On Board Hand Tools

A conversation among Whalers
Jefecinco
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On Board Hand Tools

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:58 am

Several years ago I put together a set of tools to handle emergency repairs while on the water. I sprayed them with WD-40 and wrapped them in small towels coated with WD-40. I stored them in a new Pelican case and kept them in the RPS. A few days ago I had a need for a tool while aboard and opened the set. All the tools were badly rusted, particularly where they had been in contact with the towels. I threw them away.

Before building another set I need to know if there is a particular brand or source of corrosion resistant tools. I would also like to know if the WD-40 was a probable contributor to the corrosion.
Butch

OldKenT
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby OldKenT » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:00 pm

Butch,
The people at the marine supply store I use tell me that WD-40 attracts water, and they suggest using CRC 6-56 Multi-Purpose Lubricant, which is what they spray on wires and electrical parts under the outboard cowling when winterizing an outboard. An alternative would be to wipe down all the tools with a light or medium oil, as you would, for instance, on metal tools when storing them for the winter in a northern environment. In a salt water environment, you might do that every couple of months.
Ken

jimh
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby jimh » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:22 pm

OldKenT wrote:...people at the marine supply store...tell me that WD-40 attracts water...


There seems to be some urban myth that WD-40 is hygroscopic, that is, it pulls water into solution with itself. I have not seen any evidence of that claim, but you can find that claim made in various places by various people, and in some PDF files some unidentified person created.

OldKenT
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby OldKenT » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:38 pm

Jim,
I have always thought the same, and have regularly used WD-40 on the rust prone parts of my trailer, except for the contact points for the trailer lights where I used Vaseline at an electrician's suggestion. I should add that the same people who say WD-40 is not the best preventive for rust prevention purposes at my marine supply store also strongly suggest applying a coating of grease to almost everything metal that comes into contact with water, which here in New England typically has salt in it. I have read claims that WD-40 is essentially fish oil, and therefore the best product to use to avoid rust on metal. Having no personal knowledge of the ingredients of WD-40, I was very surprised at the suggestion that it attracts water. But, Butch's experience would seem, at a minimum, to confirm the concern expressed by some, so my suggestion was only made to propose an alternative. I have coated metal tools with light to medium oil every Fall for years to avoid rust, and am still using tools from my father's day.
Ken

ConB
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Location: Suttons Bay, MI

Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby ConB » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:39 pm

Here is some reading material for you.

http://www.dayattherange.com/?page_id=3667

I have had good luck with Boeshield T-9 for rust prevention. But I live around the Great Lakes. Unsalted.

Con
!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

Jefecinco
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:34 am

Thanks for your thoughts. After a lot of reading on the subject it seems there are three widely held positions on this subject. First is to buy very expensive titanium based or stainless steel tools for the purpose. Second is to buy the cheapest tools available and change them out whenever they begin to rust. Third is to buy good tools, carefully protect them with oil, store them in a waterproof container and inspect them frequently.

I believe I'll go with the third option. As a retiree with some spare time it's hard to justify throwing money at a problem just to avoid taking care of my on board tools. I hate the idea of using cheap tools. I've learned that good tools are a better long term solution. They don't let you down.
Butch

Don SSDD
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Don SSDD » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:04 pm

I find WD 40 seems to disappear completely, it has no “body” to it. We have a product in Canada called Rust Check or the other good product is Fluid Film. Keep in a watertight container, an unprotected piece of cloth woul attract humidity. Rust Check can be sprayed on electrical connections like battery terminals etc.
I spray down my boat trailer springs and bolts after every dip in salt water.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

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Acassidy
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Location: Galveston, Texas

Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Acassidy » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:53 pm

I use Corrosion X on my outboard and often on my tools along with WD40. WD 40 does dry out over time but that is what I use in my tools. CorrosoinX is messy. But is better than WD 40 for rehabilitation of rusty tools.

I remove my tool bags and store in dry place in garage. I do that with my emergency bag too and fire extinguisher. I store it in the garage in a dry place. I have a lot of tools in the boat tool bag and really don't like them rusting up on in the boat. I also don't like the tools to be gross and greasy when it is time to use them. I about every 3 or 4 months empty the bag and oil the tools up that need them. I use WD 40 and don't over oil. Some of the tools in this bag are 20 years old.
Archie

Jefecinco
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Jefecinco » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:37 am

The on board tool set I got rid of because of corrosion was on board and untouched for about ten years. Since buying a Boston Whaler to replace our SeaRay in 1999 I have never needed a tool while boating. The only reason I looked at the tools a few days ago was because while working on the GPS I managed to try to put a mapping card in it's slot upside down and couldn't remove it by hand. I removed it with some pliers from the tool set.

Based on that I should never need a tool set aboard. I can buy unlimited towing service from TowBoatUS for a reasonable annual fee. Our boat is unsinkable. Who needs a tool set aboard? I do. No matter how much preventive maintenance is done some day we will have a break down. Experience tells me it will happen at the worst possible time. It will render our VHF radio inoperable and we will be out of cell phone range. I will need tools and our little jump start battery. I'll finish my list today and buy the tools this week. I may even replace my jump start battery. The Weego looks promising.
Butch

MattFL
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby MattFL » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:24 am

As mentioned above, WD-40 is very thin and more or less disappears over time. I've personally found that Maxima Chain Wax is stellar for corrosion prevention. It's motorcycle chain lube in a paraffin base, so it sprays on wet and dries to a waxy finish. The result is it stays around a long time and does not attract dirt like regular grease. It's fantastic for lug nuts or anything that gets frequent exposure. And for cleanup, simple green takes it right off.

https://www.amazon.com/Maxima-74920-Cha ... way&sr=8-1

dtmackey
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby dtmackey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:13 pm

I grabbed a set of basic stainless tools years ago that were reasonable in price. They do discolor a little after use and getting salt water on them, but wipe clean with a rag. Look into buying some stainless tools and it won't be a problem.

