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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-06-2009
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Proper Mantenance

I was talking to a yard mechanic about service on a steering system. I thought maintenance would include squirting a little oil and some inspection. He told me that what they do is completely disassemble the whole thing. Clean it, coat all screws, nuts and bolts with the proper goop replace any worn parts then reassemble. This takes a few hours. He said if you don't do the full service what happens is that you can't see the parts that are wearing. And fasteners will seize over time and when you need to fix them they will break.

I don't keep my cars for 20+ years and they are not on salt water but wow this is a whole nurther world. If you are supposed to do that every 5 to 15 years on every system on the boat and their are 20 systems then you have to plan on a major system overhaul or two every year.

It sounds true. I've looked at several 20+ year old Catalina 30's in the under 20,000 range and I suspect that the steering, roller furling, standing rigging, electrical, freshwater, through hulls etc have not be touched since day one.
I guess you get what you pay for. If this is true then I can see that a 20+ year old boat that had every system completely serviced properly every few years would be worth a lot more.

I guess what I'm asking is that the level of service you put in your boat or do you just sail it and if something breaks fix it?
IOW when was the last time you completely disassembled your steering system, Roller furling, electrical etc.
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Old 02-06-2009
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I am in the process of gathering parts and such to remove and repair the majority of my 12volt system this spring. Thankfully, my systems are arranged such that I can do it piece by piece once I have the new DC panel in place. ie forward runs one day, next day wiring to the pedestal etc. It should take me about 20 hours total and cost about $6-700. Careful shopping.

I did the AC systems last season - removed and resealed shorepower connector, new 10/3 cable to the new AC breaker panel, new 14/3 to a new GFCI and box for the new battery charger and then new 14/3 to the new GFCI and new box in the galley. I think it may have cost me $400 and 8 hours of my own labour.

This is all over and above the usual little items like stripping all the old paint off and putting on a new barrier coat and antifouling (VC17). New lifelines. Installing the new Cookmate 4200 stove. Install new BBQ (Force 10 Stow and Go). Installing lots of new running rigging. Inspect standing rigging, prop, deck fittings and so on.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2009
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It does seem like even in perfectly maintained boats the electric systems have to be replaced. If for no other reason than there are so many more fun electic things to put on a boat now.
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Old 02-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I guess what I'm asking is that the level of service you put in your boat or do you just sail it and if something breaks fix it?
IOW when was the last time you completely disassembled your steering system, Roller furling, electrical etc.
Yes I do ALL preventative maintenance. In the last 20 years my only failure has been a circuit breaker on a Universal diesel engine and a couple of manufacturer defects.

I prefer to sail when my wife and family are aboard rather than hold up in some remote anchorage rebuilding something that should have been done as routine. Something breaking at sea is a hazard to safety so I am not of the ilk to not fix anything and just let it break. I've been on a boat where we lost the rig during a delivery and it damn near killed a friend of mine. The owners response was "jeez the rigging is only 21 years old?" then tried to blame us for the rig failure..

This winter..

new damper plate
rebuit the starter
rebuilt the alternator
rebuilt the sea strainer
all new hoses and non-perforated hose clamps on engine
re-packed rudder log
new battery cable from starter to batt
new cable from alt to house bank
new impeller
changed anti-freeze
replaced thermostat
changed tranny fluid
replaced valve cover gasket
replaced rear main engine seal
replaced head - Raritan PHII
trued prop shaft
fit and faced shaft coupling
replaced prop
replaced halyards
R&R steering chain/cable, align rudder, lube sheaves, lube bearings


Every thing in the list above was working just fine...

Last year:
replaced portlights (not working so fine but working)
replaced majority of battery cable
replaced all head plumbing and hose clamps
replaced interior cushions
replaced impeller
replaced radar/plotter
replaced depth
replaced autopilot
replaced running lights
replaced mast wiring

Again all working...


etc. etc....... on and on you get the picture..

It's a boat!! B.O.A.T. - Break Out Another Thousand


]
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-06-2009 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-06-2009
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Once you do all those things you listed, how many years before you preventively do them again? 2,5,10 years?
Thx



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Yes I do ALL preventative maintenance. In the last 20 years my only failure has been a circuit breaker on a Universal diesel engine and a couple of manufacturer defects.

I prefer to sail when my wife and family are aboard rather than hold up in some remote anchorage rebuilding something that should have been done as routine. Something breaking at sea is a hazard to safety so I am not of the ilk to not fix anything and just let it break. I've been on a boat where we lost the rig during a delivery and it damn near killed a friend of mine. The owners response was "jeez the rigging is only 21 years old?" then tried to blame us for the rig failure..

