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Old 04-26-2019, 08:36 PM   #1
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The “Full-Service” approach.

In my six years of ownership of Phoenix Hunter, I’ve met many fine people on the water. It’s not unusual to be invited aboard many very fine boats for a happy hour in some nice remote anchorage somewhere. And we all have the same view in the anchorage. I must say, I don’t really suffer from boat envy. I’m very happy with the one I have. But...

As I’m toiling away on PH, getting ready for the summer journeys, working on Brightwork, bottom paint sanding, cut polishing, waxing and generally dealing with the “Holy Shit how did that happen”, I must say I’m truly jealous of those who can afford to just let the full service yard deal with all of this @#*%!

Just had to vent!

Jim
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:43 PM   #2
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Ya, but you notice "things" while you're doing the work and will care enough to attend to them before they become bigger problems.

Scooter & Bubbles will break down somewhere and have to rush to get makeup on and press trousers before a tow company arrives
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:30 PM   #3
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Yes, I would rather have paid to get the teak decks recaulked and refinished on our sundeck, however the 200 plus hours I have into it would have broken the bank. However the boat is now ready for launch next Tuesday so I guess it was worth 2 painful knees and a sore back...
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:04 AM   #4
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I have discovered that there is a fine line between

"okay, must fix/clean/build that now"

and

"let's spend all our time on repairs, cleaning & improvements and NOT go cruising."

Cheers,
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:36 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. JD. I know the feeling well. I ALSO know the feeling when I spend/waste $$ for a "technician" to do a half a$$ed repair I could have done myself. BIG difference IF the job is done correctly, in which case it is $$ well spent.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:17 AM   #6
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I keep a running list for the professionals throughout the season, however I also keep a list of stuff I will do - either at the end of the season of as we cruise. The list is one which gives a nod to my abilities and willingness.

There are just things I know I don't have the knowledge or skill to do - electrical for one, fiberglass for another. There are also things that I know will take me multiple times longer than the professional because, even though I have the ability to do it, I am not as skilled or don't have the perfect tools for the job. So instead of me taking two days to do a job, and probably redoing it, I will pay him the two hours to do it right the first time.
Other stuff, like fixing the Vacufush, keeping the brightwork bright, replacing light fixtures, replacing speakers etc., I can do, and do.

Off Season Projects – 2019 | AtAnchor.com
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:35 AM   #7
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Satisfaction.
I get this when I do the work, it's done to level that I want, and should I need to execute a repair while cruising, I can because I have been through it before. If you cruise a fair amount, sooner or later things break and need to be repaired.

That said, I know there are jobs that I don't do well, appreciate the quality others do (painting comes to mind), and recognize those jobs will need to be paid to be done.

Finally, I'm OCD, and want the quality of components and accessory items that I want. It truly drives me nuts when I pay to have work done, and have poor quality accessories such as hose clamps, cable and hose hangers, or just sloppy workmanship as part of an over priced job.

So, like the OP, I try to do most of the repair work myself.

Ted
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:00 AM   #8
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Last week I had a very good mechanic change out both engine impellers, hydronic circulating pump and generator exhaust elbow. All done on a PM basis, no failures. It took him 4 hours including the other inspections and BS time we did together. I was busy doing other boat chores.

Yes I could have done all he did, with less skill and efficiency in triple the overall time. Amazing what a good mechanic with the right tools can accomplish. Plus he is 35 years younger and more agile. He is a wizard, our boat watcher and a good friend. Canadian exchange rate too.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:08 AM   #9
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I think a big portion of this hinges on how much time you have too. From my brief time on this forum I get the impression that many of you are retired and have all the time in the world. Lol. Im still in the middle of my career and time is precious to me. I don't mind paying to have things done on the boat as long as they're done correctly. The weekends go way too quick and I don't always wanna be working on the boat....Although this weekend I will be!
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Satisfaction.
I get this when I do the work, it's done to level that I want, and should I need to execute a repair while cruising, I can because I have been through it before. If you cruise a fair amount, sooner or later things break and need to be repaired.

