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Old 21-03-2017, 23:48   #1
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Mastering DIY Skills

Hey, guys, this is pretty off-topic. Let me ask you a question, When you guys have to do repairs at home, do you do it on your own or hire a professional to do it? I used to rely on professionals only till a few months back when my cash started running out and now I call them only when the problem is too tough and beyond me. While doing some research online I came across a blog ( Become An Ace Trouble-shooter: Fix Common Plumbing Issues Now | Advanced Plumbing Drains & Heating ) that mentioned some tips on how to fix common plumbing issues. What are your thoughts guys? Do you think that having DIY skills is useful?
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Old 24-03-2017, 16:38   #2
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

If I had to pay someone to fix my boat I wouldn't be able to afford boating. A lot of satisfaction come from being able to do it your self. No service centers out on the deep blue sea. As Red Green says, if the girls don't find you handsome, at least let them find you handy.
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Old 24-03-2017, 16:47   #3
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

The only time I hire someone is when it entails endless hours of backbreaking manual labor; the rest I can handle myself.

The key is to thoroughly understand the basic concepts, so that you know what to look for when you are researching the particulars of a given project. Kind of like Father Guido Sarducci's 5-minute university:



Water flows downhill
Power seeks ground
Wood splits along the grain

Conduct small experiments to learn the concepts, then scale up to bigger things. When you're ready to get the particulars, be sure to post back here for ample useless, belittling and snarky comments, as well as a smattering of useful suggestions.
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Old 24-03-2017, 16:50   #4
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

#1 Diesel Bill

Yes DIY is very valuable and stretches out your wallet. I don't have a lot of hands on mechanical experience but have learned some basic maintenance and troubleshooting over the last 12 years of ownership. Not only $$$ involved but a need to deal with issues when you're out cruising. Also gives me a lot more confidence when the Admiral and I head for more remote locations along the BC coast. Carrying of spare parts is also essential. DIY knowledge helps appreciate why stuff should be carried. And hopefully how to use them
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Old 24-03-2017, 17:13   #5
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

I had a Catalina 25 for 13 years. I avoided getting a bigger boat for many years 'cuz I wasn't a diesel mechanic. Then a dockmate bought his bigger boat and tore the engine apart and rebuilt it - a real teardown in place. I asked him about his qualifications. "I just learned what do to and did it, learning along the way but making sure I was doing it right."

I bought my bigger boat, and within the first week had removed the HX which was the cause for the engine over heating that the PO had honestly told me about, but he didn't know why. Took two hours, problem solved. Had I ever done that before? Of course not.

18 years later and I'm still learning. And 18 years ago there was no internet.

Everyone learns differently. I like books, some like YouTube.

Your boat, your choice.

Unless you're a left handed dwarf and blind, there is no excuse to no learn how to do things. I think most of it is a safety issue, 'cuz there ain't no roadside assistance out there. And most of what's needed to be done should be preventative maintenance.

Good question.

Good luck.
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Old 24-03-2017, 17:23   #6
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Well, my POV, I generally am not interested in the DIY stuff and generally am willing and able to pay someone else to do it. (We're talking house here - I'm shopping for a boat and we'll see how it translates.)

But I have sufficient knowledge and skill that I could do it myself if I needed to, which gives me a backup plan if necessary and also ensures that I understand what the hired help is doing so I can ensure they do it right.

We'll see how that translates to boat ownership - I expect I'll want to do more things myself but will probably hire help the first time I do something I'm not sure about.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that at least some DIY is helpful even if you're not D'ing It Y'self.
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Old 24-03-2017, 18:20   #7
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Get the right set of tools and between forums like this and YouTube, I do most things myself. The things I pay someone to do are things that I have never done and are too difficult to do with out guidance or too expensive if I screw it up.
Routine maintenance and spring/winter startup/shut down are all mine. Plus out of water bottom work.
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Old 24-03-2017, 19:13   #8
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

I do all I can on my own for 3 reasons:

1. I don't like other people screwing up my stuff

2. I have met far too many husslers in my life.

3. I have seen too many "professionals" do terrible work.

I will be the first to involve an expert when the task is beyond my ability, this includes getting a professional finish level, I am no artist.

