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Old 01-22-2021, 09:19 AM   #1
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What spare do you carry?

What spares do you carry? How many of each type? Why?
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:24 AM   #2
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Spare microwave popcorn, extra sugar for lemonade and Iced Tea, Extra socks and undies in case our vaca goes longer than planned. Extra M&ms and some red licorice for munchies.

Oh, and some engine things

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Old 01-22-2021, 09:28 AM   #3
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Along with spare parts is the ability to diagnose and replace the part along with the diagnostic and repair tools. At some point even one spare of anything that can break is going to overload all but larger or some simplistic vessels.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:36 AM   #4
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Mostly just oil, filters, spare impeller for raw water. A "complete" set of tools including electrical meters, wire, connectors and crimpers. Sea Tow membership.

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Old 01-22-2021, 09:42 AM   #5
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For mechanical stuff, here's an approximate list of stuff I've got on the boat (and probably a few more things I've forgotten about). And a few things at home like spare props (getting them shipped wouldn't be a big deal, as I don't have the ability to swap them in the water without outside assistance anyway).

If I were planning a trip to somewhere that getting a part to me would be a challenge, I'd probably add some extra stuff. But most of the time, I don't need to carry the extra stuff and weight around, especially for parts that eventually age out (so I don't want to carry more spares than I'll rotate into use in a reasonable amount of time). Worst case, I limp in somewhere and wait for a day or 2 while something gets shipped to me.

  • Spare impellers (1 for generator, 1 engine impeller and housing)
  • Spare belts (1 for generator, 1 engine set)
  • Fuel filters (1 pair for engines)
  • Oil filters (1 pair for engines)
  • Spark plugs (1 engine worth)
  • Oil (enough to change both engines and generator)
  • Coolant
  • Steering fluid
  • Trans fluid
  • Assorted hose clamps, cable clamps, etc.
  • Assorted light bulbs
  • Assorted bits of wire
  • Wiring connectors
  • Assorted bits of hose
  • Assortment of hardware
  • Spare bilge pumps
  • Stuffing box packing (and packing extractor)
  • Spare fresh water pump
Plus a decent set of tools.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:42 AM   #6
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A "complete" set of tools?



I don't think I have ever worked on a boat where that is possible.


Even most page long lists of what people carry don't come close...but they are "good enough" for what spares they carry and work they attempt.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:45 AM   #7
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Parts and tools at the house don't count for long range cruising or liveaboards with no dirt storage.


As long as I don't leave the US East Coast, I can get almost anything overnighted anyhow...not need to carry. So boating style and location can be a huge factor. If one takes long trips even just seasonally, that is the list closest to long distance/term cruising.


Age of onboard and in use components can also be a factor when weighted against failure rate and probability of failure at some future time.



At some point an on board workshop was mentioned. Like military fleets and some vessels, the ability to manufacture and repair parts is nearly as important as spares. there are just too many things to carry sometimes.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:48 AM   #8
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What spares do you carry? How many of each type? Why?
Engine internal coolant pump, alternator, starter, raw water pump, one set of engine belts, one shut off solenoid, one engine fuel pump, air conditioner TRIAC switch and engine filters. Full set of tools including a hydraulic prop puller. Spare props, transmission and most of an engine are at the house.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Spare microwave popcorn, extra sugar for lemonade and Iced Tea, Extra socks and undies in case our vaca goes longer than planned. Extra M&ms and some red licorice for munchies.

Oh, and some engine things

pete

Lol
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:23 AM   #10
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My spare’s list would take me all day to type up. Just listing all the systems I carry spares for would take me an hour. What I do carry that most people over look is hose. I have every size hose that my engines uses in stock. I also stock a good selection of barbs, T’s, and couplers.

I have a lot of dual systems. There is a work around for almost every type of failure on my boat. On the other had, I don’t carry a single spare part for my dingy.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:25 AM   #11
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Curious no one mentioned things like fresh water pressure pumps, head rebuild kit and multiple joker valves, wire/relays/shrink wrap connectors of all sorts/coolant/injectors etc. Our thinking has been at least two or three for key systems and way more filters and replacement fluids then mentioned. Don’t like to change oil brands if possible. Yes fedex has changed the world but shipping is expensive and often slow. It’s fairly common to get stuck waiting for parts. Have had to wait weeks to get an AC motherboard (dometic who are responsive and good) and once for genset parts (lombardini sucks). +1 on various types of hose, clamps and connectors along with rescue tape.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:29 AM   #12
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I couldn't begin to tell you.

I know that's probably not good seafaring!

