Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Thursday, 27 April 2017

What's in your dinghy cruising tool kit?

I am often stumped or baffled by my inexperience when dinghy sailing. Take the ‘cruising dinghy tool kit’, for example.

Exactly what should be in Arwen’s tool kit?

I have tried to anticipate what might be needed and since I have yet to have a major mishap or equipment failure, touch wood, then my experience of what to take to sea is…well….limited!

I tend towards the overkill…….so here we go………

Arwen’s tool kit is divided into three – tools, spares and outboard kit. The safety kit is a different issue which I touch on lightly here but may do in more detail in a later post.

The tools:

·       A small clamp

·       Various screwdrivers of various sizes both Philips and flat head

·       An adjustable small wrench; some grip jaw pliers, some long nose pliers with cutter

·       Small hacksaw

·       Smaller hammer

·       A hand drill and drill bits’ various diameters

·       Gerber multitool

·       Short length broom handle pole ……for sticking through the centreboard case top – if centreboard jams……..and yes…..with judicious use of the hammer… works……..and no don’t ask how I know that…….you can guess!

The useful:

·       Electrical tape, duct tape and Velcro strip tape

·       Plastic ties

·       Whipping twine

·       Hot sealing cutting knife

·       Garden wire

·       Marine sealant tubes

·       Epoxy putty that sets under water

·       Wooden bungs various sizes and to add – flat plywood patches various sizes

The ‘spares’ kit

·       Assorted size blocks

·       Spare cleats various sizes

·       Deck loops and deck eye pads

·       Snap hooks and shackles various sizes

·       Various size screws, nuts, bolts

·       Centreboard bolt; centreboard casing bolt

·       Spare rope halyards and control lines various lengths and diameters

·       Batteries assorted sizes for torches, radio, GPS and nightlights etc.

·       Spare anchor / mooring warps various lengths

·       Spare fenders various sizes

The outboard kit

·       Spark plugs

·       Shear and spilt pins

·       Pull cords

·       Kill cord

·       WD40

·       Pliers

·       Philips driver

·       Spark plug remover

·       Electrical tape

And that is it. Oh safety kit? Well for what it is worth here it is

The safety kit comprises of

·       Floating grab bag containing spare VHF radio and batteries, a fire-starting kit; bivvy bag, foil blankets, small first aid kit, waterproof matches, spare snacks and some bottles of water, signalling mirror (like I’m going to be ship wrecked on some deserted island and never rescued!! – Dur!)

·       Collapsible radar reflector

·       Fire extinguisher

·       Portable side navigation lights

·       Airhorn for fog

·       Whistle

·       Spare hand held Silva compass

·       Safety harness and safety lines

·       Bucket

·       Portable hand pump – a fixed hand pump is next item for Arwen when I can save up the pennies

·       Safety waterproof torch

·       Sailing knife, swiss army knife

·       SPOT PLB

·       Mobile phone

·       Flares – handheld and floating cans

·       Strobe light on PFD

·       Power monkey expedition solar charger

·       Anemometer

·       Optional – sometimes carried dinghy inflatable buoyancy bags

·       Spare anchor

·       Spare five litres of outboard fuel

·       Oars

·       Canoe paddle

Too much? Overkill? Needs pruning?  Forgotten something vital? It is a wonder Arwen ever floats!!

Let me know…….constructive advice always welcomed.


Wade Tarzia said...

Seems to be a good list, and your boat is big enough to take it all easily. I would add a spare rudder blade and hardware to attach it (only because I had to abort an Everglades Challenge because I didn't have these!), and maybe a spare pintel/gudgeon?

steve said...

hi Wade. good tips. I certainly think spare pintle and gudgeon may be worth considering but then I'm not sure whether my sailing is as arduous as the everglades challenge which is an amazing sailing experience I should think