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Old 09-08-2008, 13:52   #1
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Question about tools….??

I just spent the better part of the day organizing my toolboxes, I had 4 now I have 3. I have wrenches, sockets, and a few I am not sure about, metric and standard sizes from 2mm-¼ all the way to 1 ½ (any bigger I don’t have the butt to use). I have drills, jig saw, hand saws, crow bars, hammers and more screwdrivers than anyone should be allowed to have.

Am I really going to need all of these? Do I need anything else?

I am just trying to be prepared as I can be, plus I am bored out of my freaking mind.
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:01   #2
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In the book Sensible Cruising they suggest that you take your collection down to the boat and crawl around taking things apart. Make sure you have something for every fastener on your boat. That is what you keep.

I imagine you need a bit more than that... The exercise doesn't really provide for saws and drills.
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:03   #3
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That would mean I would have to put all those things back together again. I am not sure this is going to work.
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:28   #4
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Yes, you will need everything you have listed. You will want to add a few various sized prybars to the list though... from finish nail puller on up to a monster. (Depends on the size of the boat how big the monster is... Or at least how heavy the engine is!)

Add a few really long extensions (2 foot plus) a hand full of wobble extensions, universal joints, and 5/16ths nut drivers to the list. If your interior is done with flat head bronze screws... buy every flathead you can find until you have an assortment of sizes that fit perfectly, and when you strip out a screw... replace it with one that has the same size slot! (Klein screw drivers do not suck... The best are the old wood handled snap ons however. Buy a real nice set of fine files and a mini-vice and you can make most anything work...)

I like 6 point sockets. (Don't break as often, and don't round fasteners as often. 2 sets of box wrenches though, 6 and 12... or one set of Snap On flank drives!) A set of ratcheting box wrenches can be really nice... but after the first couple months, just buying 3-4 that you really wish you had works too. (When you take something apart with way to many threads... cut the bolt shorter, or replace it with a shorter one!) A few common size stubbies, or crows feet and a few offset box wrenches are worth their weight in gold.

Make sure you have a few extensions that aren't indexed the same... meaning the square on one end is off from the square on the other. For those times when the ratchet or breaker bar is jammed up beside a bulkhead, and has to much backlash to start loosening no matter what you do. Wobble extensions help with that too. Snap On/Matco/high end craftsman are great things to have in 1/4 and 3/8ths.

A few ratchets that have really long handles, and a 1/4 inch drive flexible extension for going after Hose clamps! Add a magnetic button to the 5/16ths for the occasional screw driving bit, and a hammer driven impact. A quarter inch drive ratchet that has a handle barely two inches long... A few bits of heavy wall pipe for all breaker bars (not on the ratchets, unless they are new Craftsman. ) to add some butt.

Once you step up to 1/2 inch drive, get a 3/4 inch breaker bar and adapt it down to 1/2 inch. Won't break, breaker bars again.

Then add nut and bolt extractors. The type that look like taps and dies... (add a few of those too, a few spare in 1/4 20!) You can use a sliding t-handle with a socket on it as a tap wrench...

Add a bunch of magnets, pickup tools, mirrors... flashlights on sticks, and mirrors with flashlights, as well as a rock climbing head light.

Lastly, a pair of channel grips/water pump pliers that have been ground down to perfectly fit inside the housing of your raw water impeller housing. Without scratching anything, letting you grab hold of the impeller and yank it out. Facom makes some of the most beautiful pliers on planet earth.

If you have any massive recessed hex fasteners, you can either buy the massive wrenches or buy a bolt with the proper sized head. (Easier to do with metric...) and double nut it. Block drains... eww! Replace with bronze if you get the chance.

Shew... I could go on for days, but boats are a pain in the rear. You can't see the fastener, can't touch the fastener, or have to build a rube goldberg contraption to work around corners, through hull fittings, hoses, and curves of the hull to take anything apart. Worse than the engineers that have never worked on a car, boats have three layers of improvements done the easiest way possible with no care for the difficulty the next guy will have removing that widget!
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:30   #5
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In my experience, both as a pleasure sailor and a professional marine techie, you will need every single tool aboard at some time or other and, especially, you will need the tools you took off or that you left ashore or that you've been thinking about but haven't got around to buying :-)

As we all know, Murphy lurks in the far corners of all cruising sailboats and is all too anxious to show you up for the dummy you are (you took off WHAT TOOL?).

That said, over the years I've managed to concentrate most-used tools into a small plastic ammunition box. Some day I'll inventory them. This box is what I grab first for just about any onboard task, and in about 75-80% of the cases contains everything I need.

