Thursday, January 2, 2020

Lightweight Tools

Performance boat sailors will do crazy things to save an ounce. I was just packing a small tool bag to leave on my F-24 and was a little appalled by the weight. In fact, over the years I've noticed my tool bags keep getting smaller because I hate lifting heavy bags (and because it's easier to find stuff and to take only what I'll need). I carry more bags, but they are lighter.

The dingy and round-the-harbor race guys probably just leave the tools at home. But what of the ocean racing guys that build with carbon-everything but have to actually fix stuff?

In no particular order....

Carbon Wrenches. Carbonlite tools makes a set of 5 wrenches (10-15mm) that weight just 6.7 ounces. Your wallet will also be $140 lighter. I'm also guessing I can't add a cheater or hit it with a hammer.

Aluminum Wrenches. There are a number of manufacturers making Aluminum 6061 T6 wrenches. Of course, the yield strength is only about 1/2 of that of a good tool steel (35ksi vs 80ksi). Specifically, they are used to not scratch pretty anodized hydraulic fittings on custom cars. On the other hand, Rigid started using aluminum handles on pipe wrenches for industry decades ago, and they were a godsend.

You can replace a bunch of wrenches with an adjustable wrench. Of course, they don't fit as many places and they are really good at ruining nuts. Same with vice grips, although they have other merits.

Multi-Tools. I have one, but it's not a tool kit.
I think I would rather save weight by taking fewer high quality tools.

A lightweight tool box helps. I use a travel toiletries bag for my lightweight kit. Organized, contained, and very light.

Of course, there is the matter of cleaning out lockers and discarding old might-need parts that no longer fit anything you own. But that's a spring topic.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Very Shallow Bilges

Keel boat sailors think in terms of feet when measuring the depth of the bilge.  Multihull sailors think in terms of inches. In the case of my F-24 MK I, more like 1.4 inches in the center groove, 0.7 inches outside the groove, and zero less than a foot to either side.

Typical bilge pump float switch turn on at 2 inches and off at 3/4-inch. That will leave water on the cabin sole, where I would like to have a carpet. In fact, I got a wet carpet. The common bilge pumps are intended to operate in that range.

I'm still loking for a solution I like, but for the moment, I've settled on a tiny pump and a timer, with a float for back-up if the timed pumping is not enough.

The tiny 1-amp pump runs on a timer, for just 1-minute each day. That is more than enough for the minor leaks we have not been able to resolve. Discharge is through the sink drain. The float switch in the background turns it on if the timed runs are not enough. I'm not really worried about sinking, because the trimaran can easily hang from her floats and there isn't really anything other than fiberglass below the probable flooding line.

An Aird Bilge System would be sweet, but $900 seem like overkill.