Cargo strategy: tools

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,441
3,510
Tasmania, Australia
Just make sure you write down where it bloody well went. I'm currently on the hunt for about 1200$ in crimpers and am extremely irritated about it.
Must be really good crimpers. $50 buys you a well made Chinese set of hydraulic crimpers with hex dies up to 70mm^2 wire. I keep an 8 tonne set on the boat and a 13 tonne set in the workshop.

Now the roll crimpers, yeah, they can get expensive fast. If I had those I'd not be lending them out.

FKT
 

Mid

Blues Rule
If you change all screws to Robertson
1674549060047.png


the Devil made me do it :ninja:
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
45,612
10,284
Eastern NC
... ...

Tools should never be given away - that's what inheritance and estate sales are for.
Aside from that, people don't value what they get for free. On the rare occasions (I think it's happened twice IIRC) I've "borrowed back" tools they were rusty/dirty/jammed and clearly would be useless in a few more years.
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,568
1,912
Canada
If memory serves, Vito Dumas of “Alone in the Roaring Forties” book fame, claims that he supposedly only brought a screwdriver with him. Simpler times :)

A real consideration is storage - how/where to store heavy things like extra wrenches (pipe wrench, etc) if you do bring them. I refuse to have shit floating around in my boat - must be reasonably secured.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,104
1,469
worldwide
I have a lot of tools aboard. My guiding principle is, can I maintain the boat without this tool? If I can't, it's aboard.

Ditto with fasteners and plumbing fittings, hose clamps et al. Probably 50kg of stainless fasteners in compartmented trays aboard.

Hey it's all trimming ballast.

FKT
Circlips , roll pins.cotter pins , O rings, gasket stock , plumbing caps , electrical , set screws , canvas fittings , helicoils ..... typically about 6 assortment boxes of small stuff

316 stainless, bronze and cap head fasteners are hard to source when on the road
 

robtoujours

Communist
658
422
Undercover
If memory serves, Vito Dumas of “Alone in the Roaring Forties” book fame, claims that he supposedly only brought a screwdriver with him. Simpler times :)

A real consideration is storage - how/where to store heavy things like extra wrenches (pipe wrench, etc) if you do bring them. I refuse to have shit floating around in my boat - must be reasonably secured.
RKJ has a full inventory of SUHAILI in the appendix of his GGR book.

I was surprised at his relatively simple selection of tools.

Nothing worse than metal shit rolling and clinking around in the bilge, I agree there too.
 

chester

Super Anarchist
6,650
1,606
in the book My Old Man and the Sea, there is a sketch that showed what and where evrything was stowed in their Virtue. It seemed like a lot of stuff in a really small space!
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,209
6,400
Canada
I’m considering adding a cordless drill motor and angle grinder. Seems profligate, though.
When you are here:
1674618215005.png


And your rudder looks like this after visiting the reef... don't be asking me to borrow my grinder then.

1674618140535.png


This used up about 1 gallon of my epoxy, all my spare foam, and almost all my spare glass

1674618328831.png


We were taught to be largely self sufficient especially long distance cruising, with the advent of the World Wide Web and transportation networks that look nothing like 25 years ago the most important thing in your onboard toolbox is a credit card and an internet connection.

If you like to wait for a week or three. We watched some windlass motor brushes fly from the US, to Kuala Lumpur, then for some reason to Borneo... then they disappeared from DHL tracking for a week. And that was in a marina known as a good place to get stuff delivered! Or ask cruisers how much an Amazon order costs to get to Tahiti (shudder).

The evil Quick windlass and a Yanmar alternator both needed servicing. I took them to an alternator/starter shop to be looked at. Quick uses very odd brushes. He had just about every type known to man except mine. He got my name close.

1674619399415.png


Repairing sails in exotic locations - happy to have a small Sailrite then. No sailmakers in the Baja except a shoe repair guy in La Paz who has a sewing machine that will punch through leather.

1674618647913.png


You totally need a jigsaw and a big hammer in case you have built in water tanks with a plywood lid and baffles - that starts to rot after 20 years.

1674619043547.png


What if you decide Dorade boxes would be nice? Got any mold release wax?
1674619165617.png

1674619248838.png
 

thinwater

Super Anarchist
1,062
144
Deale, MD
My chop saw and many clamps have had a much better life in my buddy's moms garage compared to my condo.
I've got a kid like that. But it's not stuff I can use. I'm going to give it away and watch if she notices (how would you like them apples?). If it was my buddy's kid they'd have gone to the charity store years ago.

