Can you think of a low cost item that if not replaced can cause major damage?


Suppose space is not a problem. What about capital?


Very easy answer to the original question: OIL


If you would like to see the big picture behind the heading you may try to answer my questionnaire. You will assist me with my research!


Schrader v/v

Our fitter made a shaft seal out of a teflon bar on the lathe. It worked during the, at least, 5 months that I was watching it. Worth his weight in gold, that man.


I note some points to think about them.

But they must have the tools.

Many Thanks to everybody for the comments.


ok, I answered your questioneer.


Thank you!


I forgot to answer this one. 1 On board. As stated (under conditions) which would imply space permitting. I don’t think 3D could however be expected to print a replacement for everything on board.

Hear hear

A good shipowner employs good crew that can solve any problem

  1. How will this capability be used by the beancounters to increase profits and 2. What effect will whatever they come up with have on safety?

Anyone ever watch the movie “Das Boot” ? There is an interesting scene in it that illustrates these two notions.

In it a good crew overcomes the shortage of critical repair parts with creativity, while knowing that their lives depend on it.

In the scene the Captain speaks to himself: “you’ve got to have good men” !

Spoken just before this scene regarding his crew’s ability to do almost anything without essential repair materials the Reich Ministry deemed unnecessary for the Kriegmarine to provide the U Boats.

Captain: “you’ve got to have good men” !


On a yacht with diesel and fresh-water cooling - the exhaust mixing elbow. In Spain I returned to find my Yanmar elbow clogged with black coal-like junk. Hard as flint. I had a new ($75) cast iron elbow FedXed from Florida, ($150) where it got lost in customs. An arriving mate, a PhD chemist, said apple vinegar might work. We put it on the stove, dripped the vinegar ($1.50) into the black crud, and within 20 minutes the pipe was clean. My brand-new spare elbow was on the boat when I sold it.


Anchor connecting links and chain binders. Do not buy these from China. The proof certificates aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.


What else can we do when we do not have them in stock?


Similar vein, but not 3D printed. When working on inventory trying to keep all the odd shaped cat gaskets flat, I often thought a laser cutter or circuit machine and some Garlock with OEM files to ensure the right size would be pretty awsome.


With regard to thread title: Entry level mariners.




Laminated Object Manufacturing is one of the groups of 3d printing. With your thought you point out the principle of distributed manufacturing.


Can you mention the use of the tool? With 3d printing one can make items (including metallic) with moving parts.


Be careful with that advice, it might hurt someone. Sure, it might be a worthwhile interim measure if you fully understand the risk involved, but there’s a reason why none of the shops will do it for you where I come from: Sooner or later you thin out the engine side dividing wall so far that the seal fails and seawater enters the exhaust manifold, whereupon bad times ensue.

Mixing elbows are a consumable item and should be treated as such. Cleaning them out when they clog with corrosion is a bit like flipping a worn-out impeller; It’ll get you back up and running, but it sets you up for a world of hurt if you don’t follow up on it.

Sorry about straying so far OT, but I felt this needed pointing out.


Point taken. With a mistral forecast and a run from Valencia to Tunisia ahead, we took the quick fix. The spare arrived just before departure. The mistral caught up with us off Algeria, but that’s another story.


Yanmar elbows just beg for engine destruction following a water leak into the exhaust side. The design puts seawater above and inline with the exhaust inlet to the elbow, really stupid idea. A simple elbow that puts the water injection downstream and lower than any part of the gas path is so simple to do and would probably add $5 to the cost.


Zinc’s on the hull, zinc’s in the engine, cathodic protection is much cheaper when your zinc is the sacrificial metal rather than the hull or the engine.