The other 20-25% of the time I need all the tools and toolboxes on the boat (which are more than any sane sailor would normally carry), plus tools and parts and supplies left ashore :-(

The diabolical thing about this is that you can't always know what you will need until you get far into a job....too far to turn back. This is when the cursing begins in earnest....not the "light" variety of expletives like when you skin your knuckles :-)

Bill
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:42   #6
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So this isnt going to be much differant than my truck. Good, at least I have experience in something. I feel better now. lol
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:46   #7
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I have tools in the boat in the workshop in the living room in the kitchen all over the bedroom in my office all for the boat but I still struggle to have the right tool for the job on hand at the right time.
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:58   #8
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Dont forget that long flexible grapple for retieving things you dropped in the bildge under the engine
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Old 09-08-2008, 15:14   #9
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You should take the tools with you that you know how to use. By that I mean if you have tools that will do jobs you are not capable of you will hire some one to do that and they will provide tools. You can not carry everything but should be able to handle emergency repairs and maintenance. Some engine work will require specialized tools and if you can do those repairs you will need those tools. If you are not good at woodworking you won't need those tools. If your engine is all metric, or the opposite, those are the wrenches you will need. You get the picture. Tools carried for the sake of carrying them will turn into rusted hunks.
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Old 09-08-2008, 15:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

That said, over the years I've managed to concentrate most-used tools into a small plastic ammunition box...............This box is what I grab first for just about any onboard task, and in about 75-80% of the cases contains everything I need.
This is my approach as well. And always returning things to their rightful place (Not my natural way of doing things ).

And I would also add that somethings you will need TWO of. Especially common sized spanners / sockets.....and to cover losses (overboard and in bilge ). You get to work out yer own list

I've also got an axe in my tool kit, but that is mainly cos' I wanted an axe onboard rather than having found a use for it. yet
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Old 09-08-2008, 15:47   #11
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And I would also add that somethings you will need TWO of. Especially common sized spanners / sockets.....and to cover losses (overboard and in bilge ). You get to work out yer own list
I hate that...

When what you are working on requires two, or even three wrenches of the same size to loosen. ARGH!

Good thing its cheaper to buy a new set of wrenches/sockets on sale than it is to replace 2-3 of them when lost or needing a duplicate. Don't feel half as bad about firing up a torch and bending it into a pretzel, or whacking it in half with an angle grinder to make a stubbie either!

Murphys law extends to needing an oddball tool, when everything is out of stock, the store is closed... or its 2am and you need it fixed by morning.
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Old 09-08-2008, 16:20   #12
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Something nobody has mentioned is the size of the boat, and how much room you actually have available for tools. If you have tons of room, like a workshop/engine room, you can have a bench and vise, and buy the whole Sears tool shop if you like. But there is still little point carrying tools you don’t know how to use. Even a simple multimeter is not much use if you can’t read it or follow instructions. Multi-purpose tools, like vice-grips, are a necessity and get used for all sorts of odd jobs. Whatever you have, there will be times when you need to improvise or borrow something, or hire a specialist, so don’t weigh the boat down, (you will be surprised at the total weight of all your “tools.”). There are some superb plastic tool holders/boxes and folding benches which don’t weight half as much as their steel counterpart and won’t rust.
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Old 09-08-2008, 16:32   #13
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A magnet on a stick, a mirror and some WD-40 to spray the tools down afterwards so they don't rust. I also bought a Sears tool cabinet with locking drawers so they don''t fly open by themselves.
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Old 09-08-2008, 16:54   #14
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I use roll-ups and random bags to impose some granularity on the tools, so I can grab the general group, electronics, wrenches, fabric stuff, clamping things, measuring things, labeling kit, implements of destruction, drill bits, etc. This usually works pretty well, though in practice I find that very few projects involve just one kit.

One of my favorites is the Link set of sockets, which have locking collars to prevent parts from sailing off into the depths. I have a couple of the fancy "Nautitool" stainless tools (crescent and vice grips), though of course they sink just as fast as cheap ones and aren't recoverable with a magnet. And the best boat-tool investment yet was the Makita LXT407 Li-Ion kit (hammer drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, and flashlight)... light and powerful, with great battery life. And the Milwaukee cobalt twist drill set is superb (I hope to keep it that way with Corrosion-X, if it lives up to its claims).

Stowage of the tools is a trick, and I have been layering them with the infrequently used stuff inconveniently buried and the more common ones easy to grab. The core is a single drawer under the salon table, with a thicker bottom and more fasteners on the slide hardware (though I don't trust the latch at all). Photo below... soft packs have the advantage of not taking any more room than they need to; I do the same thing with small parts, using 3-mil food-grade zip-close bags with write-on surfaces.

Other really useful stuff besides the obvious:

Extension mirror
Rechargeable LED work light
1/4" drive bit set with magnetic socket, fits Makita or handle
Automatic center punch
Butane soldering iron (Master Appliance)
Remote grabber
The Megapro stainless multi-bit screwdriver (I *love* it)
Bondhus ball-driver metric & English sets, gold plated
Leatherman Wave
Stanley multi-angle vise
Brass oiler with screw tip

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 09-08-2008, 17:26   #15
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I want twice as many tools at half the weight in one quarter the space. And I want them to crawl back into the same place after cleaning themselves in WD-40
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