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  #21  
Old 06-05-2013
dvuyxx's Avatar
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Good thread. I think that tackling projects that are a little outside of the scope of my skillset is driven by two things with the boat:

1) Unlike our house, the boat's budget is entirely pinned on me ... this is my passion/hobby so I need to keep costs contained, lest I draw too much from our larger set of resources (and disturb marital bliss).

2) In the name of safety and self reliance, I feel compelled to better understand how things work onboard ... much more than with my car, our house, and appliances etc. ... even though I try to do things myself.

Skills that I've picked up that surprise me in retrospect:
- Painting (I prepped and painted our hull ... with a little help)
- Minor diesel maintenance and repair (very minor)
- 12v electrical
- Fiberglass repair (whether or not a success is soon to be determined ... underway)
- Brightwork
- Plumbing

I would not say I have any degree of expertise at any of these ... but I'm doing it.
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Hey,

Good topic,

Skills that being a boat owner has forced me to learn:
Bottom maintenance - sanding and applying bottom paint. Learning to use filler to fair a keel
Engine maintenance - learning to winterize an inboard diesel. Oil and fuel filter changes. Glow plug testing and maintenance,
Steering - how the steering mechanism works. What a rudder quadrant is, how to remove it, how to remove and install a rudder.
Electrical maintenance - how salt water and DC volts don't really get a long. How to make a marine electrical connection that lasts (longer than a year)
Rigging - how to remove and replace running and standing rigging
Winch maintenance, including learning how heavy metal parts can bounce into the water.
And a whole bunch of other stuff.

The internet is really your friend. If you have a question, most likely someone (maybe even on this list) has done it, can tell you what to watch out for, and might even have a youtube video for you to watch and learn.

Barry
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  #23  
Old 06-05-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

A significant reason I bought the boat was so I would HAVE to learn things.

Just two years ago I couldn't accomplish anything and viewed every task with fear and trepidation. A fellow Contessa owner removed his stern rail and I remember thinking how amazing it was that he knew how to do that. How long did that take I asked in awe. I looked at every piece of hardware, chainplates and deck fitting as a complete unknown.

I remember bravely setting out to remove a mushroom vent in my deck, undoing the screws and giving it a tug to no avail. I had no idea how to proceed further. I put the screws back and forgot about it.

I had no tools and literally didn't know what a lot of common tools even did. I had a vague idea that a dremel would help me cut out the old water tank for removal, although I'd never used one. Since then the dremel (and oscillating multi tool which I also didn't know existed) have been my most valuable assets. Along with a cordless wet dry vac, impact driver, sawzall, inspection camera etc.

I used to not "get" what epoxy was and was angry that people here referred to it as a generic term. What brand, what kind I thought and what are they talking about? Now I've got west 205/105 and colloidal silica, mixing pumps and know how to use them.

Since then I've rewired the entire boat, done some basic epoxy and glass repair (getting better at this), replaced the head and all plumbing, winterized the engine, and rebed about 70% of the deck hardware. Fewer and fewer things scare me (deck recoring and repainting still scare me - mostly because of the time involved) and my productivity has literally gone up by a factor of 5 or 10.
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  #24  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

New boat ownership has me hearing my grandpa's words from decades past - anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly at first.
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Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

One thing I have learned in cruising in obscure places is that if something goes wrong either you fix it or it does not get fixed. Had to replace the raw water pumpin the middle of the night just off the coast of one of the islands in southern Indonesia when there was not a breath of wind, the water was way too deep to anchor right up to the shore and a current was pushing was towards a the pass between two islands. Was wondering how I was going to explain to the insurance company how I ran aground stern first as I was getting to do the repair.

I used to be intimidated by things like bleeding the diesel, not so much any more. It is a wonderful feeling having the right spare part in the inventory for a fix, but without the part it becomes more of a challenge and things like JB Weld become your friend.
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  #26  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

K- would be very interested in what spares you carry. So far my list includes:
1. three filters for every thing that has a filter
2. two impellers for every pump (+/or diaphragm)
3. dymeena and fittings for jury rig standing rigging if needed
4.alternator ( put in high output so have the original)
5.high/low pressure pumps re build parts for diesel, belts (Doubled the racor system so just have filters). Have 4 fuel tanks so no day tank or spare tank. Put "polish" filters on returns
6. oil/hydraulic fluids as needed for various systems. enough for two complete changes
7. sail patch kit, spare Vectron, spare battens, spare fishing line for dutchman
8. epoxy, plugs, emergency patch etc..
9. tinned wire and spare end fittings to match what's in boat
Tools, tools, tools , but always not the one needed
10. have no bulbs as everything LED

Things I'm thinking on include- spare prop ( get "cheap" fixed prop as cost of another maxprop excessive) spare ram and rudder angle sensor for autopilot.

???? What am I missing???? Know needs will vary by boat but the above a good list??
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  #27  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post

???? What am I missing???? Know needs will vary by boat but the above a good list??
Well, I could have bought spares for everything. But, instead, I bought a bigger boat.


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  #28  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
???? What am I missing???? Know needs will vary by boat but the above a good list??
Looks like a pretty good list.
Extra engine belts could be added too.
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  #29  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

I have stupidly - which is to say to the expense of all else, including sanity - spent the last two winters refitting my boat. What I know:

1. The Internet really is your friend. Every repair you could dream of is discussed in detail in multiple Internet locations. This is immeasurably helpful. However, read at least three discussions until two smart-sounding opinions/consensus agree. Then ignore them. Your idea is better anyhow.

2. The time multiplier -t he real time it is going to take to do "x", rather than your estimate - for home renovations is 2.2. For work on the boat that number is 4.6.

3. You needn't be afraid to tackle any job. How bad can you pooch it up anyhow? So long as your work meets safety requirements, the only person you have to please is yourself. Almost invariably you are your own toughest critic.

4. If anybody, including me, ever tells you that painting your sailboat isn't a lot of work, they're lying.
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  #30  
Old 06-06-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
New boat ownership has me hearing my grandpa's words from decades past - anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly at first.
I'm glad to see other people using this strategy.
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