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Old 01-11-2013, 06:54   #31
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?
Reading, Research, Youtube, Blogs, Forums

I find out what I want to do then look it up on how to do it. If I need to, I can ask for help here on the forum to clarify something.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:57   #32
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Watching, doing, mistakes, correcting and getting it right. School of skinned knuckles, scraped knees and sweat.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:14   #33
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Engine maintenance sure is much more than regular oil change. Some skill is needed for to change new timingbelt thou it ain't excactly rocket science. Might be more demending task physically considering cramped engine bays... that is if one is not a bit snaky kind of a circus artist..
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:43   #34
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Being creative in problem solving is a good asset. If you don't know anything about fixing a boat there are several good sources, like Nigel Calder. GordMay is an excellent source. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to think for yourself.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:26   #35
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

There is a lot of great knowledge in the boat books, online and talking to the old boat guys can go a long way, but sometimes it does not make sense until you get in and start trying to fit a hose or cable. Also don't predict what will be hard, I was totally worried about replacing the control cables, the actual cable swap was easy peasy, the four long frozen bolts to remove the compass and housing took weeks of careful drilling.

Do an extra first class quality job below the waterline.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:29   #36
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Boat ownership. By the time I bought my first mid sized sail boat I was already a sailing instructor and licensed captain. So, boat ownership did not add much to my sailing skills, but boy did I learn a lot about boat maintenance.

Being mechanically/technically inclined certainly helps. For those who are not, I'm not sure how they manage the cruising lifestyle. Must be very frustrating and expensive. In my case I was mechanically inclined since childhood and as a kid did loads of small engine work. Then completed a MS degree in Computer Science...even though my technical skills are dated now the fundamental concepts still come in handy dealing with all of todays fancy electronics.

As others have suggested for learning: lots of great reference works out there...especially Nigel Calders books and lots of knowledge to tap here on the forum. These combined with building hands on experience are an effective way to learn.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:27   #37
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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..
Love that iPhone... documents every step. Pics of hard to see places, measurements, and serial numbers hidden under and behind tight spots.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:34   #38
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

The boat owner relationship can be described as having many simularities to a romantic encounter...and how do you learn that....by doing. And fortunately, unlike some other relationships, the boat will give you lots of oportunity for pratice!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:42   #39
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Youtube can be very helpful too.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:51   #40
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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My stepson is considering a 31 to 36 foot sailboat and his question to me was how do I learn about doing repairs? I cannot advise him because my father, who was an automotive machinist, taught me a lot as a kid, and I have worked as an electronic technician so with books about boat repairs, say from authors like Don Casey and Nigel Calder, I feel like I can do alright with sailboat repairs, but what about the person who did not have any background but is intelligent enough to read and understand a book? How can he make the jump to working with tools to get a job done? I would like to hear from folks here who have made that transition from books to tools and how did you go about doing it. What were the problems? Did you get training somehow?
How can he start? Well, he could ask you to help him put together a toolbox; or you could offer. If you're a patient bloke, you could still mentor him, as your stored knowledge is of value to him.

If he prefers to do it alone, the other guys have answered your questions.

Oh, yeah, I started learning to fix stuff when my ex left, and I took over maintenance on household and automotive stuff. One starts one project at a time. I was SO CHUFFED when I got my first electric drill: the ability to make holes where wanted was so cool! One bit of advice I never regretted taking was to buy the best quality tools I could afford, but I was pretty poor for a while..

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Old 03-11-2013, 09:52   #41
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

In addition to my reply #23, I have to add:

Once I learned something, I wrote it down. In addition to keeping good logs, it's fun to share. So, along with some other like minded Catalina 34 owners, we created a website, that was recently renamed by of all things an Ericson owner as the "Universal M25 series diesel engine and also Catalina 34" forum! I also created a "101 Topics" section, 'cuz some many questions are pretty much the same and I've seen some great contributors retype the same replies over and over again. I find links to be very helpful.

So, the internet can be a helpful place if you assembled tried and true information, in addition to just daily forums with fun & games as well a pertinent and helpful technical advice.

When we first bought our boat, we knew it had an overheating problem. I bought Calder's and figured my first step would be to remove the HX. That was IT! The inlet port was 3/4 blocked by raw water salt precipitation! For the past 15 years, I have been suggesting that everyone remove their HXs to inspect the inlet port, after everyone has already suggested taking it to a radiator shop "to boil it out" - which I have found to be unnecessary. Just MHO.

As everyone here has directly or indirectly said: ya gotta get your hands dirty.

Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:39   #42
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
I would like to hear from folks here who have made that transition from books to tools and how did you go about doing it. What were the problems? Did you get training somehow?
I was 19, so I just started working on boats. At first I just was a free "helper". I read and studied Calders fantastic book mechanical and electrical manual. I learned and learned. After a while I could do basic engine and outboard stuff, plumbing, fiberglass work, varnish, bottom jobs, hull fairing and such. Anything I thought that needed a higher level of expertise, I'd contract out.
My hubby now takes care of the mechanical and electrical stuff, I'm more first mate /bosuns material now

Your son might be able to trade labor with other boats, help out on a boat with a knowledgable captain, get a lot of wonderful advice with his own vessel.sailors love to help.

Hope that helps
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Old 03-11-2013, 21:29   #43
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

I bought a 110-year-old house and a 30-year-old sloop in the same two-year period.

I did not take "shop" after grade 8 because all the cute girls were in drama class.

So the answer is "the hard way".
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Old 03-11-2013, 22:15   #44
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Make him drive a old junker lol.

Hands on hobby restoring classic cars taught me many skills I think it will take. Guess I'm going to find out how I do with my first larger sailboat that needs some TLC but I'm extremely confident at this point. I've done about 20 cars over the years including two Corvettes 76/65, the fiberglass body/paint work I did on both should help. Had a diesel Bobcat and F-250 so I have some experience with those engines. Started schooling for an A&P license, welding classes, when I was a young buck then career path changed and decided I only wanted to wrench for fun

Take on one thing at a time and repair/recondition it and use free resources for info.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:28   #45
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Re: How Did You Learn To Do Maintenance?

Helping others and learning what you can..
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