D-

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Acassidy
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Acassidy » Wed May 01, 2019 6:18 pm

dtmakey, where did you find stainless steal tools?

dtmackey
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby dtmackey » Wed May 01, 2019 10:02 pm

Acassidy wrote:dtmakey, where did you find stainless steal tools?


I purchased them at a marine store that was going out of business years ago, so I got a great deal. I also have a set of bronze tools that my dad purchased as a kit back in the 70s, which has the common adjustable wrench, pliers, hammer, screw drivers, etc). I can't find this kit anymore and not sure if its even made. You'd think bronze it too soft, but they've been used since the 70s on our boats and still in great shape.

Here's a link I found on stainless tools.

Expensive place.
https://www.bosunsupplies.com/stainless-steel-and-other-tools/

Ebay also has stainless tools for a more reasonable price if you search around.

If you continue to use chrome plated steel tools and put in a pelican case that is sealed, toss in a couple desiccant pouches in addition to coating them with something to prevent rust.

D-

fish-n-chips
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby fish-n-chips » Thu May 02, 2019 4:12 pm

I've had good success with the following: I have a small set of fairly cheap tools that I keep in a waterproof box in which I spray the tools with Corrosion X and then place a handful of those silicone packets like you get with certain items inside the box. I inspect them once a year and wipe and recoat but they remain nearly rust free and in good working order and all in its a cheap alternative to much more expensive stainless tools.

Oldslowandugly
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Location: Queens NY

Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Oldslowandugly » Thu May 02, 2019 11:09 pm

I have pared down my on-board tool set. I used to carry way too much. The only thing I have really ever needed was fresh spark plugs and a plug wrench. So I carry several sets of plugs and the wrench in a sealed baggie. The plug wrench also fits my thermostat housing so I carry a spare thermostat too. I also carry a spare fuel pump and a pull start rope. A 4-way screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and some needle nose pliers all in baggies finish it off. All those go into a large baggie and that is placed inside a "waterproof" box like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/131252-Dry-Storage-Emergency-Marine-Box-ORANGE-One-Size-FREE-SHIPPING/392240094912?hash=item5b5354dec0:g:nIcAAOSwsupcZylT So far no rust but if I use any of it I take it home for cleaning and resealing.

Jefecinco
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Jefecinco » Fri May 03, 2019 9:52 am

OSU - After pricing some stainless steel, titanium, and bronze alloy tools I've decided to go with lower cost regular common items. I had a spark plug socket in my old set left over from when I had a two stroke cycle engine. With our current Verado I expect to replace spark plugs every few years so I won't replace it. My set will be minimal with about what may be needed for most electrical emergencies I can image and so I can change any fuel filter. I also carry an assortment of fuses and a test light.
Butch

Oldslowandugly
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Oldslowandugly » Fri May 03, 2019 1:21 pm

Butch, I used to carry a huge tool box as well as a tackle box the size of a dog house. No more. I only take what I actually need learned through experience. It only took 40 years to figure that out. I don't waste money on stainless tools because if you get salt water on them and don't clean them- they rust anyway. The only tools I carry on board stay dry in baggies until I use them. Then they come home for a cleaning and re-bagging. I do the same with tackle. If it was there- it got salty. All rods and reels get rinsed in fresh water and taken home. Lures and hooks go into the cooler to go home for cleaning. Then they get dried and put back in my tackle bag. Rigs go into clear poly bags kept in a big baggie until needed. I use seal-able baggies because they come in all sizes and are so cheap they are expendable. Even if my tackle bag gets wet- the bags stay dry. I have two waterproof boxes under my stern bench seat. One is for tools and emergency equipment and the other is for spare tackle and first aid items. The Plano brand boxes have stood up to much abuse and stayed very dry so I highly recommend them. Having a Whaler with no storage space has forced me to travel light and that's a good thing.

Crusty the Clam
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Re: On Board Hand Tools

Postby Crusty the Clam » Tue May 07, 2019 7:56 pm

My first post, so thank you to the host, Jim, and the contributors who have all helped me research my way into identifying a BW as my next (power) boat. I’ve been (power) boatless for a while.

Tools onboard a boat, fresh or salt, like everything else on board, the boat itself, and the trailer if applicable, require some level of safe storage and protection, and an inspection and maintenance program with intervals adequate to ensure that the tools won’t become rusted out.

The rust protectant can be anything (including WD40) so long as one inspects and maintains them on a frequency that is consistent with the product’s longevity.

The two things that I have added in my prior kit - in addition to the following some of the excellent ideas already stated above - are a small dry towel in a ziplock to wipe off excess product if I need to use the tools and a small container of the same or similar product that can be used to reapply, as a penetrating oil to de-rust the tools (if I screwed up on I/M), and for freeing a stubborn bolt or what-have-you when out in the water.

Again thank you all and I hope this proves helpful to someone.