This winter..

new damper plate
rebuit the starter
rebuilt the alternator
rebuilt the sea strainer
all new hoses and non-perforated hose clamps on engine
re-packed rudder log
new battery cable from starter to batt
new cable from alt to house bank
new impeller
changed anti-freeze
replaced thermostat
changed tranny fluid
replaced valve cover gasket
replaced rear main engine seal
replaced head - Raritan PHII
trued prop shaft
fit and faced shaft coupling
replaced prop
replaced halyards
R&R steering chain/cable, align rudder, lube sheaves, lube bearings


Every thing ins the list above was working just fine...

Last year:
replaced portlights (not working so fine but working)
replaced majority of battery cable
replaced all head plumbing and hose clamps
replaced interior cushions
replaced impeller
replaced radar/plotter
replaced depth
replaced autopilot
replaced running lights
replaced mast wiring

Again all working...


etc. etc....... on and on you get the picture..

It's a boat!! B.O.A.T. - Break Out Another Thousand


]
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nk235 View Post
Once you do all those things you listed, how many years before you preventively do them again? 2,5,10 years?
Thx
I suspect that a lot of that determination depends on use as well as time gone by. Ancillary projects also tend to promote maintenance and repair/replacement.

Some things like rigging will "age" more quickly under use than sitting idle. Most items will age whether used or not. Your boats hoses are aging just as much sitting on the hard as they are at sea. Things like hoses are just the type of thing you should replace "just because". If you can't remember when they were last done, you're due for replacement.

Many of these things get addressed when you tie into another project. The simple installation of new navigation instruments can end up with a complete re-wiring of the boat. Why? Because you discover deteriorated or substandard wiring and, if you're re-wiring the nav panel, why should you stop there when safety is at stake? this is the time at which you decide whether led lights are an upgrade you want to make, or if you want to run your new wire in conduit, in short, can you make the boat better than original? Every effor made to do the job properly and thoroughly will be one that goes a long way towards not having to revisit the area prematurely.

Generally, if you're in doubt about a system it warrants some poking around and examining. More often that not, you'll break something taking it apart, and we justify that by saying it needed replacing anyway. Things like seacock rebuilds will help you sleep much better whether on board or on shore.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2009
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Hello,

I like to sail WAY more than I like to work on the boat. However, I don't like to have failures either. I have not owned a single boat for very long (boat 1 for 1 year, boat 2 for 3 years, boat 3 coming up 3 years), but I follow the directions of the surveyor regarding maintenance.

I haven't had to rebuild anything yet, but I do carefully examine things. For example, on my second boat there were signs of leaks around the chainplates. so I was sure to remove, rebed, and reseal the chainplates. Engine maintenance for me means I change all fluids when I buy the boat, then follow the manufacturer maintenance schedule. I check the rig in the spring before the boat is launched (the stick gets removed for winter storage) and midway through the season. Same with steering. When the rig is down I clean, service, and examine the furling unit.

I plan on one major service a year. Last year it was the bottom job. This year it will be an overhaul of the stuffing box. Next year will be something else.

My boat gets used often (2-3 times a week) but for relatively short trips. I don't do any long distance cruising, and will maybe spend a week or so aboard.

Barry
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2009
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David, who started this thread, helped me set up a list for the maintenance on our boat. It's now in an Excel spreadsheet with priority, area of the boat, specifics and estimated schedule. By doing a simple sort on both prority and area, I get a prioirtized list of what needs to be worked on next. And things like buying supplies are a high priority (above priority 1) so I review what is need ahead of time, and then everything is there to do the work when I need it.

Each row also shows rough estimates for dollars and my hours. The total for those columns is - how shall I say it - noticable.

Last edited by Bene505; 02-08-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 02-08-2009
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Bene,
I for one would love to see the spreadsheet if you and David don't mind sharing it. I have been working on mine, but so far it is more of a list as items come to mind than an organized schedule.

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Old 02-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I was talking to a yard mechanic about service on a steering system. I thought maintenance would include squirting a little oil and some inspection. He told me that what they do is completely disassemble the whole thing. Clean it, coat all screws, nuts and bolts with the proper goop replace any worn parts then reassemble. This takes a few hours. He said if you don't do the full service what happens is that you can't see the parts that are wearing. And fasteners will seize over time and when you need to fix them they will break.

I don't keep my cars for 20+ years and they are not on salt water but wow this is a whole nurther world. If you are supposed to do that every 5 to 15 years on every system on the boat and their are 20 systems then you have to plan on a major system overhaul or two every year.

It sounds true. I've looked at several 20+ year old Catalina 30's in the under 20,000 range and I suspect that the steering, roller furling, standing rigging, electrical, freshwater, through hulls etc have not be touched since day one.
I guess you get what you pay for. If this is true then I can see that a 20+ year old boat that had every system completely serviced properly every few years would be worth a lot more.

I guess what I'm asking is that the level of service you put in your boat or do you just sail it and if something breaks fix it?
IOW when was the last time you completely disassembled your steering system, Roller furling, electrical etc.

Give him a case of his favorite and ask him his price if you WATCH.....

Difference in price is you have a good mech and will he share his mind and how much...

My thoughts
Mark
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