Causes of repair nightmares - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010
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Causes of repair nightmares

I'm putting a little list of general things that cause repair or maintenance to take a lot longer and/or cost more than it should based on my own experience.

This is what I have so far:

1. Rusted fasteners
If something has not been disassembled in 30 years their is a good chance it will break or it will take hours of soaking and heating. For example I broke off some binnacle screws taking the top of a binnacle apart to get to the top of the steering chain.

2. Hard to get parts
We have all been there.

3. Poor access
I worked on some idler arms that were almost impossible to reach.
Tanks are buried, headliners, cables and hoses are hidden.

4. Bad design.
If something was too week from day one it's probably going to be harder to fix.
For example if a clutch rips off because of a too small backing plate the glass has to be fixed then the clutch has to be repaired.

5. Unprofessional repairs
It's often more trouble to undo the bad repair than to do it right the first time.
Example: 5200 where is doesn't belong. Bathtub caulk

I'm interested in any repairs you did that cost too much or took too long and why.
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Old 02-04-2010
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insufficient or improper tools. Yeah, you can get snaprings out with a bent paperclip and an hour of trying, but it is sooooo much easier with snapring pliers.

Lack of labeling, especially wiring looms where the rocket surgeon who wired/rewired/attempted to rewire the boat decided to use ONE colour wire . For everything. Including grounds.
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Old 02-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post

I'm interested in any repairs you did that cost too much or took too long and why.
That would be 99.9% of ALL the repairs that I've done (I think there was one that was cheaper and took less time than I figured)
It's the nature of boats, for the reasons you gave. Seems like it always takes three times as long and costs double to triple what I estimate (I wouldn't make any money in the boat repair business).
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Old 02-05-2010
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Something as simple as not using TefGel or Lanocote when re-assembling or assembling a piece of hardware can cause a nightmare later on.

Not having the proper tools is a pretty good way to cause a nightmare in what would otherwise be a normal repair. Paying for the proper tools is a lot less headaches and far easier and faster than trying to use makeshift ones in their place.
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Old 02-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
That would be 99.9% of ALL the repairs that I've done (I think there was one that was cheaper and took less time than I figured)
It's the nature of boats, for the reasons you gave. Seems like it always takes three times as long and costs double to triple what I estimate (I wouldn't make any money in the boat repair business).
Don't forget multiple trips to get parts because you never have that one screw or nut that you need!
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Buying a new-to-you boat often results in being POed when repairing something. PO stands for Previous Owner. He's that dumb SOB that did that dumb thing that made your repair take way too f'ing long.

I was told a pretty funny story about being POed. A guy bought a boat and found that the anchor light at the top of the mast wasn't working. He made the trip up the mast where he found the wires corroded and, most disturbingly, found that the wiring to the anchor light was done with speaker wire! This inspired much colorful language about the mental capacity of the PO that he yelled down to his wife who was on deck. After a short while, the PO's wife came over and let them know that they had bought a new boat and it was located on the next pier over!
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Old 02-05-2010
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I dont go 100% by everything David Pascoe writes

BUT what hes says about people NOT being able to afford to take care of there boats has a painfull amount of reality in it

As the boats would not be in this state IF the owners had kept UP with the boat


NOT that my current boat is NOT a mess
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Oh this is an easy one for me to answer - the number one reason I end up spending more $us and time on any kind of repair is if I pay someone else to do the job and I don't know how to do it myself. If I know how to do the job myself and pay someone else to do it then it usually goes fine, but if I have no idea what they are doing then it seems to always go bad. Sometimes really bad.
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For me it is invariably space to work that makes repairs take so much time and for my Volvo diesel the time it takes to get parts.
My PO (may his name be blessed) left me a full set of spares in LABELED boxes and bags so that's not a problem. I also have a full set of the proper tools aboard.
What happened is when I put in a Vacuuflush head and when I redid the freshwater system I found that it would have taken my a third of the time if I were 3 feet tall with 4 long arms.
The engine on Enchantress is very easy to work on but getting parts from Volvo can take months.
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Old 02-05-2010
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Peeling Back the Onion

This is directly related to poor access and multiple trips to the store/chandlery. I've found that what looks to be a simple, straight-forward job gets more difficult as what was invisible before work begins becomes apparent.
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