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Old 10-01-2019, 01:46 PM   #1
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How much is too much?

So the boat we ended up with looks like it was prepared for a trip to Alaska.
We plan on just local weekend trips. (Everett to South Sound, Everett to San Juans) After going through all of the extra gear on the boat, how much do we really need to keep on board?

Digging under the rear hatches I found two spare props, another anchor and about 1000 feet of 3/4 rope and about 200 feet of chain. Far as spare parts go, we have twin everything from full oil changes/filters/plugs/wires/caps/ hoses/belts/zinks/paint/floats/pumps/more rope...

I can see packing like this for an extended trip, but really I don't see myself hopping in the water to change out two props here in the PNW and at over a hundred pounds, it would be a hard one for me to pull off on my own even if I had a wet/dry suit to do it. And I would not mind having a little more storage for say food, fishing gear, crab pots and what not.

Its a 33' boat, there is not a ton of room on it to start with.

So how much do I keep on the boat?
Or what's your comfort range.
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:34 PM   #2
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At the end of the day, it's what you're comfortable with- and nothing more.

Having a well equipped vessel is certainly nice, but if you have access to the spare props in short order, you may want to consider taking them off the vessel for local ops. If you head north, put them onboard.

I'd keep an assortment of filters and engine parts onboard at a minimum, as well as the spare anchor.
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:38 PM   #3
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This just prompted me to take a look at shipping costs for props... I have a spare set on board. In my typical cruising, I'm not all that likely to need them. And I'm not a diver, so it's not like I'll be swapping them myself on a whim if I have an issue. So I think they'll be getting off-loaded and staying at the house.

If I'm traveling and damage a prop that can't be repaired locally, I can have them shipped or driven to me. Even worst case, it would be in the $250 - 400 ballpark to have both props overnighted to me within my reasonable cruising area and under $100 for ground shipping that would only be an extra day or so for anywhere I'll be taking the boat for the forseeable future. That seems worthwhile to remove 60+ lbs of props from my forward bilge and to free up some space for anything else I may want / need to put down there. The weight alone is worth it on a planing hull IMO, especially considering mine is performance sensitive to weight up forward. And it'll make up for the extra weight I'll be adding to the bow from this winter's ground tackle refresh...
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
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We pulled our spare props off and put them in storage. After cruising for the past few years in the same home waters as you, here’s my “critical spares” list (I’ve had to do something or other under way or during a longer trip)

* wooden through hull plugs
* Pencil anodes - with and without the head bolts.
* Serpentine belts
* Distilled water (if you have lead acid batteries)
* Spare nav and anchor light bulbs
* Spare nav and anchor light assemblies (say, for example, you dropped one in the water when changing a bulb - ASK ME HOW I KNOW!)
* Oil and disposable paper funnels
* Impellers
* Spare engine coolant
* Spare transmission fluid
* Spare quick release fast pins
* Windshield wiper blades
* Bilge pump (we have a cartridge style, so the motor can be changed out independent from the other components)
* Stainless steel hose clamps

This list is always evolving. I keep fuel and oil filters on board just because I have room, but I’ve never had to do an emergency oil change while anchored in Liberty Bay. If I were going up the inside passage I’d obviously bring along more. But we generally stay within a day’s slow cruise of Seattle.

This is obviously complimented by all the right tools.
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:04 PM   #5
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:35 PM   #6
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After my Dad died, the joke at the yacht club was that after I pulled off all the extra spares, tools, gear, etc... from his 36' sailboat that it rode 6" higher in the water.


I have a LOT of extra stuff on my boat, not nearly as much as some of our fellow TF members who either live aboard or cruise extensively in remote locations. For Puget Sound I don't think you need nearly that much stuff. I keep spare filters, impellers, engine anodes, fuses, a couple cables and a full set of tools on the boat. The only reason I have the tools is I hate lugging a large toolbox to the boat and often find I have forgotten something.
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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For your purposes, I would not carry the anchor and line, nor the spare props. I'd carry everything else reasonable, especially filters, tools, small parts, impellers.
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:48 PM   #8
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For your purposes, I would not carry the anchor and line, nor the spare props. I'd carry everything else reasonable, especially filters, tools, small parts, impellers.
Iím with BandB. Everything else has no weight. If you need the space put the rest in the garage as well. With the cruising range you mentioned the fuel savings from the lost weight will be greater than the Cost of an Uber to get the stuff. I have never had a vacation saved by a spark plug or filter.

Now if you decide to venture into Canada I would put the props back on the boat. Everything else can be bought in Canada.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:32 PM   #9
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If you go to remote places, it's nice to have spare props. You can have them changed in the water in any fishing port. And it saves air freight to somewhere like remote Alaska. One reason I have a big boat is so I have plenty of storage.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:33 PM   #10
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You could offload the props and other heavy items if you can store them where someone has access to ship them to you. Your boat would be more weight sensitive than a FD boat.

I carry a similar amount to what came with your boat in my 30 footer. Things like a spare prop are stored in places like behind a cabinet where I need to pull out all the drawers to get access. Under the vee berth there are storage bins, for often used items, but if these bins are lifted out there is at least as much space underneath for seldom required equipment. It's worth keeping a list where everything is. After a few years, I tend to forget exactly in which noook or cranny I tucked away the spare part and have to check my notes.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:34 PM   #11
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If you go to remote places, it's nice to have spare props. You can have them changed in the water in any fishing port. And it saves air freight to somewhere like remote Alaska. One reason I have a big boat is so I have plenty of storage.
You have an 83' boat. The OP has a 33' boat. Big difference in space and in the impact of added weight.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:41 PM   #12
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You have an 83' boat. The OP has a 33' boat. Big difference in space and in the impact of added weight.