Plumbing is tough because it is looks basic and rudimentary at first glance, but most problems for do it yourselfers in plumbing come from old parts breaking during disassembly. You may do some damage you had not planned...

If you take on some DIY, tell your women not to be concerned when you throw tantrums. This a normal part of it and to be expected.

It is a common mistake to underestimate how much work will actually be involved.

I learn like a sponge from everyone that will teach me, so if I hire someone, they are doing a job and teaching a class. A lot of guys don't like that, but I hire the type who don't mind.
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Old 24-03-2017, 20:11   #9
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

For a racer, seamanship is about trim and boat handling for speed in all conditions.

For a cruiser, Seamanship is about planning, reliability, and the ability to manage whatever happens. If you don't know boats and the crafts that hold them together, how do you KNOW if the boat is in reliable condition, and what will you do when something breaks "out there?"

To me, DIY skills aren't just about money, they are a part of seamanship. Also, sailing is only fun because we are always learning, at least from my perspective. Since I learned all I was likely to about trim and boat handling decades ago, I spent the next 20 years learning cruising, boat engineering, and DIY skills.

When I'm done learning as much or that as I can absorb, I will probably sell the boat. I don't know when that might be. Not yet.
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Old 25-03-2017, 00:21   #10
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

FYI. The difference between a yacht and a boat is that a yacht owner pays someone else to work on the yacht. A boat owner is DIYer.
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Old 25-03-2017, 01:15   #11
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
FYI. The difference between a yacht and a boat is that a yacht owner pays someone else to work on the yacht. A boat owner is DIYer.
I thought that what made you a yacht owner was that funny hat:

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Old 25-03-2017, 02:16   #12
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Best way I've been able to learn is to hire out a good hand the first time around then watch and ask questions. A basic knowledge often goes a long ways. And good documentation of the systems onboard.
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Old 25-03-2017, 03:00   #13
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Someone very wise, & very close to me once said that "being an expert, means that you've mastered the basics". Which, seems very true. And in terms of DIY, there are so many fields out there that one cannot hope to become more than an advanced apprentice, or basic journeyman in many/most of them. However what you can do is hone your learning, & working process so that you pick up new skills & fields quite quickly, without making too many dangerous or costly mistakes. And that you work in a way where the experts in the field of the moment respect your depth of basic knowledge, & approach to things, & thus are much, much more inclined to work with you in furtherance of the task at hand. And in learning many of the little tricks to go with same.
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Old 25-03-2017, 04:08   #14
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Many people don't like DIY cause it pegs their humble meter or they don't want to get dirty. Sail boat owners are notorious in boat yards for being cheap That impression is the result of a certain degree of self reliance required on a vessel that is manually operated. Even a big FRP requires the attention of the owner, as many find out in the spring when they visit the dock for the first time in months. Right now I am focused on sharpening a chisel for the job at hand and feel a sense of relief that I started the job in time to be ready when the weather warms up.
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Old 25-03-2017, 04:17   #15
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Re: Mastering DIY Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
For a racer, seamanship is about trim and boat handling for speed in all conditions.

For a cruiser, Seamanship is about planning, reliability, and the ability to manage whatever happens. If you don't know boats and the crafts that hold them together, how do you KNOW if the boat is in reliable condition, and what will you do when something breaks "out there?"

To me, DIY skills aren't just about money, they are a part of seamanship. Also, sailing is only fun because we are always learning, at least from my perspective. Since I learned all I was likely to about trim and boat handling decades ago, I spent the next 20 years learning cruising, boat engineering, and DIY skills.

When I'm done learning as much or that as I can absorb, I will probably sell the boat. I don't know when that might be. Not yet.
What he said ^^^^ DIY is a part of seamanship. Especially for cruisers likely to travel off the beaten path to destinations where hiring qualified people to effect repairs may not be an option.
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