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Old 03-13-2016, 10:41 PM   #1
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How often you used a spare?

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?
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:58 PM   #2
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You bring up a real issue. Spare parts, especially those with rubber components have a limited shelf life. Impellers are changed often enough that I'm comfortable putting in the spare in the pump and buying a new spare. My spare mechanical fuel pump, I wouldn't be comfortable using it if I had access to a new one.

A few years ago I had the belt break on my engine. I had a spare belt and could have easily changed it. It was late in the day, my guests were tired, the beer was cold, I've been paying for unlimited towing for years and never used it. I made the call. That was the only time I've been towed in in more than fifty years of boating. So no, other than light bulbs, I've never used an onboard spare.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:02 PM   #3
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I have used spare belts offshore and impellers but if it's hard to change you got to think will I do this when out or will I get a tow in
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:03 PM   #4
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Dang Hawgwash, you come up with some great questions.

Never needed to use a spare, but then I only have a spare impeller, fuel filter, and belt. The belt is probably too old to be any good to be honest.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:08 PM   #5
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You (actually everybody) should read Vigor's Black Box Theory;

Good Old Boat - Vigor's Black Box Theory article
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:21 PM   #6
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Hawgwash says: "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?"

During cruising, I've had to install my spare high output alternator and fresh water pump assembly.

When I purchased this boat in 1997, one of the first things I did to learn the boat was to take all of the spares and put them into service. This means I needed to have the proper tools and procedures in place to make it happen. The removed spares were then evaluated for remaining service life, rebuilt if needed, and put back into spares if appropriate.

This means that I have replaced raw water pumps, coolant pumps, starters, belt tensioners, both low and high output alternators, heat exchangers, transmission coolers, low pressure fuel pump and injectors. All while at my dock.

Certain spares have a calendar life, such as belts and impellers, after 8 years they get replaced with new.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM;
You (actually everybody) should read Vigor's Black Box Theory;
Well M, I am suspicious, so just accept that I smiled and nodded. Ok?
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:26 PM   #8
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Never.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:37 PM   #9
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Never.
Not even a spare camera??
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:43 PM   #10
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Not even a spare camera??
Never.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce;
Never.
What...no picture of never?
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:44 PM   #12
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Broke an alternator/water pump belt in a fairly remote area offshore from the Everglades. The previous owner had carefully stashed a spare on board. Assured the Admiral that we'd be back underway soon. WRONG... was the wrong size and no way in hell to make it work. The fix required a long Seatow.

Blew an oil cooler on main engine in the Bahamas. No worry... only took two days to find the spare. (Yeah, I know...make an inventory location list). Install was no problem and cruise continued.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:48 PM   #13
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What...no picture of never?
Everything is fine here in the engine compartment.



Have professional maintenance annually. That's cheaper with one engine rather than multiples. A fallacy of redundancy is when one does not maintain.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:52 PM   #14
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Well M, I am suspicious, so just accept that I smiled and nodded. Ok?
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:03 AM   #15
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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?
Use spares all the time.

I know they're good because don't keep useless spares onboard.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay N View Post
When I purchased this boat in 1997, one of the first things I did to learn the boat was to take all of the spares and put them into service. This means I needed to have the proper tools and procedures in place to make it happen. The removed spares were then evaluated for remaining service life, rebuilt if needed, and put back into spares if appropriate.

This means that I have replaced raw water pumps, coolant pumps, starters, belt tensioners, both low and high output alternators, heat exchangers, transmission coolers, low pressure fuel pump and injectors. All while at my dock.
You win!
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:10 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:15 AM   #18
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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.
Except the things you don't have a spare for, right?
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:07 AM   #19
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Always carry a rebuild kit for the heads. Shit happens. And I needed to use the kit. Everyone else went for a dinghy ride with the Admiral well I fixed the "problem with the guest toilet."
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:19 AM   #20
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I used a spare bilge pump switch on my last outing. The old one wasn't playing the game anymore.
It's something that I'd rather not be without.
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