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Dusty Don
~ Dusty Don ~
Good Sailboat Gear
Good Maintenance Gear
Fein Multimaster
I am certain that the reason Popeye had such big forearms was not due to the spinach, rather it was because he had a wooden boat that he sanded by hand. I had no desire to put myself through that kind of torture, and I don't believe the elements would have given us the time anyway. A dock mate of ours lent me his Fein Multimaster when we first started on the brightwork. It took me all of 2 minutes to discover this was the beginnings to a beautiful love affair with a power tool. This was a very expensive gadget, so I had to go through a lot of justification to convince Don that I need one of my own.

The sander was light enough for me to hold and control in awkward positions – such as hanging over the sides, or on my back with my arms straight up in the air. Its triangular shape and size was perfect for getting almost anywhere, and it came with attachments that allowed us to get into even very tight corners. The hook and loop system made changing sanding grits fast, and using scouring pads possible for fine scrubbing.

Most impressive was the 'caulk removal' attachment. Our decks are covered in teak like most traditional vessels, and one must remove and re-caulk from time to time. This specialized attachment, along with the Fein Multimaster's rapid back and forth movement added a lot of ease to this otherwise difficult task. When I started to redo our decks, I couldn't imagine how anyone could do this without this amazing attachment!

Diana with Her Fein Master
~ Diana with Her Fein Master ~
The love affair continues. Our Fein Multimaster is still onboard and still kicking! Sometimes it sits, unused for months at a time, but it's never failed to do its job when called to task – something that can't be said about a lot of other electrical tools we've had to rely on (Dremel, Black & Decker to name a few.) But when it is put to work, it works hard, it works long and it works beautifully! Between all the diverse sanding attachments, all our boat's nooks and crannies get well sanded. And believe me, we've got a lot of nooks and crannies!

Another attachment not mentioned above is a little saw blade we've found most useful. It's easy enough to get into tight corners, as well as to cut out odd patterns while lying in weird positions. It's been indispensable for almost every project we've had; the new stove install, the new engine instrument mount, the AC ducting. And because it's such an easy to handle, powerful tool, I don't have to rely on Don to get the job done!

I also haven't yet mentioned the extra long cord – though a cordless model is available. Most corded electrical tools that we use must be employed with an extension cord. But not my Fein Master! Simple features like that are so appreciated, and I think some of the other manufacturers could take a lesson from this.

So after a full decade, I will continue to advise having a Fein Multimaster onboard your boat. In fact, upon further reflection, I believe I will promote replacing the other tools with Fein products when they die. Do you hear that Mister Drill?

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