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What percent of your overall storage space is devoted to tools and parts?

  • None -- I daysail or race and keep the tools off the boat

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • 1 to 19%

    Votes: 27 55.1%
  • 20 to 39%

    Votes: 14 28.6%
  • 40 to 59%

    Votes: 6 12.2%
  • 60 to 79%

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • 80 to 99%

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • All my space is take up by tools. I must run a marina or something.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Getting ready for the season here in the Northeast U.S., I noticed that my tools and parts take up a little more space than they did last year. Between everything needs to fix my (or someone else's) refrigeration, to the circuits for my advanced fridge controller design, to wrenches, a big part of our storage is hogged by me and my ongoing projects.

What percent of your overall storage space is devoted to tools and parts?

Regards,
Brad
 

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5,111 Posts
I have no idea, its still a comparatively small percentage of space, but still WAY too much...

That doesn't mean, however, that I'm carrying too much in the way of tools and spares aboard... :)

Just this morning, I found the absolutely PERFECT spot to stow my Zyliss vise, no other item aboard will fit in that spot so neatly...

Now, of course, I just hope I can remember where I put it, in the event that I need it... :)

I'm finally getting a bit better about keeping an inventory diagram of the boat, but it's still a work in progress, and far from complete... Few things are more appreciated, or valuable, when I jump on an unknown boat to be delivered, and the owner has kept meticulous records/diagrams of where everything is stowed... Rather surprising, how relatively few people actually do that, at least in my experience...
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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You did mean, "What part of your repair bay is dedicated to other storage needs?" didn't you?
 

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Shocking to see the poll results and so many with 20-40% of their space being used (wasted?) carrying tools and spare parts. I guess it depends how you use your boat but coastal cruising should require nowhere near that amount of space for tools and spares. I dont consider sails as spare parts so maybe that explains part of this. What are you carrying to require that much space?
 

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33% of under settee storage. There is much greater storage volume in other parts of the boat that isn't dedicated to tools and storage. Sails take up the most room by volume (I carry 1 main, 3 jibs, 2 spinnakers). PFDs (I have roughly 10 onboard) take up much more volume than tools too, but don't weigh much.

About twice a year I take all tools and parts and lay them out on the dock and pull out things that I don't need onboard anymore. Those go into the dockbox or home.
 

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More than I'd like to admit.

We carry a complete set of open wrenches, sockets, screw drivers, etc. in one box. Another box has all the electrical repair stuff and multimeter. Another is sail repair. Another is rigging repair. We're rod so I've got a hydraulic rod cutter.

I think I might be using more space with spares than tools. Plumbing parts, engine parts, electrical parts, rigging parts, sail repair, etc. Bigger stuff too like spare fresh water pump, spare alternator and regulator, ....plus all the obvious stuff like belts, impellers, filters, oil, antifreeze....

Yikes, the more I think about it, the more there is !! May need to up my estimate in the poll.
 

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I'm an inland lake weekender. My tools consist of a small bag of electrical bits (tester, strippers, connectors, tape, etc), and a small assortment of screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches to fit the few different sizes that are present on the boat. I have a ton more tools that I bought specifically for jobs fixing up the boat, but now they aren't really needed on board for anything, so no reason to carry the extra weight.

Parts-wise, maybe a drawers worth of fittings, clamps and blocks, and two rolls of butyl tape, and a tube of 5200.
 

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Master Mariner
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Shocking to see the poll results and so many with 20-40% of their space being used (wasted?) carrying tools and spare parts. I guess it depends how you use your boat but coastal cruising should require nowhere near that amount of space for tools and spares. I dont consider sails as spare parts so maybe that explains part of this. What are you carrying to require that much space?
There are many things that will take weeks, if not months to reach us, unless I want to pay excessive local prices or FedEx international rates, so we carry a lot of spares. The tools have been collected over a lifetime, with the often used ones in the engine room and the 3/4 and larger ratchet sets, specialty and rarely used tools in various harder to reach lockers around the boat. I would guess at a 1200 pounds or so of stock and spares and around 500 pounds of tools, but we can often do repairs and even fabricate some items, without purchasing anything ashore. We carry enough varnishing and painting supplies to complete those tasks anchored in a quiet bay, far from any store. We also carry quite a bit of basic galley supplies, like milk, olive oil, condiments and paper products, purchased where they are available or cheapest, as many things we like are not available everywhere. The midship cabin has become our "garage". It takes a considerable effort to maintain this level of "packratiness" but we believe it is worth it, purchasing an extra couple of screws, nuts or bolts each time we do need some things.
 
