Wednesday, January 16

Lessons from a Long-Range Cruiser: What Tools To Take on Your Boat

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We all learn from experience, or rather, we all should learn from experience. Here’s some good advice from Steve D’Antonio, who has a lot of experience cruising himself, as well as working on cruising boats as the former manager of a boatyard. The reality is that if you’re cruising offshore, you’ll have to be able to fix any problem yourself. D’Antonio’s been there, done that. Here, in a story in PropWalk, D’Antonio spells out the requisite tools and spare parts you need for a safe cruise, based on his own years of experience.

First, he says, never leave the dock without reviewing your spare parts on board, particularly impellers, belts and fuel filters. You can’t carry a spare part for everything, so concentrate on the basics: propulsion, steering, electrical systems, raw-water plumbing and sanitation. Second, always have a good set of tools, including the most common hand tools, wrenches, sockets and screw drivers plus tools that are specific to the systems on your boat. And third, if all else fails, be able to improvise so you can jury rig a repair so you can get back home safely.

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