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Last summer we were watching our marina friends stepping their mast when they ran into a snag with something that needed an adjustment. The marina owner, who was helping with the job, quickly asked me if I had a Leatherman on me. When I told him I didn’t, he jokingly asked “what kind of sailor was I that I didn’t have a Leatherman with me?

Well, truth be told, I do have a Leatherman Supertool. No, I don’t carry it with me daily on my belt as some people do, but it is always readily available on our boat, or these days in my messenger bag (aka man-purse ๐Ÿ™‚ ). These days they have newer, cooler versions than the one that I have shown above, but I have no intention of replacing mine. It is in as good a shape now as it was when I first bought it 10+ years ago, minus some wear and tear on the leather case.

So, what is the value of a multi-tool anyway? Although perhaps not as effective as a tool dedicated for a specific job, a good multi-tool like the one I am describing above, adds value by being so handy and convenient that you can carry it with you, unlike a big box full of heavy tools.

This got me thinking about one of the reasons why I like our favorite exercise device, the TRX so much. It is small, lightweight and thus easily transported (unlike a Bowflexยฎ or a set of free weights) but it is as versatile for exercise as my Supertool is for repair jobs, perhaps even more so.

Yes kids, we won’t be leaving home without both our Leatherman, and our TRX!


  1. I notice that now, instead of counting off the months, the count is in DAYS left to sailing. That’s exciting. I have to admit, I am a bit green with envy.

    Ok. A lot green.

  2. My favorite multi-purpose tool? A cafeteria tray.

    Cleaning fish
    Dropping the anchor on-deck
    Rebuild carborator tray
    Paint and varnish can tray
    Saw or hammer tray
    Take apart the autopilot and not loose parts tray

    I suppose I could clean it off and use it to serve lunch… not.

    • I remember (now) you saying that somewhere before, but I had forgotten. Good idea!

    • Along with the tray,don’t forget the 5 gallon plastic bucket. And to make it more multi-purpose,cut out the bottom,and add a clear plexi bottom,to use as a “lookie bucket”. You can check the set of the anchor and stay dry.
      Of course you can put the tray on the bucket for an “hors doevre” table on the beach.
      Bucket full of cold Kalik’s on the beach,anyone?:-)

  3. There are several well-established multi tool brands, all of which have their respective strengths and weaknesses.

    I like Leathermans (have a Supertool 200, a first generation Wave, and a Sideclip), but find that they are not particularly suitable for marine use as their “stainless” steel is vulnerable to corrosion. I recommend Victorinox’s Swisstool for boating applications.

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