But the boat came with loads of spares (in the ER, under the bed, in foot lockers, etc.) every time I have to replace something I buy two and add to the pile. For example when I had a new water maker installed I also bought two sets of spare filters, when I bought a new AC/Heat controller pad, I bought two. Someone (I think on the DeFever owners forum) got rid of their boat and had a ton of Vacuflush spares so I bought the lot. When I have the annual engine service he uses the spares I have on board (filters and belts if necessary etc.) and replaces them with new. And so it goes.

One of these days I will get everything out and inventory - but that is way down the list.

You will never be able to have enough spares to cover every eventuality. For example I had a start relay go on my port engine when we were in the Abacos a couple of years ago. Plenty of relays to be found ashore - just not 24v!! So I had to jump that engine until we got home. Then, yes, I bought two!
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:30 AM   #13
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Curious no one mentioned things like fresh water pressure pumps, head rebuild kit and multiple joker valves, wire/relays/shrink wrap connectors of all sorts/coolant/injectors etc. Our thinking has been at least two or three for key systems and way more filters and replacement fluids then mentioned. Donít like to change oil brands if possible. Yes fedex has changed the world but shipping is expensive and often slow. Itís fairly common to get stuck waiting for parts. Have had to wait weeks to get an AC motherboard (dometic who are responsive and good) and once for genset parts (lombardini sucks). +1 on various types of hose, clamps and connectors along with rescue tape.

Good point on the head parts. I do have a few assorted head parts on hand. And I think I put a spare fresh water pump on my list. I don't worry as much about things like heads that I have 2 of, as if one is down for a couple of days while I wait for a part I don't have, that's not world-ending. It's the single systems I worry most about. And for dual systems, I sometimes only carry 1 set of certain spares, as the chance of both systems needing a part at the same is fairly low.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:38 AM   #14
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One of the benefits of a small boat with a small engine (75 hp Perkins 4.236) is ability to economically carry spares. I carry new spare lift pump, raw water pump (plus multiple impellors), and coolant pump. I also carry a spare starter-motor. As someone else said, I also carry a spare shut-down solenoid. I have two Balmar alternators installed or I'd carry a spare, plus I have a spare A/P installed for warm-standby if needed. I carry a full set of new injectors and a full set of engine gaskets with extra valve-cover and oil-pan gaskets. Generator is new but I will ultimately build a similar spares' set for it too. Spare engine-belts are zip-tied in-place for relatively easy installation. My potable water and wash-down pumps are the same (Whale) so I carry one spare for them both.

On my list is a spare set of hi-pressure fuel lines from injection pump to injectors. I also carry a flaring tool set and multiple diameters of copper tubing. I also need to figure out best way for a spare hydraulic line for my stabilizers - probably one or two that match longest hose.

One item I added several years ago was faucet cartridges for all faucets. I had one on a shower valve fail and it was a pain in the butt to turn water on/off. I guess I could have installed a valve to isolate the shower water supply, but it would have been better to just have the spare aboard. Amazing how a simple, $15 part can really mess with your day.

And then there is the standard list of spares and consumables - hose clamps, hoses, wire/electrical supplies, etc.

Peter
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:49 AM   #15
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Shipping may be slow but cheaper than another night in many US marinas and slow is very dependent on where it's shipped from and where its going.


Out of the US I don't have enough experience to comment...but as I posted...on the US East Coast and other places of density boating is usually population and better service.


Leave those places and better carry more and be able to do the work.


But as Tiltrider1 pointed out, many times, a workaround is possible as a temporary solution.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:53 AM   #16
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Then again, you could choose a toilet/head system which needs no spares.

We were out cruising with our daughter and a friend of hers when our head stopped flushing. We were traveling through Gardner Canal, one of the most visually dramatic fjords on BC's north coast, and I was toiling in the head. I keenly felt the passage of time with three ladies aboard.

Turns out the previous owner had used the outlet hose as a support for the plywood platform the head was sitting on, and it chose that particular time to squeeze shut enough to stop crap from leaving the bowl.

Now have an Airhead desiccating toilet and will never, ever have that or any other toilet plumbing problem again!
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:56 AM   #17
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I carry little in the way of spares on this smaller boat which has not cruised farther than 123 miles from home since I bought it in 2015. I have a set of hand tools which is complete enough to fix anything I have the willingness and ability to fix and a box full of electrical repair stuff (usually the most often type repair in my boats). Spare filters, belts, impeller, fuses, and LED lights (I am ALL LED) sums up the major items.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Curious no one mentioned things like fresh water pressure pumps, head rebuild kit and multiple joker valves, wire/relays/shrink wrap connectors of all sorts/coolant/injectors etc. Our thinking has been at least two or three for key systems and way more filters and replacement fluids then mentioned. Don’t like to change oil brands if possible. Yes fedex has changed the world but shipping is expensive and often slow. It’s fairly common to get stuck waiting for parts. Have had to wait weeks to get an AC motherboard (dometic who are responsive and good) and once for genset parts (lombardini sucks). +1 on various types of hose, clamps and connectors along with rescue tape.
As your 'FedEx' observation implies, you have to triage spares (meaning more than consumables such as filters, fluids, etc). From there, you have to further triage what is unique (the shower valve I mentioned), and what can be fabricated, however crudely - copper tubing for cracked hi-pressure lines, for example. For me, A/C is nice-to-have so a failed generator is not a show-stopper. I've added ports in my forward stateroom along with wind-scoop awnings and rain deflectors. Boats with aft/mid cabins or poor ventilation are not so fortunate in the tropics.

