Tools Aboard Ship

Below I’ve assembled photos and a list of the essential items for your sailboat tool bag.  Stainless tools are nice but not necessary, but if you choose non-stainless tools you will have to clean and oil your tools regularly.
First start with a good quality tote-type bag.  I chose a Craftsmen bag from Kmart. 
 Now this is a have to find a place to store your tool bag where it will not get wet!!!
I keep an assortment of
wrenches on a carabineer.  Most of my tools have a special tie wrap attached.  The tie wrap has an eyelet molded into it.  These tie wraps came with the tool saver that I bought at West Marine.  The tool saver consists of  two coily cords with clips on one end and a carabineer on the other.  The idea is to clip the carabiner to your belt loop and then the individual clips to each tool.  After Davy Jone's locker has claimed her share of your tools you will begin to understand the value of the $12 item.
   Mine has an ice pick and a wrench on it most of the time for shroud and stay adjustment.
Of course you will need an assortment of screw drivers, a hammer, a tape measure and a flashlight.
 A good variety of pliers is also a must.  I carry a small pair of Vice Grips, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, linemen's pliers, standard pliers, slip joint pliers, and that crazy pair of pliers at the end.
For doing up lines and sheets you will need a riggers knife, masking tape, cutting block and a lighter.
   The riggers knife has a shackle wrench, a marlin spike.  The blade is half serrated, half straight.
Notice most of these items have tie wraps around them to connect to the coily cord safty line.
 This might sound a little old fashion but get a good hand crank drill and a set of drill bits.  There is always a hole to be drilled and not always a source of power readily available.  The drill is by Fiskars and costs about $14.
Not necessary but a good addition to a tool bag is a simple drill gage.  This one is made of plastic so rust isn't an issue.  And it sure takes the guess work out of figuring out the correct size bit for the screw you want to put in.  
My bag also has an Epoxy Patch Kit by West Systems, tie wraps and a tube of Marine Sealant by 3M.
A couple of pencils, a pad and a Sharpie come in handy all the time.  When you get an idea take measurements and save yourself repeated trips back and forth to the sailboat.
I also carry a wire stripper, a stripper/crimper, a putty knife and two sizes of adjustable wrenches. 
 And finally I have a spark plug wrench (and spare sparkplugs), a screw holder, a multi-tip screwdriver a piece of very fine sand paper (for cleaning away corrosion), a 10mm wrench (it fits something, but I can't remember what) and a small assortment of sockets.
A tension gauge is a really fine addition to your basic tools.  I have the regular one show at left.  They are available from West Marine.
  Basic Tool List and Uses

I.            Shroud & Stay Adjustments

A.   Wrenches – SAE or Metric Depending on your boat

B.   Ice Pick – used to adjust and hold turnbuckles

C.   Small Cork to cover tip of Ice Pick – nothing like stabbing yourself while looking for a tool

D.   Cloths Pin to hold up the shroud cover tubes while adjusting turnbuckles

E.   Cable Tension Gauge

II.         Basic Repairs

A.   Adjustable Wrench

B.   Screwdriver Assortment – include very small drivers for electrical work and large drivers, like a #3 Philips and a large straight blade screwdriver.

C.   Water Pump or Slip-Jaw pliers

D.   Hacksaw – small – if your mast collapses you’ll need to cut it away.

E.   Hand Drill

F.    Drill Bit Set

G.   Pencil & Small Pad

H.   Duck Tape

I.     Sharpie – waterproof marker

J.    Utility Knife

K.   7 or 8 inch Black and White Nylon Ties

L.    Small plastic container of screws, cotter rings, spare clevis pins and Tiller and Mast Wing nuts

III.       Sheet and Line work – Mark the line with a wrap of masking tape.  Use the riggers knife and the block to cut through the middle of the masking tape and then burn the ends to prevent
       raveling, and then remove the tape.

 A.   Riggers Knife

 B.   Masking Tape

 C.   Tape Measure

 D.   Lighter

 E.   Small plywood block – 4X3

IV.        Electrical & Electronics Work

 A.   Wire Cutters

 B.   Linemen’s Pliers

 C.   Small Screwdrivers

 D.   Assortment of Wire Nuts and Crimp Connectors.

 E.   Assortment of Fuses that fit items in your boat.   Don’t forget the hidden fuses, in-line
    with most new electronics – like radio’s and GPS units.

V.           Sail & Hull Repair

A.   Needle, Thread, Piece of Dacron
B. Grommets, Punches & Dies
C.   Epoxy Patch Kit
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