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Old 06-07-2016, 06:00   #16
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

+1 for Don Casey.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:38   #17
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Buy an older, less expensive boat and learn by doing.
Best way to learn is from your mistakes.
If your mechanically inclined, it's not hard, just sometimes difficult to get to, and to accomplish 15 mins of work requires two hours by the time everything has to be removed to access whatever it is your working on.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:48   #18
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Every boat out there for sale, needs some maintenance. It might be replace some or all of the running rigging. Some of the electrical may not work. Raw water impeller needs replacing. Add a sail or two and a bit of standing riggings, new filters and oil for the engine. Maybe a dinghy and motor, lifevests, new flares, etc,etc,etc.

The first year or two of boat life will be higher in maintenance as there is always something that needs to be repaired.

You need to know
engine mechanices, or at least how to change oil and filter and bleed the injectors.
Electrical, AC and DC
Plumbing
Refrigeration
wood working
painting/varnishing
sail making, or at least sewing small rips.
fiberglass work.

I would budget $10-$15K for a 28-30 foot boat and another $10K to fix it up. Yes you could buy a boat for more money, but it will still need work. No matter what you pay for it.

Buy a boat with a solid hull, solid mast and rigging and ideally good sails. Everything else will need work sometime or another anyway. Probably sooner then later.

Also invest in a good set of tools,
sockets, imperial and metric, standard and deep
wrenches
allen wrenchs
assortment of plyers, pipe wrenches, vice grips, etc
screwdrivers
hammers, punch, etc
multi-meter
headlamp or two
crimper and crimps
wire

Just the tools will set you back a $1000 or so.
For any boat you buy, allow at least $5000 for maintenance and upgrades (not including a haulout and bottom paint). $10,000 would be safer reserve for maintenance.

Also allow $2500 for haulout and bottom paint, zincs, etc.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:02   #19
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

not sure what you mean by 'without going broke'. everybody has his/her own budgeting practices. some will allow you to enjoy your life WITHIN YOUR MEANS and others will send you to the poor house. just understand that a sailboat is a depreciating asset that requires tons of upkeep. only you can keep you from going broke. good luck.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:12   #20
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Don Casey and Nigel Calder's books are great references.

There are some good places to learn including the wooden boat classes in Sausalito and Seattle. However it will take years to reach a threshold from zero to competent maintainer.

The faster solution is to start simple. Buy a small and simple boat and tackle small jobs so you gain experience, you can make some mistakes and not break the bank learning.

You might also like to help others by working on bigger boats. You supply a pair of hands, a willingness to learn and someone else funds the costs.

As for skills you want to strive to be the fillowing:

1) cabinetmaker carpenter
2) mechanic
3) low voltage electrician
4) stainless steel fabricator
5) composites fabricator
6) system integrator
7) plumber
8) upholsterer

I have 3 trades (mechanic, airframe welder and toolmaker) and 3 engineering degrees (mechanical engineering bachelors, masters in materials and grad dip in military systems integration). I use all of my 60,000 hours of experience and all my skills each and every month maintaining and upgrading our Liberty 458.

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Old 06-07-2016, 08:16   #21
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Find and join a sailing club near you. Offer to help others with their boats. I learned a lot helping others, and it lets you see way more things than you will see just on your own boat. It helps you know what to look for when you look for another boat, and gives you an idea on what other boats are like, including the features you like and those you don't.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:43   #22
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Just bought my first sailboat this year and got a 20 year old boat that passed the survey quite well. Got the bonus of 3 previous owners that had equipped her quite well and budgeted a yearly maintenance fund of 10% of the price of the boat. So far I've learned so much about plumbing that I'm considering taking my local certification exam ; ). To date things look well and is has been a very enjoyable and stress free experience.


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Old 06-07-2016, 09:01   #23
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

+1 on both these books (if you can struggle through and read start to finish you'll get a great appreciation of the overall big picture, but you can also use both just to read about the specific issue you're dealing with).

Also this forum has a huge amount of information on it, once you're logged in go to the Search dropdown and use "Google Search", much more effective than the regular search box... odds are someone else has had the same problem and hopefully posted a solution, if not post solid specific questions (not "what's wrong with my engine" but "Universal XXXX won't start when warm") and pictures if you can and the kind folks here who know much more than I do seem very willing to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjm View Post
Don Casey's "This Old Boat" and Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Electrical and Mechanical Manual", a download of the maintenance manual and parts list for your engine, and the internet will take care of most things. Research everything exhaustively before you do it, someone will inevitably have asked the same thing and the answers out there can be checked for cost analysis pretty easily.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:10   #24
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

The rule of thumb seems to be to plan on 10% of the purchase price, per year, for maintenance. A new chart plotter is not maintenance that's an upgrade, we're talking pure maintenance of things that break, lines, sails, bottom paint, zincs, etc

As far as purchase cost, whatever you have budgeted for purchase DO NOT SPEND IT ALL on the purchase... reserve some for the pressing needs you WILL have to take care of once the boat is yours and you really go through the survey recommendations and the other things you find.

