Crucial Equipment

Chandleries are rife with good folding sailing knives. Selecting the right one often comes down to utility and taste. While the latter quality is subjective, utility is easy to quantify. I’ve been using the Gerber Crucial Tool for several months and I’ve been impressed with its clever design, fantastic utility, and small size and minimal weight (just 5 ounces). While a sharp, locking blade is
Author:
Publish date:
gerber_in_story

Chandleries are rife with good folding sailing knives. Selecting the right one often comes down to utility and taste. While the latter quality is subjective, utility is easy to quantify. I’ve been using the Gerber Crucial Tool for several months and I’ve been impressed with its clever design, fantastic utility, and small size and minimal weight (just 5 ounces). While a sharp, locking blade is obviously important for sailing, the go-to tool that I’m always searching for is a good pair of needle-nose pliers. I’ve seen other folding knives that incorporate pliers into their design, but none are as easy to access as those on the Crucial Tool.

Simply fold open the Crucial Tool’s handles and the pliers are exposed. No sliding parts to fumble with on a pitching deck or in the dark of night. What impresses me about this design is that pliers—not the knife’s blade—is the central design feature of this tool. And while the other functions on the knife work equally well, the needle-nose pliers excel at opening sticky shackles, stripping wires and wrenching on myriad other metal bits. They can even be used to help coax sail needles through extra thick sections of sailcloth without badly mangling the needle. The simple, small folding knife is also equipped with a flathead screwdriver, a Phillip’s head screwdriver, a bottle opener, a clip, and a flattop blade (a great safety feature, should you drop the knife tip down on your foot or onto the deck) with a thumb tab for easy, one-handed opening. All of the tools (except the pliers and the clip) lock; a small tab releases each tool back into its folded position. The tool also sports a belt clip, but thanks to its minimal size (closed, the tool is only 3.6” long; open it’s 5.5”; it’s displacement is a mere 5 ounces), the tool will fit into any pant’s pocket. It’s also small enough—and useful enough—to be a strong contender for a boat’s ditch bag, or for a permanent berth in the vessel’s easily accessible tool drawer. $58.70. Gerber Knives

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more