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Old 01-10-2012, 07:14   #16
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

If crossing big open waters some thought about what to do if the rudder fails. The spinnaker pole and a floor board are the popular answers but it would be a damn sight easier sorting it out whilst tied up along side a pontoon in the US than at sea.

Spare sails? we have a mint 100% genoa just incase which came from e bay. A sail maker extended the luff strip for us and now neatly folded up and stored away just incase.


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Old 01-10-2012, 09:01   #17
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

I'd go with engine spares as follows:

voltge regulator (can be simple)
starter solenoid
1 injector
water pump">raw water pump
4 impellers
6 primary fuel filters
4 oil filters
2 secondary fuel filters
4 specialized zincs
2 propshaft zincs
oil for 2 changes
permatex gasket-in-a-tube

If you are sewing, get some tenara thread for the canvas, and some sailmaker's polyester thread. Some stickyback and some dacron for sail repair.

I agree that a spare pump is necessary for the pressure water system.

I also agree that it is best to mount the spare and make sure it works.

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:07   #18
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

I could skip most of the engine spares and learn how to sail without an engine. That would require backup systems, such as manual bilge pump, and manual fresh water pump. I would also have solar panels for redundancy of electrical power and even consider a small Honda generator such as E1000. We are so dependent on electrical systems now days. Preventative maintenance is how I would take care of most of the issue of spare engine parts. Check all belts, hoses, impellers, and through hulls for wear for instance and replace, and zincs. If I did have some engine spares, instead of antifreeze, I would use fresh water with a can of corrosion inhibitor for a short term fix unless headed for the high latitudes in winter. Enough oil for engine change, injectors, filters, refrigerant, charging equipment, propane regulator if such exists on the boat are engine spares I would probably take.

I would also check all standing rigging. Any chain plates, turnbuckles, made of stainless 304 or 316 I would replace if older than 10 to 15 years, especially in a warm climate like Florida. I would replace stainless standing rigging parts with silicon bronze. It may not stay pretty like stainless, but it does not suffer crevice corrosion. Silicon bronze fitting can be found under old wood boat parts. Any rust stains, even slight, on stainless is an indication of crevice corrosion. I would replace swaged fittings on stainless wire with Sta-lok or Norseman which are not as highly stressed as swaged and appear to last as long as the stainless wire. By the way stainless Sta-lik or Norseman, and silicon bronze are near enough on the galvanic scale that they are compatible.

Spares that I would carry are hand held GPS and VHS, kept in a faraday cage like a microwave in case of lightning strike.

As folks mentioned above, I would be more concerned about spare lumber, plywood, nuts, washers, screws, tape sail repair kit, light bulbs, a selection of tools to fit any fastener on the boat, multimeter, sealant, wire splicing, underwater epoxy, rescue tape, duct tape, electricians tape, fuses, and emergency fabric that can be pulled over the outside of the boat to cover any hole.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:17   #19
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Perhaps, instead of soliciting opinions of others for such an important decision, you might try something a bit more complicated. Sit down with a pad of paper and a pen, or put an excel spreadsheet (or equivalent) on the monitor. Start inventorying every single item on the boat. You can do it piecemeal by starting in one location and document all the stuff there. Lights? Have a complete spare as well as bulbs. Toilet? How about a complete pump assembly AND then a spares kit. Once you have the item identified, ask yourself if you have or need the instructions to service it. Then, look in the troubleshooting or maintenance section of the instructions. Write down the suggested items (or, then, ask someone for suggestions) to have ready at hand. If there are too many items for your storage capacity, then prioritize what you already have down on paper or in memory, and begin to acquire it. You can then use the spreadsheet to locate where you will store said item should the time come to actually need it. The acquisition of spares is a very important requirement for cruising. Don't rely on your fellow sailors to do the hard work of making a list to fit your particular needs. Use their advice more for considering the priorities, but you are the one that will, most likely, have to determine the suitability for your own boat. Besides, a lot of this stuff gets really expensive, especially if it never gets used and takes up critical space where you could have carried more peanut butter.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:34   #20
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Well, we thought we wanted to be liveaboards, but between this thread and the one about bleeding money we're beginning to have serious second thoughts! The house is sold. The current boat (30' Hunter) is for sale. We've identified a couple boats for purchase and were planning on being "out there" by Nov. 2013. Our goal is to cruise, but in fairly small geographic areas like the eastern Caribbean and Chesapeake Bay. Getting from one to the other, and back, is the concern. I seriously appreciate all the input on this forum.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:35   #21
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Roy, Actually a great suggestion! As I look around my boat I left a whole lot of stuff off my list of spares/needed items. Head kit, extensive sew kit included, even though I have both aboard my own boat. Spot on!
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:21   #22
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Provisioning spares can be carried into the ridiculous, and we are certainly guilty of doing so ourselves, but you should be aware that throughout the entire Eastern Carib, there will be large, well-stocked chandleries everywhere that can provide most parts immediately and almost every imaginable part within 1 or 2 days. I'm talking large West Marine type stores. Those very rare and difficult to obtain parts can be shipped in pretty quickly from anywhere in the world for not much money (depending on which island).

