Looking for ideas around tool storage in the Engine Room

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NotHerDecision, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Hey everyone, I am looking to install some version of tool storage in my ER. I have looked at truck mounted boxes, pelican cases...etc. What are you all using?

  2. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    For me, I find it's easier to keep tools in their cases and put the cases into bins that are secured to the bilge "shelf" area. I try to buy sets that come in durable cases. For loose tools - and extras like tape, zip ties, specialty tools, DVM, etc, etc - I use a soft-sided tool bag.

    If I had a permanent tool chest with slide out drawers, I'd be constantly going in and out of the bilge... you know how it is... Climb down into the bilge, grab a wrench, climb out of the bilge (if you're working somewhere else on the boat), put the wrench on the nut and realize you have the wrong one. Back down into the bilge, get the right one, back out of the bilge and back to the nut. When you're done, put the wrench you just used away... but can't find the first one you pulled out of the toolbox. Spend 12 minutes looking all over the place, only to find it was right under your feet.

    For my size boat, a couple milk crates worked well. They're open (won't hold moisture), strong and easy to screw down to the shelf. Rubbermaid bins could work well, too - maybe drill some drainage holes along with holes in the sides so you don't get mold growing on stuff. One of the crates I used for extra oil, filters, etc, as well.
  3. juggernaut1

    juggernaut1 Active Member

    Apr 19, 2015
    Perth, Western Australia
    2006 38 Sundancer
    8.1S / ZF 63V Drives
    I keep my tools and most spares in the cabin underfloor storage for a dry environment and easy access. Fluids and some spares (in a waterproof box) are only kept in the bilge in a modified storage tub mounted on the integral swim platform shelf.
  4. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L

    I laugh at your comment! Sounds just like me running all over the boat looking for a tool. Either way I’m either having to go below in the hatch or go to my engine room. I think I prefer the engine room but only time will tell.

    I’m thinking maybe something like this...

    Who knows, I’m hoping someone on the board has this all figured out!
  5. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I prefer the soft sided tool bags. Have a larger one and a small one. Most projects around the boat the smaller one works to grab and carry wherever I am.

    Seems like with the bags there are more options of places it fits.
  6. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    i keep some fairly nice tools in my dock box and my truck tool box for in-depth repairs to be made at the dock....I keep this cheap set from Harbor Freight on the boat in case it is needed while the boat is away from the dock....I find my self grabbing the cheap HF kit 90% of the time even at the dock because it is readily available and easy to carry from place to place...

    obviously not great quality tools but sufficient....and if I drop them in the water no big loss....



    Steve S and Little Ducky like this.
  7. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
  8. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I looked at some bags tonight. I still think I want something mounted more permanent. I’ll get creative and report back. Still very interested in what any of you have done.
  9. Steve S

    Steve S Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2007
    Northern IL.
    2000 400 Sedan Bridge with twin CAT 3116's

    2000 340 Sundancer - SOLD!
    210 Monaco 1987 - SOLD!
    Twin Caterpillar 3116's 350 HP straight drives
    I have the same set on my boat.
  10. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    Same set too. I think I got it for $39 on sale with a 20% coupon...OH and ANOTHER flashlight...lol
  11. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    I have a 3 drawer plastic tool box from Sears ($40) in the engine room. I keep all larger wrenches and sockets etc there. Then I keep smaller tool bag with smaller tools and a socket/wrench set under the helm seat. Still have to run back and forth, but not as much.
  12. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    I've heard better mechanics than I say the best tool strategy is to buy a cheap set and replace the ones that break, wear out or just don't work with good tools. The rest that work good enough or don't get used much aren't worth investing in. I've added more odd size sockets to my cheap socket set on the boat than I have used the included sockets. It's mostly use a couple here and there for minor items. Plus I think cheap tools today are far better than the cheap tools of 20-30 years ago, at least for common man tasks.
  13. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    So for those who have or do keep tools in the engine room. Do they rust easily?
  14. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island.
    2005 500DB
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Craftsman 3 drawer for stuff I barely use like sockets etc but I have 2 soft bags 1set up for Electric and the other set up for plumbing. Some tools do have a bit of rust on them usually the cheaper tools hit them with WD40 and they’re ok
  15. Brent Nutting

    Brent Nutting Active Member

    Mar 24, 2016
    Lk Saint Clair, Fair Haven, MI
    2002 480 Sedan Bridge
    10' Aventus RIB w/ 9.9 Merc
    Cat 3196
    I am looking into the same thing. I would like to mount a permanent tool box with drawers in the ER but I am concerned with having to move it to get to the back of boat for things. Right now, I have a plastic tool box secured with tie downs that I can move out of the way.
    Will be interested to see what you end up deciding on. Please post pics after you complete.
  16. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    None of my tools (other than some junky ones that were already kinda rusted up a bit) have rusted. But I'm the best one to judge that on since the boat does not sit full time in the water, and especially not in a high-humidity, salt area. I do wipe them down once in a while with Boeshield, too.

    In the Grady, which sits in the water for about 5-6 months, they're doing pretty well, too. I have those tools in a large, plastic tool box (the kind with the handle in the middle and two latches for the hinged lid). But Maine, although salt, is not a high humidity area. I do get a tiny bit of rust here and there, but that's more my fault for not wiping them down as often as I should. However, given that the toolbox stays out in the cockpit (extra seat or footstool), it's not too bad.

    I like the box you linked too - but do you think the tools would rattle around a lot and bug you (sound)? Maybe some sheets of foam tucked in/thrown on top of the tools? If you dampen the tools with WD40 or Boeshield, that should help, too. How thin is the sheet metal of that box (back to the rust question)?
  17. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB and Kencraft 190 CC
    I keep a soft tool bag under the cockpit seat and a large Stanley plastic toolbox in the engine room for rarely used items. I find that more and more tools migrate to the soft bag due to easier access. I would not want to go to the engine room every time a phillips screwdriver was needed.

    The Stanley box is supposedly waterproof with a decent gasket and I have no rust on any tools.
  18. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    Been looking into this also so far come up with craftsman three draw metal toolbox to be mounted in the engine room and outfitted with the tools that I would need in case of a Emergency out at sea repair while I am offshore ,all the sockets wrenches and stuff that I would need to work in the engine room will be down there on the top of the deck I always keep a general tool bag under the seat Plus I like the way some of the yachts look at the boat shows with their own toolboxes set up
  19. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I've got a soft tool bag and a hard plastic box on the boat. Both are filled with primarily Husky brand tools. The hard box has the socket sets in it and the soft bag has everything else including some other brand tools for electrical chores.
    I'm a fan of Craftsman and have a roll a way filled with them at home. I like the Husky as a good quality cheaper alternative for using on the boat where they might get rusty or go for a swim.
    Keeping them in the bilge wouldn't work for me because I'm a serial putterer and going in and out of the bilge every time I need a tool wouldn't make sense so I keep them more accessible.
    I would like to mount a box in the bilge for spare filters, belts and hoses though.
  20. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    If you are looking for a storage bag..... this 16" bag works well and can be pick them up at a good price at Harbor Freight. I like this one over their black bags because it has a reinforced bottom.


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