One month to launch

OSPREY’S PACKING LIST HAS GROWN, a lot, since my last post, a month ago.

My buddy Paul looked at the earlier list, and wrote:

“The ToDo list reveals you to be every bit the gearhead I remember, but of course boat ownership does little to discourage that tendency I’ll bet. Anyway, it’s really cool.”

I have been stewing about this, being unjustly labeled a “gearhead.” Like other gearheads, I have always regarded the term as a pejorative. Paul is a psychiatrist, and I think tendencies are things shrinks try to help you get over, right? Like my tendency to stew over perceived slights. Doesn’t “gearhead” sort of imply a tendency toward frivolous acquisition of unnecessary stuff? Are there meds that can help me with that?

Actually, what I think I am is a Boy Scout, with a tendency to obsess about Being Prepared.

There is a website dedicated to C-Dories, and I have been talking with one of the contributors there, Dr. Bob Austin, who has done a number of epic ocean-crossings in sailboats. Bob was an Eagle Scout, and he is way more prepared than I ever will be. The other day I asked him to suggest what tools and spare parts I should take on my trip. He obligingly dashed off the following list. After I added numbering to help me keep track … I saw that Bob had written a beautiful seafaring poem:

Tools and Spares

By Dr. Bob Austen

    1. Generally a set of extra filters for the in line filters (hopefully Racor),
    2. and the first stage filter under the cowling.
    3. I tend to always carry a spare water pump impeller, even if you have had it replaced recently — which you should have done within the last year at least.
    4. I take an extra squeeze bulb,
    5. extra prop,
    6. nuts,
    7. cotter pin,
    8. thrust washer
    9. and a prop wrench.
    10. Also a piece of wood to stabilize the prop if you have to put a lot of leverage on the prop nut (you shouldn’t and
    11. I would pull the prop, clean and re-grease the shaft and splines.). The newer props don’t often have the fuel pump go out, but on the 25, I do carry an automotive inline fuel pump and small filter to put in front, plus some extra tubing.
    12. I carry at least 4 quarts of oil and a spare oil filter for the outboard.
    13. Funnel for filling oil.
    14. A quart of approved hydraulic fluid and adaptor for the steering pump (or funnel).
    15. I also carry a quart of lower unit lube, and pump with adaptor if necessary for your motor.
    16. A set of extra spark plugs.
    17. I also put a small Jabsco in line water pump — which we used for filling up water filters etc — and a secondary / back up for the whale foot pump. This electric pump has only a stiff momentary push button switch (like a starter switch)
    18. small and large crescent wrenches.
    19. A set of open end / Box wrenches in metric and SAE for all size bolts on the boat.
    20. A basic 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive socket set, metric and SAE. Include spark plug wrench.
    21. Allen wrenches, metric and SAE.
    22. Multifunction screw drivers, including Robertson (square) bits in #1 and #2.
    23. Small and mini screw drivers. I carry one very large screw driver flat head, or Phillips, for the lower unit access ports.
    24. Needle nose pliers,
    25. water pump pliers
    26. a filter wrench.
    27. I also like “Chain Vise Grips” as well as regular, large and small Vise Grips.
    28. I do carry a couple of alignment punches,
    29. a small ball peen hammer,
    30. a cold chisel (1/2″ size).
    31. A small SS wire brush (about 1/2″ wide and 8″ long handle)
    32. Heavy Vinyl electric tape,
    33. self amalgamating tape
    34. rescue tape
    35. Duct tape
    36. SS seizing wire.
    37. Small ropes: 1/8″ Dacron line, as well as a spool of net or “bank line).
    38. Zip ties, small to large
    39. set of extra hose clamps in every size on the boat.
    40. A tube of Kwik JB Weld
    41. and regular JB weld.
    42. A tube of 3M 4000.
    43. A patch kit for the inflatable if you have one.
    44. A set of fast set clear epoxy tubes.
    45. If you have any thru hulls, then a nerf or wooden plug of the size of the hole, and the orifice of the thru hull.
    46. One of the Li battery packs which are for starting the engine, powering USB devices etc.
    47. A multimeter,
    48. a #14 set of cables with alligator clips,
    49. a piece of #12 or 14 wire about 20 feet long (enough to bypass to the console.
    50. I have a good ratchet crimper,
    51. and an assortment of connectors — heat shrink — adhesive lined, plus the heat shrink adhesive lined tubing.
    52. Wire stripper/cutter.
    53. A 30 watt small soldering iron, or a butane soldering iron/torch.
    54. That is one “pencil case” About 12″ and 4″ wide case with a zipper on the 12″ side made of plastic or ballistic nylon.
    55. Cigarette or barbecue lighter (better yet the small torch).
    56. I also carry a multiple speed Dremel tool, with a compete small case of commonly.used bits, including cut off wheels for both metal and plastic, flat and round sanding discs/drums. (also in one of the pencil) cases.
    57. Know what the fuel burn of your boat is at each RPM and Speed. That way you can plan the longer trips if you don’t have fuel flow meters. (I have put fuel flow meters on all of the C Dorys which I have used for longer trips — but also keep a chart of the fuel flow and range at each RPM handy at the helm. Some of the AK run I have done part at displacement speed–and then when I knew I had enough fuel to make my next fuel stop cranked up the speed. An example of when you may want to crank up speed, is between the slack high water at passes. At displacement speeds, you can usually only make one a day. At C Dory 20 MPH speeds you can make 3 a day. Also the C Dory will do fine on passes as long as not too much of an overfall or whirl pools. I have gone thru some with 10 knot currents. But these were ones I had been thru before and had a good idea about whirlpools or standing waves — overfalls not being a problem.
    58. Also swing the compass and have a deviation table or card for your compass, with lights and / or electronics off and on. Know your variation for current dates and positions.
    59. The last few times, I have just taken an Atlas of the area — instead of the several hundred charts I had on the cal 46. I also like the tourist map, which shows the whole inland passage. I still have mine, and had marked the route of each of our trips on it. I believe this is the one I have.. {Fine Edge also makes two “MAPS” one Southern and one Northern. I like either of these to use for planning.

I am sure I have forgotten some items …