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Old 11-03-2008, 00:37   #16
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Are you costal crusing or making passages... two big differences in my opinion. ..... Most of the stuff I have allows me to repair stuff, not replace. But I am only coastal crusing, I would think it would be different for a passage.
Interesting because for me, I always thought it didn't matter whether I was at sea for 2 days or 4 weeks but I can see some logic in making a distinction. And if one is planning a series of passages from one remote area to the next and and so on, perhaps more stuff needs to be taken OR perhaps one's life (and boat) could simplified to have fewer needs as others have already pointed out.

As to tools, for me it is very simple, I just take what is required to pull apart / reassemble any part or component on the boat. As I am refitting from a bare wooden hull and undertaking every task myself, the tools just come along for the ride. BTW best tool on board - 12 volt "cordless drill" with a cord to plug into ship's battery.
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Old 14-03-2008, 10:14   #17
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Interesting thread… not having made any extended passages, I can only speculate… but as for coastal cruising, I tend to be of the philosophy of trying to ensure a reasonable chance of self-rescue, which seems common to most others here…

I have a handheld VHF, but despite how fancily mounted in previous boats (ranging from 19 to 49 feet) I’ve only used a VHF or CB twice in several decades of boating – not counting listening to the weather – so no redundancy there… ditto, no depth finders (except for fishfinders on a fishing boat years ago – I’ve mostly used a lead line…) so no redundancy required, and similarly for other nonexistent electro-gadgets. I do carry spare lines, anchor with rode, blocks, bulbs and batteries by the gross if any gizmos require – for some reason I have more than my share of flashlights… and recently added a handheld GPS to the gadget-bag, but largely have been a chart, binoculars, bearing compass and dividers boater until recently, so mostly only carried a spare chart…

What I do carry is a modestly comprehensive tool bag, from socket set(s) to knives, to needle and palm, various lubricants, shore connectors, spare sail cloth/tape, to the ubiquitous duct-tape…generally, my intent is to have the correct manual tool to fix (at least enough to get home) any doohickey I know how to fix on the boat, and make sure I don’t have to depend on anything else that may be beyond my skills – and not being a professional wrench or mariner, that limitation is sometimes is daunting… I keep my eyes open for miniature handled, but standard sized sets of tools, and that allows me to pack a fair amount in minimal space (something I borrow from my other vice – long-pavement motorcycling).
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Old 14-03-2008, 10:30   #18
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I agree with Pelagic. So now let me put on my past life hat (Navy parts guy for 26 years). Things like belts, filters, fuses, fluids etc were considered consumable, periodic maintenance items. You decide how long you want to be self sufficent, and carry what you need for that time period (3 months, 6 months etc)..Other parts you stock based on how critical you believe the part is and you augment those with things that have failed in the past.....If something broke 2 times in a 6 month period, we would stock it onboard. For critical, small items (gps, vhf, binoculars) you carry a spare.

That all said, you have take into consideration space, cost, your maintenance ability, where you will be cruising and the availability of spares in that area.
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Old 14-03-2008, 11:05   #19
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critical systems

One of my friends who believed that he would never see me alive again if I went sailing, asked me, “What are the three most critical systems on your boat?” My first thought was that the autopilot was the most critical for short handed passage making but on reflection realized that my autopilot is electrically powered. If I lose the ability to charge the batteries, then I lose the autopilot too. Obviously if you are not making long passages or have a big crew, then the auto-pilot is not your most critical system. In my circumstance, if I had a wind-vane then the power generation would not be the most critical system. Other folks might determine that water tankage is their most critical item. If you carry water-maker(s) then obviously this is less important.

My point is that a good way to determine what spares you NEED rather than those you would simply like to carry for convenience sake can be determined by a “most critical system” analysis. After I had arrived at power generation as number one, I decided to “spare” the engine mounted alternator as well as the main engine starter motor. I can’t remember the last time I had to replace a starter motor of modern manufacture and resented parting with the cash but there is no way to fire up my diesel engine without a starter. Once you have determined your critical spares, you then make sure that you have the necessary tools to install them.

