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Old 11-12-2013, 13:39   #16
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Re: ... about maintainance..

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
on the rocks... rotflmao!!!! (on the being dirty part... thanks for the foot note!!)

I have absolutely NO mechanical knowledge at all... I know.. totally pathetic!! unless you consider my husband a machine.. I've been working on fixing him for 21 years now!!!!
In that case personally I would say start with learning the basics just to get your feet wet. How to change the oil, fuel filter, and water pump impeller. These will give you a starting point and while you're being taught you can understand how the fuel system works, the cooling system works and so on, and can start to get a basic idea how to trouble shoot should something go wrong.

It is going to take a lot of time but if you're a nerd like some of us you might learn to enjoy maintenance or repairs (to a point anyways). Just ask lots and lots of questions here and when ever someone is helping you on your boat.

I'm sure once you get a boat if you don't already have one, someone from CF in your area (where ever that is) would be happy to spend a day with you and your husband helping you learn.
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Old 11-12-2013, 15:28   #17
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Re: ... about maintainance..

As said "get the manual and read it" I hadnt worked on a car in decades till I helped my son rebuild the engine in a late model toyota. As you mentioned it looked intimidating but following the manual it wasnt too bad. One thing I learned from this project is take a picture every time you are ready to remove a part and bag and label the parts as you go.
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Old 11-12-2013, 15:41   #18
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Re: ... about maintainance..

I'd second the recommendation for Nigel Calder's book. Most cruisers I know either have a copy on board or have had at some stage in their cruising career. It covers all the basic systems on a traditional cruising boat including diesel engines. He also did a book that focuses on diesel engines in a more detail.

Mark.
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Old 11-12-2013, 15:55   #19
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Re: ... about maintainance..

But my tips would be :

1) Wiring seems to be an area people frequently do badly. Familiarise yourself with good practice, and don't cheap out on materials. You need the correct crimps, crimper, proper boat cable, adhesive lined heat shrink, and so on.

I've done some wiring twice because I later found out about better practice.

2) Don't use any brass fittings in the raw water circuit

3) Approach anything involving propane with a due amount of dread.

4) Use the best hose you can, for engine work, sanitation, and fresh water. (or go back and do it again in 6 months). Double clamp anything that could sink the boat if it comes undone.

5) Fabric snaps are great, but the Sailrite tool is the only one that works and anything cheaper is a complete waste of money.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:28   #20
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Like the others have said, it's an on going process. I've been working on and around boats for 40+ years and I still pick up good info now and then. Also the technology and speciality changes with the years, especially electronics. So everything you learn could be old tech or new.

There's also wooden vs fiberglass vs steel vs aluminum vs carbon fiber. Each construction and repair takes a different method. As well, there are different propulsion systems. Each has it own quirks.

Then there are hull designs, in which each has it own purpose and advantages/disadvantages. If you're a powerboater you're not likely to understand hull speed, and if a sailboater the use of trim tabs.

Hang out here on the CF you'll pick up a lot of good knowledge and if you can't find the answer you can always ask. You may get a lot of answers but you'll learn who's who after a while. And the best teacher is experience. Just be extra care and get some experienced opinions on anything structural, rigging or below the waterline.

Enjoy your new career.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:30   #21
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Hi, Scarlet,

You might be interested in the two day diesel maintenance course for women that the National Women's Sailing Association sponsors in March, taught by Mack Boring. Mack Boring is a big Yanmar distributor. I took this course in 2010 and found it to be quite good. I lived aboard for two years in the early 90's, so I came into it with some experience with cranky diesels. Most of the other students did not have any experience. They have a lot of engines to play with, so it is fun. This year it will be in New Bedford, MA.

Then I did the crazy thing and went to marine trade school full time. Imagine a middle-aged woman in school with a bunch of guys…and only one person in the building was (barely) older than me. It was very helpful; some things are hard to learn from books.

Here's the link for NWSA: Home

I am on their all-volunteer board. They have also talked me into teaching a basic electrical seminar for women in February. I don't think it's up on the website yet, as I just finalized the date -- Feb. 9 here in Rhode Island. If you are in the northeast, you might find either or both of these seminars helpful. What MarkSF said about wiring and good tools and materials is spot on, and we will be making lots of crimps in my seminar.

If you are on the west coast, there is a women's sailing convention in Newport Beach Feb. 1. I wish I could make it. Maybe next year. Feel free to PM me about anything; I've just made the transition to a cruising cat and I'm very happy with the new boat.

