot
  • Sanding block (I have lots of teak)
  • Tape measures
  • Sockets (metric and imperial)
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire stippers
  • Ratcheting electrical crimper
Electric:
  • Fien Multitool (a million uses)
  • Portable drill
  • Dremel with lots of bits
  • Multimeter
  • Sander
  • Grinder
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:53   #5
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

A few more...allen keys metric and imperial, soldering iron, ratchet ring spanners.
A BIG hammer for giving things a 'technical tap'.
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:53   #6
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

As many tools as it takes to bleed your fuel system. Several screw drivers and a pair of vice grips.
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:04   #7
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Wow.. No one has mentioned my #1 tool..

A Multimeter (quality one)! Get one and learn how to use it!

EDIT: Sorry Mike, I missed it in your list!
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:12   #8
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Water pump pliers, I used to work with a plumber who called it his "toolbox".
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:12   #9
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I used to rank corkscrew at the top, but now most wine I purchase is in a box or has a screw top. I guess this says something about the wine level I operate at .

If I'm serious then I would first divide your list into manual and electric tools. Sorry, I can't keep to five only.

Manual:
  • Weatherman (good quality one with interchangeable bits and good pliers)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches (metric and imperial)
  • Pliers and vicegrips
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Small portable vice
  • Files
  • Hacksaw
  • Mallot
  • Sanding block (I have lots of teak)
  • Tape measures
  • Sockets (metric and imperial)
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire stippers
  • Ratcheting electrical crimper
Electric:
  • Fien Multitool (a million uses)
  • Portable drill
  • Dremel with lots of bits
  • Multimeter
  • Sander
  • Grinder
Great choice Mike! Easier to predict weather. Don't know about the interchangeable bits though.........

I love my Milwaukee 12 volt tools with car battery adapter charger. The impact driver saved my ass just last week.

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Old 17-12-2015, 20:42   #10
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by goat View Post
Great choice Mike! Easier to predict weather. Don't know about the interchangeable bits though.........
Damn autocorrect. But in retrospect, I kinda like it. I might interchange my Weatherman for a good Weatherwoman though
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:46   #11
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

^^^^^ Mrs. OReilly may offer a differing opinion......
Are you guys still deep in the States?
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:50   #12
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by goat View Post
^^^^^ Mrs. OReilly may offer a differing opinion......
Are you guys still deep in the States?
Good thing she doesn't lurk here ... at least I don't think she does.

Arizona deep. My sailing blog has turned into tales from the dry, cold deserts of America. Ah well, this too shall pass.
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Old 17-12-2015, 20:57   #13
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

You're in my stomping grounds. I own a chunk of land near lake Havasu. If you're planning on being anywhere near LA at the end of January and you need a sailing fix, let me know. My little tub is no Rafiki, but it's got a fridge full of beer.
End of thread drift......maybe.

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Old 18-12-2015, 00:48   #14
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

What they said up there ^^^..

Plus...
Rags and some old towels.
Disposable gloves. (great for working on the engine,plumbing and other grotty jobs.
VB cord and assorted other small line .

However, and this is the big however. With everything said up there ^^^ you need to decide what size boat you are going to have. Some things take up a lot of space (and weight) . If you are coastal or bay cruising on a smaller boat, you may find less is better. If you are going to cross the pacific in 45 footer you may even want more tools that are suggested up there. Its very subjective.

Generally, sailors are good people. If you need to borrow a "left handed over head tapometer", I am sure you will find a helpful soul at the marina who will lend you one as well as give advice. And, it will probably only cost you a beer.
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Old 18-12-2015, 01:13   #15
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Re: Must-have tools aboard

Take a look at what you have at home - leave out the power saw and maybe a couple of other power tools and take it all - OH and not sure about your boat that you do not own yet but SoulMates is both metric and standard - so we get the joy of carrying both -
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