For reference, we bought a 32' bought and immediately spent equivalent of 25% of the purchase price MORE to solve recommendations from the survey and other problems that cropped up while solving survey recommendations... and again, these were maintenance / safety items, this doesn't include luxury items like diesel heat (which we really like, but...)

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Originally Posted by cruisernewbie View Post
Thanks! Well I am looking for smaller 25-30' sailboats that can be easy single hand cruise between San Diego, Catalina and Ensenada. Liked the Santana 30/30 that I test sailed today quite a bit. I budget under 20k for cash purchase of the boat, plus an extra 10k for maintenance fuel and slip fees per year. Does that sound about right? Planes are more expensive to own.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:18   #25
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

We took a course in basic repairs and maintenance of diesel engines. Much better than just reading books. You really need to work on an engine to understand what its all about. A lot of community colleges offer such courses.
We took one that was sponsored by an engine manufacturer. Nothing quite like replacing a broken shear pin on the transmission clutch assembly. Won't find that in most books. Nor how to patch a crumbling exhaust manifold in order to get to port without being suffocated. Lots of tricks of the trade that are real helpful you can only get word of mouth rather than eyeballs to books/internet.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:17   #26
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Million thanks folks! All great advice. I just ordered these books and will digest them and also join a local San Diego sailing club and scout out classes to learn maintenance. I enjoy tinkering with stuff and don't mind getting dirty. Plus my retired father is very handy and would love to come down and hang out working with me on the boat.

I do enjoy the way the Santana boat handles and its not too big compared to the much larger Benetteau I learned on for the sailing cruising course I did some time ago.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:20   #27
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

MaineSail (poster on CF) is a great resource for boat repair knowledge. (Just bought some butyl tape from him and it arrived quicker than you can say Jack Robinson...or Bob's your uncle).

Here is his website: Welcome To MarineHowTo.com Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 06-07-2016, 17:55   #28
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

marina costs can vary some marinas charge more for short term and reduced rates for long term / if you book long term then decide to sail they may not refund while you are out so you are paying for your berth as well as cruising costs / rule of thumb don't buy anything unless you absolutely need it and then try to have three uses for it / replacement wet weather gear, gloves etc /good working spares are ok after that before you bring another item on board you must throw two out / b-o-a-t = bring out another thousand / well maintained boat moored at floating pontoon without movement from that pontoon still costs / mooring fees $6000 or so/ insurance can vary depending on your policy excess etc / and haul out and antifoul or bottom scrubbing diy or pro / deterioration through uv and wind chaffe etc / then normal electrolosis , salt water corrosion etc / water ingress electronics / use by date on safety equipment / then you have to maintain and feed yourself if not liveaboard you have a land vehicle and place of abode usually more costly than your sailing dream / perhaps talk with your local marina they may put you in touch with a resident in your area that can clue you up on hidden costs
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Old 06-07-2016, 18:44   #29
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisernewbie View Post
Million thanks folks! All great advice. I just ordered these books and will digest them and also join a local San Diego sailing club and scout out classes to learn maintenance. I enjoy tinkering with stuff and don't mind getting dirty. Plus my retired father is very handy and would love to come down and hang out working with me on the boat.

I do enjoy the way the Santana boat handles and its not too big compared to the much larger Benetteau I learned on for the sailing cruising course I did some time ago.
''I enjoy tinkering with stuff'' and ''my father is very handy''. That is all I need to know that you will have no problems maintaining a boat. Bone-up on marine stuff and you are good. Some folks on this forum do not like to get their hands dirty. They are more prone to use their wallets.
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Old 06-07-2016, 19:24   #30
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Re: How to learn to maintain a sailboat without going broke?

Familiarize yourself with the various marine hardware consignment stores in San Diego.
Hugh's, Sea Chest, Downwind ect. Here you will find many of the parts you will require for pennies on the dollar. Take a course on Diesel engine repair and or read as many threads as you can bear on the subject specific to the engine on your boat. Ask lots of questions. Learn to sew sails properly. Most importantly learn to use the search function on this site and search on the topic of that which you hope to repair or upgrade that day. You will find these the most important lessons you can learn on the subject of boat ownership.
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