Another common failure item is a dinghy winch and switch console. Failure of one of these will stop you cold in your cruising tracks and resign you to marina life until repaired. Personally, because I am tired of failed electric winches, I went with an Andersen 16ST 2-speed and a Milwaukee 28v right angle drill to power. Of course, I also went with a modest dinghy with pull-start and tiller steer.

A couple days before I departed for my 500 nm trek south to Ensenada, my macerater pump failed. This was a problem - with three aboard and no direct overboard discharge, the idea of using a bucket wasn't a good option. The head system is another failure point that can really ruin your day. Personally, I am going composting head because I'm sick and tired of these. Best option would be a 2-head boat, one with compost (more correctly, desiccating as pointed out by MurrayM), the other traditional.

Anything with a motherboard is a potential problem (check that - will be a problem, eventually). Watermakers are hi-up on this list. Watermakers have reliability issues to begin with. Why anyone would go with a fully automatic one is beyond me - fully manual ones (with mechanical back-flush) do not add much effort, but save a ton of reliability. Get one with off-the-shelf parts vs the Spectre that can be a total nuisance to service and get parts for, even in the Caribbean where they claim plenty of coverage. You give up a lot of reliability for hi-efficiency and/or 12VDC watermaker.

But this brings up an interesting point. The Gospel according to Nordhavn preaches wing-engine (or, more recently, twins), and complex systems via check-the-box buyers. In the end, they are well protected against mid-ocean failures, but particularly vulnerable to in-port delays for parts. Some systems are fairly exotic with service knowledge existing only in major yachting centers such as Ft Lauderdale - just try to get a whiz-bang davit crane with power-every-direction or way-cool fully automatic watermaker repaired in Central America.

Good topic Hippo -

Peter
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:28 AM   #19
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Being much smaller and outboard powered all my spares (filters, plugs, ball valve, electrical kit, spare prop hardware) all fit in a small drawer except for 2 qts. oil, 2 spare props and a small canvas tool bag that allows me to fix everything I am capable of fixing. Last resort is to start the inflatable outboard which can run for 2 weeks once I switch the fuel supply to the main tank.


Our storage for favorite snacks exceeds the space for boat repair spares.


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Old 01-22-2021, 11:41 AM   #20
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I differentiate between spares for travelling, consumables, and "extra stuff I have on board to make it easier or cheaper".

Spares to me are things I need to make it to the nearest port, or to keep me from ruining my engines. Moreover, they're things that I have the skills to jump into out in the water without the benefit of internet or YouTube (non existent where we cruise). For spares I have a complete set of belts and hoses for one engine, and coolant to completely refill that engine. Also I have a spare raw water pump, impellers, and the tools to use all of these. Finally I have a supply of electrical connectors, wire of common gauges, and crimpers in case I can easily resolve an electronics issue underway.

I also have consumables, which I consider to be oil (engine and trans), fuel filters for Racors, and some spare diesel to top off a filter. And of course things like absorbent mats, towels, etc.

Then I have a lot of other stuff that's there so that when I eventually need it, I won't have to get gouged on it, or not take advantage of a convenient opportunity to work on it. For example I have an extra alternator. It's not a spare, because I don't need an alternator to keep running. Heck I travelled from Florida to Missouri with one alternator out - just ran the gen occasionally. I have extra oil filters and on engine fuel filters, but they're not spares either. I don't imagine needing to swap an oil filter to get to port, but I do like having all of that on hand so that when I am ready to change my oil, I can take advantage of a rainy day and not have to drive an hour (or two in our case) to find the stuff to do it. I have tons of other electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, specialty tools, etc to do projects, but those aren't spares to me. I also have extra props but I'm not changing those in the water, they're not "spares".

While I can definitely see how things like injectors and such could be spares to others, I'm not (yet) mechanically skilled enough to tackle something like that on the water with no assistance. I'd limp home on one engine or radio for a tow. With that in mind, I guess I'd add my credit card to my list of spares.
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