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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Separate boxes for electrical versus non-electrical. I've actually moved *every* tool I have from the house to the boat, and then moved back those I didn't need. Especially when on the hard, I just work on the boat so much more than the house now. (That needs to change a bit. I have a gutter to put back up, and there are other things. Those can wait until sailing season is over.)
For the electrical kit, I have a good multimeter and a few things that others haven't mentioned: protoboard and an assortment of integrated circuits, logic gates, op-amps, voltage controllers, and (my 2 personal favorites) 555 timers and different sized 12v relays. Add resistors, capacitors, choke/coils of various sizes, led lights, and you can make some useful devices. Like something that keeps your blower on for 5 minutes after you shut down the engine.
Add a remote car starter curcuit and you can have your nav lights flash on and off so you can find your boat at a busy anchorage. (I'm just saying.... you could build it.)
I built an underwater metal detector last year, for finding abandoned moorings and such underwater, but I never got the time to tune it. I really needed an oscilliscope to do that, so I guess for me that's my "other tool" that you find you don't have. (I really should get one, I suppose.)
I don't have it but I've been tempted to get one of those things that you attach to an outlet in your home. It has a small remote that makes a noise when near the outlet's circuit breaker. It helps you determine which circuit breaker is associated with that outlet. That device would be useful for tracing wires on your boat.
Dielectric grease. 2 colors of electrical tape (red and black). 2 spools of 14 guage marine wire (1 red, 1 black). A 50 foot piece of household-type wire -- useful when testing things that are far apart with some temporary power. If it is long enough you could help jump start another boat's engine. A 3 foot piece of thick, 2 guage wire for jumping your house battery to your starting battery. (On our boat they are 2 completely separate circuits except for a common ground. The house's Gel cells at a slightly higher voltage than regular lead-acid, which makes for easier jump starts.) Jumper cables so your wife can jump the batteries when you aren't there -- becuase you have to hold the 3 foot red wire "just so" or else it doesn't work.
Digital camera (the one on the phone works for this) - for when a mirror just won't do. It's how I reached up and "saw" the top of my mast recently. It's how I "read' the model number off the charger that is on the side that I can't read because I can't get my head over there. And I may use it to "see" into the bilge area next to the shower sump. (Either that spot has it's own separate bilge or there's a blockage preventing water in that part of the bilge from flowing to the deep part of the bilge.)
30 feet of garden hose. To siphon water in when you want to clean the bilge. (Hint - Bilge pumps use a lot of power. If you are doing a thorough cleaning, turn your engine on first. Also see the jumper-cable paragraph.) You can also connect the garden hose to a pump of any kind. E.g. wrap electrical tape around the end, lightly overlapping the end, and you've made a softer end that will seat onto the shower drain opening. Turn on your shower sump, hold it firmly onto the drain hole, and you can pump water out from other places on the boat. You want to use a different hose than the one you fill your tanks with.
Spare fiberglass mesh and epoxy kit. With all the trimmings and fillers
Spare injectors, belts, engine hoses -- I guess this is another thread maybe. Extra zincs for heat exchanger, prop shaft, any where else. Extra prop, prop nut, retaining-rig/cotter pin or whatever holds the prop on. (See lost prop thread). Stilson wrench for putting prop back on.
I know Billyruff'n keeps a scuba tank onboard too. That's useful for situations with the prop, or clearing an anchor that got wedged somewhere. Ad mask and fins even if you don't have a scuba tank.
"Kitchen" serrated knife. (Was it CD that got flack for saying he "got a knife from his kitchen" ?? Turns out it was from his land based "galley", so it really was a kitchen.) The serated knife is for freeing a prop from lobster pot lines.
Rigging tension device -- so you know the tension of rigging and can tighten/loosen accordingly.
Manuals on everything -- engine, transmission, windlass, radios, etc. Get the detailed ones with parts lists.
I'm considering these too:
IR temperature detector -- for detecting hot spots on your engine or exhaust.
A spare, self priming pump -- useful for so many things.
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Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing (and a little bit of politics). I don't know why. It's a mystery!