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Old 07-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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Suggest or Recommended Tool Kit

Greetings.

This is my first post to the Trawlers Forum. Please be gentle with me.

The wife and I are shopping for a trawler that we intend to live aboard and cruise full time. We will initially cruise the Gulf Coast and then work our way through the Caribbean. There is a lot we need to learn. I am hoping to get some feedback on what you experienced boaters like to have on board in regards to tools.

I am an experienced woodworker with an education in Marine Carpentry, have worked for Boeing as a Machinist and did work for Delta Marine in Seattle for a while. There is not much that I can not fix or repair and I have an abundance of hand and power tools. Most of them I won't be needing. Perhaps some of you can clue me in on what's most practical to have with you?



Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:25 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. I think there may be a "sticky" somewhere with a large-ish "recommended tool" thread.

IF there isn't, I would recommend to the mods that one be created. Perhaps in the General Maintenance section.


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Old 07-19-2017, 01:45 PM   #3
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For a helpful and entertaining TF discussion on tools, see:

Best Misused Boat Tool
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:55 PM   #4
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I carry a bunch of tools and I keep them in 4 kits: 1) sealants, glue, epoxy etc. 2) tools, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches 3) electrical - testers, wire, strippers, fuses 4) everything else - misc. hardware and fittings, loose screws, nuts, etc, clamps, vices, pipe wrench, big hammer, extension cords, jumper cables. Of course I have a cordless drill and sander.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:04 PM   #5
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Captain Crustacean,
Study your boat and figure out every tool, including the specialty one you need to do the basic maintenance.... filters, hoses, batteries, wiring, cleaning, replacing, etc.

And, there's an argument to go thru all the basic maintenance before venturing out a long distance, so you can discover tools you may need, or may have to modify.

I've found a few things that I didn't think I'd need:
A special filter wrench
A cut down socket to fit in tight places
Etc.
And, I'd argue that the following could be useful: (in addition to common tools)
grinder
bench vice
torch and heat guns
prop puller
spanner wrenches
solder tools
compressor
rivit tool
rivnut tool

And some common tool additions:
Swivel socket and deep sockets

Then there's the adhesives, lubricants, clamps, hardware, hoses, etc....
And the supplies: filters, belts, hoses, electrical connectors, etc.

and the stuff I forgot...
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:20 PM   #6
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Using the Google-powered Trawler Forum Search Tool linked at the bottom of this post, I searched for 'Boat Tools".

Here are the first four I found:

Tools For The Boat

Tools Needed

Essential tools

Let's talk tools!
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:25 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. FW. Thanks. Can you make this a sticky as the question has arisen before and while I am NOT adverse to newbies asking the same questions pretty well every time I post my tools list, I've forgotten a few things.

Perhaps a comprehensive one spot list might be in order.

Regarding what tools and how many tools, one has to seriously consider where the heck to store all this "stuff" (Tools AND spares).
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:58 PM   #8
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I. Think ??? I agree with Mr. RT. About a sticky.
This keeps coming up in one form or another.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:16 PM   #9
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One thing that took me a long time to figure out is that a nut driver is a way easier and more effective tool than a screw driver for tightening hose clamps. Even if you buy only one, a 5/16", you will be glad for it each time to install or remove a clamp. There is also a smaller size for small clamps, but I don't know what it is off hand.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
one thing that took me a long time to figure out is that a nut driver is a way easier and more effective tool than a screw driver for tightening hose clamps. Even if you buy only one, a 5/16", you will be glad for it each time to install or remove a clamp. There is also a smaller size for small clamps, but i don't know what it is off hand.
+1

l.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:35 PM   #11
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1/4 ". For the smaller clamps.
Some, rare so far may have metric head screws but nut drivers are available for those too.

I never use a screwdriver but some clamps are positioned so nut driver cannot get access. Then an assortment of 1/4" drives, extensions swivels and handles will get access. If swivel keeps twisting away use a wrap or two of electrical tape to better control swivel.

Where possible I reposition the clamp screws for easier , not always easy, access.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:36 PM   #12
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It doesn't speak to "kits" but I've found it useful over the years to acquire the exact right and easiest to use -- driver, socket, ratchet, wrench, whatever -- for each and every fastener on the boat.

Actually doing that is likely a never-ending process, but I'm winning, one fastener at a time.

Just the other day I think I worked out a better way to change raw water pump impellers. After-the-fact, of course, but maybe next time will be easier. Our impellers can be relatively easily extracted with a 3/4" x 16 fully threaded cap screw and using a 1-1/8" socket .... but there's not much room to swing a wrench or a manual ratchet. Takes a long time, even if not particularly difficult. Solution (probably): cordless electric ratchet. Issue: they mostly only come with 1/4 or 3/8" drives, former too small and the 3/8" drive won't fit a socket normally used with a 1/2" drive anyway (as is typical with 1-18" sockets). Solution (probably): a 4-piece socket drive conversion set (1/4 to 3/8 and vice versa, and 3/8 to 1/2 and vice versa).

There's an additional potential benefit. A few weeks ago I was studying on SpeedSeals because their hand screws might be faster than wrenching the bolts on our water pump wear plates (not much swing room). Looks like the cordless ratchet, with appropriate sockets, can speed up that process, too.

I have hopes.

Anyway, I've on purpose tried to acquire the exact right/easiest tools for each job... usually after having struggled through it at least once using generic tools from various kits on the boat.

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Old 07-19-2017, 06:07 PM   #13
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Easy....every time you bring a tool to the boat for something, leave it on the boat! Eventually, you'll have a boat full of tools
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:29 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. Sea. Good point BUT please re-read the last part of my post #7. One needs the room/space to store all this "stuff". I ran out of room about 4 years ago and I'm still bringing "stuff" aboard. My last purchase was an air compressor. I thought I had "just the place" but my measurements were about 2" off-Aw snap! (Not quite my reaction but TF is supposed to be a family site)

Now I know why people buy larger boats.

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Old 07-19-2017, 06:33 PM   #15
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Couple of truths:
Whatever you start with you will end up with more.

No matter how many tools you have there will be times you don't have the one you want.

Also gets more complicated with the some are metric and some aren't.
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:50 PM   #16
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It does get crowded. The running joke is, I have twins, but one of them is in pieces!

One of the better suggestions I've listened to is to run the boat for a bit, verifying everything is OK, then replace all of the maintence/ emergency items with your spares. Now you know your actual used spares are good, and you know what tools are needed for the procedures.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:05 PM   #17
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This is great dialog. Your comments have been very helpful.

Bottom line: I'm not going to be prepared for every possibility (especially considering I haven't even got the boat yet). There are a groups of tools that will work for most basic problems. There are some specialty tools that will be needed for routine maintenance. Then there are those tools I wont' need until I find out I need them. Then there's duct tape and super glue.

Thanks for all of your advise. I am going to read over the other threads, make a list and put together some tool kits. I might need some bailing wire too.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:25 PM   #18
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Good thing you didn't ask about .....shhhhh whispering here......anchors......you'd need a second dinghy to carry em all.....
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