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Old 23-03-2013, 13:17   #1
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Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine how useful a laser thermometer is. It has at least 1,000 different uses. I don't know how I got along without one of these gadgets. I was inspired to buy one when my surveyor, a notoriously thorough one (the Oyster dealership tried to prevent me from using him!), used it constantly during the 2 1/2 day survey of the Oyster 485 I eventually didn't buy.

Today I bought two 2kW fan heaters from the delightful ironmonger in Cowes, Hurst. These things are great! They are tiny and weigh about a pound each. They are much more efficient than the 2kW convection heater which I just tossed, because the convection heater can't transfer all its heat to the naturally circulating air flow, and cycled on and off (before finally giving up the ghost today). The tiny size is a great benefit on a boat -- they will be much easier to stow than the convection heater was.
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Old 23-03-2013, 16:53   #2
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

Dockhead, give me a couple of uses for that thermometer I love useful gadgets...
What uses for instance did the surveyor use?
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Old 23-03-2013, 17:01   #3
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

I bought one of those cheap folding utility knives years ago and I found it is my go-to boat knife for cutting rope, stripping wire, cutting tape, opening packages, you name it. I use that knife more than any other onboard.

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Old 23-03-2013, 19:59   #4
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

I could not survive without my Leatherman (plural). I've got one for the dinghy, one for the boat, and one for the belt.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:06   #5
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

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Originally Posted by heron237 View Post
Dockhead, give me a couple of uses for that thermometer I love useful gadgets...
What uses for instance did the surveyor use?
Anywhere bearings are used on engine, shafts, water cooling issues on motors, hot spots on electrical circuits, batteries. can be read at safe distance.

Need to know what is normal and a quick check can reveal unusual hot spot.

I agree is a IR thermometer is a fantastic and essential tool.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:08   #6
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

1) Heat gun. Head hose, varnish, paint, heat shrink tubes, etc.

2) Scuba gear. Have fun changing a shaft zinc or clearing a ball of melted on poly with just your lungs.

3) A little brush thing, pretty stuff, designed for cleaning junk out of a workspace. I use it all the time.

4) Calipers. Everything is specific and if you get the wrong size you're toast.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:14   #7
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

A car window scraper for removing old gasket material from engine parts and caulk and epoxy from fiberglass.
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Old 24-03-2013, 03:52   #8
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

1) A cheap paint brush taped to a stick! (about 12 inches) - Great for sweeping up in the nooks and crannies that boats have a squllion of! - not simply after working on a job but also for day to day (? ) use.

2) A 90 degree cordless drill - won't be punching through concrete or drilling stainless steel but nonetheless damned useful, including when used with sanding discs or wire brushes.

3) a small tool box - for the day to day / general use tools, can be easily carried to a job (and moved easily when it is in the way!) and saves both rummaging around for tools and guessing what is needed (and then finding out that you guessed wrong! - ok, that still happens but not so much )....and also is somewhere to put the extra tools you decided are also neccessary for the specific job (saves the risk of things going glug!)

4) a screw etc box - with sections for different sized / types of screws and small bits and bobs - saves a lot of rummaging time. Can even take to a job.
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:25   #9
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A built-in electric bilge pump with long hose. Totally sucks! Wash the fridge, clean the anchor locker, suck out spills in lockers, dry out things after a rough passage, drain the head after someone breaks it, wash the engine, etc etc.

Note: After a head project, and before cleaning the fridge I trim the end and rinse with chlorinated water. Yuck.
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:26   #10
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by heron237 View Post
Dockhead, give me a couple of uses for that thermometer I love useful gadgets...
What uses for instance did the surveyor use?
Just a few off the top of my head:

1. Checked the temperature of the shaft seal to see if it's rubbing.

2. Compared the temperature in and out of the heat exchanger.

3. Checked the temperature of the top fresh water flange to check running temp at WOT.

4. Ditto with the genset.

5. Check temps of exhaust elbows and exhaust hoses to make sure they are getting enough raw water.

6. Checked insulation of the heating system lines in different places.

7. Checked temperature of water coming out of the hydronic furnace to see if it was operating correctly.

8. Check fridge and freezer temps.

9. Checked running temp of the alternator.

10. Checked relays and wiring to see if they're heating up.


That's just a few I can remember off the top of my head. There's a lot of useful information you can gather from the temperature of things. He always had it with him.
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:45   #11
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

Dremel tool.

Ditto for laser thermometer and callipers .

Callipers and tape measure (1.5m one used for sewing) are usually in my back pack when sourcing bits and pieces for the boat on my expeditions ashore .
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Old 24-03-2013, 05:13   #12
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

- Mirror on a telescoping handle, see under and behind.
- Magnet on a telescoping handle, to pickup tools, metal filings, etc. form the nether reaches of the bilge.
- Electrician fish tape, pull wires through a mast.
- Shop vac, suck-up bilge water, suck oil from floating on water, crap in the bilges. Find a 3/8 plastic hose attached via a reducer (top of a drink bottle and duct tape) is useful for the small places.
- Dentist's set, stainless picks and prods, useful for cleaning small stuff, prying lids, O-rings, etc.

Here's an odd one. Used an extension ladder, set on aft deck and securely stayed, to work on the top of the mizzen mast. I wore a roofer's safety harness and a hockey helmet!
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Old 24-03-2013, 06:49   #13
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

Have a few tools that I find very useful. Don't always keep some of them on board since I use them at the house too. But, if I were on an extended cruise I'd take all of them.

Probably use this Gerber multitool most on board:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: GERBER 400 MULTI-TOOL

Some of the other things that come in very useful:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF A SAILOR: INSPECTION CAMERA

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS FOR THE SAILOR: BROTHER P-TOUCH LABEL MAKER

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: SCUNCI STEAM CLEANER

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: CONNECTOR CLEANING BRUSHES
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Old 24-03-2013, 07:14   #14
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Today I bought two 2kW fan heaters from the delightful ironmonger in Cowes, Hurst. These things are great! They are tiny and weigh about a pound each. .[/QUOTE]

Can I get more info on the heaters. Thanks
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:35   #15
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Re: Unexpectedly Useful Tools and Appliances

12 volt shop vac! never used it wet, but it made clean up so much easier after a job. It lasted for years until it made so much noise I could not stand it. Bought at an auto parts store.______Grant.
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