One of the big startup challenges in the transition to a Nomadness-centric lifestyle is amassing a useful on-board workshop. This is not at all easy, and involves a fairly extensive suite of tools as well as hundreds of little 3-mil zip bags of small parts.

I quickly found that just skimming the good stuff from my lab is not the right solution; I can’t really afford to break the home-base capabilities, and the on-board requirements are on a different scale. Take the vise, for example. At home I have a big Wilton that can hang on to most anything (thanks, Mark!), but that would be overkill for the boat. So there is a bag of clamping goodies, with a Stanley Multi-Angle Vise as the centerpiece:

This very handy gadget fits nicely in the companionway, can be fixed at any angle, and even has removable pads for the jaws.

But what about the huge pile of hand tools? I’ve tried the big fabric bag, which was awful, and also a large box, which was unmanageable. What ended up happening is a dedicated drawer with beefed-up bottom and stiffened latch, filled with roll-ups and other small packs by category:

The three gray Ergodyne 5870 rolls are general tools, wiring stuff, and “wrenchy” stuff; the yellow one is all drilling/cutting. The big black one is bulky stuff, the Raymarine pouch is measurement, the blue box under that is the sexy Link Tools socket set, and the green one in the foreground is the Brady IDPAL labelmaker.

There’s more, of course (electric drill, goo, tape, test instruments, fabric and sail repair kit, and so on), but that’s enough for now. I’m on the boat at the moment, winding down after a day of mounting instruments and attaching connectors. The rudder-angle sensor is sending data through the N2K network to the Maretron display and Simrad bluetooth remote, GPS and compass work fine, and I’ve just extracted an ancient CRT fishfinder that was taking up space in the future comm bay. More soon!

Fair winds (whatever those are… I think this thing is designed to sail),

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on July 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The great thing about reading the blog of a tool-hound is there are so many cool gizmos out there. I really like that multiclamp.