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Old 03-14-2016, 02:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
Everyone has a supply of spares and I get the why.
But, how often, while away from home, have you actually used a spare; pump, alternator, starter, voltage regulator etc. etc?

How do you know your spare this or that is even any good?
Never - not even close. However, we never do huge distances. Our biggest daily distance was 200nm.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:24 AM   #22
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Does anyone carry a spare starter motor and had to use it?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:35 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
Does anyone carry a spare starter motor and had to use it?
No, but ironically that is the one part I did have trouble with not long after I bought the boat some 14 years ago now. However, it gave out slowly, announcing the fact by sometimes, often when you most needed it to work quickly, (like in a blow, caught on a lee shore, and dragging), but even then hitting it with a mallet while the wife turned the key got it going in time, and even if I had had a spare, there is no way I would have tried to change it out then. So I had time to get it reconditioned back at the dock, and that reconditioned one has never missed a beat since. So they are very reliable, and the odd hiccup a worn one gives, like I mentioned, means taking heed of that and getting it serviced then saves a change at sea. They seldom just die completely and suddenly, so unless planning to travel huge distances, I would not have a spare. They are not easy to change in real life either, so unless you have practised it at the dock - forget it.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:49 AM   #24
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Similarly to Pete, our starter started showing signs of a slow demise when we bought Badger. We ordered a new starter, installed it, and had the original rebuilt to live again as a spare.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:56 AM   #25
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My other boat is a charter boat. I use to run 100 trips a year with it. Use anything enough and in spite of preventative maintenance, things break. From memory the spares I've used:

Racor filter (changed every spring) got bad fuel.
2 Delco alternators
Serpentine belt (now change it every spring)
Raw water impeller (changed every spring) factory defective
Head raw water pump
Air conditioning raw water pump (keep the customers happy)
Hose clamp on raw water system (22 GPM into bilge) (all are now double clamped)
Nuts, bolts, screws and several light bulbs.

I follow a PM procedure of using my spares each spring and replacing the spare with new. Also follow the principle on many spares that they have a limited shelf life and put them into service based on time as spares.

Have spare Starter, alternator, raw water pump and fresh water pump.

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Old 03-14-2016, 07:00 AM   #26
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Boat came with a 2 boxes of spares parts the last owner as anal . But as luck has it the few things that have let me down won't in the boxes of spares. .


One thing I have learn't with boats ,cars machinery its the things like rescue tape .fencing wire .different glues .box of mixed screws nuts and bolt clamps can get me out of trouble .
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
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It's not that you expect to use the spares, it is to appease the gods of machinery that you respect them and take reasonable precautions. They approve of your effort, and therefore they prevent any breakdowns.
Exactly! A spare on board is a guarantee that you will never need it. It's like buying a snow blower. It stops the snow fall dead in its tracks.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:35 AM   #28
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Have used two injector lines in last (1600 hours) 4 years/snowbird cruises.
Fuel filters.
Engine zincs.
Alternator belt.
Complete oil changes (done in port but while on long cruises).
Battery cable fuses.
Lights, bulbs of all kinds.
Various electrical switches.
GFI outlet.
Water filters for galley.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:46 AM   #29
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Within the last year we have used a spare; alternator, gear box cooler, hose from the cooling header tank to the engine, several hose clamps and domestic water hose. That doesn't include oil, filters and things that we consider consumables.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:46 AM   #30
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On a more serious note, I think this is one of those questions where the answer is, "it depends". If you are coastal cruising in generally populated areas, aka pretty much all of the US coast line, I would carry minimal spares.

- Under any circumstances I would carry a bunch of racors (or whatever brand you use). You can get a bad batch of fuel anytime. And you can make your own bad batch of fuel anytime by getting caught in rough seas and stirring up settled crud in your tanks.

- Additionally, I'd carry spares for maintenance and wear items. So impellers, belts, and other filters. Also fuses and some basic electrical components (wire ends, etc.) and some misc plumbing parts like misc hose and clamps. Maintenance parts are going to get used within a year anyway, so you know you will use them and you know they won't have time to go bad. So other than space, no really downside to having them.

- Regardless of what maintenance spares are on board, I'd think carefully about what repairs I would realistically do at sea vs getting home via one engine, a wing engine, or a tow. Repairs are much easier at the dock, especially when you discover some gasket or o-ring that you need, tool that you need, or when you break something else on the boat in the process. This is the voice of experience

- Once back at the dock, the only advantage to having spares on board is time. You can use a part that is on-hand, or you can go to a local supplier, or order via mail. But for anything you need to order, you can probably get it next day if you want it badly enough. So having spares on hand saves you a day or so, maybe.

All this suggests carrying minimal spares, thanks to widely available get-home techniques (alternate propulsion or towing), and exceptional mail-order suppliers.

However, things are much different when you start traveling to remote destinations. Even the Bahamas counts as remote, though physically it's not far away. I had a watermaker part sent to me overnight in Hopetown which is a populous location, and it took a week. I hear regular stories of parts simply never arriving because someone somewhere along the way decided they liked the package and kept it for themselves. This is where there is a whole different reason to carry many, many more spares.... time.

