Spare time and tools

Spare time is not something we have a lot of right now, but it is time for spares. Over the weekend I spent some time making purchases of items needed for Tahina on our checklist. A vessel at sea has to carry a lot of things you might not think about because when something breaks down, you may not be near a repair shop – possibly hundreds, or even thousands, of miles from one. So, a prudent sailor carries spares and tools needed to effect repairs.

While we have been buying supplies and tools for months now, there are some items which hadn’t been purchased yet. Here is a list of some of the items just purchased:

  • spares kit for our generator – includes filters, v-belt, pump impeller kit, plugs, etc. We already had some of these, but wanted a more complete set.
  • watermaker filters – Tahina has a machine that makes fresh water from salt water. But, you have to keep fresh filters ready to change them out when they go bad. They’re hard to get for our unit except from the manufacturer, so we bought a year’s supply.
  • bolt cutters (very large size) – these are only needed in the event of an extreme emergency – if we were to be dis-masted we would need to quickly cut the cables holding the mast to the boat.
  • shackles – sometimes the shackles which hold various items to the boat can work their way loose, or (even rarer) break. It’s always a good idea to have plenty of spare shackles on board. You can also use them to create solutions to other problems that may develop.
  • drogue – Drogues can be used to slow the boat under heavy weather (strong wind) conditions. They can be particularly effective on a catamaran. We can also drag warps (lines) behind the boat to slow the boat, but a drogue can be more effective.
  • pumps – spare bilge pumps in case one goes bad is essential. Bilge pumps remove water when it finds it way into the bottoms of the hulls. Very critical if you have a leak, but usually are used when condensation forms on the hulls, comes from air conditioning units, or from sinks and showers in the heads. We also have manual bilge pumps in case the electrical system goes bad or we are unable to install a new bilge pump.
  • tools – I’ve been gradually beefing up the tool box with tools I’ve never owned (because prior to owning boats, I’ve never been mechanically inclined). Also, some of the tools I did have were not ready for the marine environment (i.e. they would corrode quickly in the salt water conditions). Seems like every day I’m back buying some other essential tool I didn’t think about.
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