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Admiral
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One dinette locker is the main tools and parts inventory storage place. I've also got a crate in the bilge for more. And some oil is down there too. Oh, and the bottom shelf of the locker under my stove has nuts and bolts, screws and lock washers, -- plus power tools (drill, sander, jig saw)

There's a spare prop in the bilge too -- just in case.

Plus the spare wind generator blades are next to the Christmas tree under the holding tank. And the turnbuckle to stretch out the starter/generator when the belt needs tightening is under the locker the head sits on (so it's above the waterline -- and that locker fits toilet paper rolls so it's handy too)

I don't know that I have too much though. After all, I might need it all some day.

As a matter of fact, I do have waterline issues. I wonder why........?!
 

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I carry plenty of tools and spares (and I do the same on the road in the back of in my beloved old saab)

- I make certain that I have sufficient tools to replace each of the spares i carry. For example I carry a spare AP controller. It's easy enough to swap it out *if* I happen to have the right socket and flex adapter(due to the mounting location) Without that particular socket and adapter the spare does me no good. I wonder how many folks carry a spare alternator belt but not the appropriate tools to install it.
- I tend to organize by task. A tool bag for the stuffing box, a tool bag for head repair, a tool bag for electrical repair, oil change, etc.
- as a result of the above, I've accepted that some duplication is ok. I might have the same wrench in two or three tool bags.

Space iis at a premium on my boat as on most, and I accept that organizing by task tends to make for a somewhat larger "tool footprint". It works for me though and saves more than a little frustration.

Btw that Zyliss vise that Jon mentioned is a beautiful tool, perfect for dock side repairs of all kinds. Every time I use it, it draws a crowd!

Another great tool, relatively new, is the articulating gear wrench. They can get you into some damned awkward spots. saved the day when I swapped out my transmission:



 

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I wonder if the higher percentages will correlate to age (and years spent cruising).

When I first met my ex about 20 years ago she had already been singlehanding around the Caribbean for years, long before they invented UPS.
One day in the Bahamas we broke the shift cable right after we anchored.
I said "Well, that's a problem."
She replied "You're right, I can't remember where I stored the spare shift cable."
It took a few minutes but she found it.
She offloaded all the tools, etc. off that boat before she sold it, and the new owners wanted to know why the bottom paint was so high.

I remember a story about a family that took off around the world on a large, well equipped boat. Before they left they compiled a book with the onboard location of every spare, tool, etc. A couple of months out they finally needed something whose location they didn't remember. What else couldn't they remember? The location of the book of course.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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i agree there is a correlation with years spent sailing. Last year I got rid of some stuff from my 22 footer because I realized there was no place they could be used on the current boat which has almost 20x the displacement.

One other factor, as a boat gets (say) twice the storage capacity the tools and spares do not become twice as large. Someone crossing an ocean on a 26 footer with an inboard engine probably has 2/3 as much stuff to carry on a boat that might 1/10 of the storage volume.
 

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I launch lighter each season. Our sailing hasn't changed; seasonal coastal New England. But I've found that more and more of what I store, I don't use or need.

All tools in 4 or 5 boxes are on fiddled shelves, low in the back of a hanging locker and are easy to access(the hanging lockers aren't stuffed full).

Spares are stored in easy to access lockers and drawers. Few things are stored in those out of the way-hard to access nooks and crannies. In fact, I try to eliminate those spots for stowage, to allow good ventilation throughout the boat.

