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Old 16-06-2017, 16:04   #1
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Women and engines

Ok...don't want this to be controversial so trying hard not to vent...but....how can a woman learn about her boats engine when mechanics always ask for the husband!

We have a 1984 Ford Lehaman engine on my Albin27. It's my boat and hubby is the mate (hubby has the center console fishing boat, where I am happy to be his mate). Anyway, I've taken a 2 day diesel maintenance course and have been able to change impellers, replace battery chargers and troubleshoot, but I admit, I'm new to mechanics (never cared for it until now that I'm retired and have a Diesel engine on my boat) and don't sound confident yet because I need to learn a lot more. But it's so frustrating when mechanics asks for my husband instead of helping me directly.

For women out there, how have you overcome this? What have you done to learn your systems to gain confidence? For men, any helpful advice?
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Old 16-06-2017, 16:23   #2
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Re: Women and engines

I really mean this in the nicest way....

...You should just focus on absorbing whatever knowledge you can gain of the engine problem, both from your mechanic and husband, rather than let your pride inhibit a discussion.

Ultimately it is YOU who makes the decisions, so why not take advantage of whatever expertise is available that is better than yours .

Get involved and learn, but don't sweat the petty assumptions
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Old 16-06-2017, 16:32   #3
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Re: Women and engines

As a Man .....
I always said, don't talk to me talk to my wife. She appreciated the re-direction and then she and I could talk later

My wife .....
she alway politely pointed out that she was the one that called, and would be one paying the bill

It always worked out somehow, it was nice that I wasn't always the one bleeding the injectors when things when wrong ..... more of a team approach
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Old 16-06-2017, 17:12   #4
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Re: Women and engines

Dont know your particular engine but first point would be to get a workshop manual for it. There are lots of youtube videos for specific tasks, I have used them to do things like test & rebuild our alternator even tho I have very little electrical experience. Feed your diesel with clean fuel, air & oil then you shouldnt have any problems. Also a book on diesel engines would be a good idea. Diesels will run for a long time as long as you do the maintenance. Hope that helps
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Old 16-06-2017, 17:21   #5
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Re: Women and engines

Just put your biggest smile on and say "Why do you need my husband? He defers to me for engine maintenance." It helps if you have a slight Southern accent when you say this. I'm only sorta kidding, as the implication is that Southern women are especially helpless, not intelligent enough, or would never be so inclined to dirty their fingernails with a diesel engine, so a Southern lilt would really throw them into a doozy

Oh, and if hubby is there with you, he needs to know ahead of time that he is to not interfere either!
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:05   #6
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Re: Women and engines

The mechanic asks for your husband, and then you put your hand on his wrist and in your sweetest voice say "That's so sweet of you, this is the first time since my transgender surgery that someone has mistaken me for the wife!"

If he doesn't run away, he might just talk to you. Or, turn beet red and realize he made a gaff.

Hey, sometimes, you want to scare away the alleged professional anyway.(G)
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:24   #7
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Re: Women and engines

Why are you calling a mechanic?
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:30   #8
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Re: Women and engines

I'm an equal opportunity sort of person. Perhaps because I was raised by my mom and sister to be respectful to others. I think most men make the mistake of ass uming.
At one time or another we all do it in one form or another. Some people are just ignorant
and will never change and others just like to mess with people and try to humiliate them.
I worked as a marine engineer for years and some shipmates were female and as long as they could do the job I was their biggest ally.
Try to learn as much as you can about your engine, read the repair manual and memorize the specs. Then you can dazzle them with your brilliance.
Don't take the crap personally. They're just living in the past and playing macho.
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:31   #9
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Re: Women and engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Just put your biggest smile on and say "Why do you need my husband? He defers to me for engine maintenance." It helps if you have a slight Southern accent when you say this. I'm only sorta kidding, as the implication is that Southern women are especially helpless, not intelligent enough, or would never be so inclined to dirty their fingernails with a diesel engine, so a Southern lilt would really throw them into a doozy

Oh, and if hubby is there with you, he needs to know ahead of time that he is to not interfere either!
Love your answer!
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Old 17-06-2017, 05:14   #10
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Re: Women and engines

Thanks for all the encouragement...and the laughs! I do live in the south...where farmers and watermen are the locals and also where a lot of 'city folks' come for the weekends, so could be a bit behind the times. I'm all for gallantry and appreciate it when men open doors and stand to offer their seats, etc. but as a retired corporate exec, I guess my environment was a little different.

