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Old 21-01-2015, 04:05   #16
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Confession time - I love working on my boat.

There, I have admitted it, and they say admitting you have a problem is the first step to the cure.

But I do love the work, I love the intellectual challenge, I love the slow dawning of understanding, I love the shear air-punching joy of getting it right.

I love asking questions here on CF and sifting the answers for the regular gems that appear, almost without fail. That thrill of the hunt when you see someone post something that is just plain gold.

And there's a German term... Schadenfreude, which I am have to admit, I experience when people come to me and tell me of the woes of having their boat screwed up at great expense by a professional while I quietly congratulate myself on the absence of such concerns in my boating life. But I am human, and if you claim never feel the same you may be in denial.

I could not afford to work part time and own a reasonable boat if I did not enjoy all this, so that adds to the joy.

And when I am sailing along, in those brief boating moments when everything just WORKS, there is so much joy in knowing I did it myself.

So yeah, I do my own work, except when I reluctantly admit I don't have and cannot reasonably acquire the knowledge, or perhaps the tools, required to the job. But even then I have enjoyed the process of finding the people that do know, and have the skills and the tools. And you meet such brilliant, skilled artisans in the boat industry if you ask the right questions of the right people. There are people out there worth their weight in gold, and you can find them if you do not abdicate the responsibility of seeking them out, talking to them and telling them what you want. Introduce a third party, someone without your passion for perfection and you will get what you deserve, a mediocre return on your hard earned money.

At least, that's how it feels from here, but I already admitted I have a problem...

Matt
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:25   #17
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

3rd week of August 1994 ...... everything on the boat worked to perfection.
I have been on a quest for another orgasmic week ever since
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:32   #18
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Other than sail work I've only paid once for some work on my boat. Later when I noticed what the guys that did the work really do around the yard most of the time I realized I was paying a large premium for unskilled work.

I'm sure there are lots of marine professionals that are worth their price. But I will never pay $65/hr for a yard monkey's time again.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:39   #19
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
I find it very odd that when someone posts an issue with something on the CF site, it almost always comes down to "Better have a Mechanic look at that" and it got me to thinking,
How many people DON'T have outside work done on their boats.?.

We've been on ours for going on 12 years now and everything on the boat,
I've done myself.. from motor work to sails and canvas,
You need to know your own limits. Often, by reading a thread, it's pretty obvious that the poster doesn't have the basic knowledge and skills to troubleshoot or repair the problem he or she is facing.

All too often I'll see the response to "check the voltage at .......... " when it's obvious to me that the poster doesn't know how to do this. A recent thread went on and on about why the engine wouldn't start with all kinds of suggestions to replace the solenoid, switch, starter, check the switch with a jumper, etc. and in the end it turned out to be a weak battery.

We can boost our own egos by giving suggestions but if the person doesn't have the basic knowledge, he or she could cause further damage or even personal injury.

It's great that you've been able to do all the necessary work on your boat but many folks don't have the mechanical aptitude, education or skills. That doesn't make them inferior to anyone, in their "real life" they may be doctors. lawyers or teachers. Some people are better off doing what they do best, being paid for it and using the money to pay mechanics, electricians, etc. to do what they do best.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:44   #20
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
A, PO is PREVIOUS OWNER .

As a "PMSG" Professional Marine Systems Guy.

I can tell you story after story of what PO's did wrong.
I was an electronics technician installing and maintaining systems for most of my career. I had much the same experience as you but not previous owners, just people who tried to do it themselves before giving up and calling me. And quite often they had turned an hour's job into an all day job by the time I figured out what they had done (they usually weren't honest about it), returned the equipment to the condition it was in before they attempted to repair it, and then found and fixed what was wrong in the first place.
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Old 21-01-2015, 08:34   #21
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You need to know your own limits. Often, by reading a thread, it's pretty obvious that the poster doesn't have the basic knowledge and skills to troubleshoot or repair the problem he or she is facing.

All too often I'll see the response to "check the voltage at .......... " when it's obvious to me that the poster doesn't know how to do this. A recent thread went on and on about why the engine wouldn't start with all kinds of suggestions to replace the solenoid, switch, starter, check the switch with a jumper, etc. and in the end it turned out to be a weak battery.

We can boost our own egos by giving suggestions but if the person doesn't have the basic knowledge, he or she could cause further damage or even personal injury.

It's great that you've been able to do all the necessary work on your boat but many folks don't have the mechanical aptitude, education or skills. That doesn't make them inferior to anyone, in their "real life" they may be doctors. lawyers or teachers. Some people are better off doing what they do best, being paid for it and using the money to pay mechanics, electricians, etc. to do what they do best.
100%.

Some very smart people just aren't smart in all areas. I have a good friend that is a very bright guy, educated and very competent in many areas but not electricity. The sum total of his 12V knowledge is the battery has red wires and blacks wires. Beyond that everything is a mystery.
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Old 21-01-2015, 08:37   #22
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Maintenance On Your Boat

I see a boater who solves his own problems like the blind man describing a elephant.

In order to best deal with his problems, he needs to have been around.

