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  #1  
Old 06-04-2013
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The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Bubblehead's thread on the three year Albin Vega refit got me thinking.

How many of us have found ourselves tackling projects that we never, ever thought a) we would have to tackle and b) thought we COULD tackle?
five years ago I viewed filling a scratch or two on the hull as a trepidacious day long process fraught with complications and the purchase of new tools and materials and fear of fixing. Now, it's just another half hour added to the spring maintenance regimen...
which means we can find something else to fix, improve, break, then fix our improvements.

A simple cockpit table was a week long project- now a table extension for that table is built in an afternoon.



The upside of all this tool and skill acquistion is that you have more skills and experience than before you thought, "Well, while I am at it..."
The downside is you never get ahead of your punchlist.



Anybody else picked up a valuable skillset or two that they figured they would never attempt, and now apply on a regular basis?
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Old 06-04-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Rigging, splicing, and replacing thru-hulls.
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Old 06-04-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Anybody else picked up a valuable skillset or two that they figured they would never attempt, and now apply on a regular basis?
One or two? BL at this point I feel like I could build a damn boat!
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Old 06-04-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Rigging, splicing, and replacing thru-hulls.
Oh yeah... Splicing! I can now splice eyes onto my eyes..okay, not really but you get the point! Lately, I've learned a lot about re-finishing wood and plumbing.
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Old 06-04-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Always good to have another "tool" in the inventory. Adding [to] any skill set is imperative to stay sharp and on yer toes

"The difficult we do immediately... the impossible takes a little longer"

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building,write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects"

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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

LOL- splicing is on my "to learn" list this month. Never done it, gonna try it, gonna suck at it, gonna get better at it...
just like every other damn thing on this boat.

Y'know, she ain't much, but when I swing aboard, step onto the cockpit grate I built, open the companionway door I built, step down onto the sole i refinished and reach into the icebox I reinsulated to grab a beer i have earned, I know that I know this bitch bow to stern, and she ain't nobody's but mine.
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Old 06-04-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

I'm not sure about never attempting certain things, but rather, thought of delaying certain education.

I did my standing rigging, turned out easier than expected. Also doing epoxy work to replace a thru-hull/seacock, doing any type of engine work. I'd like to learn more with line work with splicing and running rigging type of skills.

Since it has to do with my boat, I'm enjoying learning about my boat.
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Old 06-05-2013
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post


Anybody else picked up a valuable skillset or two that they figured they would never attempt, and now apply on a regular basis?
I think any boat ower, and certainly someone cruising off in the far blue yander has picked up other skills.

But new people should not be scared of a cruising life without those skills.

Sometimes where I am it seems no 'normal' person could qualify as a cruiser. only ex-trades people or marine industry workers.
How does a banker or lawyer or teacher, clerk, postamn etc ever hope to be able to become a mechanic?

The answer is one dosnt have to! Its nice and its cheaper if one can do a lot of their own work, however its possable to be a knkucklehead like me and just budget a bit more $$$ to have someone come in and cuddle the engine, or professionaly varnish the woodwork or even wash the decks and clean the insides (say after a long passage and in a place where labor is cheap).

We do not have to be the be all and end all gift to the sailor. But we need to budget for it


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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

I'm not sure about skills, but I've gained a lot of confidence.
I built my own sailing dinghy a couple years ago - that got me fiberglass and epoxy skills (as well as a lot of experience sanding and finishing, and a touch of design because I made changes to the plans)..
Those skills will come in handy when I rip my davits off and completely patch the deck.

I had electronics training in the Navy, but geez a 12v system is a whole lot different.
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum

Mark, makes a great point. I have learned many new skills maintaining my vessel. There are however, some tasks, where the learning curve is steep, the investment in time is great and the risk of a botched job is high. So, with some jobs, I have made the decision to hire a pro and then take on additional work in my own area of expertise to pay for it. That's not to say that I don't try to learn from their techniques.

I do admire those who have the skills and the patience to learn and perform all their own work.

I can read a law book, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to represent myself in court.
I'm also at the end of my career, So I'm looking to downsize a bit. I really don't need to purchase a lot of tools that I'll use once and then have to give away or sell.
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