And on top of that, obtaining appropriate props for the 33 footer is likely easier and shipping props would certainly be cheaper than for the big boat, so the downsides of not carrying spares with you are smaller, provided you can tolerate some delay to get them in your hands.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:49 PM   #13
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I am about one spare part short of officially being a "hoarder". Most of it is on board, doesn't do me much good sitting in my garage when I need it.

However.. I do have a crate in my garage with parts which could be shipped or rushed to me in a semi-emergency. My engine is a F.L. 120 with less than 30 hours since major overhaul. Do I really need to carry an old starter when the one in place has perhaps 30 starts on it ?

I spend far more time in strange ports and marinas waiting for the weather to clear than I would ever anticipate waiting for parts. I just make the best of the delay and use the dink, or the kayaks or bikes and kill a day or more.

Besides, American Diesel will next day me nearly anything my engine could need.

That being said, I do carry a spare prop, some pumps and belts and a tool box which weighs probably 150 pounds.

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Old 10-01-2019, 10:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
If you go to remote places, it's nice to have spare props. You can have them changed in the water in any fishing port. And it saves air freight to somewhere like remote Alaska. One reason I have a big boat is so I have plenty of storage.

Agreed. That is why I kept my old prop on my sailboat, buried deep in the bilge. However, the OP isnít going anywhere remote. He is staying around the Salish Sea, mostly the Southern parts.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:38 AM   #15
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I do venture far from support and spares availability. Besides the usual filters, fluids, impellers, belts and tools, I carry spare raw pumps, spare fresh water pump, macerator pump and sump pump. The latter is critical because all off the sinks and showers on my boats drain to a common gray water tank which is then pumped out automatically.

I don’t carry a spare prop but I do carry a complete 2nd primary anchor setup. My cruising last summer was in areas where no docks or buoys are available.

If my prop gets damaged, I have a parachute-type sea anchor which can deployed to keep the boat headed up and not moving far (Those waters tend to be 800 to 2000 feet deep)...

And several rolls of Rescue Tape!!
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:54 AM   #16
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Remember, the OP, is not venturing out side of the Salish Sea, he is only a cab ride away from his home.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:23 AM   #17
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I wish I could remember which book, but Nigel Calder had an excellent approach to triaging spares. I forget exactly, but if something was small and difficult to source/replace and had a reasonable likelihood of failure, it was carried onboard - pump impellor comes to mind. Stuff that could be drop shipped was left onshore - a starter motor or propeller comes to mind (as another post suggests). As I recall, he had three categories laid out in a table.

When I emptied my boat for a refit that's underway, I found stuff I don't remember ever buying - and my waterline indeed raised (lowered?) 6-inches, which is amazing given the 30,000 lbs heft of my displacement trawler . Even found a brand new Comnav A/P pump. I miss the days of West Marine discount bins!
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:21 AM   #18
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Has anyone ever thought about the number of PUMPS on a boat ? My Albin is 36 feet:
Each toilet has a hand pump 2
Main engine fuel pump 1
Main engine water pumps 2
A/C water 1
Domestic water 1
Genny fuel and water 3
Bilge pumps 3
Dink outboard water pump 1
Fuel priming pump (broken) 1

TOTAL 15

Thats 15 machines to pump fuel and water ! No wonder at least one is often non functioning. And, my boat is small, think about a larger boat, scares me. I bet I am on the low side, how about others?

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Old 10-02-2019, 08:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Has anyone ever thought about the number of PUMPS on a boat ? My Albin is 36 feet:
Each toilet has a hand pump 2
Main engine fuel pump 1
Main engine water pumps 2
A/C water 1
Domestic water 1
Genny fuel and water 3
Bilge pumps 3
Dink outboard water pump 1
Fuel priming pump (broken) 1

TOTAL 15

Thats 15 machines to pump fuel and water ! No wonder at least one is often non functioning. And, my boat is small, think about a larger boat, scares me. I bet I am on the low side, how about others?

pete
Don't forget fuel injection pumps, main FW pumps, outboard fuel pump, salt water pump, webasto fuel pump, oil change pump etc. On my boat, I think I counted 47 various pumps.

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Old 10-02-2019, 08:37 AM   #20
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Has anyone ever thought about the number of PUMPS on a boat ?
Thats 15 machines to pump fuel and water ! No wonder at least one is often non functioning. And, my boat is small, think about a larger boat, scares me. I bet I am on the low side, how about others?
Good thought. Here's the total for pumps on my 38 footer:

Engine/generator raw water pumps: 3
Engine/generator coolant pumps: 3
A/C pumps: 2 (the 2 smaller units share a pump)
Head pumps: 2
Fresh water pump: 1
Macerator pump: 1
Bilge pumps: 3 (will be more after this winter)
Shower pumps: 2
Engine / generator fuel pumps: 3 (2 mechanical on the engines, 1 electric on the generator)

That's 20 pumps total for me. And it'll go up a bit this winter when I re-engineer the bilge pump setup (probably 2 or 3 additional pumps there) and I'll also be adding a washdown pump. So I'll end up around 24 pumps total.

Fortunately, most of my pumps are non-critical. I carry a spare water pump, a spare one of my smaller bilge pumps and a spare impeller for the engine raw water pumps. If I lose a head or shower pump, I can just use the other one for a day or 2 until I can obtain a replacement or parts. Macerator pump is just decoration with the boat's current home, so I wouldn't even notice if it failed. If I lose an impeller on the generator, I can live without it. Same with A/C. And if an engine coolant pump goes without warning, I make a speed-limited run on one engine to somewhere I can obtain parts, wait for things to cool and then swap it out.
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