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scarlet 26-01-2018 08:46

Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Just out of genuine curiosity......

Why do refits take so long?

Whenever I see postings, blogs, books, threads, etc. about people doing refitting, they are always siting a time frame that seems so long. For example, I've been watching this series of postings on youtube about a couple who bought a 35' monohull, and are basically gutting it, and rebuilding it. They are going on 18 months now of working nights and weekends, and they look like they still have a long way to go.

I don't know about boat refits, but I do know about remodeling a house as We've redone 90% of our house by ourselves. As an example, in one room we stripped everything to the bare 2 x 4's... moved electrical outlets, ran wires for a home theatre, added a wall.. put in a corner fireplace, dropped a ceiling in one area, built in a book shelf on one wall, and along one whole wall (a run of 20 or more feet) built, by hand, a wall of cabinets and shelves, including window pane doors, and fancy moldings... re insulated, put up all new drywall, floated it ourselves, added canister lighting, layer a hardwood floor and all new moldings.. painted.... all of that only took us a couple of months working on nights and weekends...

So, why is refitting a boat so much more time consuming?

dcstrng 26-01-2018 08:57

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
I suspect there are as many reason as folks doing the refits -- if the skipper has hired a pro to do the refit, then they only reason that it should stall/languish is because the pro has discovered that something needs further study/attention; i.e. the project is bigger than first assumed.

But, for the DIY hobbyist it can be because a gazillion reasons; lack of needed funding, life gets in the way, change in priorities – or as in my case, as I dive into one project, I see other things I want to do and suddenly my two-week list has exploded. Or, the hobbyist needs to get confident with a new skill before they want to apply it to their vessel.

skipmac 26-01-2018 08:57

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Lots of reasons,

1. No straight lines, no straight, flat level walls, floors or ceilings. So basically for interior work almost every single board and panel is a custom fit, compound curve.

2. Wiring, plumbing, etc runs over, under, around, through and behind the floors, bulkheads, overheads and often even inside the deck. You rarely can just tear off the sheet rock and run all new right there where you can see and reach it.

3. Most people refitting boats aren't living in the boat so have to commute. Requires a lot more travel, setup and tear down time for every project.

4. Lots of the bits are custom or special order. You can't just walk into any neighborhood Home Depot and buy all the stuff you need.

5. For boat refits by owners, the great majority are not pros at every job and skill required and have to analyze and plan every job before starting. I can do most things better than a boat yard (at least any boat yard I could afford) but it takes me twice as long or more.

6. Redoing a house you don't have to stop and BS with the guy redoing the one next to yours.

Terra Nova 26-01-2018 09:04

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scarlet (Post 2563690)
...I don't know about boat refits...

This is why it seems to take so long.

scarlet 26-01-2018 09:08

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by skipmac (Post 2563698)
Lots of reasons,

1. No straight lines, no straight, flat level walls, floors or ceilings. So basically for interior work almost every single board and panel is a custom fit, compound curve.

2. Wiring, plumbing, etc runs over, under, around, through and behind the floors, bulkheads, overheads and often even inside the deck. You rarely can just tear off the sheet rock and run all new right there where you can see and reach it.

3. Most people refitting boats aren't living in the boat so have to commute. Requires a lot more travel, setup and tear down time for every project.

4. Lots of the bits are custom or special order. You can't just walk into any neighborhood Home Depot and buy all the stuff you need.

5. For boat refits by owners, the great majority are not pros at every job and skill required and have to analyze and plan every job before starting. I can do most things better than a boat yard (at least any boat yard I could afford) but it takes me twice as long or more.

6. Redoing a house you don't have to stop and BS with the guy redoing the one next to yours.

Great answer! this all makes sense... especially number 6!!!! lol....

robert sailor 26-01-2018 09:12

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Simply put boat refit are way more work and much more complex all the time working in very tight spaces, no comparison between fixing houses and boats.

dwedeking2 26-01-2018 09:13

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
My list of reasons:

1) There is always one gawdamn bolt that you a) can't get to, b) cant' get a tool to, c) is rusted/corroded/stripped.

2) Every project leads into a, up until then, unknown project.

