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Old 18-11-2015, 14:33   #1
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Must have tools/supplies

Hi I am wondering what everyone thinks are must have tools and supplies (ie. sewing kit, sandpaper etc) for someone planning to live aboard and take extended cruises over several years. I'm hoping to start compiling a shopping list of sorts mostly for budget purposes at this point and any contributions will be much appreciated.


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Old 18-11-2015, 15:23   #2
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Your question needs to be more detailed about your budget, boat and cruising plans.
You're going to get many replies, most of them useless. It all depends on where you live, where you intend to cruise, what your maintenance and repair abilities are, and how far you will be from goods and services. Everybody has different priorities, pocketbooks, and abilities.
I can repair anything on my boat. I also prefer remote unpopulated places. So I carry many more tools, spares, maintenance equipment, supplies and bought a boat with the room to store them. I find living on board in port more pleasant, but not much different that living in a neighborhood.
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Old 18-11-2015, 15:32   #3
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Also, I like to tailor my tools & spares to my boat. Over the years my tool collection aboard has evolved to be very boat specific. Cuts down on unused tools and ensures you have the right tools for the job.
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Old 18-11-2015, 15:45   #4
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

You'll need a BFH!

One of those extensive suitcase-like tool kits with standard and deep well sockets will cover most of your mechanical needs. The case keeps them nice and organized. Keep them clean, dry and take measures to keep them from rusting. Then go through your boat and look for fasteners that might not be gotten by your kit, get tools for any that you find.

One of the things I didn't have and needed desperately once was extracting tools. Snapped off a stud on the stuffing box and had to pray the bilge pump didn't quit for two days till I could get my hands on some tools.




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Old 18-11-2015, 15:47   #5
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Buy Nigel Calder's book. That will give you a great start on what you need:

Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4/E
by Nigel Calder
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Old 18-11-2015, 17:08   #6
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

First a full disclosure... I am a tool freak, At home I have every tool known to mankind. However I cannot take everything I want to on the boat. My wife insists we must have room for food and water.


I have 2 small tool bags ...one Mechanical and one Electrical. Lets focus on the mechanical. You need to have a wrench or socket for every bolt on your engine. Main or Dink.

The problem with the very cool looking plastic kits is they take up too much room and duplicate too many sizes. Here is a start....

Look at your engine .. If you have a Japanese based engine you will need the following wrenches and sockets In MM (That's Millimeters !) 8, 10 12, 14, 17, 19. Then add a big small and big set of slip joint plyers that will handle a 2 " for thru hull fittings and other pipe type fittings.

It Imperial (SAE) you should have 5/16 , 3/8, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8. The 17mm is close enough to 11/16 and 19 mm is close enough to 3/4 . Add a spark plug wrench for your OB (Some of the new ones have 17 & 18 mm ) and you are well on your way. An Allen key set with SAE and Metric is needed as well. Think about the socket screws on all your dodger and Bimini fittings.

Well ...you get the picture. Look at your needs and put together a tool bag with the needed items. I also carry a few power tools .... 1/2 in. Battery Drill and battery Sawzall. Its a start .....
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Old 18-11-2015, 17:19   #7
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

1. ICW and the Bahamas click on ICW & Bahamas, then on journal, there's an appendix in the back that is very helpful

2. do a site search on this forum use the Google search on "tools" and you will find many more threads with this same subject, and answers.

Good luck.
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Old 18-11-2015, 18:17   #8
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

I've started collecting already. Before the boat purchase. I do have tools uI used on my previous power boat. 3 Ryobi 4 inch orbital sanders, 2 Milwaukee right angle grinder/sanders that will be great for compound and buffing. Sawzall, solder iron, set of holesaws, 2 sets of extra large channel locks. I have a Bauer jr. compressor thats coming with us so I have some pneumatic goodies. Tap and die set, assorted electric and portable drills, CNC machine (kidding).

I imagine the boat I purchase will have Yanmars. Would they be metric or standard? Aren't they made in Japan? I need to get me a real nice Dremel set. I imagine that would come in handy fro many uses.
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Old 18-11-2015, 18:39   #9
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

I'm a pro mechanic and have the huge roll away toolbox with every tool you can imagine and we started out cruising with every tool you could imagine. We even had a full set of micrometers. What I want now is a really nice smaller tool kit with little spaces for each tool. All in one box and good quality. A few extra odd tools and that should be good.
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Old 18-11-2015, 18:40   #10
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr336 View Post
I imagine the boat I purchase will have Yanmars. Would they be metric or standard? Aren't they made in Japan? I need to get me a real nice Dremel set. I imagine that would come in handy fro many uses.
Kubotas are made in Japan, too and they have a mix!!! Go figger.