And be careful where he steps.
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Old 21-01-2015, 08:51   #23
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post

Later when I noticed what the guys that did the work really do around the yard most of the time I realized I was paying a large premium for unskilled work.

I'm sure there are lots of marine professionals that are worth their price. But I will never pay $65/hr for a yard monkey's time again.
exactally........
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:32   #24
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

This thread reminded me of an old joke. I'll just change the setting to make it forum relevant.

Two old salts are sitting in the cockpit enjoying a sundowner. Both have been married for a long time. -Bud, tell me, after all these years of marriage is shtooping your wife work or still a pleasure? The other guy ponders the question for a few long minutes and replies: - I think it is still a pleasure. -Why do you say so? - 'cause if it were work we'd be hiring one of them boatyard guys to do it for us.
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:58   #25
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Not much here. New engines so I don't like to fiddle and possibly void the warranty. Most stuff is under warranty so I let someone else take care of it, although Raymarine even,t very helpful. I had an old Holden ute I used it not care too much about warranty with and play around with the engine, but that was 25 years ago. Since then it's been mostly new cars and boats and all taken care of under manufacturers warranties. I don't know how I'd go with mechanical failure at sea on the ya mars but would probably figure something out. We do most of the general maintainance ourselves though like cleaning, running repairs and anti fouling. I don't really like working with electrical stuff much as I'm afraid of the magic smoke and disconnecting batteries and accidently laying the position the earth always makes my life flash before my eyes.
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Old 21-01-2015, 10:04   #26
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

I think it's an individual thing, based on what you know, what you're willing to learn, and your circumstances (such as access to necessary facilities and tools). I try and do everything I can on my boat as in my experience, 95% of the time I do a better job. But there are things where experience and/or craft counts and no amount reading, consulting with cruising friends, or YouTube videos is going to make you as good at it as someone who does it for a living. I definitely try and absorb as much as I can from them, peering over their shoulder in the process. It's one part learning and one part quality assurance.

Often the real challenge is finding someone who does it well.

Annapolis is absolutely bristling with marine industry professionals, and even so it can be very hard finding someone who comes universally recommended. Anyone can (and does, it seems) hang out a shingle and the quality of work is highly variable. And you always bump into someone who's had a bad experience with even the best of them, sadly.
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Old 21-01-2015, 10:23   #27
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

Some years ago my g/f was driving an older MB. When it started leaking oil she took it to the MB dealer but was floored by the repair estimate - $1,800. I asked her not to leave there and bring it to my mechanic who specialized in European cars. He fixed everything for under $200 and was apologetic that it was that much as he had difficulty accessing the leaky seal in question so his total labor was 2hrs@$90/hr. The cost of OEM seal? $3.

Now if you realize that the situation with boat dealers and yards is even worse than that of course many are forced to DIY otherwise we could not afford our boats.
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Old 21-01-2015, 10:30   #28
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

I'm like GILow-I enjoy the challenge.

But I agree with RWidman also!You have a responsibility to accept your limitations,for the safety of you & your passengers & other boaters.

If you are not sure how to do something,or you are broke down in a remote location,it's best to ask for help BEFORE tearing something apart.At least,be prepared to read the svc manual,or Google-whatever.
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Old 21-01-2015, 19:01   #29
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

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100%.

Some very smart people just aren't smart in all areas. I have a good friend that is a very bright guy, educated and very competent in many areas but not electricity. The sum total of his 12V knowledge is the battery has red wires and blacks wires. Beyond that everything is a mystery.
My next door neighbor is an educated man, an archaeologist or something. I've seen him on TV explaining historical things.

He knocked on my door one day and asked if I knew about boat batteries, I said I did. He said "On a boat battery does it mater which terminal the red and black wires go?" I replied that it does. He told me that he had tried both ways but the boat wouldn't start and none of the lights worked (a 18' metal boat with a 25HP engine).

I walked over to his garage, hooked the cables up correctly and nothing worked. I took the cowl of the outboard motor and replaced the blown fuse. That fixed it. The fuse blew (I would assume) when he connected the battery backwards.

Remember, this is a smart and educated man. In his field.

Another time he called me over. He told me that since one of the tail lights on the trailer kept blinking he bought a new wiring harness and rewired the trailer. Now none of the lights worked.

I looked at the harness and the white (ground) wire wasn't connected to anything. I asked him why he didn't connect it and he told me he didn't know where it was supposed to be connected. I connected it to the trailer frame and the lights came on. The one light still blinked though. The bracket that held it to the trailer frame (and provided the ground for the light) was loose. I got a wrench and tightened it.

So I fixed a problem he had caused and then fixed the problem he was trying to fix. What would have been a two minute fix (tighten the bracket) ended up costing him a few hours of his time and a new harness plus several minutes of my time.

Moral of the story - know your limits. Do what you do well and leave what you don't understand alone.
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Old 22-01-2015, 01:54   #30
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Re: Maintenance On Your Boat

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Moral of the story - know your limits. Do what you do well and leave what you don't understand alone.
No, moral of the story is know your neighbor.

Sent from my GT-N7105T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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