3) "I'll just replace xyz". Which turns into removing 4 cabinets, a refridgerator, and the transmission to get to that one bold (see point 1).

The biggest issues I run into are because I work Monday - Friday. The weather will be great all week, then turn crappy Friday afternoon so I can't do the project I had planned. I mis-plan and spend too much time running around on my free day collecting tools and supplies vs actually working. Lazyitis- it's easy on a sunny saturday afternoon to grab a beer and wind up shooting the **** with a dock neighbor.

scarlet 26-01-2018 09:15

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Terra Nova (Post 2563702)
This is why it seems to take so long.

We didn't know anything about remodeling a house either... We learned along the way. One of the things we learned is that someone who LOVES the home they live in, will always do a better job than a professional, because they actually care about the end product. (we've had horrible experience with contractors)

I'm totally "type A", and I have to have everything completely organized and planned out before we even remove the first piece of molding.. I usually spend the vast majority of the time in the preplanning phase. So, that when we went to work there were very few, if any surprises.

What Skipmac said above about nothing being square really makes a lot of sense...that would intimidate me, for sure....

2big2small 26-01-2018 09:18

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Not to mention you need specialised parts that aren’t to be found in run of the mill hardware stores and that even shipchandlers have to order in, or you have to have them custom made...

dwedeking2 26-01-2018 09:18

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scarlet (Post 2563710)
I'm totally "type A", and I have to have everything completely organized and planned out before we even remove the first piece of molding.. I usually spend the vast majority of the time in the preplanning phase. So, that when we went to work there were very few, if any surprises.

The problem with some of these older boats if they've gone through a few previous owners or didn't have a standard internal build (the hulls were sold to be built out by the new owner) so you always run into suprises.

Cheechako 26-01-2018 09:45

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
-The boat is not at your house, it's inconvenient, measuring etc is never perfect, you always forget to take one thing to the boat.
-Each project on a boat ends up revealing two other problems, which must be fixed prior to the original problem you were fixing.
-What you do on a boat matters for safety. You can slap drywall in a room and no one is going to die, or the drywall finisher will cover up the largest gaps.
-Acquiring materials for a boat build or rebuild takes a ton of time. Which type of hose? Is that hose flexible enough? Is it too flexible? Crap... that big bilge pump is too big to go to the bilge bottom with the hose attached! etc etc etc.
-For the boat's I've rebuilt, I would say I spent more time acquiring and researching materials than actually doing.
-Nothing is square or cubic on a boat. Even the rise of the bottom from keel to the turn of the bilge can be a problem you missed when you decided to add that refrigeration unit under the sink.

Panope 26-01-2018 09:46

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
In addition to skipmac's (6) reasons, I'll add that structurally a house is much simpler because it does not have to cope with motion, the impact of waves, and rig stresses.

Also, a house does not have to lightweight so materials that are easy to install but are heavy (concrete, stone, drywall) can be used.

Lastly, a house needs much simpler water proofing. House roofs do not need to be walked on regularly and have few penetratios. Home windows only need simple flashing but boat portholes need to be completely water tight etc.

Steve

skipmac 26-01-2018 09:49

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Yes. What I said plus all this too!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwedeking2 (Post 2563709)
My list of reasons:

1) There is always one gawdamn bolt that you a) can't get to, b) cant' get a tool to, c) is rusted/corroded/stripped.

So you have to beat, heat, grind and curse and then it breaks off and you have to drill it out OR worse you damage whatever the bolt was in and have to replace that as well

2) Every project leads into a, up until then, unknown project.

Oh yea.

3) "I'll just replace xyz". Which turns into removing 4 cabinets, a refridgerator, and the transmission to get to that one bold (see point 1).

Someday when I've got a few hours that I don't need I'll write up my new refrigerator project.

The biggest issues I run into are because I work Monday - Friday. The weather will be great all week, then turn crappy Friday afternoon so I can't do the project I had planned. I mis-plan and spend too much time running around on my free day collecting tools and supplies vs actually working. Lazyitis- it's easy on a sunny saturday afternoon to grab a beer and wind up shooting the **** with a dock neighbor.

Here's one classic example of a really minor, simple boat project.

