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Old 03-05-2021, 17:28   #31
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Do you currently maintain your home? Your car/motorcycle? Bicycle?

If you hire out simple tasks now.....stop. Learn how to do them. Use YouTube as a guide. The mechanics are all the same.
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Old 03-05-2021, 17:37   #32
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

I would suggest you start collecting tools, if you haven't already. Having the right tool (or even one that is close to right) can mean the difference between a 5 hour nightmare and a 30 minute easy fix.
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Old 04-05-2021, 02:30   #33
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

For book learning I second Don Casey and, more technically detailed, Nigel Calder as good places to start. Also the Adlard Coles book of Maintenance and Repair for Diesel Engines. And a subscrition to Practical Sailor or Practical Boat Owner (or both) will become worth their weight in gold.
Youtube tutorials are great for instruction on specific tasks but where to start? SailLife was the most interesting one for me when I was in your shoes. It documents a four year fit out by a Danish guy that started out even less competent than me but ended up far more competent. The channels featuring huge catamarans and women in bikinis bending over; not so much.
But theres no substitute for hands on experience. Sounds like it might be hard where you live and work. But organisations like the RYA do diesel engine maintenance courses, which can help you get a head start. Otherwise I'd buy some sailcloth, needles, thread, a sailmakers palm and five metres of 3 strand, braid on braid and dyneema in 12mm, 8mm and 5mm sizes and practice knots, splices and whipping. Also buy some glassfibre and resins and practice with them. The West Systems website is good. Cheap, easy skill to learn AId aso book as many charter holidays as I can and start taking an interest in stuff that you learned from books, magazines and youtube.

By asking the question you are starting out on the right path. Good luck, its a great life. Right. I'm off to service my engine 😄
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Old 04-05-2021, 04:02   #34
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pirate Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Do you currently maintain your home? Your car/motorcycle? Bicycle?

If you hire out simple tasks now.....stop. Learn how to do them. Use YouTube as a guide. The mechanics are all the same.
Dunno about cars these days, so many things are controlled by computer chips these days you need a laptop with the programs for diagnosis these days..
Boat diesels are chids play in comparison.. gone are the days of DIY carb calibration etc.
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Old 04-05-2021, 04:08   #35
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

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Dunno about cars these days, so many things are controlled by computer chips these days you need a laptop with the programs for diagnosis these days..

Boat diesels are chids play in comparison.. gone are the days of DIY carb calibration etc.


True, but you can still rotate the tires, change headlights and oil, replace an axle, etc...
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Old 04-05-2021, 04:58   #36
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

You can lookup almost anything now days. Boat work is mostly just general work, not brain surgery. In the end you can read up on almost anything, but you only develop "skill" by doing.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:15   #37
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

The actual repair work is often the easy part. Hard part is troubleshooting - knowing what to repair. There's an old story about a TV repairman who does a house call and has the TV working in 3-minutes time. Customer is outraged by the $150.00 invoice and demands it be itemized for parts and labor. The repairman scribbles a new invoice:

SCREW: $0.05
KNOWING WHICH SCREW TO CHANGE: $149.95
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Old 04-05-2021, 21:07   #38
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Thank you all for these good and sometimes funny suggestions. I would take the wife's car apart but since she decided 3 years ago that 33 years was enough I doubt she would appreciate the humor now. Her loss. Anyway, lots of food for thought here and I feel a plan forming in the murky recesses of my mind. Cheers to all.
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Old 07-05-2021, 08:05   #39
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Itís call OPB. Go sail on other peopleís boat. Many of them. Go visit SailOPO.com Itís a crew / owner sit that lists available boats and skippers looking for crew to sail on short and long deliveries. Iíve used OPO (Offshore Passage Opportunities) for crews to help me sail from Maine to the Caribbean, many times. You need to get to the boat and back home when we land on your dime and I feed you enroute. This way you get to live on and sail on some fantastic boats with really experienced skippers.
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Old 07-05-2021, 08:13   #40
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Over the past year and a half I was enrolled in the Marine Engineering program at the local community college here in Ft. Lauderdale. I did it in preparation to go cruising next year. Fantastic program. Once Covid hit classes transitioned online. The director of the program now posts his instructional videos on Youtube. There are hundreds of videos. Highly recommend Mr Lopez Classes. Here's the link.

https://www.youtube.com/c/MrLopezclasses/featured
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:41   #41
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

The trouble is that a boat does not merely require the skills to operate it, navigations, sail handling, manoeuvring in close quarters, catering, crew management etc, etc. As someone said Ďcruising is boat maintenance in exotic locationsí. But I think that there is one key to maintenance and that is that the bigger the boat the more expensive and complicated the maintenance. Which is why most people start small and get bigger boats, when they get older they trade down because things get too heavy and expensive!

There are a wide range of practical skill to acquire. Donal Rumsfeld said Ďthere are things we know we know, things we know we donít know and things we donít know that we donít knowí. So we need to build on the things we know, understand what we donít know and seek to learn and as for the last - extensive reading while you learn on the job.

Every journey of a thousand miles starts with but a single step. Iíve sailed for more than 50 years and every trip in a boat is a learning experience.

Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:50   #42
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Based on personal experience, for the electrical side of things, buy yourself a couple of old Italian motorcycles, after those, keeping a boat in sparks is easy.
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:59   #43
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

When I was old enough to decide what I wanted to be in life I realised that I had chosen the wrong parents and a life of idle wealth was never going to be my lot.
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Old 07-05-2021, 17:06   #44
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

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Originally Posted by salfarina View Post
All of these suggestions are superb. Iíd like to add that you should read anything (or ideally everything) written by Don Casey and Nigel Caldor.
Yes, great advice! These books are very, very useful!
(We call them The Gospels According to St. Don or St. Nigel.)

There are also a few good books by the late Brion Toss. "The Rigger's Apprentice" for example is helpful for ropework and rigging.

And for knots there are some good books by Hervey Garrett Smith, although they are old and probably out of print, they are charming and interesting. You can pick them up used, I'm sure.
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Old 07-05-2021, 19:50   #45
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Re: How to acquire maintenance skills and knowledge.

Its not so much how to learn the skills to repair anything. It is more of a way of thinking and learning how to use the tools. Like was mentioned already when you find something broken fix it. If you cant fix it take it apart and see how it works what makes it tick. If its electronics see if you can learn to recognize what parts are in there.
Its not being afraid to get your hands in there and figure it out. After a while your comfort levels will go up. learn to sit back and look at it many times it would make sense.
I owned an auto shop for 22 years. After a while you learn to think differently.
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