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Old 06-17-2014, 09:05 AM   #1
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What to do with spares??

IMO carrying new spares such as pumps and belts is a mistake.

Spares should be installed to see if they fit and work and the removed part kept as the spare. That way you know for certain that the spare fits when it is needed far from home.

Installing the part also insures that you have the necessary tools and knowledge to replace the part.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:11 AM   #2
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This is a often cited concept but I don't know how often it is honored. Having the spare, a system for finding the spare when you need it, and the tools and instructions to install the spare are important.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #3
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Warranty issues are a pro install the spare plus.

Spares that don't work and are not supported are not needed on the boat. But it makes one feel better prepared.

Now if I just followed my own advise I would not know this issue deserves some thought.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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Some items are just too critical to not carry a spare for if you are cruising and either can't get to a marina or the marinas don't have services like water turned on due to the season.....items such as a fresh water pump, toilet parts etc....are handy to have...and yes you must KNOW they will fit/work....how you do that is a personal preference.

For many items and many cruisers who are only an overnight package or 2 day away delivery of a replacement...then again...just personal preference...I need the space and with not being on a set schedule can live with waiting for most things.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:26 AM   #6
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Figured it was time to replace my v belts and got out the spares I had aboard. Even though the numbers matched they would not fit the sheaves. Just glad I found out in the slip rather than underway.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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[QUOTE]IMO carrying new spares such as pumps and belts is a mistake/QUOTE]

Sorry I feel the opposite.
Not carrying some spares is a mistake. I carry many spares. While one cannot carry everything, you make a guess.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #8
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With only one engine, I try keep all the normal consumable spares onboard which gives me an absolute guarantee that I do not have the part onboard that breaks.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=jleonard;242578]
Quote:
IMO carrying new spares such as pumps and belts is a mistake/QUOTE]

Sorry I feel the opposite.
Not carrying some spares is a mistake. I carry many spares. While one cannot carry everything, you make a guess.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=jleonard;242578]
Quote:
IMO carrying new spares such as pumps and belts is a mistake/QUOTE]

Sorry I feel the opposite.
Not carrying some spares is a mistake. I carry many spares. While one cannot carry everything, you make a guess.
Umm....he's not suggesting that you don't carry spares. He is suggesting that as soon as you purchase the new spares you install them and keep the old ones as spares.

That way you know they work, and you know the spares work.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:40 PM   #11
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I can't imagine not having spare belts and other critical parts when underway. My typical assortment of spare parts for my diesel include belts, fuel/oil filters, spare impellers, raw water pump (with gear already installed), and hose (with couplers and clamps to repair breaks). I have limited space but still also manage to carry a spare prop, full assortment of tools, stainless steel screws/bolts/nuts/washers, wire/connectors, bulbs, 4 quarts of oil, transmission oil, hydraulic fluid, and much more.

I only use "Volvo" parts in lieu of aftermarket for my diesel to ensure fit and compatibility. Pricey and probably not 100% necessary, but I want to ensure the part will be fully compatible if I'm making a repair remotely.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:52 PM   #12
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I think a lot has to do with where you are cruising. If you are coastal US, then you can get pretty much anything within a couple of days, even one day if you are willing to pay. In this case I'd only carry what I think I would need for a repair that has to be done at sea, adn whatever additional things I would want on hand for convenience. For example, I have always kept a set of filters, impellers, wiper blades, etc. on board because I don't want to have to wait for parts, and I know I'll consume them within 1-2 years.

Cruising outside the US, even in 1st world countries can be very different. When in Canada I fried the plug end on my 50A shore power cord. I went from Quebec City all the way around the Maritimes including stops is pretty much every large port, and didn't find a replacement plug end, or even a whole cord set until I got to Halifax. People offered to order me one, but it would take a week and I wasn't staying anywhere that long.

That's Canada. Now try the Bahamas, Mexico, or someplace really remote. Fogettaboutit. In these cases it's about carry spares because they will otherwise be difficult to get and stall you for weeks or more.

The offshore cruising is another category where there is a whole other scope of problems that you need to be able to solve at sea.

I've never been a fan of keeping used parts as spares. I figure if a part needs to be replaced, it's because it's a bad part and why would I want to turn around and put it back in my boat again? And if I did put a used part in the boat as a repair, wouldn't I want to replace it with new at the next opportunity, thereby having to performing the repair twice? No thanks.

