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Old 11-09-2009, 15:32   #16
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Some changes I made to my first boat and why:

Install holding tank. Reason: Direct overboard discharge was illegal in my loacation.

Change hanging locker to shelves and drawers: Reason: I needed drawers, not hanging space.

Change fuses to breaker panel with more circuits Reason: Easier and to accomodate more electrical items not originally installed such as an autopilot.

Replace pressure alcohol with propane stove. Reason: After using it, I felt I'd burn the boat down with pressure alcohol. I felt propane was easier, safer and less hassle to maintain.

Add anchor locker and roller. Reason: There was no anchor/rode locker. Pulling it out of a lazarette every night was a real pain.

Move anchor light to mast top. Reason: That's now the common place to put the anchor light.

Move VHF antenna to mast head. Reason: Greater VHF range.

Secure wires inside of mast. Reason: Clanking was driving me crazy.

Change roller furling boom to slab reefing. Reason: safer and easier to reef from cockpit, better sail shape, much faster than cranking winch for ever.

Change cleats on mast to clutches by the cockpit with winch: Easier and safer to adjust sail controls.

Go from two headsails to one reefing headsail. (plus same storm jib). Reason: Faster and safer to change, than changing sails. Don't have to haul sail forward. Greatly reduced sail storage need on small cruiser.

Gladly accepted all changes and they served me quite well over the 8 years I owned that boat. My next boat had even more extensive changes including moving the galley, converitng the V-birth to a head, Plumbing a head, etc. Also resopnsible for and happy with all the changes.
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Old 11-09-2009, 15:44   #17
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Pblais, believe it or not there are actually owners qualified to make professional upgrades to a batch.
The sad truth is that previous owners prove time and time again they didn't know what they were doing or couldn't get the job done without a few shortcuts. Doing work on a boat takes FOREVER. It's a harder place to work and the standards are higher as well. I've done a fair amount of work with the past two boats and some stuff I couldn't do right so I had it done.

Just as in sailing we all have limitations and it pays (saves you money) to do things right the best way you can. The idea that if you try had enough you can do anything is not based in truth. You can however prepare to do a few things one at a time if you do not impose a time limit. Too many home handyman types lose patience easily.

The facts I have gathered here show the previous owner as a rule was not as good as they talked. A lot of our members have a higher motivation to find out. That is not the normal practice in the greater boating world. What we see here is more often new members with older boats that have been "fixed" by someone else and now they want to do it right. It's not simple to do it right all the time or even most of the time.

Just because you are stupid does not mean it's simple. The KISS principle does not work in reverse just because you want it to. That is the fundamental problem with KISS. Good solutions usually are simple but they don't get there by the short road.
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Old 11-09-2009, 18:04   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
Using water tanks for fuel

Re-routing/changing exhaust lines

My (late) mentor told me...never-ever deviate from an original installation unless you are ready to assume the liability.
Yeah I hear you Chief... but then not every boat is built well. Take for example boats built in the far east. Many are built like a tank, and will last for ages, think mason for instance. But many are built poorly.
Or take american boats. My endeavour. Fuel tank in the bilge, lasted a while, but was a accident waiting to happen. Electrical panel and batteries and most of the wiring in the engine space, right up against the cockpit drains. Don't even want to think what would have happened it they leaked or the engine blew a hose under power.
The other day, I removed the freezer box that was built in. It had 2" of insulation on the top, but then the lids were not insulated around where they sat. Only 2mm of formica. The back and bottom were 3" and the left side had 2"... thank god we didn't ever put food in there.
Then take storage for instance. 3 nice large drawers under each settee.. whats not to like, except they waste 50% of the available space there. A better system would be access hatches under the cushions and be able to use all that space.
This is from a production boat built in the usa. I'm sure at the time someone thought all this was a good idea. I don't.
So since its my boat. I paid for it. If I want to upgrade, replace, restore, rewire, renew, rebuild, tinker, mess it up.. whatever, then I will do so.

A few years ago, I rebuilt the shower in our main bathroom. It was falling apart, I did a fair job of it, but was in a hurry, knowing at some point I would redo the entire bathroom. It now is getting to the point that I will do that.
Am I sorry I did it? No. Did I learn from it? Yes. Some people like to have people do their work for them, content to write a check when its done. Some are independent minded people who read, study up, ask questions, and then do it. And some are hopeless no matter what they do.

