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Old 10-11-2013, 08:53   #16
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

Rust, corrosion, rot, never sleep.... saying that , boats rot even at anchor or marinas if not continuous maintenance is involved...

We are changing the whole rigging in a 4 years old new jeaneau , turnbuckles seized at top and deck level, top furler swage cracked, and is a 4 years old boat, no one do any kind of preventive maintenance in this boat previously.
Dont expect things work all the time if you dont do maintenance in regular basis, boats are 24/7 all the way....
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:56   #17
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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Old 10-11-2013, 09:28   #18
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

I you aren't handy, and you don't like or can't tolerate fixing things... Don't buy a boat. Even new boats have things that break every day. Just imagine your house being in constant motion and surrounded by fresh water and corrosive salt water that's always trying to get it. We spend at least an hour or two every day onboard fixing stuff. Last summer, I spent four weeks working 8 hours per day on the teak decks... They're now half way finished.

Our friends just purchased a new $2,000,000 sailboat. On one 1000 mile passage, the watermake had issues, the forward head broke, a fresh water hose broke and all the fresh water got pumped into the bilge from the primary tank. Several other minor problems, but They managed because they were handy and could fix things while underway. Expect problems, mechanical, leaks, engine etc. When you're on land, you can usually call someone to come fix something....not always on water. Sometimes, you're on your own.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:59   #19
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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I'm not talking about maintenance, and I'm not talking about a knob that falls off the bathroom door, or all the little things that break. I'm talking about more major repairs that are mandatory to a safe boat and seem to take up soooooo much of everybody's time and money, and also, from what I've read on here and elsewhere, seems to happen every time people raise their sails. "Uh-Oh! There goes that damn rudder again!"

This is my Achilles Heal. If I can't figure out a way to reduce the time fixing pain in the ass things like toilets, or water-makers, or rudders on a boat, I'm going to have to face the sad fact, boats just are not for me!

What say you? Should I just give it up now, or might my intended style of "Cruising" probably lesson the pain?

Thanks,
Ty


Doom and gloom...

Yes, things break... but OTOH they break less often if well maintained. And when they break even after a good maintenance regime, it's more often that you got your money's worth out of that part/system/whatever... so replacement is appropriate. (Yep, exceptions: faulty part/system/whatever, or faulty installation, in the first place... but I'll hope that's less common.)

Using your examples, we've had three bigger boats over the last 20 years, rudders never required any repairs at all. I did have to replace a pump assembly on our current fresh water head... but that was after 10 years of service. And so forth.

OTOH, maintenance and service will (should) indeed take up some significant portion of your time. OTOOH, once you've done one chore (e.g., engine oil change) you're good for a while on that one. A freshwater pump fails after a decent service life, out with the old, in with the new. Fridge, ditto. Aircon water pump, ditto. Hot water heater, ditto unless it just needs a new thermostat. Aircon... well depends, but sometimes ditto. And so forth (again).

AND you can influence how easy it is to do maintenance during your shopping phase. If you look at access to the engine, for example you can assess whether changing the oil is a one hour job... or an eight hour job. Prefer the former, eschew the latter. Assess all systems on the candidate boat like that, and you can sometimes select a boat where maintenance/service takes half as long total simply because access is better.

Another example is about teak (or other exterior wood) and especially brightwork. That can take some time. A boat with little or no exterior wood saves all the time you would have spent on that. Might not have the same "soul" either, but you'll also have more time to contemplate all that with an appropriate beverage in hand.

Finally, you can chose to hire out some specific tasks (especially the more aperiodic tasks) that are either beyond your skills, too much trouble (due to access?), or that require special tools or knowledge. An example might be valve adjustment on an engine... although I'm semi-sure sailors probably never heard of that task.

Har har har!

FWIW, though, I don't know much about maintenance of sail and rigging. I can sail, but haven't ever had to maintain shrouds, sheets, winches, travelers, etc... so my comments don't address any of that.

Anyway, if you start with a well found and well maintained boat... it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom...

-Chris
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:35   #20
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

Thank you, everyone. I appreciate your answers.

To Chris's points about maintenance and servicing items on a daily basis--I can do that! I want to do those types of jobs. Tuning an engine, or taking apart an auto-pilot isn't going to happen, at least not by me.

Overall, I am a bit encouraged by your answers to my question. I might have given the impression that doing any handyman chores at all would be distasteful to me, or maybe even "repugnant". The truth is, a couple of chores a day for two or three hours is my expectation. The boat I buy will already have been well maintained. That will be a top priority on my search.

