Some of the tools we use on board Gaviidae are very boat specific, such as an Impeller Puller. Others are more universal and can be used for many purposes.


This little device was recommended by an instructor teaching a women’s diesel class. Since we’ve gotten it we’ve used it to find missing bits/tools that have been dropped below the engine, investigate the underside of the RV, and to view areas of the boat that are impossible to get to. It connects to your mobile device via an app, includes a light to brighten dark areas, and a camera for taking pictures.

We use this vacuum for the heavy duty clean-up such as vacuuming brightwork scrapings or bug carcasses from the cockpit. Recommend getting a second battery.

Mike Gozzard had one of these made by Stanley and Dan borrowed it on a few occasions. He looked all over for one but they were no longer made. Bostitch makes one that is essentially the same and it’s small enough to fit in a holiday stocking! If you can’t find it on Amazon, do a Google search for it.

We had been looking at headlamps for several years – just hadn’t found one that met all our requirements. Until we took a closer look at the Mantus headlamp. This lamp comes on with a red light first so it doesn’t immediately screw up your night vision, the next click turns on a white light followed by a brighter white light. The fourth click turns into a flashing emergency light. Even better it’s waterproof down to 10 meters so if you need to check your keel or anchor, now you’ve got a light to do it. Oh – it also has a rechargeable battery and a wrist strap if don’t want to wear it on your head.

2024 Update – the new model is slightly smaller and lighter, it also charges via a USB-C connection.

Yes, we know that you can pull an impeller with pliers. But after watching a pro wrestle with ours (we were getting a lesson) using pliers and then switching to an impeller puller when the pliers didn’t work we decided that this was a tool we wanted onboard. Plus it reduces the chance of tearing the impeller blades and losing bits into the cooling system. While we only use this device once a year, our fellow sailors have appreciated that we have one to loan when they encounter sticky or even deteriorating impellers. Note: there are different sizes – make sure you get one that fits your boat.

We purchased this in 2017 and have used it extensively to remove the Cetol finish on our companionway doors, accent strips, and toe rail. A heat gun is essential when stripping brightwork!

I was trying to find tools that would help me scrape out varnish in the small grooves on our teak wheel and in tiny corners on the companionway doors. I started looking for dental tools when I found these.

These siphons work fabulously. We purchased a set of two and use one exclusively for diesel and the other for water. We store them in clearly marked ziploc bags to make sure we don’t mix them up. It’s amazing how fast they can empty a jerry can without making a mess! Be sure you get the siphons with GLASS balls in the working end.

Dan uses this when filling our water tanks to gauge how much goes into each tank – helps avoid a half-filled tank due to an airlock.

We have a number of these in the large and smaller sizes. We use them to organize all of the spare boat parts and tools. They stack well and are durable even when dropping them into the lazarette. Note: we bought a small one for the dinghy and it is not watertight.

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