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April 2011

Tool time

Gear up for summer fun

Before you get out on the water this summer, make sure you have the right tools for your boat and equipment. Some boaters carry only the tools needed for their equipment, while others bring aboard tools for any eventuality.

Examine each fitting and piece of machinery to determine the right tool for each nut, bolt, screw and spring. Although time-consuming, this process ensures that you will have the proper tools for any repair, become intimately familiar with your equipment and know exactly which spare parts to carry.

Although the best tools aren’t necessarily the most expensive, having a tool that breaks or damages your equipment can be frustrating. Make sure you have quality tools on hand.

On a boat, plastic toolboxes with tight-fitting lids prevent corrosion and are more practical than metal boxes. A spray of light oil or a lump of camphor in the box will help prevent rust.

Consider placing tools and parts in boxes by type and frequency of use. You might want to have an electrical box, a carpenter’s toolbox, a canvas repair box and a mechanical toolbox. Additional boxes could contain nuts, screws, engine parts or electrical bits. Remember that smaller boxes are easier to handle and stow than larger boxes.

To learn more about getting yourself and your boat ready for cruising, take the USPS Cruise Planning course at a squadron near you.

Stay cool while looking it with a palm tree jacquard Hawaiian shirt from the USPS Ship's Store.

Mastering Marlinespike

Carrick bend

Praised by some as the nearest thing to a perfect bend, the carrick bend will not slip wet or dry, unties easily and can’t jam. It’s especially useful when bending large lines or hawsers together.

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