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Old 07-08-2014, 01:20   #1
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Spare Parts Inventory

I was amazed not to be able to find a simple rebuild kit for one of the most common, current model gray water pumps (Whale Gulper) in Stockholm, of all places, a large city with a huge sailing population.

It reminds me again that most of the world does not have the boat parts supply infrastructure of the UK, where you have really well-stocked chandleries in virtually every port, and even exotic parts can be had with cheap overnight delivery. In the UK, you can get even exotic electronic parts (from Farnell) the next morning if you order by the previous evening (don't even know how they do that). So you can be somewhat lax about your spares inventory.

In other places, even cruising along the coasts of very civilized places, you are SOL if you need even a common part.

So it's made me think again about spares on board. I did, as it turns out, have that rebuild kit -- it was just really hard to find since I bought it the first year I had my boat and never needed it (those pumps are dead reliable). I have a whole spare fresh water pump. I have a pretty good inventory of spares for both diesel engines on board, including spare starters. But I think I will make a spreadsheet and have a critical look at it. It might be interesting for people to share their spares lists -- maybe we will inspire each other. Anyone want to share?
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:37   #2
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

Dockhead,

You need a Hookamax 12v dive system. Eliminate the need for expensive investigative haul outs in remote locations.

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Old 07-08-2014, 01:45   #3
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I was amazed not to be able to find a simple rebuild kit for one of the most common, current model gray water pumps (Whale Gulper) in Stockholm, of all places, a large city with a huge sailing population.

It reminds me again that most of the world does not have the boat parts supply infrastructure of the UK, where you have really well-stocked chandleries in virtually every port, and even exotic parts can be had with cheap overnight delivery. In the UK, you can get even exotic electronic parts (from Farnell) the next morning if you order by the previous evening (don't even know how they do that). So you can be somewhat lax about your spares inventory.

In other places, even cruising along the coasts of very civilized places, you are SOL if you need even a common part.

So it's made me think again about spares on board. I did, as it turns out, have that rebuild kit -- it was just really hard to find since I bought it the first year I had my boat and never needed it (those pumps are dead reliable). I have a whole spare fresh water pump. I have a pretty good inventory of spares for both diesel engines on board, including spare starters. But I think I will make a spreadsheet and have a critical look at it. It might be interesting for people to share their spares lists -- maybe we will inspire each other. Anyone want to share?

Dockhead

I carry a ton of spares just for coastal cruising. Our friends laugh at me.

One little trick I've used is that every time I find I need a screw or a bolt - I buy 5 of them. This has led to having a rather large inventory of screws, nuts and bolts - but I'm also never stimied by not having one if I strip the head or threads or lose one overboard (do not ask how I know this is a PITA).

I'm putting together a spreadsheet of "mission critical" parts, spares and replacements for our RTW. This list is getting longer and longer (sigh).

My biggest problem so far is organising and stowing it all so I can find it

I find myself frequently helping others in marinas when they need spares - and I'm amazed that they sail without even the basics.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:00   #4
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Dockhead

I carry a ton of spares just for coastal cruising. Our friends laugh at me.

One little trick I've used is that every time I find I need a screw or a bolt - I buy 5 of them. This has led to having a rather large inventory of screws, nuts and bolts - but I'm also never stimied by not having one if I strip the head or threads or lose one overboard (do not ask how I know this is a PITA).

I'm putting together a spreadsheet of "mission critical" parts, spares and replacements for our RTW. This list is getting longer and longer (sigh).

My biggest problem so far is organising and stowing it all so I can find it

I find myself frequently helping others in marinas when they need spares - and I'm amazed that they sail without even the basics.

I have exactly the same habit as you about screws, bolts, nuts, pipe fittings, and other small hardware -- I always buy 5 times more than I need. I keep small hardware like that organized in a couple of big plastic trays with cubbyholes and a lid. Also, whenever I replace anything, I scavenge it for nuts, bolts, screws, and anything else which might be useful before binning it.

All this goes to the amazingly true adage about cruising being "boat repair in exotic places". I've been doing this for years, and still spend far more time in ports fixing things and looking for parts or cooking gas or some such thing, than I do relaxing or sightseeing. This is wrong!!! I either need a professional mechanic on board, or I need to do something differently.

But the first thing to reducing this hassle while cruising, in my opinion, is to have a proper inventory of spares and tools on board. If something fails, and you've at least got the part and the right tools, then it might be an hour of work versus a whole day or of f*****g around trying to solve the issue somehow. So I think it's really worth concentrating on this. I think this winter one thing I'm going to do is really organize my spares and fill up the inventory. Keep a list on board with storage location (N.B.!! very important!).


By the way, and a bit of thread drift, at the point when I realized I was not going to find the Whale Gulper repair kit, and didn't think I would be able to find the one I had on board, I actually patched the old diaphragm with a bicycle inner tube patch. I wonder if it would have worked for a few days while waiting for the new part? I'm going to keep it just in case.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:03   #5
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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Dockhead,

You need a Hookamax 12v dive system. Eliminate the need for expensive investigative haul outs in remote locations.

