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Old 04-03-2016, 21:55   #1
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Marine mechanic

Would it be a good idea to be a marine mechanic and work in one place provision upkeep then sail off and enjoy yourself then start all over again when needed ? Think marinas would discount a slip if you were working for them while you were there ?
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:37   #2
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Re: Marine mechanic

Was kinda hoping to have a response by now lol
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:50   #3
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pirate Re: Marine mechanic

I had free berthing when I was a boatswain for a yard in the UK.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:05   #4
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Re: Marine mechanic

I am a skilled mechanic and have hired marine mechanics as a marine business owner. My experience has show me that traveling mechanics usually if trained at all, are usually only skilled in a single engine brand and within limited sizes. I hired a number of "mechanics" to do things I no longer want to do and either end up using them as a helper or having to redo the job they did. I'm not alone in this experience.
People right out of school are only prepared to do the planned jobs the school taught them. Like a trained seal, when the horns are moved, the song doesn't come out right.
To be a mechanic that does most diesel repairs means a huge amount of on the job experience. It additionally means graduating several schools.
Most marinas don't have a mechanic. Partly from bad experience and liability. Boat yards sometimes have a mechanic that does other jobs. And he may be an ok mechanic. Otherwise they have a professional come.
You can't charge $50+ an hour while you're learning how an engine is put together.
Many people cruising do their own work or hire a company or individual with a known, good reputation.
You'll need a big boat to haul the necessary tools.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:07   #5
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Re: Marine mechanic

Like anything else depending on how good you are at your trade, how much time and effort you invest in the local community weather you follow the rules, get the correct permits, insurance bonding etc. Are you accredited via ABYC or some other classification society?

Have you ever worked on some ones boat?

The service industry is not for everyone. As soon as somebody gives you money to work on their boat you are liable for everything you touch, on most vessels that can be thousands of dollars, weather you broke it or not, if you messed with it you own it.

And the obvious point is in virtually every port their will be a local who has wored very hard to make a niche performing the service you will want to offer. Sometimes generating options for customers is good somtimes not.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:20   #6
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Re: Marine mechanic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
You can't charge $50+ an hour while you're learning how an engine is put together.
In my experience this is true. The going rate is well over $100/hr.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:58   #7
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Re: Marine mechanic

Thank y'all so much for sharing
Myself I'm about to be attending MMI to learn about inboard and outboard as well as rigging and every thing they have to teach me.

My current lvl of expeiance is mainly in automotive work.
Both on gas and diesel powered engines as well as drive trains and break systems.
Albeit with automotives I don't have any credentials just started working on muscle cars and tractors when I was 12 built my first dune buggy when I was 13 after hiding all my money from my dad for a year from my brick and mortar job.

Y'all all raise very good points would anybody have any suggestions as to schools s MMI good enuff for the cut there an part of UTI however I didn't see any yanmar engine referances in there videos
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:50   #8
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Re: Marine mechanic

Comrad, sounds like you're working to a good learning plan.


Another data point for you to know is that it's not uncommon for boat owners to select engine mechanics based on manufacturer certifications. For example, we won't let anyone not Cummins-certified touch our engines (assuming no emergency), and that's often similar for folks who own Volvos, Cats, Yanmars, MTUs, MANs, etc.


Doubt anyone has time/money to become certified in every brand out there... Happens our boatyard/marina has it's own mechanics, certified for Cummins, Volvo, Mercruiser, and I think Crusader... so they get some traveling business and also owners often bring their boats to our place for engine work.


-Chris
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:33   #9
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pirate Re: Marine mechanic

Specialize in Diesel engines.. they are relatively simple to work on and.. many parts are duplicated on commercial land vehicles for different engines.. so interchangeable..
There's a German guy who's set up in Almerimar Spain very successfully.. he's clean, fast and efficient and does not bullshit you. He gives a price and works to it.. the only thing that slows the completion is the hoops (7weeks) that need jumping through to get say a new gearbox from N Europe to the Med in this wonderful European Free Trade/Travel Zone..
Go for it.. there's good and bad in every trade.. just be the Good and you'll do just fine
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:13   #10
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Re: Marine mechanic

I've described how I did it in other posts. But basically at 50yo and no boat or mechanical or electrical experience I got a job at a reputable largish boatyard (50+ people) and they trained me to be an electrician and all around tech. I got parts for low prices, had access to all the equipment to work on my boat off hours, had experts to ask questions of, etc. It was perfect for me. I gave back by working hard, learning fast, being easy to work with, customer and business focused, and eager. They hired me because they thought I would learn and give them an honest days work with happy customers. I made a lot of mistakes and they let me stay. They asked me to return after 4 years cruising so I guess it worked out for them as well as for me.

It is hard work. I started out at $18/hour and it isn't a lot more than than now. Guys out on their own will charge $50 to $80/hr but they better be experienced and good. You can't do that on your own to start without being very good. You'll get exposed and work gets out fast. Being a good car mechanic is not good enough for example.

It is possible as boatyard are always short of reliable eager trainees. You have to accept doing your share of sweeping floors and working on holding tanks on boats. Then your learn more and more and do the funner stuff.

You will have to buy your basic tool kit though and that can be very expensive. It depends on how you start. You may be able to build up. They won't put you on rebuilding a motor to start and probably not for a couple of years so you have to understand and accept the learning and experience process. If you can't do that, move on to something else.
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