But I agree that anyone that uses a water tank for fuel is asking for trouble...

Its good to know that when someone who is doing their own work can come to a place like this and get some support, knowledge and advice. We just have to remember sometimes you get what you pay for.

Bob
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Old 11-09-2009, 18:32   #19
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Brine Flu!!!!!!

I am going to have to remember that one!!!!
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Old 11-09-2009, 19:43   #20
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post



I am now in the habit of looking at it this way: If I spend $2000 on that thing I've been wanting and use it for 3 years, and during those 3 years I use it twice a month, it's costing me $28 every time I use it... do I still want it???
One can look at the whole boat that way. Costs a lot to use it each time.
Kinda like the wife...............did I say that?
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Old 11-09-2009, 19:46   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
Using water tanks for fuel

Re-routing/changing exhaust lines

My (late) mentor told me...never-ever deviate from an original installation unless you are ready to assume the liability.
Yes generally speaking using a water tank for fuel is a bad idea but why are you so quick to credit all builders with being so perfect and installing systems correctly and assuming we should not "deviate" from their infinite wisdom?

Trust me they are NOT all perfect. Take Ericsons for example, it appears you own one. This past winter I helped a friend re-do some of his FACTORY INSTALLED through hulls & seacocks because of the cost cutting, poorly executed manner which Ericson chose from the factory. He had mismatched threads, loose & cracked fittings, saturated rotting backing plates and PVC elbows threaded directly to thru-hulls with NO valve at or near the waterline. He had a total of three PVC fittings (yes PVC and they were not Marelon) that were so badly stress cracked that when we attempted to remove the hose they cracked or spit in our hands. This is what precipitated the whole project when a PVC fitting cracked and began leaking while the boat was in the water. This were BELOW the waterline.

Did we re-install PVC and non below waterline rated hose and single cheap perforated hose clamps and mis-matched threads and valve on a thru-hull "seacocks" as the factory had done? Absolutely NOT!!!!!! We "deviated"..

When I re-wire one of the many boats I have re-wired due to badly corroded or oxidized un-tinned copper do I replace it with the same crappy stuff? Do I use the same low grade crimp connectors? Hell no I replace it with marine grade tinned cable and heavy duty adhesive lined heat shrink. Of course if I were to follow your logic I should have defaulted to the builders "original installation" and should not "deviate". No??

There are very FEW builders out there who get it right 100% of the time. A friend of mine lost his boat because the builder (begins with a P ends in an N) used piss poor cheap hollow cast aluminum cleats that FAILED catastrophically. There's a reason I replaced the crappy, cost cutting poor excuses for cleats on my old Catalina with solid chrome plated bronze Herreshoff bomb proof style cleats and backed them with MEATY backing plates and potted the deck penetration holes..BECAUSE THE FACTORY CUT CORNERS!!!

Oh and yes I have also re-routed piss poor excuses for exhaust systems that were only laid out in the manner they were due to the convienience of the assembly line method used during building.

There are plenty of HACK DIY owners but also many HACK builders who will think nothing of cutting a corner, or many, to save a buck. Kind of like the many builders who used plywood to laminate keel stubs...which I have also FIXED/"deviated" and made it the way it should have been to begin with...
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Old 11-09-2009, 19:58   #22
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Originally Posted by Zednotzee View Post
Sometimes its not built right in the first place-

http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/stoop...20surveyor.htm
I like this guy (or what he's saying).

I have worked with MANY Pro's that do incompetent things.
Also time being money and glamor being attractive, most certainly does not always mean that you get the best product in our Commercial model.
That said, one should know his limitations and ask for help if you need to.
I must say also that most of what I see in boats is not rocket science.
Some stuff is a bit tricky through.

Extemp.
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Old 11-09-2009, 20:20   #23
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One can look at the whole boat that way. Costs a lot to use it each time.
If you are going to be that way we can all pack it in. It sure does cost a lot to look at it that way. Don't think we want to go there when we already know.