I will try to keep up on that maintenance--but much more chores/hours per day than that on a CONSTANT basis would become a drag--and one I want no part of.

So... less=more sounds right, when it comes to complicated gizmos that can break.

Thanks again,

Ty
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:53   #21
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

Cruising has been called "doing boat repair in exotic places".... and that is what it is. Often using things less is more of a problem on boats then using them daily..
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:54   #22
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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Originally Posted by ty.gregory View Post
ON THE WHOLE-IN GENERAL, if you get a used boat that had been well taken care of by PO, and lets say you come into a nice Western Caribbean harbor, stay for a few months at anchor, than sail to the next little spot on the next little Island and stay there for two months, and so on--It would seem to me there would be far less to break. Thanks,
Ty
The cruising you want to do for a few months here and a few months there is the kind of cruising that you will appreciate a water maker and a generator. Your back will thank you for it the first time you lug 10 gallons of water to your boat from town.

An extended cruising boat is much needier than a weekend or day sailor. These are simple boats that need a bucket for a head and a full one gallon jug of fresh water from the dock.

You’re not talking a simple boat.
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Old 10-11-2013, 15:09   #23
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You don't need a water maker, generator, Ac, complex electrical system etc. If you want all the bells and whistles and comforts of home you will pay the price, which is constant maintenance and repairs. Not a bad thing if those are your priorities. I like a very simple boat and therefore don't find constant maintenance and repairs as being a part of our cruising life. We had a larger cat with all the bells and whistles once, never again!
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Old 10-11-2013, 15:20   #24
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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SNIP
a fresh water hose broke and all the fresh water got pumped into the bilge from the primary tank.
SNIP
Fairly standard advice to turn off the water pump when you leave the dock and start sailing, especially on a longer trip. Replacing a water hose often is nothing more than removing a couple of clamps putting them on a new hose and then reconnecting the hose. But it is a lot worse if all your water has been pumped into the bilge.

Sure things break all the time, and it often seems it is at the worst time. But as others have pointed out the worst thing you can do to a boat is not use it. As an additional advantage if you use a boat's systems on a daily basis you will have a better feel for what kinda shape they are in.
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Old 10-11-2013, 15:24   #25
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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SNIP
Tuning an engine, or taking apart an auto-pilot isn't going to happen, at least not by me.


SNIP

Ty
One thing to keep in mind is along with what I posted about a fresh water hose. There is a somewhat similar situation with an auto pilot. If you trim the sails well and perhaps alter your course a little there is much less stress on an AP and in fact some boats are almost self steering if trimmed correctly. So to some extent there is a relationship between how often you need to maintain/repair something and the level of seamanship when using things.
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Old 10-11-2013, 15:44   #26
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

I bought an old boat and fixed EVERYTHING. Now it's like new. Even better in some ways.
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Old 10-11-2013, 15:50   #27
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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I bought an old boat and fixed EVERYTHING. Now it's like new. Even better in some ways.



A lot better in a lot of ways, I'd guess. Some things just can't be bought, especially in today's market....
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Old 10-11-2013, 16:38   #28
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

If you have a simple boat with simple systems, very few things break ever. When these do, you either fix them or that's that.

Keep it simple and you can have very low maint hourage.

b.
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Old 10-11-2013, 16:50   #29
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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Fairly standard advice to turn off the water pump when you leave the dock and start sailing, especially on a longer trip. Replacing a water hose often is nothing more than removing a couple of clamps putting them on a new hose and then reconnecting the hose. But it is a lot worse if all your water has been pumped into the bilge.

Sure things break all the time, and it often seems it is at the worst time. But as others have pointed out the worst thing you can do to a boat is not use it. As an additional advantage if you use a boat's systems on a daily basis you will have a better feel for what kinda shape they are in.
My water hose was at the bottom of the tank. Didn't take a pump to empty that one..............of two.
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Old 10-11-2013, 18:39   #30
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Re: Fixing things constantly--Is it true?

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If you have a simple boat with simple systems, very few things break ever. When these do, you either fix them or that's that.

Keep it simple and you can have very low maint hourage.

b.
I would second this. A sailboat can be a very simple instrument for going from one place to another. Good sails, standing, running rigging and a sound hull will take you around the Caribbean. If you have complicated systems, lots of bright-work, teak decks, etc, you may be busy keeping this tip top but it's only yourself you have to satisfy. Crossing oceans or living for long periods of time in remote areas requires more in a boat and more repair capability from the skipper.
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