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Old 02-03-2010, 13:58   #1
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Indispensable DIY Knowledge?

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?
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:07   #2
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Welcome Toro and a good first question. My top two would be..

1) A good working knowledge of boat electrical.
2) A good working knowledge of diesel engines.
The third varies for me. I suppose good mechanical skills and the ability to work with your hands
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:55   #3
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I think the ability to diagnose a problem(use a flow chart) is as important as the ability to fix it. The long thread about the failing turboed Yanmar should stand as an example of how the LACK of that ability can be a trip buster. The fact that the mechanics he hired didn't follow a basic flow chart only made things so much worse.

I have been blessed(cursed?) with the ability to look at how a simple machine works and see why it isn't working correctly with a very high percentage of correct "guesses" by using a flow chart. If you don't know what a flow chart is there any number of them on the web some of them quite funny. Step by step ABCDE is one of the best abilities to have. Oh ya and the patience to stick to them.......m
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Old 02-03-2010, 15:30   #4
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If your Scotch, Irish or Dutch you have a good start.
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Old 02-03-2010, 15:42   #5
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Well, half Irish by heritage, if that counts!
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Old 02-03-2010, 16:03   #6
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All above related to understanding cause and effect relationships of electrical and mechanical systems is most important. I would add the humility to ask questions and seek advice. If you're one of those guys that refuses to ask directions when driving in a strange town; you may be handicapped. When it comes to problem solving you do best when utilizing all resources. I can usually find information directly or on the internet beyond my scope. In 1972 , when I was on my first boat, I found a local shrimper in Georgetown, SC to teach me how to change the packing and adjust my stuffing in my box. Many parts diagrams and wiring diagrams are on the internet and they can save a lot of time and money. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 02-03-2010, 16:32   #7
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I agree with engines/mechanical and electrical circuits. I would say the third is to be able to ask for experienced answers to your problems with the wisdom to not blindly follow the answers you get!
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Old 02-03-2010, 17:52   #8
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I think that the main maintenance/repair skill is to be able to ask the right person the right question. Few people know all the different boat systems. Being able to find the right answer is the key.
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Old 02-03-2010, 18:00   #9
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Understand the importance of preventative maintenance - one biggy here is probably ensuring that you engine only ever sees clean fuel.

Checking the cleanliness of the fuel before it gets to your tanks goes a long way to relieving problems.

Having a well designed and high quality filtratation system may save your engine - it will certainly extend its life. Change filters regularly.
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Old 02-03-2010, 18:56   #10
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1. Changing fuel filters and bleeding the engine.
2. Changing oil and oil filters, regularly and frequently.
3. Changing rubber things, like impellers, belts and joker valves.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:24   #11
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what you need is a good boyhood upbringing that involved fixing your dads car/motorbike tractor etc etc. Couple of years of that and your ready for anything
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:16   #12
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#1 common sense
#2 common sense
#3 common sense

And a box of band aids

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:24   #13
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Which translates into

1) Refrigeration
2) Refrigeration
3) Refrigeration
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:59   #14
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I keep forgetting...which end of the screwdriver do you hammer on when you use it as a chisel?
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:05   #15
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the end covered with your thumb of course, hence the band aids lol

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