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Old 06-05-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

The Universal Boat Troubleshooting Rules for Any Project.
(Feel free to add your own rules)
  1. Do a little reading first. If you have a manual read it too.
  2. Take your time, you're not on the clock. Everything will take twice as long as you think anyway.
  3. If you're taking apart something complicated take pictures. A little digital camera is your friend.
  4. Put parts into resealable sandwich bags and write what they're for on the bag with a sharpie.
  5. Sometimes drawing diagrams in a notepad is helpful. I keep a little one, maybe 3x4" in the nav desk.
  6. Think before you force anything.
  7. I can absolutely, positively guarantee that you will need the one damned tool you didn't bring and you'll have to run out to the hardware store/marine store/home center to buy one - and it will be a tool that you know you'll probably never use again - and now you'll have two.
  8. You will need one damn screw/nut/bolt to finish a job on a Sunday afternoon. You will learn this five minutes after every store has closed. Always buy extra hardware.
  9. Lube it with Palmolive to slide it on, shoot it with PB Blast to get it off.
  10. When you're really hot, sweaty and frustrated walk away for a few minutes, crack a beer and think. It's amazing what occurs to you when taking a break.
  11. When you're doing one of those jobs that requires a big hammer, curse the sumbitch with every swing. You'll feel better.
  12. Remember the woodworkers mantra. You WILL make mistakes, the difference between an amateur and a pro is how you fix or hide them.
  13. If it's the end of the day and you've just finished some nasty b@ll breaker of a job DO NOT even think about doing one more little project. It WILL blow up in your face. Instead crack a beer, celebrate a project completed and end the day on a win.

Yep, that's 13. If you work on boats you already know all about bad luck.
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Last edited by JimMcGee; 06-05-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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