Not only does our old boat sail more when she's light (the main reason I remove stuff), I've found that leaves most of the boats lockers, drawers and storage shelves, empty.

That has turned out to make regular onboard life more pleasant for me and it's a real luxury when we move on board for a few weeks with gear.

I drew a 'key' of our boat for unfamiliar users(especially our son!) to point out important areas and procedure.

Old boat designs were smaller below, with lot's of un-usable living space under low, wide decks. But the result is lot's of easy to access stowage space.

 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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As my boat is my home, I carry all my tools with me. Spares I carry in accordance with the need for them to get to somewhere I can get what I don't have. The majority of my tools are carried as below. The others, basically frequently used ones, are in the 2 drawers at the nav station. Other power tools, jig saw, sander, dremel on the v-berth fiddled shelves.
 

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Owned by Velcro
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Having built my boat myself, I ended up making a lot of custom parts for it. If something breaks, I can't just got and buy the part but have to make it, so I guess having a Lathe with milling adapter and all the tooling takes up some space. I make my living fixing boats so have tools from watchmakers screw driver to a walking foot sewing machine on board. As long as I can cram 3 month worth of food and water on board, the rest is dedicated to tools and material.

ATB

Michael
 

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Chastened
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I'm not sure which of you guys are carrying too much crap, and which of you just don't know how to pack and stow your crap.

First of all, larger boats with more systems and more complex systems, are going to require more tools and spare parts. They *may* be required to dedicate more space to stowage as a percentage, than smaller boats.

I can fit ALL of my tools and spares in a single stowage compartment, under a settee:

1. Plastic toolbox with wrench & socket set. Pipe wrench, vise grips, assorted screwdrivers, hammer, tap & die set, allen wrenches, paint scraper, gasket material, etc.
2. Spare prop, impeller, ignition components, hoses, alternator belt, engine oil.
3. Electrical kit consisting of two, green gunny bags.
4. Rigging kit- rings, cotter pins, various blocks, clevis pins, butyl tape, rigging tape, rescue tape.
5. Sail repair kit, rope splicing kit, various flags,burgees, flares and smokes.
6. "Goop"- 3M 5200, 4200. West Systems G/Flex and G/5, some cloth.
7. DC kit- Wooden bungs, Forespar foam plug.

NOTHING is stowed on top of this settee, except for a sail or two, providing quick access in case of an emergency.

Currently, I am racing and day-sailing so I've thinned this down by about 1/2.
 

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Wingnut
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All of it. Quite literally. The only other thing is food and books.
All the basics are there, but you can add welders, plasma cutter, chain hoists, comealongs, cutting torches, not too mention hordes of scrap metal bits.

Sent from my HUAWEI Y300-0151 using Tapatalk
 

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I think some folks are over estimating storage space as a % volume. I carry
1 set of battery powered basic tools (jig saw, drill, skill saw, saws all, sander), as well as a set of AC powered tools, add grinder, polisher. All bagged and stored under v-berth (huge storage space)
One small battery screw driver out in the grab bag, which also contains standard screw drivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, chisels, scrapers and other things you'd wish you had. It's also under the nav station.

One approx cubic foot tool bag of nothing but electrical stuff, meters, wire spools, breakers, fuses, flat head/#2 Phillips screw driver, lineman and needle noose pliers, crimpers and strippers. Lots of various connectors etc. Lives where I left it last.

Two sets metric and inch sockets, wrenches, some common speed wrenches. One 'set' of those two sets is a single case molded set, it lives under the nav station, the other set lives in the engine room/compartment.

Another cubic foot of space taken up by screws nuts, bolts, connectors, washers etc, sorted and cased.

Spare parts, I'm light right now, not cruising yet so call it a cubic foot (oil/fuel/water filters and belts).

All together maybe, maybe 7-8 cubic feet. I could put it all in my refrigerator. That's nothing on a 38 foot medium heavy displacement cruiser set up as a live aboard. I realize we are 'talking' storage space - but for a sailboat anywhere is storage space - and built in spaces are as variable as boat names.
 
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