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View Poll Results: Boat work: Hire out or handle it yourself?
NOBODY TOUCHES MY BOAT BUT ME!!! 15 46.88%
I can handle everything but major engine work... 12 37.50%
Diesel mechanic and rigger for me for tune-ups... 4 12.50%
I farm out engine, rigging and varnish work... 2 6.25%
The yard does EVERTHING on my boat but sail her! 1 3.13%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-03-2009, 16:04   #1
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Seeking professional help, or, DONT TOUCH MY BOAT!

Hi all! Here's a quick poll to see how many of us do all, part or none of our own work...
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Old 09-03-2009, 16:10   #2
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How about most? While I know some yacht club sailors who outsource everything, I don't think there are too many real cruisers who do none.
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Old 09-03-2009, 17:11   #3
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No choice there for me. I've done just about everything, except rigging and I've paid for some more complex electrical work.

I do all brightwork, routine engine work, bottom paint, bootstripe, minor electrical, ( radios, stereos, TV. )
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Old 09-03-2009, 17:14   #4
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I do everythingand anything that's necessary... engine, rebuilds to rigging-winches, bearings, fiberglass work, electrical ... including the stainless TIG welding on anything that needs repaired! If I had to pay for the stuff I do, I couldn't afford the boat...
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Old 09-03-2009, 17:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
No choice there for me. I've done just about everything, except rigging and I've paid for some more complex electrical work.

I do all brightwork, routine engine work, bottom paint, bootstripe, minor electrical, ( radios, stereos, TV. )
Ditto
Ditto the Ditto.
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Old 09-03-2009, 17:21   #6
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Can't afford to get anyone else to do things. I am even building the rudder stock out of timber and carbon on a small multi for my grandkids
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Old 09-03-2009, 20:44   #7
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I do everything except go-fast boats and big outboards

and carpentry....I have the ultimate respect for guys that work with wood.

Carpenter, "See that? That is a center cut board from the Phloomara Tree, notice the intricate grain? It only grows on the SSE slopes of an island in the Foofaralli Archipelago. t is carried to the lumber mills on the backs of specially trained warthogs. It costs a mazillion dollars per board foot.

Me "Un Hunh"
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Old 09-03-2009, 21:04   #8
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I can't afford...

...to do my own work.

The yard charges me for ten hours of labor to do a job that would take me twenty hours to accomplish on my own. In that twenty hours I can earn several times more than I'll end up paying the yard. And they'll do a better job.

About once a year I forget the above formula and pull a wrench out of the tool box. Last time I ventured forth on a "30-minute job" I dropped the wrench and fried a 150-amp battery fuse that cost me a dollar an amp to replace.

I do just enough work to be comfortable with my systems should I need to effect repairs while under way. For everything else I hire a pro.
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Old 09-03-2009, 21:43   #9
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I do everything I have the tools for. I've had to hire to have the engine pulled (takes a crane) and the mast dropped (ditto) as well as hauling and jackstanding, etc. I do my own sewing, rigging, marlinspike, wiring, plumbing, painting, refrigeration, engine, fiberglass, rebuild starters and alternators, and some light machining and woodwork. I've had to hire out welding and SS work as I don't have a welder. I do have access to a model-making machine shop (lathe, mill, etc) which is good for plastics and aluminum but SS work really takes a torch and a welder.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:55   #10
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Being independent, stubborn, and frugal(Scot heritage) I still do everything. Engine or transmission rebuild, Electrical, equipment installation, welding, fabricating in any material,wood working,rigging and glass work. My late wife once accused me of trying to make my own aluminum foil. LOL
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:13   #11
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Sometimes I don't have the time to do the things that I have the yard do. The yard also sometimes catches things that could turn in to a problem that I missed. Therefore its sometimes helpful to hire someone to do a job and as a secondary benefit, have a second set of eyes looking out for you.

I do all the boats electrical, computers, maintenance of systems, most of the improvements and minor stuff like touch up painting. The oceanographic instruments go back to the factory for calibration.

I let professionals do the work on the hydraulic systems electric solenoid controllers and conducting cable hydraulic winches. They can spot problems and potential problems before I could.

I don't do aluminum welding or bottom painting.

My new computer controlled engines are so complex that I let the yard hook their computer up to it and look things over. They can spot engine problems or potential engine problems much better than I could.

I have learned over the years of running a complex boat that it is best to not try to become an expert on everything. Sometimes it is better to hire an expert who already has the knowledge and experience that I do not have and never will have. That's called swallowing my pride and admitting there are others that can do a much better job at maintaining or fixing something, because that's what they do for a living, maintain and fix that one thing.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:40   #12
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The more I keep track of all my boat expenses, the more I find it's cheaper to have the yard do things than to have me do them.

I do all my rigging, and some of my sail and canvas work, because I have good skills with that and have lots of training. And I have some connections to get materials fairly cheaply. But replacing the shaft, cutlass bearing, prop, and doing bottom paint I farmed out last fall. The work was done for slightly less than my quoted prices for just the materials and haul-out.

I may do the wiring on my boat as I've done a fair bit of land-side house wiring, but maybe not because the materials quotes, again, are outrageous. Marine electricians can probably get the materials at far less than I can, and will almost certainly do a better and faster job.

Routine maintenance and emergency repairs I do without thinking about it. Big expensive upgrades and replacements I check to see if it's really cheaper to do it myself.
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Old 10-03-2009, 14:04   #13
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If you plan to pull the mast all by yourself, first take up caber tossing as a hobby. It builds exactly the right set of muscles for the job. :-)
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Old 10-03-2009, 15:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
No choice there for me. I've done just about everything, except rigging and I've paid for some more complex electrical work.

I do all brightwork, routine engine work, bottom paint, bootstripe, minor electrical, ( radios, stereos, TV. )
Same here. I outsource the massive projects that I don't have the skill or time to for, like the mast repair I just had to do. Some guy smashed our transom up, so the repair for that went to a yard.

All brightwork, teak decks, electrical, routine (and semi-non routine) engine work, head, galley, plumbing, tank, paint, and wood repair are all mine.

Sailing is so much fun sometimes.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:06   #15
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I am slowly learning to hire out professionals for any major repairs. I tackle the small work, oil and filtre changes, bottom paint, and brightwork, also I take full control of the dingy, but that's were it kinda ends. For me it's always taken 2 tmes longer than a professional to repair, and there is a large chance I missed some little doohicky thing I should have adjusted or replaced, and that says nothing of all the spare washers I seem to always end up with. I do all my own work on my car, but the boat,..I've found that for me, hireing a professional pays dividends. Now the real problem, finding a professional you trust and beleive in.
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