Boatworks

Project: Tool rack Page 2

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Taking care of the rest

Sort through your remaining tools and decide which ones you really need. I use containers made by Rubbermaid and Tupperware, but any brand will do.

I use containers that are 12 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, with tight-fitting lids. Since each box contains tools for specific tasks, I chose storage places for them according to their likely order of priority—the most-used tools are the easiest to access.

It took me quite a while to come up with a logical way to group the tools. I first tried grouping them generically—that is, all tools of the same kind, large and small, in one box. That didn’t work well in practice. So I rearranged them according to the categories listed below.

I stored several boxes under the settee seats; this space is shallow and not good for much else. I listed the contents on the top of each box with indelible ink. If necessary, you can make tie-down straps or use shockcord to keep the storage boxes in place.

The first box, labeled standard tools, contains a small socket set (1⁄4-inch drive with short and long sockets), nominally sized open and box-end wrenches, wire clippers and cutters, a tape measure, ignition wrenches, stub screwdrivers, and tiny screwdrivers. Since I’ll use these tools for most repairs, I stowed this box in the second-most-convenient place, a cubbyhole under the electrical panel.

The second box is dedicated to large socket sets (3⁄8-inch and -inch drive) and crowfoot wrenches. A third box contains oversized wrenches, a pipe wrench, large screwdrivers, cable cutters, and a hack saw. The fourth box contains hammers, a mallet, Allen wrenches, a hand drill, and some spare screwdrivers and wrenches. I marked the fifth box weird tools. It contains all those specialty items I use infrequently but are necessary for certain jobs.

I’ve been careful to return each box to the place I took it from; memory plays a big role in being able to locate the right tool quickly.

The tool rack remains the heart of my repair operation. It’s easy to make and, unless your boat is teetering on the edge of total collapse, all you really need quickly are those basic tools that can get the job done.




I use the space inside the box that covers my sailing instruments to store frequently used items. I use plastic jars with screw-on lids to hold my multi-meter, crimp connections, heat-shrink tubing, cable ties and mounts, sandpaper, batteries, and tape. Another jar holds less frequently used items, such as spare fuses, light bulbs, switches, wire, and other testers.


Tools in the rack

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • straight screwdriver
  • deck-plate key
  • icepick
  • (3) nut drivers
  • (for tightening hose clamps)
  • slip-joint pliers and adjustable wrench

  • Bob Tigar and his wife, Joyce, live in Florida and sail their Morgan Out Island 33, Diversion, along the state’s east coast and in the Bahamas.

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