Another brave yachtsman exposes his onboard tool kit to scrutiny

 Tools for the jobs

Mark Corke listed the content of his onboard tool kit in the October 2005 issue of Yachting Monthly. Readers were invited to suggest any additions and many did so. Don’t miss the December issue, on sale 10 November to see the extra kit YM readers wouldn’t set sail without.

YM contributor Vyv Cox also read the article and wrote in with his thoughts on being one spanner short of a toolbox

“It was with a growing sense of disbelief that I read Mark Corke’s list of essential tools in October’s Yachting Monthly. Surely this man must sail the world’s most reliable boat, that rarely moves more than a few miles from its mooring? I could not even attach my tiller without a single open-ended or ring spanner.

In the course of a cruising career of about 20 years, in cruises of up to four weeks’ duration, I have carried out a good number of repairs to my own and companions’ boats, even though I consider my Sadler 34 Straitshooter to be extremely well maintained.

Repairs have included: Replacement of forestay and babystay, removal of a fuel tank to clean it of rust, bleeding fuel systems, replacement of a cylinder head gasket, re-making the field winding tails on a starter motor, repacking a stern gland, replacing thermostats, rebuilding a boom and many more. These have led me to the view that a comprehensive tool kit is essential.

Now that Straitshooter is berthed some thousand miles from home and our cruises last four months or so, it is out of the question to pop back for something we forgot, so we make sure that a comprehensive kit is always aboard for almost anything that fortune throws at her, either at sea or in port.

I took an inventory of a couple of toolboxes in a spare half hour, not including many others, such as a multi-meter, a very expensive but invaluable electrical crimping tool, oil-change pump, injector spanners, Leatherman and others. This is my list:

Socket set, all sizes to 32 mm
Open-ended and ring spanners, 5 – 19 mm
Four adjustable spanners, two of which open to 2 inches for stern gland adjustment
Multi-function vice that attaches to the mainsheet track
A total of 17 different screwdrivers, includes right-angle type
Full set of star-drive screwdrivers, bought when only one was required for a job
Set of jeweller’s screwdrivers
De Walt right angle drive drill. Cost a bomb but does jobs that no other drill will do
Many sets of drills, including cobalt for stainless steel. (I break a lot!)
Taps and tap wrenches 5 – 10 mm. I rarely need dies so leave them in my shore kit
Assorted burrs, countersinks, cutters and other such power tool bits
One each metal and wood chisels, various punches
Three pairs pliers, mole wrench, wire cutters
2 lb lump hammer, plastic faced mallet
Frame and Junior hacksaws (plus spare blades)
Round and flat files
Pop-rivet gun with various lengths and diameters of rivets
Set of hole cutters, 20 – 100 mm (this slightly over the top, but useful and cheap)
Propeller puller
Gas-fired soldering iron and rope-cutter
Outboard engine spark plug spanner
Craft knife
Set of Allen keys
Old style heat-on-the-gas-ring soldering iron
Swedish fid
Feeler gauges
Various palette knives, scrapers, stirrers, etc

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