I called to find someone who can inspect and repair our oil cooler. I had no problems with the guy at American Diesel who was very helpful in encouraging us to find someone to repair the part (until the part he is ordering for us comes in). However, calling around the shops to Find someone to work on oil coolers (the pipe where the raw water hose leads to the heat exchanger has been crushed, causing a leak) was the challenge. It seems like we should be able to heat up the pipe and straighten it back up, if we had the right tools, but also concerned we might damage the oil hoses (connectors seem to have rusted and would prefer to not mess with it until we get replacement parts in so we can run the boat next weekend). An alternative solution we were considering would be to use rescue tape....any thoughts?
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Old 17-06-2017, 08:39   #11
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Re: Women and engines

I think the attitude is always the same: you want to learn something? then go for it!

Join an engine maintenance course up first. Exercise what you have learned on your own engine next.

This is basically 99% of all boat engine know-how.

The remaining 1% is pretty complex and often nothing set in stone. You learn such things from experience and over many years. I think only people who are keen pro diesel mechanics ever get there. I say skip this part, sip your cold beer and browse sailing magazines while they earn their well deserved dollars for their worthy efforts.

I have learned most from reading books and from using the engine. I have never taken a course but this only because there was none at hand.

I read heaps on all basic engine subjects. Magazines, books and here at CF too.

So this is my 2c from 15 years of using an old Volvo Penta MD7a.

Good luck and enjoy your ride,
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Old 17-06-2017, 09:52   #12
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Re: Women and engines

bear-
I'm guessing that copper pipe is still passing enough oil to do the cooling properly, and that preventing the leak is more important than un-bending the pipe until the new one comes in?
I'd probably take a Dremel tool or a conventional wire brush, or a piece of crocus cloth or strip of 80-120 grit sandpaper, and clean off a spot about an inch in diameter around the leak. Then wipe it down with alcohol or other solvent that leaves no residue, and spread a blob of plumber's epoxy or marine-tex or jb-weld over it and flatten it down.
That will make a perfectly functional permanent repair in a low-pressure pipe, which is what that should be. No need to try unbending it, because unbending pipe can sometimes just result in it breaking. And no need to remove it in order to apply that fix.

Repair tape, which is just one brand of "self amalgamating silicone tape", probably would do the job, but the epoxy will hold against more pressure, be cheaper, and be less likely to come loose.
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Old 17-06-2017, 10:05   #13
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Re: Women and engines

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
bear-
I'm guessing that copper pipe is still passing enough oil to do the cooling properly, and that preventing the leak is more important than un-bending the pipe until the new one comes in?
I'd probably take a Dremel tool or a conventional wire brush, or a piece of crocus cloth or strip of 80-120 grit sandpaper, and clean off a spot about an inch in diameter around the leak. Then wipe it down with alcohol or other solvent that leaves no residue, and spread a blob of plumber's epoxy or marine-tex or jb-weld over it and flatten it down.
That will make a perfectly functional permanent repair in a low-pressure pipe, which is what that should be. No need to try unbending it, because unbending pipe can sometimes just result in it breaking. And no need to remove it in order to apply that fix.

Repair tape, which is just one brand of "self amalgamating silicone tape", probably would do the job, but the epoxy will hold against more pressure, be cheaper, and be less likely to come loose.
Wow! What a great idea! That's exactly what we need. It's definitely not restricting too much but it is causing a leak because the hose doesn't have too much to hang on to. We definitely just need something so we can get by until the new part comes. Will give it a try and report back!
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Old 17-06-2017, 10:17   #14
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Re: Women and engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
bear-
I'm guessing that copper pipe is still passing enough oil to do the cooling properly, and that preventing the leak is more important than un-bending the pipe until the new one comes in?
I'd probably take a Dremel tool or a conventional wire brush, or a piece of crocus cloth or strip of 80-120 grit sandpaper, and clean off a spot about an inch in diameter around the leak. Then wipe it down with alcohol or other solvent that leaves no residue, and spread a blob of plumber's epoxy or marine-tex or jb-weld over it and flatten it down.
That will make a perfectly functional permanent repair in a low-pressure pipe, which is what that should be. No need to try unbending it, because unbending pipe can sometimes just result in it breaking. And no need to remove it in order to apply that fix.

Repair tape, which is just one brand of "self amalgamating silicone tape", probably would do the job, but the epoxy will hold against more pressure, be cheaper, and be less likely to come loose.
Thanks, Hellosailor, for the useful advice to someone in need. You demonstrate that good teachers, as well as people's willingness to learn from others, are not gender specific
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Old 17-06-2017, 10:31   #15
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Re: Women and engines

the problem is not man vs women but the engine itself.

Despite all the misconceptions, it turns out that since ancient times, boats can sail everywhere, and an engine is not needed after all.
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