-- Beth
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Old 11-12-2013, 17:20   #22
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Ive been lucky, as Im a diesel mechanic, and a machinest by trade. So Ive been able to trade engine work for things I have little or no knowalge of, like electronics instalation, and set up, I love to trade my work for the work of a competant workman of another trade! Like rigging, freezers, we just traded engine work for a bottom paint job includeing lift in and out! I just plain like to trade ! Now I don't mean helping someone out thats broke down in an anchorage some where, thats just what ya do! But when ya can trade work for work the cost go's down for everybody !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-12-2013, 17:39   #23
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_morwood View Post
I'd second the recommendation for Nigel Calder's book. Most cruisers I know either have a copy on board or have had at some stage in their cruising career. It covers all the basic systems on a traditional cruising boat including diesel engines. He also did a book that focuses on diesel engines in a more detail.

Mark.
....and I'll help stuff the ballot box in the vote for Nigel Calder's book. I've got it and it's come in handy lots of times and will again. It'll give you an overview and understanding of all your systems and is a great place to start whenever something doesn't seem to be working quite right or you start wondering if a particular system on your boat maybe could/should be improved. So it's a good reference book to keep onboard, but it's also a good book to read during the off season to help you better understand all your boats systems and be aware of better altermatives.
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Old 11-12-2013, 18:22   #24
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Quick Head's Up! The Kindle version of Nigel Calder's book is currently dscounted to $29.49 on Amazon and the hardcover is $32.38
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Old 11-12-2013, 18:51   #25
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Re: ... about maintainance..

You can pick up Nigel's books used for prices so low even I can afford them. He has lots of interesting titles at Amazon for starters. Think I got some for under one dollar US and shipping which is like four dollars US.
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Old 12-12-2013, 00:01   #26
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Re: ... about maintainance..

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BandB... the answer to that question is.. um.. ZERO! I have a Camaro, and I don't know if you have ever looked at the engine in one of them.. but, everything is covered...no visible mechanicals anywhere to be seen. I went to jump my husband's car a few weeks back, and I couldn't even find the battery terminals.. (or the battery for that matter) on my car. they don't make cars like they used to anymore...

Jeepbluetj.. thanks for the book recomendation. Sounds like that is one I will want to have in my library....

BandB... intersted in an extra hand to help you out?? sounds like you know a little about mechanics..
In that case, I guess I'm wondering why you'd suddenly decide you're going to tackle boat engines? As to my knowledge of mechanics, very little. But I know enough to get people who are knowledgeable to fix things and not to mess them up myself. I learn some of the essentials along the way, things like how to check fluids, how to add, how to deal with fuel filters since they're probably the leading cause of getting stuck on the water.

Neither Belle nor I is mechanically inclined and neither of us have any desire to become mechanics, not that we're capable if we did have that desire. We have plenty of other talents and we'll stick to them. On the other hand, we work hard to learn all we can about all the other aspects of operating a boat.

Brett
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Old 12-12-2013, 00:40   #27
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Re: ... about maintainance..

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Enjoy your new career.
Boat ownership is probably the toughest and dirtiest job Ive ever taken on, but also the most rewarding and enjoyable
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:44   #28
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Band..... from the way her posts and questions have been written I'm assuming it's because she enjoys knowing how to repair and do things herself. I'm sure she could of paid someone to remodel/repair her house but she has the motivation and drive to just do it herself. I commend her for wanting to know more. It can be a rewarding experience personally and financially. Some people just like to work with their hands.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:32   #29
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Lots of good input! thanks so much everyone...

As to why a person NOT mechanically inclided, would want to learn how to repair things on her boat? Well.. I think first off.. with the type of sailing my husband and I are planning to do.. it may be a necessity. second... a catamaran is NOT a cheap purchase, and we are NOT independently wealthy... so.. the cost savings of doing our own repairs will go along way. And lastly.. I love a challenge.. something new to learn, and all part of the journey...

Beth.. as a side note.. thanks so much for the heads up about the NWSA... I had no idea they existed. many thanks!
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:37   #30
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Scarlet,

See if you can find a copy of "The 12 Volt Doctor", if you want to learn to be able to figure out what's going on with your boat's electrical systems.

Another thought, you could get a basic diesel mechanic text and also one for refrigeration.

That should keep you busy for a while.

Ann
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