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Old 16-02-2011, 17:14   #1
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Longevity of Various Components

When looking at a boat, it's nice that it has a windvane, autopilot, gps, a ten year old diesel, new standing rigging, solar panels, etc., etc..
Seems the question when surveying is not if it works but how much life does it have left?
Anyone get where I'm coming from?
Without experience, is there a chart that's been put together showing the life expectancy of all the various components & or systems of a cruiser and possible replacement costs?

Thanks again-
Kenny
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:15   #2
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i beleave the SSCA has one
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:18   #3
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It's all going to break, leave you stranded, and then cost some multiple of $1,000 to fix. When? At the worst possible time. Welcome to boating.
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:39   #4
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The problem is, there is such a vast spectrum of variables for each piece of equipment.

For instance, something simple like a bilge pump. Which brand? Who installed it? Did the installer use the proper wire? How many cycles has the pump had? Was it pumping water clogged with dog hair for the first 10 years of it's life, or did it sit idle and only pump some clean fresh water once per year? Was it fed the proper voltage from the power source? Owner A says "I've had my Brand X pump for 20 years without a failure"; owner B says "That thing is a piece of junk!"

Apply that now to any system on the boat that gets use; like a toilet, or a winch, or a stuffing box. I would say that a bronze stuffing box that is properly maintained will last for centuries, but when shopping for a boat, how am I to know of the maintenance history?

For the most part, I think boating equipment dies from neglect before it dies from old age... in my book, the maintenance history is far more important than the age in years.
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:42   #5
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Very interesting.
Thanks for the reply's-
Kenny
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Old 16-02-2011, 18:15   #6
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You can "what if" things to death and still not have an answer. Every one is going to have an opinion on things and are most likely going to disagree. Doug has a valid point about maintenance history, but in sailing just as in aviation just because something works today does not mean it won't Sh*t the bed tomorrow. It is a simple painful fact of life, things break, with no rhyme or reason.
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Old 16-02-2011, 19:03   #7
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Materials' quality.

Good design / built & maintenance.

Repairability.

I like things to be made of good materials, well designed and built and I try to do good maintenance. I also like stuff to be repairable rather than replaceable.

Depending on existence (or lack of) the above factors, the same component can be either 'ethernal' or 'crap'.

Our bronze / SS rigging screws are going strong, our SS ones (from the same maker) had to be replaced.

Our 20 y.o. Swedish galvanized shackles are still here, the Chinese ones we bought 8 years ago are long time gone.

And so on and so forth.

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Old 16-02-2011, 19:17   #8
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This is a very open question. I agree with doug86 in that the maintenance of the unit is important, but so is the installation of those units. As an ex-manager of a West Marine Store I have seen the model of my water pump returned after 6 months as defective many times, but my pump has been working fine for 4 years. My bilge pump was installed 12 years ago and is still working fine (knock on wood). I have a battery charger that was replaced by the manufacturer four times because it quit, but the last one has worked for 6 years without a problem. A Lot depends on how well it was installed and how well it is maintained. As a live-aboard I am aware of these systems and units on a daily basis vs someone who only uses their boat every so many weeks, so I think this does make a deference.
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Old 16-02-2011, 19:27   #9
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Not at all what I was expecting but a great learning
experience for me.
Thank-you all very much.
Kenny
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Old 17-02-2011, 18:14   #10
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;-)

Real life example:

windvane steering, new, life expectancy 20 years, failed first night out - one screw 'missed' by the expensive and licensed technician who installed the thing

windvane steering, old, life expectancy 0 and going strong, getting ready for its 6th crossing, all mounting & maintenance by the owner,

hope this is unclear enough

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Old 17-02-2011, 19:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
;-)


hope this is unclear enough

b.


Perfect.
Thanks-
Kenny
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Old 17-02-2011, 19:19   #12
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Kenny, You'd have to know the date each component was installed for that to be any good...
the best thing you can do is divide all important components into a 12mth schedule... most things don't need servicing more than twice a year...
March.. Running rigging, furlers, sails....
April.... Winches and deck gear....
May..... Engine... seacocks and hoses/clips
June... Sunbed/Hammock/Cuba Libre
July.... Beach/Singapore Sling
August.. Test sail to another nice spot to clean the hull... if you can get a bitta speed it cleans better..
Sept.... Take a break... you've earned it..
and... ahhh shoot... you get the idea.. look after her and keep her lube'd and everything'll last longer...
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Old 17-02-2011, 19:24   #13
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and... ahhh shoot... you get the idea.. look after her and keep her lube'd and everything'll last longer...
Thanks boatman. That's worked for the old lady so far so why not the boat?
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Old 17-02-2011, 19:30   #14
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Even the same exact thing in nearly the same exact place can have different longevities. Today I was pulling some stainless steel screws out of an access panel that periodically gets wet. All the stainless steel screws were fine except for one which had almost completely dissolved away.

How do you turn that into a rule or a generalization?
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