That said, I know there are jobs that I don't do well, appreciate the quality others do (painting comes to mind), and recognize those jobs will need to be paid to be done.

Finally, I'm OCD, and want the quality of components and accessory items that I want. It truly drives me nuts when I pay to have work done, and have poor quality accessories such as hose clamps, cable and hose hangers, or just sloppy workmanship as part of an over priced job.

So, like the OP, I try to do most of the repair work myself.

Ted


This pretty much sums up my feelings on it.

I get great satisfaction from fixing stuff, so am always fixing something.

But there are more things to fix that I have hours in the day, and there are some things that I either hate doing, or totally suck at.

What drives me nuts is paying to have a poor job done, and more often than not, that’s what happens. However, I have found various people over the years in various trades who reliably do good work, and charge a reasonable rate. I’m delighted to hire them to help reduce the project pile, while I work in other things.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:31 PM   #11
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My problem with getting something done by anybody is that I would hardly be satisfied. I am rarely (almost never) satisfied by what I am doing myself, but I am the only one I can complain about. I don't feel any pleasure to argue with someone else over how things are done so I prefer to try to do things myself.
Of course, at one point I will need help for major work and surely competent folks will do it, but just to find someone I can trust enough to hand over the boat keys and go away while repair are done is a challenge to me.

L
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:43 PM   #12
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Good points,

Personally, if I knew the work hired out was always a good value and top quality, I'd hire it all done. However, sometime one can just do the job in the time it take to find a skilled person to do it, especially if it requires unknown things before the job is started. Like running an electrical line behind a wall that you don't know what's behind it. I'd rating take it apart myself and make the decision of how to run it after I know my options.

Bottom paint, I'll hire it out. However, I might hire my painters, supply the paint and oversee it. But I ain't gonna paint.

As for general maintenance, filters, oil changes, belts, etc., I could argue that we do this ourselves. Once one has done this a few times on their boat, they can usually do it faster than the mechanic can, and also eliminate scheduling, dealing with the mech, etc.

Very specialize stuff, like advanced electrical work, making a Bimini top, changing and engine, genny, or AC unit out, I'd most likely hire out.

And there's nothing wrong with hiring a guy for advise or to do part of the job, sometimes the most efficient. (I've found most mechanics will do this).

So.... it just depends.....
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:49 PM   #13
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Good points,

...Bottom paint, I'll hire it out. However, I might hire my painters, supply the paint and oversee it. But I ain't gonna paint...

So.... it just depends.....

Hmm! That’s what I’m preparing to do!
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:01 PM   #14
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Let me summarize a post I made on another thread. I do almost all of my own work.

To hire it out would easily double and in some cases triple the cost of any repair, replacement or maintenance and as others have wisely pointed out, I wouldn't be happy with the work they did.

So I do it myself or I get a simpler boat. I got a simpler boat.

I am going to haul out my Tiny Trawler for the summer season next week. I will do an oil and filter change and check the lube in the lower end. Those are the only two things that Yamaha requires every 100 hours. Probably will take an hour or two and all will be done standing up on dry land.

This is about one fourth of the routine annual work required for my previous Big Trawler. I must admit I don't miss winterizing here in SW Florida which was at least half of the work required in Connecticut and a lot of the aches and pains from crawling around in the bilge.

David
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:17 PM   #15
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I enjoy working on my boat almost as much as using it. It's a different type of enjoyment, but just as fulfilling. The bonus is that I get to know every inch of the boat intimately so if there are any problems while cruising, faultfinding is easy.

The tasks I've completed on this boat include full replacement of engine, gearbox, windlass, hot water tank, fuel tanks, cockpit hardtop, complete rewiring job, installation of solar panels, re-coring of foredeck, upgrading of instruments, plus regular maintenance and repairs.
The only work I farmed out over the past five years has been some repairs to the sails.

