A boat of spares or a spare boat?
One of the very cool side benefits to running this blog has been the wealth of information that we have received from regular readers. I know I have mentioned this before but it is so helpful for us. For example, we have received personal emails with advice from Susan and Jeff in Grenada, Mike and Susan in Martinique, Bob and Sheila in St. Croix and Seth and Jamie who, although now holed up in Calgary, have made it part way around the world on their small catamaran (Note that all of those locations are where we think they currently are. Being cruisers they could be anywhere).
This short list does not even begin to scratch the surface though; those are just some of the people in warmer locales. We have had a ton of very cool people from North America adding their valuable advice to the mix too. Thank you so much everyone! Please keep the advice coming. We appreciate it. This brings me to what I wanted to mention today though, which is our acquisition of spare parts.
In one of the very helpful and detailed emails we received it was strongly recommended that we bring a lot of spare parts. Of course, I knew that this was true. Everyone tells you that. But what spares specifically? I posted this question on the PDQ Owners forum and received a couple of good replies.
Terry Green, a PDQ 36 owner, suggested the following:
“Parts are not only expensive, but sometimes you simply cannot get them. At a minimum you should have a water pump, a spare impeller, a carburetor, CD ignition (complete), spark plugs. ignition wires, fuel pump, all filters, oil, etc. In short if you can replace it, bring spares and any tools needed to do the job. Most “parts” places do not have any parts, just a collection of catalogs. After several weeks of waiting, you enjoy paying high import duties for anything brought in. If you have visitors, have them bring anything you need with them. Keep a handy list of sources you use at home, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses, so that you can order quickly and have parts shipped to you. Again, if it is removable have at least one spare (more would be better). You cannot have too many spares or tools onboard.
Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention spares for your rigging and sail handling, your windlass, your watermaker, your lighting, your electronics, and anything else you might have onboard.”
Hmmmm… I can feel our water line going up (or is it down?) just thinking about all that stuff!
Drew Frye, who is one of the very helpful people I mentioned above, posted this very excellent list and suggestions/comments:
The PDQ32 is small. You can’t take everything. What things can wait to get fixed? Quite a lot:
* Windlass. Don’t have one now.
* Most electronics. I’m sure you will have a spare VHF and GPS.
* Winches. I have 4 and I can sail with 1. Grease them before you go, and every year or 2 there after.
* Engines. You have 2 (three, actually).
* Lines. Common polyester lines are widely available, and you will have some spares. Watch for chafe.
* Rigging. Inspect it before you go and keep a good eye out.
* Water. You can easily bail from the tank.
That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in spares:
* The engine list was good. Add a spare prop. Lower slowly and always make sure it is locked down.
* Head. Joker valve, at least, more like 3. Easy to replace. Check the hoses and replace if cracked before you go.
* A roll of screen cloth. My PO had a bunch of spare screens, but they are easy to replace with scissors and glue.
* Dingy patch kit
* Shear pins for tender engine
* Propane solenoid
* Coils of small line (1/8″, 1/4″, 5/16″) for MANY things. Can be old stuff.
* Coil of small SS wire
* Some shackles
* Cotter pins
* Cable ties
* Waterproof grease
* Spare autopilot belt (2)
* Small bit of rubber (inner tube?) to make gaskets
* A spare anchor (3 total). Guess how I know.
* Bulbs for everything. The ones in the head and cabins don’t last at all, so take 10 of those. The others do much better.
And then there are the tools:
* Wrenches and ratchets (1/4″ and 3/8″ drive with extentions), US and metric, plus allen keys (both) and screwdrivers.
* Pliers (several types), vice grips (several types), Pipe wrench (standard 10″ and 10″ chain wrench) and filter wrenches as needed (I have Raycor filters – you may not need this).
* Medium file
* Electric drill with bits and a sanding pad
* Epoxy, glass, sand paper, and some chip brushes
* Pint of varnish for touch-up. I’m no perfectionist, but some dings will happen and they will get ugly fast. Gelcoat dings I don’t worry about!
* 3M4200 or such
* An assortment of SS screws, washers, and bolts
* Multimeter, spare wire, crimping supplies, and wire nuts (non-code – emergencies only)
* Gray butyl rubber for bedding small leaks
* Teflon tape or dope
* Hose clamps
* Sail repair kit
* Carb cleaner (spray). Not just for carbs.
* Spray lube (coor block)
* Starting fluid… or is that a basic material? Perhaps not in warm climates.
* Duct tape!
The nav station is now a work area (I replaced the table with a smaller one I can walk by and scratch up) and a lot of the small stuff stays in plastic parts trays (the ~ 10″x12″ flat ones with lids – 3 fit) in the nav station chart rack, along with some charts.
Now, having all of those spare parts and not knowing what to do with them, wouldn’t do us much good. (By the way, that is exactly the comment given by our friend Behzad, a medical doctor, when I asked him about what to stock in our medical kit, but that is fodder for another post). I guess I had better get back to studying!