Ken
I absolutely agree with you that having the ability to get underwater is mission-critical for being able to fix things which go wrong underway. It's a much more technically challenging task in these waters where the water temp can be well below 20 degrees during much of the year (not now, thank God).

I already have dive equipment on board. The problem is that I haven't had time to get PADI certified so that I can use it. Another project for this winter.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:11   #6
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I absolutely agree with you that having the ability to get underwater is mission-critical for being able to fix things which go wrong underway. It's a much more technically challenging task in these waters where the water temp can be well below 20 degrees during much of the year (not now, thank God).

I already have dive equipment on board. The problem is that I haven't had time to get PADI certified so that I can use it. Another project for this winter.
Dockhead

You really need to get dive certified. I've been underwater lots of times (mostly to help others - thank god!) and can say that having the equipment and being able to dive has saved our bacon several times.

Besides - it's a whole nother world down there - very exotic and extremely interesting.

Treat yourself to one of those 5 day PADI courses in Florida or the carribean this winter.

carsten
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:51   #7
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

Unfortunately any spare stuff involving rubber diaphragms will fail as the rubber ages.

I had the diaphragm fail on a whale gusher foot operated pump a few years back... replaced it with the complete spare pump of the same age that I had ... it failed within the week despite never having been used. Similar experience with a Volvo MD17D fresh water circ pump... new one from volvo failed out of the box.. as did the next one.. and the next...etc... all from Volvo... 50 hours was the best run ( involved pumps from Volvo agents in Chile, Finland, UK and Oz..all under warranty... 6 in total if my memory serves). Solved by having a 'new' volvo one rebuilt in local pump shop...

Similar issues with lift pumps but not as dramatic... the spare one I fitted in 2007 lasted until armada and immigration were on board and I was ready to sail from Anto 3 months ago....
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:34   #8
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

I try to keep the tool you would need in an emergency nearest the point. e.g., a 14mm open end/ ring spanner is zipped tied across the injector lines on top of the W/beke.
Spare belt with Allen key tied to hose at at large diaphragm bilge pump.
Tapered softwood plug on 1/8" braided line at each thru-hull.
The plastic tops from peanuts and the like make good gaskets for heat exchanger ends, and friction reducer spacers for worn blocks and slides.
just some thoughts.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:42   #9
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

The longer we travel the more we limit our spares list.

We tend to stock high on materials and tools. If a spare part is needed, we will (attempt to) build it. And if it is something we cannot hot fix, then we will do without and get the exact spare in our next harbour.

I know this does not answer the question but it does address the same issue.

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Old 07-08-2014, 07:12   #10
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

Dockhead, how old was that Whale pump? I have never had a diaphragm fail but have lost a drive motor.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:49   #11
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

I have been a tools and spares addict since we started thinking about cruising. Now that we are a little more than a year from leaving, I have stepped up my crazy.

For tools, the best thing I found was this backpack. It keeps most of the primary tools in one place and it's easily mobile.

For organizing small parts, the best thing I have found are these Plano boxes. Similar to most plastic boxes but they are waterproof and at a reasonable cost. I have multiples of them in various sizes. This winter I plan to geek out with the label maker and label what should be in each box.

For larger stuff, like oil filters, fuel filters, larger spare parts, I use the typical marine dry storage boxes.

Over the last 3 years I have been putting together the attached spread sheets of spar parts lists, tool inventory, first aid kit inventory, etc. Thought this might be helpful to those starting the process.
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File Type: xls Equipment & Supply List.xls (137.5 KB, 69 views)
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:02   #12
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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It might be interesting for people to share their spares lists -- maybe we will inspire each other. Anyone want to share?
OK. Here is my list after we got back from the Bahamas in June. Since then I have added a spare exhaust elbow. (The story is in my wife's blog: irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com)
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File Type: doc Spare Parts List.doc (117.0 KB, 67 views)
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Old 07-08-2014, 16:34   #13
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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Dockhead, how old was that Whale pump? I have never had a diaphragm fail but have lost a drive motor.
It was part of the original build of my boat, so 13 years old. Never touched in all that time.
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Old 07-08-2014, 16:48   #14
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

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Dockhead, how old was that Whale pump? I have never had a diaphragm fail but have lost a drive motor.
I had my spate of diaphragm failures( see above) all at about the 20 year mark.
Unfortunately the spares ( including the ones from Volvo) were also 20yo.
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Old 07-08-2014, 19:14   #15
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Re: Spare Parts Inventory

Spare parts Inventory - yes yes and yes

We have been blue water sailing for many years and our spare parts inventory is extensive. It is important to know what you have and where it is stored. It is especially frustrating when you know you have a spare but it is so long since you stowed it, the whole boat has to be pulled apart to find it - not easy in a rough sea. (Also as we get older our minds get more forgetful).

We keep a list of parts and the storage space where they are located. Some may find it tedious to keep the list updated but when a spare is needed the list is worth all the time put into maintaining it.

We also keep wood, plastics and various metals, so that if we do not have the correct spare perhaps we could fashion one. A sail batcar was fashioned from a cutting board on our trip from Samoa to Aus and we did not replace it until we installed a new mainsail.

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