Tools on board
The variety of tools carried by a cruising yacht depends on factors like how much of the maintenance, repair and improvement work is carried out by the crew, their ability, the remoteness of the route, the length of the cruise and, of course, inclination.
With the exception of sail making, stainless welding and PC repairs Camomile handles all her work “in house”. She has also undergone a re-fit so consequently her inventory has been swollen by this activity too. The result is that she is probably in the upper quartile, in terms of tools carried, but not by any means at the top compared with other long term cruisers.
Listing the whole inventory though, as requested by one visitor to the site, still turned out to be too big a job. However I have categorised and done my best to create a photographic inventory to give an idea of roughly what is carried aboard, how “deeply” it is stored or how frequently it might be accessed. All of the tools shown have been put to use during our cruise and, where a specific project has needed a piece of equipment we did not possess at the time, I have either hired it or (usually) bought it during one of my unsupervised forays to the local hardware shops.
1st Used Pouch
This is the most used collection of tools on the boat and is positioned right by the companionway so it can be accessed quickly from both above and below decks. It consists of: Large and small screwdrivers, large and small posidrivers, knife/spike/shackle key, pliers and a small adjustable spanner.
Stored under the quarter berth for less frequent access these are indispensable especially the short neck version without which it is often impossible to access the hole to be drilled.
Bench and vices
If you can’t hold it you can’t hit it! The Workmate adaption is frequently used as is the small vice but the large engineer’s vice (not shown) is the one that allows heavy duty bending and forming to be undertaken. All stored under the quarter berth but the heavy vice requires removal of the entire contents to access it
Yes there may be a small number of these I haven’t used but having access to the range has been indispensable in getting those thoughtfully engineered devices, held together with specialised fixings, apart. Stored for moderately easy access.
Filing and cutting
Included in this frequent access draw are oil stones, drills, TC burrs, magnets, drill extensions, drifts, wire brushes, general purpose files, riffles and needle files, hack saw holder, pin hammer, junior hacksaw, angle drill chuck and various blades etc.
Measuring and labels
In a frequent access locker the following are stored: A TDS meter (for measuring purity of water maker out-put), 2 multimeters and a mains voltage detector and polarity checker, Vernier and digital measuring calipers, an IR thermometer, an engineer’s Zeus book and a small tape rule. Less frequently used are the luggage scales, a surveyor’s tape rule, labeling machine, and a Vernier protractor.
Stored in a frequent access tool drawer are: A set of metric ratchet spanners, metric and imperial Allen keys, standard and stubby screwdrivers, needle plyers, circlip plyers, Selden star drive (for the furling gear), a rig tension gauge, pipe grips, Mole grips, large adjustable spanners tubular spanners, selection of frequently used sockets and accessories and a brass key for turning any stand pipe we have encountered to date on and off.
All in a frequent access location: A seeing around corners stick, flexible nut runner driver, a grabber tool and (less frequently used) a set of metric cobalt drills from 1mm to 10mm in 0.5mm increments
Stored under the quarter berth in a less frequent access area: G cramps, club hammer (don’t leave home without it), sheet metal shears, machete, hacksaw (plastic frame), an f-off screwdriver and an equally f-off wrench.
Deeper under the quarter berth in a less frequent access area: Plastic tube cutter (really useful for removing sections of stiffened and lime encrusted piping, pop rivet gun, mastic gun and a staple gun.
Again under the quarter berth but deeper than Misc 3: Outboard flushing fitting, sprocket puller (own one of these and you’ll find friends for life), coarse oilstone and a set of jump leads.
Brushes, stirrers and rollers in deep storage
Power tools 1 & 2
Very deep storage: Belt sander (purchased for re-fit only), Multitool (the most useful power tool after the battery drills and angle grinder), Jigsaw, Power drill (12mm chuck),
angle grinder, orbital sander, router and circular saw (again used only for re-fit).
Pictured in “benches” and in a frequent access area: Heat gun and sanding mouse.
Not shown in photos but large 2 speed angle grinder suitable for both cutting and buffing mop (almost always used during haul-out) and a, reciprocating saw purchased for 1 off use at re-fit.
Rotary, clamping and cropping
Large bolt cutter to back-up slightly smaller version stored for fast emergency access in the deck locker.
In a less frequent access area: Polishing tools, drum sander, hole saws, taps, dies, spade cutters, wire brushes, saw blades, angle grinder discs, plug cutters, routing cutters, flap discs, grinding wheels, orbital sanding discs and G cramps (used for re-fit only).
Sockets and files
Deep storage and mostly back-up to more frequently used tools in more accessible locations: Files, coping saw, pipe cutter, sockets and various accessories.
Stitch and splice
In an easy access locker: Splicing fids and accessories, knife, palm, needles, wax, seizing wire, set of wad punches and various punches and dies for installing poppers, eyes and “lift the dot” fittings.
In an easy access location: Insulated screwdrivers, spare multimeter, gas soldering iron, electric soldering iron, blow torch, wire strippers, crimping tools and solder of various specifications.
Wood, rivet and rodding
In very deep storage and used less frequently: Large gauge rivet gun, dovetail saw, cross peen hammer, combination square set, block plane, smoothing plane, marking gauge, set of chisels and a rodding tool for clearing stubbornly blocked seacocks.