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Old 03-03-2010, 10:09   #16
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I've found two resources that will pretty much cover all your bases.

1) Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
SKU: 09780071462846


2) Rigging: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Ropes and the Rigging, the Winches and the M ...
SKU: 09780470725689


If you were to read those two books before buying a boat, you'd be able to take a more discerning look at each vessel you were considering for purchase. Don Casey's book also has troubleshooting flowcharts for many different things.

Also, if you can find a rigging manual and engine manual for what is actually on the boat you purchase, that's a huge plus. As for the various equipment on the boat, many manufacturers such as Edson have parts lists and repair instructions on their sites.

So once you've collected the knowledge provided by those manuals and the members here, the next thing is to make sure you have the right tools. Having a socket set on the boat does no good if it's SAE but your engine is metric, etc. I don't know if there's a checklist on the site of essential tools to have aboard, but I'm sure there's one around.

Another factor is ingenuity. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and use things in ways they were never intended to keep things working.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:12   #17
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Buy a really good set of screw drivers and use the right size for cross head screws. Mine live in a little walet and I have an old spare one for tins of paint

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:53   #18
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Along with the obvious diesel and electric and mechanical systems, sewn systems make up a large part of maintenance costs. The ability to do my own canvas, sail repairs and upholstery has saved me 10s of thousands,
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Old 03-03-2010, 13:34   #19
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few thoughts come to mind, not in any particular order...
Problems don't go away by themselves, address as sooner than later,
Determination (hard head)
Knowing the importance of preventative maintenance, take care of the boats
systems and they will take care of you.
Know when to hold them, and know when to fold them...to know when your
getting in over your head and call a professional.
The ability to recall what I know I know. (which doesn't always happen!
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Old 03-03-2010, 15:15   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
I've found two resources that will pretty much cover all your bases.

1) Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
SKU: 09780071462846

2) Rigging: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Ropes and the Rigging, the Winches and the M ...
SKU: 09780470725689

...
I'd add

3) Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems

I've learned tons from that book.
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Old 03-03-2010, 16:27   #21
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I am not 100% on the thread, but I think I want to share these:

- psychology,
- book keeping,
- mechanics,

are all very useful the cruising / boat ownership aspect of sailing.

b.
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Old 03-03-2010, 16:39   #22
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1 - Memory "Where did I put that $%^ thing?" translate to organization
2- Patience, translate to "Ability to disregard clock, calendar, schedule"
3 - $%^ I had a good one, but forgot it! Oh yeah - persistence.
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Old 03-03-2010, 18:04   #23
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1. Knowing how your systems work.

2. Having the proper rebuild/maintenance parts.

3. Problem solving.
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Old 03-03-2010, 18:41   #24
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Could skip all the above and have:

1) Large Kitty
2) Platinum towing package
3) Sat phone
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Old 03-03-2010, 18:47   #25
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Rum economy...

If all else fails having the required quantity of rum or beer on board may enable you to "buy" your way out of trouble.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:01   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
I've found two resources that will pretty much cover all your bases.

1) Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
SKU: 09780071462846

2) Rigging: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Ropes and the Rigging, the Winches and the M ...
SKU: 09780470725689

<snip>
Also, if you can find a rigging manual and engine manual for what is actually on the boat you purchase, that's a huge plus. As for the various equipment on the boat, many manufacturers such as Edson have parts lists and repair instructions on their sites.
I am a big believer in books. Love the recommendations above.

In regards to manuals for your boat, the internet is your friend.

I have found and downloaded (for free) -

Selden mast manual and parts catalog
Selden boom manual and parts catalog
Seldon RodKicker manual and parts catalog
Selden Rigging and tuning guide
Furlex furler manual and parts catalog
Volvo overhaul manual and parts catalog
Winch manuals

Interesting but not a necessity things I have also found -

Original sales brochures for my boat as well as a couple of articles written about it.

I printed and bound them and will provide to the next owner if I ever sell.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:12   #27
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Patience, persistence, manuals, knowing what you can do, and ... time! Lots of people end up paying because figuring it out takes more time than they have.

But - and very important - is being able to keep going/living without the thing you are struggling to fix. Our boat is pretty complicated, but actually we don't need lots of the stuff if it stops us doing what we want to do. Do I need to know how to fix the fridge if I'm prepared to live without it for the time it will take me to get where I want to go and/or learn how to do it? (On the other hand sorting out the blasted voltage drop that's just appeared does need to be done before we plan months at anchor!)

Plus what you need to know depends on you wallet and your cruising plans. You aim to be on small S Pacific Islands, you need a lot more know-how than being in your home country near spares, where you know the language and there's a good courier system. Often the know-how thing seems like a barrier to cruising, when of course you keep on learning as you go.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:23   #28
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#1 Mechanical aptitude - Tough to learn, I have one my brother is nearly devoid of one, my father has one, my mother is devoid of one. It really helps if you have a solid mechanical aptitude as it will apply across all systems and pretty much anything mechanical will be significantly easier to master.

If you are the type to tackle everything at home from electrical work to plumbing to masonry to wood working to auto repair then you will do fine with a boat too. If you hire the electrician to wire your new disposal, because you didn't know how to or dared to, or hire them to install a light fixture.....well.......

#2 Common sense. Without it you're in tough shape when it comes to DIY...

#3 The ability to see things multi-dimensionally. Can you look at a waterpump for example and know how to R & RB & R it without ever referring to a manual or parts diagram? This type of innate thinking is great to have. While not totally necessary to do DIY it is great if you want to take things to the next level..

As an example, a few months ago I was at Harbor Frieght Tools. I bought one of their multi-tools just to "see" how it worked, I already owned a Fein. When I got home and plugged it in it fired for a second then was non-working. Not one to just stick it in the box and send it back I opened her up and found this:


So I simply popped the retainer brush spring back in place and she was fixed in a few minutes. There is a reason some call this place Harbor Freight Trash..


I've never been inside one of those tools nor had the schematic and the fix was easy. I know most folks don't innately have this type of ability, took me a long time to grasp that, but you don't really need it if you focus, are dedicated and have some common sense.

I have taught many people how to do things they never would have even considered. With each project you gain a greater level of skill and confidence. The 3 items at the top help a great deal but are not 100% necessary for every task..

I believe anyone can learn, even without a mechanical aptitude, or just a moderate level, but you just need to try a little harder and focus more. Once you begin to develop a mechanical aptitude it will branch out across many systems more easily..
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:59   #29
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Take the 3 day diesel maintenance class from these guys. Great class!!
They specialize in yanmar, but everything you learn is easily transferable to other diesels
Mack Boring & Parts Company - The Power Behind The Power
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:20   #30
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I am not a cruiser, yet. But I am very interested, with all the talk of maintenance that goes around these boards, to hear what you guys think would be (generally) the most indispensable knowledge you have, as it comes to maintenance. Perhaps even top three?
As someone with no inherent practical skills I try and leverage those skills I do have:-

1) Inquisitiveness (how does that work? / what's it do?! / do I need it?)
2) Thinking (How should I approach this? / what would work better?, if anything / what would the outcome be if things don't go to plan?)
3) Hitting things that annoy me with a Hammer.
3a) Effing 'n' blinding.

Results vary......................
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