You will definitely not be sailing away into lands requiring complete self sufficiency in the Eastern Carib.

I suspect most of Europe is the same.


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Old 01-10-2012, 11:04   #23
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
I grew up in a family that always bought terrible used cars, my parents generally spent three to four times the cost of the car in repairs. We were always breaking down somewhere, so I have embraced the "Be Prepared" approach to life. We will not have spares for everything because it would be cost (and space) prohibitive, but based on everything everyone has shared with me I think we will be well prepared!

We are planning on taking an alternator. My husband thinks our starter is going out so that will (mostly) be replaced before we leave PR this year. Sewing kit ... I brought mine from home, but I need to add some more stuff to it, thanks for bringing it up I would have probably forgotten to give that more thought.

Thanks Zee,


On some of the spare parts, check ebay. Up to you if you don't want OEM, but for some of what I've seen it's $500 for the yanmar model or $100 for the knock off, and I may never need it. Just something to think about it when the pricing adds up.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:35   #24
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Everything mentioned above are great to have ! but a couple of things I thought were missing are a Good sailmakers Palm, and couple of balls of good waxed line! Ya can use the waxed line for lots of needed repairs! and the Palm makes it a lot easier to fix tears and worn spots on your sails and covers !! just an old guys stuff to have aboard!
Bob and Connie
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:35   #25
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Tanıl Tuncel, S/Y Kelebek, once quoted:

"Even if you drag the exact replica of your boat, full of spare parts, behind you, it is not adequate!"

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:00   #26
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts


The thing about spare parts is availablilty, cost and space available...

We carry the usuaul filters, oils, belts, and zincs. We also carry spare nuts and bolts, sail repair stuff and some spare halyards and sheets.

We found that when we got to Mexico, they had no avaiable Fischer Panda parts, so I ordered a cruising kit from Florida, which arrived in three days, but Mexico decided to place a 25% duty on the stuff. In Costa Rica, engine oil was $40 US per gallon and they also had a very high duty on parts. In Mexico and Central America, chanderly stuff is usually about 25 to 50% more than US prices, depending on the items

I think you get the theme.... $$$$

Labor is not normally a factor, so carring extra alternators, injectors or starters for coastal cruising is a waste of space. I had my alternator rebuilt in Costa Rica for $125 US in two days. A friend had a starter rebuilt in Mexico in one day for $75 US.

Do some research through or the guide books for the areas you are cruising. Then you can decide what to carry as spares based on availablity and cost at the places you are going.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:42   #27
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

The spares list would reflect the sailing you are doing. The spares needed for a trans Pacific would be different for an short coastal cruise. Because I own and run a charter boat I have loads of spares on the boat and some larger items ashore, such as spare sails, anchors and even a spare head. I cannot afford for the boat to break down for any length of time so have to carry a lot of bits and pieces to keep the boat operating. This calls for constant maintenance......nearly all of which I do myself...... and in the last eight years I have only had one breakdown which I managed to fix within hours.
I also carry numerous power tools (I have an 8 kw generator) spare pumps, spare starter motor, impellors, injectors, belts, spare heat fact the list is huge.....but then I need them because I am offering a service.
So I guess work out what you are going to be doing with the boat, and make an appropriate list.
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Old 01-10-2012, 17:38   #28
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Reading Rebel Heart's recent thread about getting everything ready to go and the expenses and the responses to it got my husband and I thinking about an inventory of spares. The comments regarding spare pumps caught me completely by surprise and my husband and I started talking about what we thought were important spares (replacements) to have onboard. I did search the forum to see if this has been discussed before and did not find much that was specific to the topic. Our plans are to cruise the eastern Caribbean during the winter and spring and head to Europe in late spring.

Oh Wise Ones, what would be your recommendations?
Here are few more threads with a few more ideas - one can get quite carried away with lists...

spares cruising - Google Search
Relax Lah! is SOLD! <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
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Old 01-10-2012, 18:00   #29
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
If crossing big open waters some thought about what to do if the rudder fails.
I carry a Scanmar SOS emergency rudder, with the brackets already mounted.

I carry the minimum amount of spares for the diesel: impeller, belts, filters, hose clamps.

I carry the maximum amount of spares for sailing hardware, starting with four huge heavy-duty snatch blocks, and ending with several hundred dollars worth of assorted shackles.

I put a lot more faith in system redundancy (such as installing dual racor filters) than in carrying spares, and in being able to repare gear rather than replace it. Do I carry a spare bilge pump? No. But I've got four bilge pumps to begin with, counting the manual pump and the portable emergency backup pump.

I do carry a spare freshwater demand pump. Pumps are temporary, as far as I'm concerned.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 01-10-2012, 19:54   #30
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Re: Recommended List of Spare Parts

I am often referred to as the "mother ship" my parts and spares inventory along with misc plumbing and hardware caused me to raise my exhausts by 3 in. But in 14 years of cruising my fed ex bill has been minimal. Nice to be able to lay your hand on the necessary parts to fix whatever problem appears. Self sufficiency gives me the confidence to go "where no mechanics are".

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