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Old 21-04-2010, 16:45   #46
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alameda, CA
Boat: Pearson 365 sloop
Posts: 87
RE Self Sufficiency

Thanks for this discussion, my friends. Open to opinions is the following: What learned (or innate) technical skill seems most important to the cruising community who cannot or will not find the nearest boat yard for a repair of some type. IE, diagnosing and correcting electrical problems, making highly professional sail repairs, repairing rigging, bottom cleaning, carpentry/plastic repairs... More to the point perhaps is my wondering what single skill might a cruiser have or readily acquire that will be of value to others either for money or for barter? What have you required that you couldn't or wouldn't do for yourself not including an engine rebuild or the like? Please feel free to jump right in!

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Old 22-04-2010, 01:56   #47
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The 'nearest' boatyard can easily be several days' sail away.

In terms of making money, I know a couple who made a reasonable living doing sail repair and welding. Welding is a big one as not that many people can do it or have the equipment on board.

The 'cruisers' that you find pootling about Florida are likely to be far more in need of outside assistance than the 'cruisers' you find at Pitcairn.

I've never done an engine 'rebuild', but wouldn't let that stop me from having a go if I needed to. The difficulty would be getting the parts (gasket set, piston rings, valve seals, bearing shells etc..) rather than lack of willingness to have a go.

IMHO the most important skill a cruiser can have for keeping going is being jack of all trades. To be able to get on in the back of beyond you really need to be the kind of person who can repair the rigging at the masthead in the morning, diagnose and fix an engine starter problem at lunchtime, catch and gut a dorado and make a delicious fish curry for dinner, and stitch the genoa back together before bed, all underway .

I'm stuck in an office in Edinburgh right now and remembering all these things so fondly, man I miss that life in the South Pacific!
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