Project: Tool rack

When something on board needs to be fixed, one of my secret weapons for getting the job done correctly is having—and being able to locate—the right tools for the job. Over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds of tools appropriate for any conceivable problem. The problem is how to stow them in an organized way. The tools I use most often need to be within easy reach; the rest
Author:
Updated:
Original:
tool_rack
pattern_tool_rack

When something on board needs to be fixed, one of my secret weapons for getting the job done correctly is having—and being able to locate—the right tools for the job. Over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds of tools appropriate for any conceivable problem. The problem is how to stow them in an organized way. The tools I use most often need to be within easy reach; the rest need to be safe, secure, and accessible, without taking up too much valuable stowage space.

Step one of my two-part solution was to build a small rack that could hold all my essential tools and keep them close at hand. Step two was developing a logical system for stowing my remaining tools in shoebox–size plastic containers and putting them in convenient, secure locations.

Almost all sailboat repairs are simple projects that involve tightening, loosening, removing, or replacing something. These jobs don’t require many tools, but the ones needed must be easy to reach. For these tools I built a handy rack and installed it in a convenient spot near the engine compartment and companionway ladder.

Getting started

I built my rack from a piece of -inch-thick marine-grade StarBoard (teak would also work) and sized it to fit in the chosen space. It was a fairly simple project that took me an afternoon to complete. My rack is 8 inches long by 3 inches wide; it’s big enough for two rows of three slots and five holes. I wanted to squeeze a lot of tools into a small space.

Start the project by spreading all your tools on the saloon table (if you’re on board) or on any flat surface (if you’re ashore). Select the tools you want to keep handy and deal with the rest later.

Now choose a convenient location for the rack that won’t impede movement or affect personal safety. The location will determine the size of the rack.

Now take a piece of heavy paper and draw an outline of the rack that will fit the space. It’s best to fold the paper in half and then draw a pattern that is half the rack’s size; when you open it up, the sides will be symmetrical.

Next, use the paper pattern to determine whether you can make enough holes to stow all the tools you have selected. Once you’re sure the size is right, transfer the paper pattern to the piece of StarBoard or wood.

Cut out the overall shape with a saber saw and then drill the holes and cut out the slots for the tools with a hole saw. With the hole saw you can cut overlapping holes to create the slots. It doesn’t take much sanding to make the interior walls of the slots and holes smooth. Also drill two small holes, one at each end, for the mounting screws.

Mount your tool rack with the screws and then insert your must-have tools.

Related

Shelly-forward-last-day

Charter Advice for First-Timers

Never chartered? No worries. A vacation under sail can be the most memorable time of your life. That said, it also pays to be prepared by doing some reading, building your skills and listening to what the experts say. First and foremost, not all charter grounds are created ...read more

HugoBoss

Video: Vendeé Update

Last week Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) led the fleet across the equator. As one of the class' top sailors who's been on the Vendeé Podium twice, it seemed possible that Thomson was going to grab an early lead and hold on to it all the way around the world. But early on Saturday, he ...read more

AdobeStock_229409051

Chartering Again for the First Time

It’s been a rocky road of late for the charter industry, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. First came hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean followed by Dorian in the Bahamas. There has also, of course, been the coronavirus, which burst into global prominence ...read more

01 LEAD cedaryachtclub_onedesign18_hike

An Interview with Ayme Sinclair

In recent months, US Sailing, like many organizations, has been taking a closer look at diversity to ensure it’s doing the best job it can of introducing people from all backgrounds and ethnicities to the sport. As part of this effort, this past summer it organized an online ...read more

125768940_10222759720523627_5373654001582879638_n

US Sailing Presents Adaptive Sailing Panel

On Tuesday, November 24, US Sailing’s Leadership Forum will present the latest panel discussion in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion series. This event will focus on adaptive sailing and provide practical recommendations for organizations looking to expand their adaptive ...read more

02-IMG_5971

A Carbon Neutral Circumnav with Jimmy Cornell

Historic anniversaries have always held a special fascination for me, especially if they mark a significant nautical achievement. In 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ would-be voyage to India, I organized a transatlantic rally that followed the historic route of the ...read more

DJI_0068

SAIL Podcast: Jimmy Cornell’s Carbon-free Circumnav

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with bestselling author and pioneering bluewater sailor Jimmy Cornell, who set out November 19 on yet another circumnavigation aboard a newly designed, carbon-neutral Outremer 4Zero catamaran. The voyage, which ...read more

emirates-600x

Emirates Team New Zealand Splashes the last of the AC75s

Emirates Team New Zealand unveiled its second-generation AC75 yesterday, joining the other three America's Cup teams with boats in the water. In just over 100 days, this boat will attempt to defend the Cup for the Kiwis, but there's plenty of racing between now and then, with ...read more