Are you sure they are still there ... ?
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,558
2,559
When you are here:
View attachment 569954

And your rudder looks like this after visiting the reef... don't be asking me to borrow my grinder then.

View attachment 569953

This used up about 1 gallon of my epoxy, all my spare foam, and almost all my spare glass

View attachment 569955



If you like to wait for a week or three. We watched some windlass motor brushes fly from the US, to Kuala Lumpur, then for some reason to Borneo... then they disappeared from DHL tracking for a week. And that was in a marina known as a good place to get stuff delivered! Or ask cruisers how much an Amazon order costs to get to Tahiti (shudder).

The evil Quick windlass and a Yanmar alternator both needed servicing. I took them to an alternator/starter shop to be looked at. Quick uses very odd brushes. He had just about every type known to man except mine. He got my name close.

View attachment 569962

Repairing sails in exotic locations - happy to have a small Sailrite then. No sailmakers in the Baja except a shoe repair guy in La Paz who has a sewing machine that will punch through leather.

View attachment 569957

You totally need a jigsaw and a big hammer in case you have built in water tanks with a plywood lid and baffles - that starts to rot after 20 years.

View attachment 569958

What if you decide Dorade boxes would be nice? Got any mold release wax?
View attachment 569959
View attachment 569960
I had a spare Balmar alternator and multiple rebuild kits aboard (at Balmar's recommendation) when we left the US for open-ended cruising on our last boat. Those early high-output small-case alternators had a limited service life.

On a work trip back to the US, I added a second spare alternator.

All of those got used over six years of cruising.

With the parts in hand, I could get an alternator rebuilt by virtually any electrical shop anywhere in the world. We didn't need to speak the same language. I could hand them the alternator and the rebuild kit, and pick it up the next day. I also made it clear I wanted them to save the old parts, so I could verify they had actually used all the new parts.

We lost the forward gear clutch in our undersized Hurth gearbox about five hours out of Thailand headed across the Indian Ocean. Sailed back to Phuket, then started looking for parts. The Hurth dealer in Singapore said it would be six weeks (!) to get the parts from Italy, plus probably another two weeks to get them through customs and shipped to Thailand.

Found a small machine shop in Phuket that took the gearbox apart (big screwdriver and a hammer, not the specialist Hurth tools which the company said "must" be used to separate the halves of the gearbox). They then machined new clutches out of bronze stock using the old ones as patterns, and we had it back together and in the boat in about a week. Those lasted another three years before I replaced the gearbox. It was cheaper and faster to replace than to rebuild.

At the other extreme, I had used up all my main engine raw water pump spares by the time we got to Oman. I sent an email to Depco Pump (a big distributor in Florida) asking if they had the pump in stock. I got a notice from the DHL agent at the local airport less than 36 hour later saying I had a parcel from the US. I still go to the Depco booth at boat shows to thank them for that level of service. (Don't forget to thank those companies and people that help you out.)

It doesn't matter how good the supply chain is if they can't get the bits to you because they are not in stock, and you don't have the tools or expertise to install them when they get to you.

Spares, tools, and a reasonable set of skills are essential unless drama while cruising in remote places is your thing.
 

Leeroy Jenkins

Super Anarchist
1,705
693
Vancouver
I've got a kid like that. But it's not stuff I can use. I'm going to give it away and watch if she notices (how would you like them apples?). If it was my buddy's kid they'd have gone to the charity store years ago.

Are you sure they are still there ... ?
I said better life. They're getting healthy use on a regular basis. Making someone else's life easier and I get a little dopamine hit from that.
They could go the "I came up around assholes and now it's my turn, how do you like them apples? ", route but he doesn't seem cut out to be an asshole.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
I am finding that common parts are available most places cruisers go. Specialty parts or mfg proprietary parts like say….the becket on the harken traveler - are hard to find so I have tried to go through the boat and ID all of those kind of parts and stock up, especially if they are “mission critical”. Interestingly the delrin balls are easier to find.
 

thinwater

Super Anarchist
1,062
144
Deale, MD
I said better life. They're getting healthy use on a regular basis. Making someone else's life easier and I get a little dopamine hit from that.
They could go the "I came up around assholes and now it's my turn, how do you like them apples? ", route but he doesn't seem cut out to be an asshole.
I was just joking.

My son in law has some of mine, for that reason. But somehow I have their surplus furniture.
 

Panoramix

Super Anarchist
Make note of the tools you actually use on your boat and keep them on board.

