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Old 22-07-2016, 08:22   #1
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Is your boat "completely finished"?

I was reading another thread and moderator weavis asked another sailor "is your boat completely finished...?" which damned near made me blow tea out my nose.

MY boat which I've owned for 22 years is not completely finished. As of right now I have to replace the water heater, have a halyard jammed at the top of the mast (which I couldn't free when I went up), have to replace a section of flooring that warped when I left the boat open during a thunderstorm last week, and have to touch up brightwork. Oh, and I just remembered the volt meter on the engine panel needs to be replaced.

In the last four months I've repainted the bottom, ran new running rig, installed a new chart plotter.

Finished? NEVER! There's always something. Or is it just me? Is it possible to have a boat that is, indeed, finished?
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Old 22-07-2016, 08:30   #2
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Finished??!?? HA, HA, HA, HA! That's a good one Tetepare. Finished...


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Old 22-07-2016, 08:41   #3
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

There is a point though or I hope there is when the refit is over and the maintenance begins.
I hope to be nearing that point.
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Old 22-07-2016, 08:54   #4
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
There is a point though or I hope there is when the refit is over and the maintenance begins.
I hope to be nearing that point.
It's hard to define the difference between refit and regular maintenance. You could have a year maybe. Then some of the new stuff you installed will start failing.
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Old 22-07-2016, 08:56   #5
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

I think there may have been a misunderstanding... The question was more probably: "...is your boat completely finished ... with you and your wallet?"


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Old 22-07-2016, 09:06   #6
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Finished is relative. A lot of what you're describing is maintenance. Individual projects and jobs get 'finished', like an oil change. Maintenance itself is never 'finished'. Own the boat long enough and start finding you're replacing things you've already replaced.
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:12   #7
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

I've owned this boat for 16 years ( or it has owned me ). It is now 27 years old. In that time there have been a few periods when everything worked and nothing needed replacing, or at least I didn't know it yet. There has never been I single time that I didn't have a long list of upgrades I'd like to make and maintenance to do and improvements to looks or systems I could do.

Somehow the repairs get done, the maintenance gets done, some of the upgrades get done and even some of the improvements to systems and looks. But the list never seems to get any shorter.


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Old 22-07-2016, 09:13   #8
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

if you believe a boat is finished you are totally deluding self
especially if you have not gone out to cruise it yet
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:29   #9
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

I have a friend, a sailor for over 60 years, who has owned the same boat for over 30 years. He's in his mid-80's now and told my husband and I, from his wise viewpoint of all his boat-owning years, to just remember a couple things:

The principle thing to remember is that the "needs" of the boat will take everything you've got--in terms of time and money--and then some. The only thing to save you from this is a competing asset like a house or perhaps kids in college. You can't keep your kids in college forever, they'll eventually have PhD's and be on their own. Then you'll have to face the boat's appetite straight on and hopefully hold your ground.

Remember, the projects are never done.

It all starts with the maintenance work...there will always be "improvement" projects you'll do because as things wear out you won't be able to replace them in kind either because they're no longer available or because better ways of doing things have come along since you did it the first time.

In addition to the huge number of maintenance-sparked projects mentioned above, there will also be the envy-projects and the fear-projects. The boat will work hard to make sure you generate your own envy and fear. Those are just as they sound.

Envy-projects: Others have it, therefore my boat must have it. How would it look if mine were the only boat without X (fill in the blank). When my friend started cruising, he said X started in the 60's with a holding tank, then a roller furler, and progressed to refrigeration, solar and wind charging, and RDF and then Sat-Nav and then radar and then a fancy custom mattress then a Tank Tender and a chart plotter and so on...

Fear-projects: These can be coupled with the envy to become very convincingly needy. Almost all things electronic can make their way here--"my god, what do I DO without a SATPHONE? I could die of appendicitis out there!" and "I NEED a watermaker for when the world as we know it comes to an end..." and the classic would be something along the lines of "I was lucky I didn't fall of the boat whilst going to the mast to reef in that squall therefore I'm going to change my sails and boom and have in-boom furling so I never, never have to leave the cockpit again!"

My sailing liveaboard friend is no longer cruising and he's now on a fixed income of social security, no savings left (thanks to the boat and a couple kids with PhD's...) but he still spends more each month on boat maintenance than he spends on transport, food, and his own medical care. Think about it. The projects are never done.
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:40   #10
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Never! There's always something...


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Old 22-07-2016, 09:45   #11
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
I was reading another thread and moderator weavis asked another sailor "is your boat completely finished...?" which damned near made me blow tea out my nose.

MY boat which I've owned for 22 years is not completely finished. As of right now I have to replace the water heater, have a halyard jammed at the top of the mast (which I couldn't free when I went up), have to replace a section of flooring that warped when I left the boat open during a thunderstorm last week, and have to touch up brightwork. Oh, and I just remembered the volt meter on the engine panel needs to be replaced.

In the last four months I've repainted the bottom, ran new running rig, installed a new chart plotter.

Finished? NEVER! There's always something. Or is it just me? Is it possible to have a boat that is, indeed, finished?
A car enthusiast would say his car is never finished, whereas I just jump in an drive until the wheels fall off. A boat can be like that. Let someone else maintain it, and enjoy it as it is. Yes, my boat is finished in that sense, ready to sail tomorrow to anywhere I am actually likely to go. I can't think of anything I really need or that is broken. Of course, this is the end result of maintenance. I'm sure she'll need a few over the year.
But I'm the same way with the boat . Whenever it's finished, I sit down and think of something that could be better.
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:47   #12
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Finished enough to go sailing!
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:51   #13
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
I was reading another thread and moderator weavis asked another sailor "is your boat completely finished...?" which damned near made me blow tea out my nose.


Finished? NEVER! There's always something. Or is it just me? Is it possible to have a boat that is, indeed, finished?
It was a question ongoing from previous conversations regarding specific jobs that needed doing..

T'is amusing in the broader context....
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:54   #14
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

I would have to say "Yes" for our 1988 Norseman 400.

We bought her in 2013 with plans to cruise. We made a list of all the things that we wanted/needed to be done (repaired, replaced, and/or updated) and then spent the next two years marking things off "The List". Most of the work was completed while we lived aboard. When we finished, we basically had a "new" 28 year old boat.

We started cruising in June of 2015 from Portland, Oregon and are still exploring the Sea of Cortez. We have enjoyed every minute of it, and don't seem to spend hardly any time fixing stuff.

We've had a few repair issues (water on the freezer circuit board, loose connection on two solar panels) and regular maintenance issues that we do ourselves (bottom cleaning, zinc replacement, oil changes, filter changes, etc.)

As things begin to wear and need replacement, we plan to take care of it as soon as possible instead of waiting to do a complete refit and making another "list".

Now, getting things accomplished in Mexico may prove to be interesting. But overcoming challenges is just part of cruising.
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Old 22-07-2016, 09:57   #15
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Re: Is your boat "completely finished"?

"Finished", by its conventional definition, is a concept totally irrelevant to boat-keeping.

Just remember that for 20% of the possible input of resources you get 80% of the intended result.

Learning to be satisfied with 80% of perfection is the key to successful boat ownership :-)

"Adequacy" is the watchword!

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