Wanted to replace the hoses in my fresh water system as some were black, nasty and full of evil looking mold algae or something that was certainly unhealthy. All went well until I got down to the pickup hose inside the water tank.

The tank has a double ended hose barb glassed into the top. A hose fits on the outside barb to the pump, another hose fits on the inside barb down to the bottom of the tank for pickup. Tank has a 6" inspection plate on top right next to the barbs.

Reach in and feel the barb, standard hose clamp on a hose setup. No problem, get a nut driver and by touch loosen the clamp and slide it down. Hose stuck so reach in with a box cutter and by touch slice the hose and the end pops right off. Easy, job, no problem. WRONG.

I pull the hose and it won't come. I pull harder, nothing. Not enough room to hold a light and still get my eye to the hole so rig a flashlight bulb on a wire and drop it in so I can see. Hose goes under a little arch shaped loop glassed onto the bottom of the tank (I guess to hold the hose down and keep it from floating/flopping around) and there's something keeping it from coming under the loop. Learned later it was a bronze check valve on the end of the hose.

Ok if I pull hard enough something will give so let's apply more force. Tied a line to the hose and ran it out the inspection hole and pulled and pulled and pulled. Then yanked and jerked. Nothing. Got a couple of friends and repeated the process. Still nothing.

Next idea, more force will certainly do it. Rigged a block in the cabin, ran the line out of the tank, around the block, out the companionway to a sheet winch. Crank down and NO. Cranked down until the line was tight as a bow string and I was afraid it would let go and still nothing. %$#%##$%^@$!!!!!!!

Next idea. Break the arched loop. Got a king sized crowbar into the tank, laid sideways on the floor with one arm all the way in the tank and by touch and feel started wacking the loop. After a few hours of this over a couple of days I was pretty sure the damn thing was made of titanium and through bolted to the bottom of the keel. At this point I also find that there's a second loop a foot or so back from the first.

Next idea, pull the hose out backwards. Made a loop in a line and after a couple of hours (all by touch and guess since I can't reach in the hole and look in the hole at the same time) I finally lasso the end of the hose around the check valve and pull on that but that won't budge. Couldn't see what was happening due to the angle so got a mirror on a handle and stuck it into the hole (along with my light bulb on a wire) to discover the other loop is about 3" from the aft wall of the tank with a 2 1/2" check valve leaving about 1/2" for the hose/valve to bend up and pull out.

By now I've spent at over 30 hours over several evenings and weekends working on a five minute job. #%^$#%^#$%^!!@!!! Time to let that go and get something done that actually works.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. I'm in Home Depot garden tools department getting a new shovel and I notice an odd looking tree limb trimmer. Looked closer and see it has an articulating head on it and a string actuated jaw. Slowly a light bulb brightens over the top of my head (just like in the cartoons). Maybe, just maybe. Grab the trimmer and headed to the boat. Set the angle of the cutting head, reached it into the hole and (again by touch and feel) got it on the hose behind the second loop but ahead of the check valve and SNIP. Five minutes and I was done.

So, that's why boat rebuilds take so long.

Artif 26-01-2018 09:54

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
Putting up a shelf in house involves a level and a screwdriver (10 minutes).
Try it in a boat that isn't level (floating) and doesn't have a straight line in sight, you'll be lucky if you could explain how to do it in 10 minutes.:biggrin:

Badsanta 26-01-2018 10:09

Re: Refit...Why So Slow?
 
There is no just one thing. To do that one thing you will find at the least 4 things you have to complete first before you finish that just one thing. But each other item will also need 4 things first and each other needs 4. You can do just one, but it will not be safe, proper or compleat.
Ex; you go to fix an electrical connection, need one spade crimp. You either lost your crimper or it's too rusted to work. You go to the store for another, then drop your only crimp. Back to store. Now you find the wire is black and corroded, back to store. Now you have crimpers crimp and wire, bit it's the switch this time, back to store, then find switch is a different hole size and back to store, now where did I put that $60 crimper. I'm going to lunch. It adds up. I have lost so many tools. I measure and remeasure and still get the wrong part.
I've finally figured out that no matter how good a deal a part is, don't buy it unless you absolutely know it's right. No guessing.


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