No need for full sets of 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch sockets sets when you only need about 1/2 dozen of them.

Same with wrenches, screwdrivers etc. If you change all screws to Robertson you will only need 4 drivers.

Note: this applies to maintenance tools, not construction tools - no bench sanders, chop saws and the like.

Tools should never be given away - that's what inheritance and estate sales are for.
+ 1

When I was cycling long distances, I used to dismantle my bike a month or so before a long one with the tools I would carry on the big ride, clean it, change the consumables, reassemble it all and finally go for a few rides including a fairly long one to check that everything was put back together OK and "willing" to stay attached to the bike. ;-) If a tool was missing during the big ride, it was following a properly made decision made on a weight vs risks of failure basis.

Obviously on a boat that would be too extreme but at least if you do maintenance with the boat toolset, chances are that in most cases you will have on board the right tools.
 

robtoujours

Communist
658
422
Undercover
Had a look through my old copy of "A World of My Own".

For RKJ;

D. TOOLS

1 set spanners for engine
1 spare set of Whitworth spanners
2 Stillson pipe wrenches
1 adjustable spanner
3 ring spanners
1 brace and full set wood bits
1 hand drill and 2 set drills 1/32" and 1/4"
1 wood plane
4 wood chisels
1 wood mallet
3 hammers
2 hacksaws with spare blades
1 wood saw
6 screwdrivers (including electric)
3 pairs pliers
1 portable vice
3 metal files
1 wood file
1 wire brush
2 cold chisels
2 oil cans
1 box assorted nuts, bolts, washers, brass screws, etc.
1 hydrometer

Not to forget the .303 rifle and 160 rounds of ammunition!

... makes me think most people are over equipped!

@chester - you mean a Vertue? Ok, I'm a pedant ;-)

EBEA9793-7BC5-4D50-AA94-5CD400710A23.jpeg
 

chester

Super Anarchist
6,650
1,606
Had a look through my old copy of "A World of My Own".

For RKJ;

D. TOOLS

1 set spanners for engine
1 spare set of Whitworth spanners
2 Stillson pipe wrenches
1 adjustable spanner
3 ring spanners
1 brace and full set wood bits
1 hand drill and 2 set drills 1/32" and 1/4"
1 wood plane
4 wood chisels
1 wood mallet
3 hammers
2 hacksaws with spare blades
1 wood saw
6 screwdrivers (including electric)
3 pairs pliers
1 portable vice
3 metal files
1 wood file
1 wire brush
2 cold chisels
2 oil cans
1 box assorted nuts, bolts, washers, brass screws, etc.
1 hydrometer

Not to forget the .303 rifle and 160 rounds of ammunition!

... makes me think most people are over equipped!

@chester - you mean a Vertue? Ok, I'm a pedant ;-)

View attachment 569880
you are right. I liked that book. The amount of stuff they inventoried seemed remarkable in such a tiny boat
 

Startracker

Member
428
116
Van Isl.
Must be really good crimpers. $50 buys you a well made Chinese set of hydraulic crimpers with hex dies up to 70mm^2 wire. I keep an 8 tonne set on the boat and a 13 tonne set in the workshop.

Now the roll crimpers, yeah, they can get expensive fast. If I had those I'd not be lending them out.

FKT
What's a roll crimper? It's a quantity issue, not a single one. 2x ancor racheting one-handers with interchangeable jaws(heat shrink and insulated), 1x the big ratcheting ones for battery cable that form a 4 sided full crimp, 1x big blue anchor pin style battery cable ones, 2 aircraft single size ones, 3 of various sizes of the fixed jaw ratcheting crimpers sell that go from 8-28 in various configurations, 2 mini one handed stubby ones for in control panels, and a half dozen strippers of various different styles right angle, straight etc.

If I were to replace them all, it would cost a lot more than 1200$, but that's about what I'm into them for, mostly bought used. I don't have any of the Chinese hydraulic ones, but I might end up with them at this point, I tried someone else's once and they were ok but seemed slow to me and kind of fiddly. I know who had the kit last in my memory, but they are adamant they don't have them, and without something written down... I have suspicions since they recently pawned their laptop, but I'm mostly kicking myself, especially as I try to track down other ones following that surprise, like will I drop 1k$ on another sander when my last one still had 2 years of warranty, knowing this will hopefully be the last time I need it? Picking between re-buying all sorts of tools I can't afford to finish my refit, or doing it with sub-standard ones is frustrating.
 


Latest posts



Top