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post #1 of 21 Old 06-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Junk or Spare?

I suppose this thread is for people who have had the same boat for years and live aboard a fair amount of time.

For sure we want to keep some things on board for repairs, maintenance and replacing.... screws, varnish...pump kits, belts and so on.

I find I don't toss away "old/used" stuff and stow it for a rainy day. I seem to have so many fasteners and never the right ones or enough of them for a project... or I can't find the needed one in my "inventory".

So I am faced with "lightning up". Some of my junk is useful or can be... some of it may not be. I hate throwing things away that can be useful...so I have't been.

How do you manage your "junk/spares"? How much is a reasonable amount to haul around with especially when you are not well off the beaten track and have access to whatever from a chandlery or hardware store or the internet? How to you know or find what you may need from your stores? Do you feel overwhelmed by this? If you've done a clean out... what did you do with the stuff you are getting off the boat? (a lot of mine ends up in my small garage... moving the problem closer to home).

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post #2 of 21 Old 06-03-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

Do what I did...get a bigger garage...!!!

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post #3 of 21 Old 06-03-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

I sell a lot of old junk on kijiji (I guess that's CL in the US).

I made about $2k this spring just by selling old boat junk out of my garage. Which I turned around and spent on new boat junk that was useful to me including; new halyards for my Bay Hen, new lazy Jack's for my Bay Hen another kayak, standing rigging for the second kayak, a kayak rudder assembly and a really nice $10 garage sale aluminum tripod for my movies

Spares for me are; outboard spark plugs, outboard pull cord, outboard kill switch, duct tape, cable ties, spare rope. For me, this is plenty for the 2 or 3 week trips I generally do.
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-03-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

I throw the junk away! I keep the "useful stuff". If I come across "useful stuff" that I have forgotten about having, it becomes junk.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-03-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

I save old fasteners, as long as they aren't corroded or bent. I toss them into a zip lock for months at a time. It's a time killing event to sort them into various divided boxes I have. If they aren't ultimately sorted, they don't exist and become nothing but ballast.

I keep other stuff too. I make it a personal commitment to tear apart one locker each spring and decide what stays or goes. Going can mean throwing away, or taking home for storage. I've had a spare prop in one cockpit locker, since I bought the boat. Just got around to removing it this spring. I don't think it will even mount on the shaft, which has been modified to accept a MaxProp. Talk about ballast. It went home, as it seems too valuable to toss. Maybe I'll see if I can spec it and list it on eBay.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-03-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

This reminds me of a article that was in Latitude 38 a few yrs. ago , "are you a tosser or a hoarder ?" Myself I'm somewhere in between , there is stuff in the slip boat box that needs to go . Like do I really need to save the NOS bilge hose I inherited 30 yrs. ago ? Fasteners I'm pretty fussy about so I don't have a lot , but I have at least 3 stashes . One thing I did a long time ago was to organize a cruising tool box / fastener kit to go . My regular tool box weighs a lot and takes up much room as does my fastener box . My SUV I call my rolling boat box , it's not packed that bad but when we head out for a few weeks it's packed to the head liner .
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Junk or Spare?

Definitely need to thin out my tool collection. No reason I can't keep most of them at home... and bring them to the boat for a project. Of course one needs basic tools. But I have for example, the following on board and I think it's insane:

Ridgid battery powered drill 3/8"
Makita battery powered 3/8"
Milwaukee battery powered right angle drill 1/2" Used to power winch
Milwaukee angle drill 110v 3/8"
Rockwell 110v 3/8"

Bosch corner sander
Makita orbital sander 5" ō
Makita 1x21 belt sander

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post #8 of 21 Old 06-04-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

When I bought my boat there were no tools on board. Faced with a trans-Pacific crossing as a first trip I decided to buy some el-cheapo tools just to get me home. Those tools are all still on the boat and still functional, bearing testimony to not needing good quality equipment for a boat. My high spec tools stay in my workshop at home.

Also used to have lockers packed with spare parts. Now I keep the bare minimum. This will include a good selection of fasteners, all kinds of pipes, lots of hose clamps, fuel and oil filters, drive belts for all applications, overhaul kits for bilge pumps and toilet pumps, raw water impeller, enough engine oil for topping up and one oil change. I also carry a spare starter motor which seems excessive. But thatís the only component that, when it fails, renders the diesel engine completely, terminally unusable until the next port. No amount of batteries or charging systems can fix a dead starter motor.

Everything else that breaks can be done without until an outside source of components becomes available.

All the other stuff that one thinks ďIíll need that one dayĒ lives in boxes under the house.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-04-2019
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Re: Junk or Spare?

My tool collection aboard is pretty large. It fills a locker that must be 2x3x3ft. I mean it fills every square inch. There are a few things, such as the dremel and power drill, that live in their rigid cases, or multi meters, the cordless screwdriver, hacksaw, funnels, etc that standalone. Everything else is sorted into small soft duffels or zipped bags. There are several things most friends chuckle to know I have in there: a laser tachometer, a heat sensing gun and an endoscope that works on my cell phone.

I will completely empty this locker about once per year and assess what I really need aboard. All the battery cable tools (crimper, line cutter, stripper) all went to storage. This emptying/cleaning/sorting is usually motivated by the large desiccant bag I put in there to absorb moisture, that breaks open and spills the little beads everywhere.

Several years ago, I decided to get a climate controlled storage unit that is close to the boat. Home is too far away to be practical, if I need something last minute. It's also where I store the outboard, cushions, cleaning supplies, liferaft, etc, etc, over the winter now. I keep a quart or two of spare oil aboard, but a case of gallon jugs live there for oil changes. Much easier to make a few trips there, than all the way home and back. It's an indulgence, but has been one of the best things we've done to reduce workload. Like most storage units, it's starting to become a collection point, not just storage. It too needs to be purged.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-04-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Junk or Spare?

Some great responses here. Minni's close to his dock storage locker is brilliant but a non starter for me... it's on the boat, in the trunk of the car or in the garage or apartment. His boat is larger and can support more stored tools and spares.

Cassidy's comment about a spare starter makes sense... but the same applies to engine pumps. No cooling... no engine use. A spare alternator seems like a great idea but if you have alter charging you can get by I suppose. I think you want to be able to keep your motor running... at least until it can get proper service.

I suppose an assortment of spare hoses is a good idea and hose clamps. I have way too many spare hose clamps... and there's no need for them because unless I am adding a hose the existing ones are fine. Some spares for sure but nothing like what I am hauling around.

Same for fasteners and washers. Unless you are doing a project why keep tens of pounds of screws and bolts? No need to toss them... just inventory and store remotely. When you have a project check your inventory and get what you need or buy it. You should be able to make a needed materials list for each project.

I have a few "project bins" with the bits and pieces I need for a project. If special fasteners are needed I toss them in there too. Bin waits until I can get to that project.

The real challenge is making a inventory of what you have and where you store it.

I know the origin of my excessive on board stuff / supplies came from. Way back when I decided to move aboard... close my woodwork shop and my architecture practice and sail. I gave away most of my possessions, clothing and furniture but tried to bring tools with me... thinking they would come in handy and be hard to obtain in the Caribbean. Of course the first thing that failed out there was a circulating pump while at anchor. I had to order it from the States.... but I had the tools to install it! When I returned to NY LIS SE area I brought it all with me and never thought to do some cleaning and off loading. When I realized my stuff was spread through multiple lockers and I couldn't find what I needed... it became time to tackle this problem. I'll probably sell or give away lots of stuff.... when I have the time. But first lighten up and move it to the garage.

But what will I do with all the empty lockers and cabinets? ;-)

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