Thus my three “most” critical systems became – power, autopilot and steering. Yours will be different.
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Old 14-03-2008, 11:52   #20
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Ed,

Thats an excellent exercise... thanks for sharing that. Never thought about it like that before.
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Old 17-03-2008, 21:11   #21
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Rather than let my opinion on this subject get "buried", I will start a new thread with a real-life experience on how spares saved a vessel and the lives of the people aboard.

Simply put, it is planning ahead for a worst case scenario.
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Old 18-03-2008, 03:28   #22
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The HULL is what keeps the crew & all the important systems (and provisions & spares) dry, safe, and together.
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Old 18-03-2008, 04:45   #23
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Extending the thread to "How do YOU assess risks from a "seamanship" perspective.

Just thinking aloud
I think that is an easy one.

Your base factor risk with seamanship is determined by the weakest crew member. If you allow that crewperson to remain weak, you are putting all of yourselves at risk.

Patient but consistent training is the answer and a healthy respect for “Murphy’s Law”.
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Old 18-03-2008, 22:12   #24
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I think that is an easy one.

Your base factor risk with seamanship is determined by the weakest crew member. If you allow that crewperson to remain weak, you are putting all of yourselves at risk.

Patient but consistent training is the answer and a healthy respect for “Murphy’s Law”.
Regarding training: you make a very good point.

Regarding "Murphy's Law": This law will explain why say a nav light will fail on a wet wild night rather than on a quiet balmy night but have you noticed how unrelated systems tend to fail concurrently e.g. the alternator might fail around the same time the mainsail splits. Such events make Murphy an optimist . Although I have no scientific basis for the following, I believe it is prudent to expect that once one system on board fails, another unrelated system is about to fail which means that it is important to reinstate any failured system as soon as possible.
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Old 19-03-2008, 05:12   #25
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If you look at the modern yacht you can see how important electrical power is. Without it, many pumps will not work and if there is a hull breach, this can be disastrous pretty quickly. Power is needed for cabin AND nav lights. Power is needed for refrigeration, for nav gear, for radios, for autopilot, for windlass, YIKES... we are very dependent on electricity. I would think maintaining the ability to have a source of power would be mission critical.. or you have to have the ability to do ALL those things manually or do without.

All charging sources alone may not kink out enough amps to keep your electrical requirements running normally, but you can mange with less without serious consequences in most cases. So a means to work around the basic charging system failures would be a good start for redundancy. Failure points could be alternator, regulator, starter motor and carry these makes good sense for an ocean passage.

Excellent point was made about self steering for short handed crews. if you rely on your self steering system as a crew member, you need to consider work arounds or a set of spares to maintain the steering.

After the redundancy of the electrical power system and the auto pilot for short handed crews, I would think communication redundancy would also be mission critical. Two radios and perhaps a hand held VHF, AIS B, EPIRB spare antennas and so forth. When you can't get things going you need to call for help. And the more ways you can the safer you are.

Those would be my main redundancy considerations in addition to the consumable spares and tools which the more you have the merrier.

In my 22 yrs of sailing experience I have had the following failures (from memory):

Alternator bracket
Alternator (keep spare)
external alt regulator
starter motor
auto pilot control head
engine pump raw water
assorted fresh water pumps (keep spares)
hot water heater (2x) (leaked)
battery charger 120v (no consequence at sea)
plotter (have two)
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Old 19-03-2008, 08:04   #26
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Murphy's law

I agree that they always like to come in pairs. What I think is important Wotname, is to always look at the big picture when Murphy is about.

Quite often when an important Navaid fails you will see everyone on the bridge under the cupboards checking connections and focussed on solving that problem as quickly as possible. Nobody maintaining watch. Then BANG!

