Mailport September 2013 Issue

Mailport: September 2013

Tools Checklist

In response to “What’s in the Practical Sailor Toolbag?” (PS, January 2012): How about a list of tools that a live-aboard cruiser should carry? Given storage, power, and workspace limitations, many of the suggested tools are not feasible and may require alternatives. For instance, I carry a major Dremel toolkit, and it cuts the very occasional holes I need for switch installation, etc., plus helps me with sanding and minor refinishing work. I use my Dewalt 18-volt right-angle drill probably twice a month for repairs and upgrades. I also use my cordless screwdriver several times per year, especially when removing and reinstalling my headliner while chasing wires. Most others are tools that don’t require electricity, but there are many.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lewis

Reader Richard Lewis sails aboard his Valiant 42, Fellowship.

Richard and Lyn Lewis,
Fellowship, Valiant 42,
Wilmington, Del.

In “Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual,” author and boat systems guru Nigel Calder offers a useful, comprehensive list of tools for the live-aboard sailor, including breakout lists for a mechanic’s toolbox and electrical, woodworking, and power tools, as well as essential engine and mechanical supplies. You can buy the book from Practical Sailor’s online bookstore.

In addition to the article you mentioned, you’ll find several articles on tools for cruising sailors in our online archives at In the November 2007 “Ocean Tested” report, professional carpenter and live-aboard circumnavigator John Spier outlined the must-have power tools that survived his more than 15,000 miles of sea trials. In the March 2007 issue, bluewater voyager Evans Starzinger details the tools he uses most often onboard, those he keeps at the ready in his “doctor’s bag” of boat tools.

Next: Stereo Test Update

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