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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-08-2007
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ToolKit

I have been spending some time working on my (new to me) Ericson sailboat. As a result I have brought down several tools from the house (crescent, screw drivers, hammer, etc....) and have them all sitting on the sink counter while I am at dock.

I have come here seeking advice:

- What are the bare minimum tools to have onboard
- What are 'nice to have' tools onboard
- Finally, where do you store these? In a traditional metal toolbox? A giant Bag? Do you attach the toolbox to the boat to keep them from flying around?

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Old 06-08-2007
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I like the idea of starting with a pre-packaged set. I'm happy with one under a hundred bucks.

With regard to an actual list: My brain doesn't work that way. Advance planning?!?!?

Storage: A lot of the sets come with a molded plastic case that holds each tool securely so they don't rattle around. For loose tools I greatly prefer a plastic toolbox so if it gets loose where it's stored I don't have metal corners digging into my boat. Also, it's less likely to bang into my gelcoat when I use it up on deck.

Those vinyl roll-up tool holders are a nice idea on a boat as they keep your wrenches organized (no way do I ever want to dig around in the bottom of a tool box for the right wrench). They're available for screwdrivers and such too, and they keep your tools from crashing around ("what the hell was that noise?!).

Electrical: I like having a decent tool for cutting, stripping, and crimping. Plus an assortment of connectors. Also have a very inexpensive voltage meter. Of course I have an assortment of spare fuses on board.

Other than that, my boat pretty much tells me what it wants. It likes a funnel with a flexible spout for adding oil. I have a nice long handled allen wrench for adjusting the cage on my roller furling drum. I just add a tool here and there as I need them, always asking myself if I'll really need the tool on the boat or not and whether it could get me out of an emergency.

Location: My tools live in the cockpit locker as storage in the cabin in my 31 footer is too precious.

It sure feels great when I need to tackle a small job I hadn't planned for and find I have the right tool already on board.
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Old 06-08-2007
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I went to home depot and purchased a few small fabric tool bags. Then sprayed them (outdoors) with stuff meant to waterproof tents. Spray the seams especially well. On them with permanent marker I put what is in each, electrical, plumbing, pliers, dremel, screwdrivers, spare parts, etc.

Had this arrangement for 3 years and very happy with it. I only need one maybe two for any job and the rest stay secure below. I also use the shoulder strap to attach bag to boat if working on deck.

I have 9 bags, and my toolkit is extensive, I even have a vice. But how much you need depends on how far from help will you be, and how dependent do you want to be.
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Old 06-08-2007
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I use a converted PLASTIC tacklebox. You don't want metal, it just rusts.

More than tools, mine is filled with an assortment of pins, clips, shackles, duct tape, electrical tape, light bulbs, etc. My goal is to be able to jury rig something to get me back to the dock. I'm not going up the mast while under way.

I really don't have a lot of tools. Adjustable wrench, allen wrenches, universal screwdriver, pliers, a meter. Maybe a few other things, but not much.

I've heard that cable cutters could come in handy, if you lose the mast and have to jettison the rig. I guess it depends some on how far offshore you'll be going.
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Old 06-08-2007
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any metal tool box is going to rust, stain your fiberglass and abrade where it sits. I recently found a plastic box, impregnated with a rust inhibitor that so far is working like a charm. They come in several sizes and are reasonably priced.

Add a good voltmeter to your kit, as well as some engine spares and filter elements. Should be good to go. I have also drilled a ratchet handle and several wrenches so that I can use a strap with them to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

dave
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Old 06-08-2007
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Seapadrik;

I keep my tools aboard in mahogany cases. Ordinary steel tools too ... I spray them with WD40 (or similar) and there is practically no rust after many years. There is something about keeping tools in wood cases that minimizes or eliminates rust. Maybe, after many years of use, the oil impregnates the wood or something. Link to a manufacturer of mahogany cases: Mahogany Cases - Van and Company (Usual disclaimer: I'm not connected to this company in any way ... I just like their products.)

To my way of thinking a sailor can't have too many tools. Last summer two studs holding the heat exchanger to my Perkins 4-108 engine sheared off. I was in New England, over 1500 miles from my home port. None-the-less, I removed the head while at a mooring with the tools I had on board. The head had to go to a machine shop (by dinghy) to have the broken studs removed and their holes re-tapped. When I got it back, the only tool I had to purchase to re-install and re-assemble the engine was a torque wrench, which I immediately added to my on board tool collection.

I like being self sufficient.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOkay
I went to home depot and purchased a few small fabric tool bags. Then sprayed them (outdoors) with stuff meant to waterproof tents. Spray the seams especially well. On them with permanent marker I put what is in each, electrical, plumbing, pliers, dremel, screwdrivers, spare parts, etc.

Had this arrangement for 3 years and very happy with it. I only need one maybe two for any job and the rest stay secure below. I also use the shoulder strap to attach bag to boat if working on deck.

I have 9 bags, and my toolkit is extensive, I even have a vice. But how much you need depends on how far from help will you be, and how dependent do you want to be.


SO - I currently use these bags in my everyday job and thoroughly enjoy them. I was also thinking about storing the boat tools in them. Question: Was that a silicone solution you sprayed them with, WD-40, or something you pick up at a camping supply store etc.?

Thanks
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Old 06-08-2007
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The smaller size canvas tool bags and by smaller I mean about 16 inches long can be had on sale at harbor freight for under 5 bucks.
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Old 06-08-2007
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I use the fabric bag...big...but i like the idea of a bunch of little ones so you can sort the tools to the job at hand and not have to haul everytihng out at once. Good idea Soookay!
In terms of what to carry I find that slip pliers and a real large set of metric and us sized ratchets are used a lot. I have an interchangeable tip scewdriver with ratchet action AND a built in light that I like a lot in tight spots. Belt type oil filter wrench's are also good in tight spots. A complete electrical tool kit and connectors is necessary. A grease gun for windlasses and a tube gun to hold and use the ubiquitous tubes of silicone and 5200 etc. is also a must.
As someone else said...the boat will tell you what else it needs based on the systems and components...allen wrenches, hex wrenches, bttery testers etc.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Must haves:

pipe wrench
hack saw
electrical set
wire cutters
duct tape
thread tape
adjustable pliers
multi head screw driver
long flat head screw driver
very sharp knife (for line emergencies, carry while sailing)
long magnetic retriever, the claw one too

I have a couple of tool bags that have the plastic container underneath, good for storing screws and stuff. The rest of the tools just get piled in the top and the bags go in the cockpit lockers.
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