Do some of your galley tools find themselves standing in for "real tools?" A quick tip on how to save them!

Tools in the Galley

It’s only natural to reach for the nearest “tool,” particularly if you’re not doing a big project.  The problem is when the tool at hand isn’t really designed for the task.

I was reminded of this again today as Dave grabbed my can opener to use as a hammer to tap on something he was trying to loosen.  Um . . . while it’s a great can opener and rugged, I don’t think it was really designed for that.  And I’d like to still be able to open cans . . . and I don’t have a second can opener in case it’s destroyed.

Why, oh why, I ask myself, can’t he use a hammer instead?  Well, the reality is that it would take at least a minute to dig it out while the can opener only takes a second.  And we all use what’s convenient, not necessarily what’s best.

And yes, I’m every bit as guilty.  And on Que Tal, where the tools were in a case strapped to the table legs, the can opener often found itself standing in for a hammer and a table knife would become a screwdriver or pry tool.  Not for big projects, mind you, just for little stuff.

Galley toolsRealizing that this was going to ruin tools I needed for their intended purpose, I bought small “galley tools.”  Just a mini hammer and a multi-tip screw driver, with both flat and Phillips tips.

And I didn’t put them in some out of the way spot.  I didn’t put them in any sort of a case.  I just put them in the drawer with the can opener (that’s why I bought small tools), so they were just as easy to grab.  And with that, my can opener, knives and other kitchen utensils were saved.  If the little tools were too small, the other galley items would also be too small and it was time to open up the big tool set.

They’re not the exact ones I bought in Mexico, but this little 6″ hammer and multi-tip screwdriver are close.  No, they’re not top of the line tools, just small ones to keep in a convenient location.  Not only did they save my “real” galley utensils, I know that they actually saved us time in doing lots of small jobs by having the right tool!  Definitely worth the $15 I spent . . .

I need another set for the house, obviously . . .

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  • Katherine Haslam on Facebook
    Posted at 14 January 2013 Reply

    They are great in my small kitchen at home too. My husband reaches for them first as he knows mine will always be in the same place…unlike his 😉

  • Allan Cobb on Facebook
    Posted at 14 January 2013 Reply

    I keep a some screwdrivers, pliers, and a small hammer like that one in my chart table. They don’t take up room in my galley (which is conveniently located next to my chart table) and they are still easy to get to.

  • pete
    Posted at 18 January 2013 Reply

    those little hammers are called condo hammers. because you dont need a real hammer cause your frequently not allowed to do real work or know how to use a real hammer.

  • Marty Crichlow
    Posted at 01 September 2013 Reply

    To make access better (and mostly to get the weight on the starboard side) I gave up one of my 4 galley drawers for the small hand tools like hammers, screwdrivers, pliers (including the big ones), etc that would fit in the drawer. It is right next to the companion way ladder and have not yet regretted the sacrifice. I find myself grabbing his big heavy pliers, or the hammer when I need to crush nuts for a recipe. After all, what’s mine is mine and what’s his is mine. Or is it the other way around?

  • Sue
    Posted at 06 August 2014 Reply

    We were told before we left home 8 years ago that everything you put pn your boat should have 2 uses. Our bottom step in the companionway is a liftvup lid storage space that we keep a set of frequently used tools…..pliers, screwdrivers, etc.

  • David Johnson
    Posted at 22 March 2016 Reply

    I screwed a small tool pouch (intended for attaching to your belt) just inside the main hatch. In it, I keep pliers, multi-bit screwdriver, marlinspike, knife and a marking pen. It is within reach from above and below.

  • Linda G Stock
    Posted at 25 December 2017 Reply

    Gotta be creative and flexible

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