a tool I should have bought years ago…

A common issue when doing rigging work on older boats is that, more often than not, previous owners and various marine tradesmen have made questionable tool decisions. A quick example is dealing with a Sta-Lok fitting that has been mangled because someone used the worst tool known to man to tighten or loosen it.

Yeah, Vice-grips.

I’ll be honest and admit that I have quite a few Vice-grips and once in a great while I’ll use one in dire situations or an emergency. That being the case, I’ll also say that whenever I do there is almost always damage involved. On a boat, unless it’s a steel boat and welding is involved, a pair of Vice-grips are seldom, if ever, the right tool for a job. Especially where rigging and rigs are concerned. Add the fact that nothing screams TYRO like a tool bag full of vice-grips unless it’s a t-shirt that says…

HEY, I don’t know what I’m doing!

Which is why I have an inborn negative set of emotions where locking pliers and wrenches are concerned as they all have that Vice-grips vibe. Like this one…

I recently saw another rigger using one of these 10″ Crescent locking wrenches and raving at how good they are so went to Walmart online and bought one and damn I’m impressed as hell. Fact is, I liked it so much that I also bought a used 8-inch Craftsman clone of it for under ten bucks on ebay. Offhand I’d say that one of these really should be in your rigging kit right along side your two 10″ Crescent wrenches.

Just sayin’

On another tack, nothing says climate change like the addition of a new Category 6 level to the Saffir-Simpson scale which is some serious shit to be sure.

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4 thoughts on “a tool I should have bought years ago…”

  1. Here in San Diego where the Pineapple Express Bomb storm has been pummeling CA and threatens disastrous flooding and needs State of Emergency Declarations but reeeealy is just a couple more days of storm than we’re used to and the news pics and videos are all from the usual ‘hey, don’t build that in a flood plain you idiot’ locations…

    I’m thinking the new hurricane class might be kind of a “ours goes to 11′ thing.

    1. It’s scary how many cities are located in places that just don’t make any sense. Growing up in southern California I certainly know all about that idiocy On the subject of hurricanes I’ve thought for a long time that the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale system really needed to adapt to stronger storms as storms really are getting stronger. Having survived three Cat 5 storms with winds of over 157 MPH the idea of what a 190 MPH storm can do is a whole different thing and really deserves its own category.

      That said, I love the Spinal Tap analogy…

  2. I used to work as a bike mechanic and one of the tools that folks wanted to get at the shop but that we never did because they were too expensive was a set of Knipex pliers. This looks like a good Volkscruiser alternative to that!

  3. I tend towards your view of vice-grips (or Mole wrenches to us present or former Brits), but that bit of kit looks sensible, as the over centre grip action should eliminate the annoying trait of adjustables to self adjust too loose every time they’re removed from the nut to take another bite.

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