Yup, Dremels are really handy.
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Old 18-11-2015, 18:47   #11
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

We will keep ALL THE TOOLS, so we have put more thought into supplies. We are leaning towards tubes of Six10 epoxy, rather than trying to mix underway and lots of engine spares.
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Old 19-11-2015, 04:04   #12
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
.... What I want now is a really nice smaller tool kit with little spaces for each tool. All in one box and good quality. A few extra odd tools and that should be good.
I keep a little convenience tool kit next to the nav station with just the basics in it...cheapo multimeter (I have a good one aboard too), multi bit screw/nut driver, pliers, cresent wrench, utility knife. That takes care of any little quick fixes I need to do and I dont have to dig into the big boxes, stowed away in a locker, for what I need.

These I put together myself and just keep them in a little tupperware container. I have seen some nicer small kits and have one ashore that I inherited off an ex-charter boat. But, except for the nicer high end ones, the cheapos are always full of redundant junk you dont really need. Ive always suspected that the way they come about is that some manufacturer has a warehouse full of odds and ends they need to get rid of so they bundle them into a package and hawk them based in the number of "pieces" in the kit. The thing I like about my little convenience kit is that it has very few "pieces", but they are just what I need.
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Old 19-11-2015, 06:50   #13
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

Many standard and expected tools have been listed and I would agree with the selection. So, I'll add to the list by identifying the unusual tools that I find very handy on a boat.

Toothbrush - I recycle old toothbrushes and keep a couple handy for cleaning and reaching difficult places.

Wood dowel, metal rod, portion of flexible fishing rod - I keep a length 1/4" dowel and a metal rod (similar to a straightened coat hanger as a probe or reamer. More importantly, I keep a approx. 3' length of a flexible fishing rod with a clothes pin fixed at the end. I can clip a rag or paper towel to the end and swab hard to reach places such as my engine sump.

Surfer's leash - I use a soft nylon surfers leash with the ankle band cut off as a non-abrasive probe to clean out heat exchange tubing such as found in a marine air conditioning system.

Turkey baster - I occasionally need to move small volumes of fluids to or from hard to reach places.

Stainless steel wire - binding & mousing
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Old 19-11-2015, 07:34   #14
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

In the three years I've been working on this old boat I've had to do more electrical fixes than any thing else. I'd suggest you look into a good set of quality, marine grade crimp lugs, butt connectors, etc. and a really good crimper. Not those flat metal things NAPA carries, either. Something that does a crimp that doesn't come apart. Get a couple of soldering irons. A big one for thick work, and a small one for fine wire and electronic component work. Get some soldering tools,( they're cheap) and some kind of solder wick or solder sucker. It's easy to swap out a blown resistor if you have the tools to do it. I also find myself with a couple sets of close up magnifying glasses for some work. Like recutting threads with a file. Or reading the numbers off components.

On the wrench issue, I also find myself going up and down the SAE and metric wrench sizes like they were all one big set. I've even been thinking of combining them and organizing them. I'm finding that having the metric sizes on each side of the SAE sizes can come in real handy once you start thinking like that. If I have a loose 1/2" socket, I might just reach for a 12mm as the next size down.

Taps and dies come to mind, too. I have used mine a lot. A word of caution, here. I bought a set of Craftsman taps and dies two years ago, quite an expensive set. And within a year here the little 'laser printed' sizes were useless. I suggest you get tools with the sizes imprinted into the metal so that it doesn't go away with a little bit of corrosion. And sadly, after a lifetime of being a Craftsman tool guy, I no longer buy that brand. Buy quality up front. Don't even walk into a Harbor Freight store. You'll regret it.

We just moved aboard last Sunday, with the house now on the market. I have a question for you other guys. I'm having to edit down and cull my tool collection from my workshop to fit on the boat. Do you carry any power tools on board? I've got corded and cordless drills, circular saws, Dremels, etc. I'd love a mini table saw. I wish someone made a micro Shopsmith...
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Old 19-11-2015, 13:07   #15
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Re: Must have tools/supplies

I keep a small tool kit in my aft berth that contains all the parts for the engine so it's quickly available, if needed, and I don't have to rummage for the parts. Another cabinet has a stack of small containers and cloth tool "boxes" for everything else by type (screwdrivers for one, wrenches for another, electrical tools in the third). Seems the main things I use are the screwdrivers (including a bit that fits over hose clamps, in particular!), a variety of adjustable wrenches and pliers (ratchet, channel locks, needle nose, fuel filter spanner, etc.), splicing tools along with lots of electrical bits and pieces, a drill with indexes for different projects, and a heat gun mainly for softening tubing. Then there are the odd things such as an expandable magnet, assorted picks, good soldering iron, hammer (when all else fails), a set of pry bars, and that thingy-majigger tool that fits into the water/waste/fuel caps with the two holes on top.
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