But you make a good point about being certain that the parts you have on hand actually fit. Some parts are move easily confirmed correct than others, so I guess it needs to be figured out on a case by case basis. If the filters on my engine are marked with part number X and the replacement is marked with X, then I'm pretty good with it. Air filters are probably easy enough to pop out and check for a match. A water pump might be a little harder, but I probably would just do a visual/measurement check. I wouldn't tear into the engine to check thermostats, valve cover gaskets, or anything internal. Same with injectors, pumps, etc. I think belts are the big thing that I'd worry about, mostly because engines have different accessories, pulley ratios, etc which can mean different belts, so I might do a test fit if I can't find an exact number match on the two belts. But I'd probably put the old belt back on and keep the new as a spare.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:55 PM   #13
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unless you buy 2, toss what came off the boat, install one new part, remove it and replace it with the second new part...I can't see keeping used, questionable life parts that have been subject to forces, temps or chemicals as spares....

if you know your equipment, you pretty much know what tools are needed and parts from reliable sources ate either trust worthy in you mind or if there's doubt..dry fitting in place or with other known objects should ease the concern.

Things like old belts I keep long enough to pair up with a new spare..if within the adjustment tolerances of the alternator, etc..then stores get vacuum sealed if possible or hung where needed most...and the old gets tossed.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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What to do with spares??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
IMO carrying new spares such as pumps and belts is a mistake.

Spares should be installed to see if they fit and work and the removed part kept as the spare. That way you know for certain that the spare fits when it is needed far from home.

Installing the part also insures that you have the necessary tools and knowledge to replace the part.

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Old 06-17-2014, 05:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post

I've never been a fan of keeping used parts as spares. I figure if a part needs to be replaced, it's because it's a bad part and why would I want to turn around and put it back in my boat again? And if I did put a used part in the boat as a repair, wouldn't I want to replace it with new at the next opportunity, thereby having to performing the repair twice? No thanks.

I tend to treat the idea of spares as a "one size doesn't fit all" situation.

We replaced a water pump with a new one... but rebuilt the old one, and I carry it as a spare. A get-home that I could install underway if necessary.

With belts and such like, we usually do as FF suggests: on with the new, save the old. Another get-home, in case the newer one fails.

OTOH, with impellers, I buy new and install the spares... which were new when I bought 'em last year. There, I'm hoping to deal sensibly with the idea of shelf life.

We keep a full set of filters on board; mostly as a matter of convenience. If I want to change the oil on a Sunday, I can do it without having to find a chandlery with our filters in stock.

I don't have a spare starter, aftercooler, turbo, freshwater pump, etc.... Yet. If I need to replace one, and if the old one is rebuild-able (within reason), I might consider that, though. The freshwater pump we replaced was NOT worth any additional effort... but OTOH I can get a new one relatively quickly if necessary. (Coastal cruising.)

And so forth.

IOW, a firm "it depends."

Yes, sometimes that might mean a repair twice... but OTOH, I do most of the work so it's not a huge cost, other than the part itself. And sometimes, I just don't want to tie up too much $$ in inventory.

Still, I do think different circumstances -- coastal versus passagemaking, for instance -- ought to guide one's process for dealing with spares.

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Old 06-17-2014, 06:23 PM   #16
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Spares should be installed to see if they fit and work and the removed part kept as the spare. That way you know for certain that the spare fits when it is needed far from home.

Installing the part also insures that you have the necessary tools and knowledge to replace the part.
Well, I have a spare engine and transmission....
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:25 PM   #17
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Well, I have a spare engine and transmission....
Oh Oh, are we about to morph into a single verse twin debate?
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #18
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I have no grip with caring spares and knowing how to use same. The problem I have is my engine is a modern marvel and very electronic many faults are not approachable by my limited talent and I do not have the factory computer program to deal with same. Even the belt is a mechanical nightmare with a self adjusting system that is not for a weekend mechanic to mess with. I carry plenty of spare filters and a spare raw water pump and impellers extra packing for glands and am not sure there is anything else I could mess with. On older engines I used to carry fuel pump-water pump-injectors and belts now all I can do is count on my spare engine. as posted above.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #19
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Shelf life of spares is an issue. When my boat was new I bought a lot of spares including a starter and fuel lift pump. Ten or fifteen years later my starter failed. I put on the spare, it didn't work. It looked new, it just wouldn't work. I still have my original spare fuel pump. I doubt if it would work now.

"OTOH, with impellers, I buy new and install the spares... which were new when I bought 'em last year. There, I'm hoping to deal sensibly with the idea of shelf life."

That's what I do as well. Their shelf life is long enough and service life short enough that this makes sense.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:22 AM   #20
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At home you have a car and know where to get parts. Go to any other city on a coastal cruise and try to find the correct lift pump or belt. It will probably take all day and require a rental car. If you have the removed but still in working condition belt and the tools to install it is not a hard job.
easyschuman makes a good point about modern electronic diesels which require expensive computer programs and skills beyond even the certified mechanics to operate. Not many wrenches are also the IT professionals that they are required to be.

RE, that complex belt. Often a wrench or lever on the idler pulley will move it so that the belt may be removed easily.

The best parts that came with my Cummins were repair and parts manuals. They sell engines world wide and the manual was written so that people anywhere would have a chance at doing stuff, even me.
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