In shipboard security training whenever there is a fight or something crazy happening dockside, you are taught to station one person on the other side in case it is a diversion to assist with the real threat!

That’s how I like to look at Murphy!
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Old 19-03-2008, 08:26   #27
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What a huge subject. The first thing that comes to mind are my tools. I literally built a Sears toolbox into my cabinetry. This one..minus the wheels of course: Craftsman 6-Drawer

Obsessive?, yeah probably. But in my experience stuff does happen out there and it has been my own experience running a small research vessel that I need all kinds of tools to either fix my own things, modify things to get them to work or to fix the things of my customers (scientists) that they either break or don't work correctly in the first place. The downside?..a few thousand dollars worth of hand tools, power tools, electrical test equipment and probably 250 pounds worth of weight. But thats my own quirk...most people probably don't need that.
I'm the same way. If I'm cruising coastal (which is all I've been doing lately), or doing a passage, I like to have every tool you could ever need to jury rig or build something that gets you back up and running.

It adds weight, but it's nice to know I can fix or rig up just about anything.

As for spares, I also carry one of the consumables - impellor, belts, etc...

I do have redundant GPS units as well.

I use this same approach on my new multi as I did on the mono. I guess I just like everything in working order. I like to be able to fix things right when they go wrong.

Anchoring is one where I tend to buck the trend. I don't see any reason to have more than one really huge oversized anchor. I've never dragged (except with a danforth as a newbie many years back). If my anchor doesn't set (this only happened once in the last 4-5 yrs), I just move over and anchor away from the weeds or whatever was causing it to not set.

The 55lb Delta and 150ft of 3/8" BBB on my 34' cat is doing wonders... ha ha No need for a second.
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Old 19-03-2008, 11:06   #28
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The PO of my boat was very big on redundancy and lots of manual (non-electric) options. Electric anchor windlass, manual windlass etc. For anchoring 1 45lb CQR, 1 50lb Bruce, both with 200ft of chain. And 3rd anchor lashed to the deck.
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Old 19-03-2008, 11:56   #29
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The PO of my boat was very big on redundancy and lots of manual (non-electric) options. Electric anchor windlass, manual windlass etc. For anchoring 1 45lb CQR, 1 50lb Bruce, both with 200ft of chain. And 3rd anchor lashed to the deck.
Must be the type of person who buys our type of boats.

I have manual bilge pumps (4 total) in the main hulls and in each sealed off engine compartment. I also have manual water pumps and such, but the PO just before me added a bunch of more "electric" options. (he only had the boat a couple years). I plan to go back to the manual stuff the PPO had.
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Old 20-03-2008, 06:24   #30
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If you look at the modern yacht you can see how important electrical power is. Without it, many pumps will not work and if there is a hull breach, this can be disastrous pretty quickly. Power is needed for cabin AND nav lights. Power is needed for refrigeration, for nav gear, for radios, for autopilot, for windlass, YIKES... we are very dependent on electricity. I would think maintaining the ability to have a source of power would be mission critical.. or you have to have the ability to do ALL those things manually or do without.......
I have always considered electricity to bit of a luxury on board. I am not against it, I have considered it a "nice to have" item and a potential liability. Therefore my primary systems tended to be manual; however I see that many boats require the electrics to be working and I can see the need for redundancy in that case.

After considering all the various viewpoints on this thread, I am now forming the opinion that perhaps "electrics" can be considered as potential "crewmember".

Electric systems can carry out many previous manual activities at least until the charging / storage system fails just like a crewmember can carry on until fatigue / sleep / food aspects kick in.

So perhaps it makes more sense to me now to let "electricity" take over some roles like say pumping, navigation, lookout (radar) etc. Some redundancy of charging systems can be considered and I can still have the manual systems as further back up.

It seems no-one has mentioned food as a topic of redundancy. Perhaps it is not really a system as such or maybe none of us would ever consider not having ample stores on board
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