On our McCurdy and Rhodes 56 I had a whole bunch of different files, but that was a 25-ton boat where weight, while important, was less of an issue.
Since selling that boat, along with all my tools, I have found that the three files shown above will do most things, and while I have a few more at home in the workshop, these live in my tool bag on our new-to-us J/109:
- Fairly fine metals file flat on one side and curved on the other
- Rat tail file, quite coarse
I use the middle one by far the most. Makes short work of removing a lot of fibreglass, epoxy or wood, and will even work on aluminum. One of the most common tools I reach for with a lot of functionality for its size and weight.
- More recommended power and hand tools for voyagers.
- And here are four more that most cruisers don’t have, including me up to a few years ago, but should.