If you are in a far away place and something breaks, even something non-critical, repair can be a real logistical nightmare and cause significant delays simply because of parts. You can frequently find a local mechanic or technician, but without parts they cannot help you. Our parts sparing is based on this view point. I look at important systems, what is most likely to fail, and I come up with some action plan in the event of a failure. If there is a long term way to work around it then I might not carry any spares, but more often than not I will. So I have a spare fresh water pump, manual holding tank discharge pumps, spare fans, hydraulic parts, battery chargers, monitors, critical electronics parts, lights, etc. Basically I want to avoid getting stuck somewhere waiting for parts.

Of course any sparing strategy is a gamble, so you are only improving your odds. In reality we all know that the spares you have are the ones you won't need, and the spares you don't have are the ones you will need.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:39 AM   #31
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On a more serious note, I think this is one of those questions where the answer is, "it depends". If you are coastal cruising in generally populated areas, aka pretty much all of the US coast line, I would carry minimal spares...............
I agree. I haven't yet cruised anywhere TowBoatUS wouldn't come and get me and tow me to where I could get parts.

That said, I do carry a few spares and of course filters. The only spare I can recall using while away from home is the pair of belts for the alternator and water pump. The old belts didn't break but they looked pretty ragged and I decided that replacing them before it was an emergency would be a good idea.

I had to replace a transmission oil cooler once while cruising and it was a weekend so I had to stay in a marina longer than I had planned, but I had a replacement air shipped and installed it and was on my way.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:51 AM   #32
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We've used spares as part of our normal routine. We do have them all bar coded and located so easy to find and all have expiration dates so we replace if they expire. We cruise long distances and routine maintenance often required in the course of trips and we do cruise outside the range of tow services frequently. Now when we do the loop, we will carry far fewer spares on that boat, as we aren't offshore and we have space limitations. Also, we can get any part needed within less than 24 hours.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:09 AM   #33
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I have put my spare alternator on while the primary was being repaired. I carry plenty of spare filters and a couple of impellers as well as enough oil for an oil change, oil for the tranny and enough antifreeze to completely refill the system. I also have a more or less complete set of spare hoses. In addition I keep a couple of hundred feet of #12 wire on board along with a collection of connectors and heat shrink. The only other spares I carry are three spare bilge pumps and float switches.

I don't carry a spare engine like many of the others that post here do.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:14 AM   #34
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Use of spares we carried: belts (typically last 1500-2000 hours), seawater impellers (for some reason ours last only 200-300 hours), air filters (when dirty), oil filters (scheduled oil change), alternator brushes, props (dinged on floating wood).

We've shipped in a few parts too - seawater pump, turbo, exhaust elbow, v-clamp holding turbo and exhaust elbow together.

SE AK cruises always involve some practice installing spares, sometimes (belts, impellers, props) in very remote locations.

We've been completely disabled only once in 6,500 hours - the sterndrive failed catastrophically. Got back to Lake Powell launch ramp thanks to our kicker.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:27 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B;
Never - not even close.
Hah!
Then what's that thing hangin' off your back end if it aint a spare?
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:57 AM   #36
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One spare I have never used is the FX 55 anchor still in its red bag. I'm fearful of selling it though for the mentioned curse.

For those of us blessed with twin engines and heads, spares are in place and ready to go. I've been hoping the AP 20 would give up the ghost, it won't darn it. I was worried about the navigation laptop with Windows XP, it is now a great working spare and may well outlast the new navigation laptop.

Last summer the fresh water pump went kaput, the 8 year old in the box spare went on. I used a spare coolant pump 2 years ago. My IT friends in the big yacht business fly all over the world installing spare/new electronics. Things have changed.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:16 AM   #37
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Being in a small town in Alaska I have to keep a large parts supply on the boat. Most parts are mail order items.

So, I guess I use "spares" all the time. Mostly small stuff, rarely the engine parts.

I rarely use a "spare" while away from the dock though. My goal is to not have to work on the boat while underway.

What I do is spend time aboard, at the dock "puttering" on the boat. I tend to replace and or fix things at the first sign of something amis, vs waiting for a failure. To me, that time spent on the boat is part of the joy of boating.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:19 AM   #38
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What JN said. Buy spare, immediately install. Evaluate removed item, and either see if it can swim, or rebuild and put back into "spares" storage. Sort of like an elephant protector-if you've put your new spares into immediate service, those components seldom fail in the future. But you've got spares (and the tools and the knowledge to use 'em) if you need to.

Remember the definition of cruising-repairing boats in exotic places. In the boonies, if you ain't got the spares, you ain't fixing it.

Regards,

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #39
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In the last 6 months, off the top of my head, I recall needing to use the following spares:Watermaker, dinghy, hydraulic cooling pump, dinghy Davit controller, generator oil pressure switch, dog leash, and a bilge pump.



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Old 03-14-2016, 12:18 PM   #40
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That I recall, so far 2 spare Racor filters, 15 amp breaker, some water hose, windlass relay and 2 Northern Lights genset ceramic raw water pump seals.
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