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Old 22-10-2015, 20:52   #1
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maintenance skills needed

hi all

new to boat ownership, and next to zero maintenance skills (personally i blame my father ...) but keen to learn.

i have seen courses like these Yacht Maintenance Course | Specialist Courses in the UK, but does anyone know of anything similar in Australia or NZ ?? its not so much the diesel im interested in, more direction in general maintenance, GRP repairs, anti-fouling etc etc

i've got all the books, but don't seem to have the nerve to gouge into the boat with one hand on the drill and the other whipping through youtube....

cheers

kk
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Old 22-10-2015, 23:54   #2
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Re: maintenance skills needed

For paint, fiberglass and wood care, try the major manufactures web sites. Most have product sheets with instructions for their use. Some have videos. They want you to have success, so you'll tell others. For bottom paint, especially in the tropics, it pays to have the best or close to it. But ask others around you what they use and how it works for them.

You might help other more experienced boat owners in trade for some of their knowledge.
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Old 23-10-2015, 00:30   #3
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Re: maintenance skills needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by keelkicker View Post
hi all

new to boat ownership, and next to zero maintenance skills (personally i blame my father ...) but keen to learn.

i have seen courses like these Yacht Maintenance Course | Specialist Courses in the UK, but does anyone know of anything similar in Australia or NZ ?? its not so much the diesel im interested in, more direction in general maintenance, GRP repairs, anti-fouling etc etc

i've got all the books, but don't seem to have the nerve to gouge into the boat with one hand on the drill and the other whipping through youtube....

cheers

kk
not local so I have no idea on courses. I do second the idea of helping others to get some experience. check around on the docks near you for folks working on projects. chat them up, ask to watch, offer to help. better yet find a boat yard where they can work on their own projects and do the same.

if you already read the books and watched some vids I think you will pick it up pretty quick. once word get around your a good helper you will get lots of experience and meet new friends that might come in handy whrn you need a helper.

good luck
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Old 23-10-2015, 05:01   #4
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Re: maintenance skills needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by keelkicker View Post
its not so much the diesel im interested in, more direction in general maintenance, GRP repairs, anti-fouling etc etc


Individual fields can also include electrical, electronics, HVAC, plumbing, water quality, sanitation, hydraulics, woodworking/cabinetry...

And upkeep of mechanical systems like shafts, shaft seals, rudders and rudder posts (and related autopilot hardware), props, etc.

Probably some others I'm forgetting...


It has helped me to ruthlessly acquire softcopy versions of every manual for every system on board, augmented by a decent general library of softcopy books like Nigel Calder's "diesel" and "general maintenance" books. And then manufacturers are often quite willing to talk you through a specific problem with their product, once you know enough (from their manual) to describe symptoms, enumerate what you've tried already, etc.

-Chris
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Old 23-10-2015, 11:07   #5
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Re: maintenance skills needed

I was lucky enough to be in a location with a marine technology school catering to adults learning a marine trade, or for those, like you who have a boat and want to do their own maintenance. I was also apprenticing in a boat yard as a tech so I got the best of all worlds. But I have always valued the class work I got.

But not every place has these and going to a distant school could be very expensive. I believer there may be some online courses you can take from some trade schools, at least in the US. They are not cheap either though.

The advice of the other posters is good though. The "school of hard knocks" is what some call that approach. Even now when I want to learn about something that I am not familiar with I do internet searches for videos or commentary (such as on CF here) and gradually pick up the jargon for the subject at hand. The jargon can be off-putting and make you feel stupid or dangerous but often it is just words that mean something very specific for the subject but really very easy to understand once you figure out what they are talking about.

But since you are totally new to this I would also suggest some of the basic books on boat electrical systems, plumbing, diesel engines on boats, steering systems, wood care, bedding and installation of hardware, etc. It is a long list but what I do is try not to get overwhelmed by all that I don't know and focus on a specific part or actual job at hand and try to get all the info I can on that. After a bit, from reading from different sources, and talking to my mates and vendors, the words start fitting in and I start feeling like I know enough to tackle a job. Beware the well-meaning advice you get from some as it can sometimes be wrong or even dangerous. I take advice and confirm it with other sources unless I have reason to believe the advisor is very skilled and knowledgeable.

One reason I like boats is that they continue to challenge me on what I don't know and it keeps me from getting bored. But it can be frustrating and intimidating at times. Keep at it and you'll be good. And you'll make some mistakes, hopefully ones you can easily correct, but some you'll regret forever. We all do that though.
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:43   #6
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Re: maintenance skills needed

" I do second the idea of helping others to get some experience. check around on the docks near you for folks working on projects. chat them up, ask to watch, offer to help. better yet find a boat yard where they can work on their own projects and do the same.

if you already read the books and watched some vids I think you will pick it up pretty quick. once word get around your a good helper you will get lots of experience and meet new friends that might come in handy whrn you need a helper."

I like this answer very much.

If you don't have the ability to volunteer to help others because there isn't anyone to help, maybe buy a small boat that you can practice on? Nothing beats being able to just see how it goes together without fear of "messing up". Look for something free, just to play with and learn on. Maybe even restore an old dinghy to use on the mother ship.
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