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Eddie Watts 11-15-2019 05:16 PM

Tool bag or Tool Box
Which do you use? I am considering using a 75 to 100 pocket tool backpack for several of the following reasons. My back at my age is stronger than my arms, easier to store, I hate digging for a tool, so I think a pocket style would be more organized. Easier to transport on and off the boat. Anyone have any experience with the tool backpack? Pros and Cons.

Bigsfish 11-15-2019 06:00 PM

Not experienced with a tool backpack but the boat has dedicated tools and those are stored in the engine room tool boxes. I used a canvas bag for everyday tools like screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, knife, ect (the tools most often used everyday).

Not sure I would like tools rummaging around in a backpack.

RT Firefly 11-15-2019 06:01 PM

Welcome aboard. Depends on how many tools you will be transporting to and fro, how many tools you keep on board, what tasks you hope to accomplish (electrical, mechanical, woodwork, fiberglass work, painting etc.) and in fact, how many tools you currently own. Sorta like asking which is better? A fork or a spoon? Spoons don't do terribly well with spaghetti and likewise forks are a bit weak eating soup. Spork anyone?


Comodave 11-15-2019 06:07 PM

I donít take tools on and off the boat, the boat tools stay on the boat. I have 3 Dewalt tool boxes for different size and type of tools and an open top carry bag for the tools that I use most of the time. I like the open top so I can see all the tools and donít have to dig for a given tool.

Lou_tribal 11-15-2019 06:26 PM

Tool chest of course!

Codger2 11-15-2019 06:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Comodave (Post 820883)
I donít take tools on and off the boat, the boat tools stay on the boat.

Same here but I hate going in the lazarette for my tool boxes so I bit the bullet and had this built. (Please don't ask how much.) :nonono:

madaquarist 11-15-2019 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by Codger2 (Post 820888)
Same here but I hate going in the lazarette for my tool boxes so I bit the bullet and had this built. (Please don't ask how much.) :nonono:

Ok I won't ask, it does look very nice though!!:thumb:

Bigsfish 11-15-2019 06:52 PM

Codger how do you keep the tools from rusting on the after deck box?

DavidM 11-15-2019 07:03 PM

I have a 30 YO West Marine toolbag that works for me. I have metric wrenches and sockets in separate tool holders but I do have to dig around in the bottom of the bag for US equivalents. Most everything else is stored in 10 inside pockets.

I like to say that I can do everything short of overhauling a Mack truck with that bag and I would do a pretty decent job of that minus some bigger 1/2 drive wrenches and sockets.

I do have a couple of steel tool boxes for the big stuff- the 1/2 drive, wrenches bigger than 3/4", files, tubing flaring tool, etc, etc.

I move that bag between my boat, car and RV depending on which I am using.


jimdavi 11-15-2019 07:12 PM

Tool bag for 90% of what I need. I have sockets and wrenches separated.

w8n4sun 11-15-2019 07:15 PM

My engine room is not large enough to hold a large tool chest, but does have a built-in 4 drawer chest. In the pilot house I have a drawer for hand tools. Then a couple of tool bags in the salon cabinet. It's the solution that works for the real estate I have.

I've seem tool backpacks but I ruled that out as it would have gotten too heavy and bulky to lug around the boat.

Eddie Watts 11-15-2019 08:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 96496 this is an example of what I am referring, I appreciate all the input. I used a smaller version of this which worked well for a 30 sailboat But am open to the suggestions from the great wealth of experience I have seen on this forum in the past 3 yrs. I finally joined in September and look forward to being more active.

Pete Meisinger 11-15-2019 08:24 PM

I have commented before that my toolbox weighs probably 150 pounds. Way more tools than I really need but I am prepared for any emergency. Of course I can't lift it but I have applied carpet to the bottom so I am able to slide it out of its hiding place under the lower help seat. Most of my "wrench" time is, of course in the bilge. When I need tools on the flybridge I have a small "traveling toolbox". Smaller than a small briefcase . Pliers, side cutters, phillips and straight screwdrivers, small hammer, tape and an adjustable wrench. There are a couple other things in it but it weighs less than 5 pounds and is easy to carry upstairs or onto the dock if the bikes need attention.

( Don't tell the Admiral I used the words "way more tools than I need")


Solly 11-15-2019 10:56 PM

I'm in for a couple bags. I have 1 for electrical and another for mechanical. Self explanatory. Screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches and utility knives in both.
So much easier to carry around. And a bag will stay put when you set it down. I like the kind with pockets around the outside and a 'hold all' interior. Put what you use most around the outside and bulky stuff inside.

kapnd 11-16-2019 12:02 AM

For me, a tool ROOM would be more appropriate!
I do have a portable tray of common tools that I use often, but there’s no way I could carry all my tools without a stout mule and a couple of Sherpas!

SoWhat 11-16-2019 01:17 AM

I keep tools aboard in several small plastic tool boxes. I load up a canvas boat bag with whatever I think I need for specific task.

I also keep some plastic totes handy. One full of sanders, scrapers, sandpaper, one for varnishing, one for fiberglassing, one for electrical work, they go back and forth from dock box to boat as needed. I like to keep busy with small projects.

fractalphreak 11-16-2019 01:22 AM

Because of the lack of space for a large workshop/tool box, I have a metal 4 drawer tool chest and a canvas tool bag that hold the bulk of my on board tools. I also have diagnostic tools (digital tach, temp, electrical test meters, etc) in a plastic bin in the same locker.

I then have a wood tool tote that I carry the tools/small parts I need around the boat to where I'm working. It lets me have a small select bit of kit to carry around, and forces me to judge what that bit of kit will be.

O C Diver 11-16-2019 07:18 AM

I have a plastic tool box with 2 large removable trays in one of the seat compartments in the saloon. Tools have stayed rust free as they are in the heat, air conditioning and dehumidifier area. Will probably add a couple of bags for larger wrenches and specialty tools.


MV Wanderlust 11-16-2019 08:41 AM

Bag, all the way.

Codger2 11-16-2019 09:07 AM

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Bigsfish (Post 820894)
Codger how do you keep the tools from rusting on the after deck box?

Funny, you should ask that specific question.

When I had the cabinet designed, that was a concern that evolved into a modular approach in the build. All drawers and shelves (side view) are protected by doors that close onto gaskets. So far, so good, as far as not seeing any corrosion on the tools. I believe the cockpit location for storage is every bit as good as storing everything in the lazarette. Not to mention that it is a lot more accessible.

Also, the assembled cabinet weighs about 400 pounds so it was assembled in modules. The top is fiddled and serves as a small work bench as well as a counter when barbecuing. We just love this cabinet and it is in a place that is out of the way.

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