Quote:
Kinda like the wife...............did I say that?
We won't tell my wife - please?
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Old 11-09-2009, 21:04   #24
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Common sense is not often very common. When a project is undertaken, especially on a boat it is "common sense" to plan, research, get professional advice and have the correct tools and materials to complete the job. If after completion, you find it wasn't necessary or was to costly or wasn't functional, it indicates a certain lack of planing or research ( common sense ). Most boating inovation, new products, and modern methodology are the direct result of tinkering and forward thinking by experienced end users ( sailors in this instance ).
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Old 11-09-2009, 21:35   #25
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Did it again

Typed a longish post on this subject and then didn't post it because there is no need to belittle a previous post. Besides, I hear the moderators don't like controversy.

I can sum up my position by saying that I would be delighted to have Maine Sail work on my boat and make any changes he thought necessary. And I was amused by the link to the surveyor's site with the examples of builder's "mistakes" or cost-cutting, or whatever you want to call it.

I am pretty sure that in all areas of human endeavor (which would include boat manufacturers and boat owners working on and modifying their boats) there are good ones and bad ones and everything in between.
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Old 12-09-2009, 22:12   #26
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I look at it this way, and correct me if I am wrong.

Methuselah Yachts want to build 50 "Old Fogey 36's"

They are going to need 50 engines, 50 masts, 50 sails, 300 cleats, 100 winches etc etc.

They put those items out for bid.

Just like the plate in a Jet Fighter......"Remember this plane was built by the LOWEST bidder"
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Old 13-09-2009, 08:57   #27
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Lowest bidder?

Dude, you cannot possibly be simple minded enough to believe the defense dept buys equipment from the lowest bidder.
May I suggest you go to the NYT archives and do a search on articles related to either;
the F22 project
the air tanker resupply project
the presidential helicopter project
the Boing / Airbus competition
After pouring through thousands of articles you will come to the obvious conclusion congressional politics drives the procurement process, and that's just the top layer of this can of worms. It makes the recent Wall ST meltdown look like grade school algebra.
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Old 13-09-2009, 12:20   #28
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I got this froma former Navy Av8r

They sure don't award all the bids to the highest.


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Just like the plate in a Jet Fighter......"Remember this plane was built by the LOWEST bidder"
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Old 13-09-2009, 12:37   #29
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We're ultimately responsible for everything on our boats, and for me the most painful lesson has been that "experts" are not necessarily anything of the sort.

I hired a local marine plumber to convert the arcane mess of my original sewage system into something legal and simple, and to his credit he got the project moving where I would have bogged down working alone. But he botched a Spinweld on a new tank (creating a leak), installed a cleanout plate by shooting in sheet-metal screws (bulging the plastic and creating another leak), and capped an old hose attached to the intermittently pressurized legacy system by just screwing in a PVC cap (massive leak). No response to my complaints, but he cost me a ridiculous $80/hour. Basically, he took advantage of a newbie, then failed to make good on any problems as promised. Eventually, in a reputation-based economy, this sort of behavior kills off the unethical, but it takes a long time.

The experience was an eye-opener. As someone said above, we paid for these things and it's up to us to do whatever needs to be done to make them as good as possible. I tend to over-engineer things and take forever to get projects underway, but when I do it is with clear intent to do it right. I hate re-doing things. That's rarely the ethic behind products pushed into a competitive marketplace, so we sometimes have to deal with shortcuts and cheap materials (sometimes in ridiculous places where they represent a real risk; other times where they just result in wasted money and the need to replace something that should have lasted much longer).

A cheapie powerboat sunk last week going in to Oak Harbor, taking a shortcut instead of entering the well-marked channel. It hit the rocks and was gone in about 30 minutes (those aboard were rescued). One of the divers working on the fuel-containment and attempted refloating reported that lifting straps around the engine mounts... usually a reliable hard point... pulled the mounts right out of the hull on the first attempt.

There should be a database of this kind of stuff.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 13-09-2009, 13:09   #30
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having been involved in military procurement for 8 years.

It doesnt matter at the end of the day what is recommended to the decision makers on the best bid, it is the cheapest (in the short term)that the politicians wll chose.

I have often seen this turn into a much more expensive solution in the long term
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