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Old 12-12-2013, 09:03   #31
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Re: ... about maintainance..

I haven't read all the posts so am probably repeating good advice, but just jump in there and do it. Internet searches, manuals, these forums and anyone who would answer my questions in the shops were my go-to places. I also hired people to "help" me while I looked over their shoulders or had them show me how to do something. It probably helps that I'm female, but hey, most people are receptive to assisting others provided you keep an open mind and don't let ego get in the way, if you don't know something
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:05   #32
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Re: ... about maintainance..

You'll learn as you go for sure. Best best is to pick a vessel that's not too beyond your skill set. As your skill set grows so can your vessel's systems. OR you might find that by keeping your vessel simple, your life is easier. Too many folks jump in way over there heads and spend the vast majority of their cruising time looking for professional help.

good luck going forward
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:06   #33
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Re: ... about maintainance..

YouTube has the answer and how-to for just about anything. View the videos (look at a few since some are not good), and then just do it. Sometimes it will be easy, sometimes frustrating, but in the end you will get it done and feel good for having done it yourself.
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Old 13-12-2013, 07:25   #34
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Scarlet, when you are finally in the market for a boat, are you looking to buy a new or used cat? If used, you will no doubt get plenty of opportunity to develop some basic skills in diagnosing and repairing heads, minor electrical issues, plumbing issues, making small gelcoat repairs, installing new hardware, electronics, etc., etc. As has already been pointed out, there are some excellent books covering most maintenance issues. Buy them and read them. But the experience that you will gain in repairs/upgrades to your boat before you start voyaging will become invaluable later on.

Do you need to take a course in diesel mechanics? No. Keep in mind that on a catamaran you have two diesels which provides redundancy in the case of failure. You do need to learn how to bleed the injectors, change oil/filters, belts and water pump impellors - none of which are very challenging in most boats. You should have little difficulty finding someone in your marina who is prepared to assist you the first time with any of these tasks.

The good news is that, unlike modern automobiles, the basic mechanicals on a cat are often pretty easy to see and get at (albeit, some outside access hatches on recent cats are more confining than others). In the end result, if you plan to spend a year or so developing your sailing/navigation/anchoring skills before taking off on any extended voyages, you should have plenty of opportunity to develop the required maintenance skills at the same time. No worries.

Brad
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Old 13-12-2013, 08:01   #35
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Hi Brad...

That's a good point, about the redundancies in motors... I keep forgetting that. but, I do, definitely need to know how to do all the basic maintainance. We will be buying a used cat, unless the price of new ones comes down significantly over the next 5 years. I would LOVE to buy a new one.. and order it just the way we want it... but, realistically, I can't justify the cost. Sure, I can handle losing 20% of a new car cost when you drive it off the lot.. (but you are talking a few thousand dollars.. ) But when you start talking about losing $100,000 or more in depreciation on a new cat? just can't justify that... (course I may be ignorant still, and am overinflating those numbers)...
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Old 13-12-2013, 12:05   #36
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Scarlet, cats don't depreciate as violently as cars and you certainly will not lose 20% immediately, or even over the first year if the cat you purchase is a popular model. There are, of course, numerous advantages to purchasing a new boat. However, trouble-free ownership is not typically one of them. Since boat manufacturing is still something of a cottage industry in comparison to cars, and since there is such a wide variance in electronics/options etc. that can be specified, it is not uncommon for the owners of new boats to have numerous teething problems. Nevertheless, your annual maintenance costs for the first few years should be much less than on even a very well maintained used boat.

If you are thinking of buying used, then don't fall into the trap of the cheap 'fixer-upper'. Even those who are experienced and skilled in working on boats usually find that the costs associated with a complete refit quickly turn a bargain into a black hole. Having said that, don't pay a premium for a boat that is equipped with extensive, but dated electronics. Do pay a premium for new sails, low hour (or recently replaced) diesels, etc. Above all, after doing some market research, do set yourself a budget for the boat and any required upgrades before you start shopping.

Brad
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Old 13-12-2013, 12:32   #37
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
If you are thinking of buying used, then don't fall into the trap of the cheap 'fixer-upper'. Even those who are experienced and skilled in working on boats usually find that the costs associated with a complete refit quickly turn a bargain into a black hole. Having said that, don't pay a premium for a boat that is equipped with extensive, but dated electronics. Do pay a premium for new sails, low hour (or recently replaced) diesels, etc. Above all, after doing some market research, do set yourself a budget for the boat and any required upgrades before you start shopping.
That sounds spot on in my book. I bought a well-found older boat a couple years ago. If that's the route you take, don't let the shiny objects sway you too much. You may find a lot of the great things the PO added don't make sense for you. Best to cruise first with a nice spartan boat and slowly add the things you find you actually want.
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Old 13-12-2013, 12:38   #38
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Brad and Laika.... AGREED! completely! Also...the more gadgets and gizmos.. the more that can go wrong...
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Old 13-12-2013, 12:46   #39
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Re: ... about maintainance..

"101" Series - Quick Links to "Popular" Topics includes "Electrical 101"

I put that together for the reasons mentioned here and in the intro to that topic.

It's mainly for our boats, but covers a lot of non-boat-type-specific issues.
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Old 13-12-2013, 13:39   #40
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Scarlet, if you look around, you might find that some boat dealers, boat shows, chandleries, etc., will occasionally sponsor useful talks, demos, and seminars on topics such as diesel maintenance, winter lay-up, electronics, etc. Regional boating newsletters and magazines might be source for info; on the west coast Lat 38 is a source.

Although the maintenance info in most boating classes is quite minimal, hiring a captain/instructor with mechanical and liveaboard experience to spend a day or two going through your boat with you and take things apart and put them back together might be a good investment.
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Old 13-12-2013, 13:43   #41
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Re: ... about maintainance..

Scarlet, I'm not saying that you need to go simple. Indeed, I think it will be impossible to find a recent catamaran that doesn't have a relatively elaborate electrical system and refrigeration, pressure water, a microwave, an inverter, television, etc., etc. They are all equipped that way. If you intend on extended liveaboard/crusing, I suspect you will want radar, a below deck autopilot, an electric windlass, up to date instrumentation/chartplotter, a watermaker (especially if you plan on cruising the Bahamas). You may even want a washing machine. The problem is that many electronic items quickly become dated; some, such as wind generators, washing machines and radar also have a pretty finite life expectancy. Newer radar, for example, tends to interface with newer chartplotters and tends to use less power. For these reasons, I wouldn't pay extra money for older electronics that you will probably want to, if not need to upgrade.

Brad
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Old 13-12-2013, 13:56   #42
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Re: ... about maintainance..

rgscpat makes a good point about available courses. However, it is probably too early to be looking into that as you will probably benefit the most from courses that are specific to the equipment onboard your own boat.

I would suggest that for the present, you would be wise to join a local yacht club and get some experience crewing on other boats. You can also gain some experience in maintenance (I don't know of any boat owner who will refuse some help in that regard, even if it is just to hold a wrench on the opposite side of the hull, or to pass tools). Remember, it need not be a catamaran.

I would suggest taking a power squadron course (yes, I know it is 'power' squadron, but most of the materials on navigation, rules of the road etc. are nevertheless applicable). After you get a bit of experience, I would suggest that you book a bareboat charter or two on boats that you have under consideration. This approach will allow you to continue to pursue your dream over the next few years at minimal cost - and IMO, the feeling that you are making progress towards a goal/dream is always a good thing. If you do that over the next few years, I can guarantee you will be in a much better position to not only find the right boat for you, but also to equip, sail and maintain her when the time comes.

Brad
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