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Old 31-10-2013, 17:08   #16
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

The exact same way as how you get to Carnegie Hall....

Practice.
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Old 31-10-2013, 17:20   #17
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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Originally Posted by Beersmith View Post
The Internet

If the net doesn't have the info, it can surely point you towards he correct book.
I'd agree that you can get a lot of help on internet forums from people with more experience and/or who have done what you're thinking of doing.

There's always that sticky problem that falls outside the box of your best database of info though. That's when you have to do your own thinking.
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Old 31-10-2013, 17:27   #18
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

I'm 30 and prior to 5 or 6 years ago had never stepped aboard a sailboat. Got hooked after my first sail and ended up moving aboard and cruising a 37' with 2 other buddies when in my mid 20s. Had previously lived and worked in the mountains so resourceful but no real applicable boat knowledge or experience beyond basis survival skills. No background in any kind of trade. The learning curve is fast when you don't know what you're doing.

I think it will depend primarily on the condition of the boat he ends up buying. If it needs work, then finding a good DIY yard that also employs knowledgeable professionals would be a good route, especially if he has time on his hands to poke his nose around and maybe even offer free unskilled help in exchange for on the job knowledge transfer.

If it doesn't need work then go sailing and learn to sail. Boat maintenance as needed.
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:36   #19
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
School of hard knocks, other people and books. In that order.
Hard knocks, books and other people in that order for me.

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Old 31-10-2013, 21:46   #20
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Try starting him on ....

Boat Maintenance For (non) Idiots

and

Marine Survey 101
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:52   #21
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

A two year degree at an actual school of boat building. Many people take shorter courses. Port Townsend is a well known short course, as is Bates. My alma mater, Gompers (properly known as SCCC Center for Wood Construction), is the oldest and most reputable boat building school in the western US. I also attended The Landing School, in Kennebunkport for a time. It's a school of naval architecture and boat building but wasn't to my taste. I learned more about Naval Architecture in the lofting semester at Gompers than they taught at LS. Those guys can't even teach you to properly prove a diagonal or buttock line! Lots of good courses out there though.
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:56   #22
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

trial and error and lots and lots or reading
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:05   #23
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

I'm an engineer, but one of dose "a-book learnin' kinds." I designed systems including diesel engine fired electrical generators.

But it wasn't until we bought a boat with a diesel engine that I started to get my hands dirty and really learned what it was all about.

Hands on is the answer, and the most appropriate way I've found to do that is to read, read, read. Books are better than the inet, since you avoid the "arguments."

However, many times two books don't agree.

Your boat, your choice.

C'mon, it's like anything else in life. Spend/invest the time to learn and then decide. I love model railroading, and am just now re-reading two books about doing scenery. Two different methods for the same results and Book #2 references Book #1!!!

There's so much out there that you can't even begin to read it all, but if you can read, you can learn. If you ask ?s on the inet, you may not get the right answer, but you're sure to get a LOT of "opinions."

There's difference.

I like books.
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:23   #24
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
That's a difficult question to answer as it really depends on the aptitude of the person. Boat ownership promotes ingenuity and adaptability, or it should. I frequently confront aspects of boat repairs that I don't have prior experience with. My general approach is to read what I can, talk with sailor friends who have direct experience topic/issue, and then forge ahead. If it is a task that benefits from prior experience in terms of craftsmanship, then I will often convince someone to help me, or hire an expert as a consultant.

The key in my opinion is knowing which things you can reasonably do yourself, where a mistake or two are non fatal, and which things require that they be done properly from the start to ensure a quality/safe outcome.
+ 1 !!

That's it, lucky for me my Father was a licensed Auto Mechanic and my first skills were learned through osmosis. Later in life I became Journeyman Refrigeration Technician & Master Electrician

But as stated above... Sound advice!!... "read what I can, talk with sailor friends who have direct experience topic/issue, and then forge ahead"

Cheers
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:25   #25
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

WORK FOR FREE
When I was in boat repair, a man came and asked if he could work for free IF I would teach him what to do. It worked great. He learned how to use almost every tool in the Shop, fiberglass, resins, fillers/fairng, joinery, repair, etc. He learned the easy and fast way. Which tools did what and how. Sorry to see him leave after only one week. I would have hired him. The other day I was at a Engine Repair business buying a chainsaw part. I brought up Kohler generators. His knowledge was fantastic. I brought up Work For Free and he said he would do that. (I'm retired) That's how to get free instuction from an expert...and maybe a job offer.
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:51   #26
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Step 1. Stuff breaks. Step 2. When stuff breaks, try to figure out how it came apart, so you know how to put it back together. Step 3. Ask the old fart in the harbor how to fix stuff. Step 4. Ignore what the old fart tells you, because he was probably wrong. Step 5. Read the manual, and the instructions on the package of new stuff. Step 6. Put stuff back together, it will be wrong. Step 7. Take stuff back apart and from the process you learn how to put stuff together right. Step 8. Do the same then, when other stuff breaks until you gain the experience and knowledge, by PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU DID RIGHT. Step 9. After awhile you become very meticulous about how things come apart and go back together again, share this experience with others, because by now you are the old fart on the dock.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:12   #27
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
get my hands dirty and really learned what it was all about.
And take pictures while taking things apart. It's so much easier to put them back together thou anyway you end up with some excess parts apparantly without any reasonable purpose becouse the bloody thing seems to work well without them..
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:24   #28
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Repair and maintenance are different things. Things like cleaning and waxing and varnishing require skill for sure, but not at the level of fixing a diesel, a steering system, or a chain plate leak. Wiring is pretty basic as is plumbing... running wire and hose. Repairing heads and electronics can get a bit technical. Ask others, look for information in books, and online manuals and ask in discussion forums. Plan each step. Have all the tools and materials you need for the job. When you take something apart... take lots of pics so you can out it back together. You learn from mistakes, but try to not make too many of them. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish if you take your time and prepare for the task.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:50   #29
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Grandfather was a machinist, father artist, and I'm an engineer by training, so fixing painting and designing are like walking.

I learned from watching (contractors and family), reading, doing, and mistakes. It took a long time, but eventually I got comfortable with most everything.

Practice and reading.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:13   #30
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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Did you get training somehow?

As a kid I learned to read and understand words and drawings.

Later I joined the Navy and was a mechanic.

PS - even though I have a Master's Degree, the Navy training is really what I used ever since for 95% of the work I've done
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