I do plan on getting someone else to do future bottom jobs on the boat. That is one job that does not give me any joy whatsoever.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:46 PM   #16
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The longer I own the boat the more comfortable I am with standard and basic maintenance. I am not very mechanical and do not have confidence in my work (it would probably be fine but why risk it). Therefore engine and electrical I write the check. I don't mind doing the bottom, in fact I might do a trade with a dock mate next year and do his in exchange for mechanical which he is a wiz at.

Bottom line it all comes down to my comfort zone and budget.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:48 PM   #17
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Hubby B: I think what amount of work you do yourself depends on several factors.

1. Your available time and other commitments
2. Your interest and skills in such work
3. Your financial situation and earning situation
4. How one got to where they are, childhood and work life.

I don't do any of the work. I get the full service approach, either by employees of ours or by third parties. I do the same on my house. I did the same when I was younger and poorer. That's the way we did things when I was growing up.

Growing up, my father didn't do them and I didn't. He worked. I went to school. He and my mother were business people and turned to other business people. No one in our family did anything mechanical, electrical, plumbing, carpentry. I developed no skills or interest. My father had an accounting practice and he could earn more per hour than a mechanic charged.

Wifey B: I grew up in poverty but certainly no mechanical issues or skills. Fortunately, owning a car, I could always afford getting someone to work on it. I was an exceptionally adept negotiator from 16 to 21 years old as well. I was lucky people would feel sorry for me. I hope I've repaid that to other young people on their own. I didn't get into boating until marrying hubby b and never had a need or interest in doing it myself. We'll help with washing it down, even have done the stainless and the teak but just occasional as a fun aside, not regularly or feeling driven to it.

I'm impressed by those of you who enjoy it and are good at it. However, if boating had to be DIY, we'd likely not be boaters. An hour or two helping with a good washdown goes a long ways and satisfies any craving for work I might have.

I have other passions to pursue instead of working on a boat. Things I'm truly passionate about. Now, also passionate about boating but not working on one.

There are many ways to be boaters. We each enjoy different aspects. Doesn't mean one way is better than another or one boater better than the other. While you're DIY'ing, I may well be pursuing some passion of mine.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:58 PM   #18
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Daughter and new boyfriend have been enlisted to help with some projects this year. I asked him first time we met if he had Diesel engine mechanic experience. No such luck. But he is more svelt than me so into the engine compartment he goes to change the zincs and other small projects.

She on the other hand is going to assist on some gelcoat repairs as she can expertly match the colors.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:33 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. In MY case there is a point #5 & #6 to add to your "factor" list. Finding skilled people to do the work AND still being physically able to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate oneself.

I hate to keep harping on the same thing but...


1. I'm retired and have few other commitments
2. Like other members, I quite enjoy working on boats. Not so much to save $$ but as mentioned, there IS a certain satisfaction in doing "stuff".
3. I have no problem with $$ spent on our boat. I'm NOT independently wealthy but have "enough".
4. I've pretty well always done "stuff" and my career was spent working with my hands so getting dirty is a non issue. I also enjoy the mental stimulation of problem solving. Any day I learn something new is NOT a lost day!



I would be ECSTATIC if I could find someone, ANYONE or any company that I could rely on to have work done in a competent, efficient manner. They would most CERTAINLY have my trade and $$.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:33 PM   #20
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My take on DIY vs 'full service' is having someone else acting as a 'general contractor' saves me from a ton of time spent babysitting subcontractors. Someone that knows which subs are reliable/available is absolutely worth it. Paying for this versus burning my time/sanity is trade-off I've learned is worth making.

That said, for some things on the cutting edge or involving my own very specific expectations... it's worth learning/doing enough for DIY. The gamble here is will I have enough time/patience to spin up a sufficient level of knowledge/skill vs babysitting/paying a subcontractor to make the attempt.

I'm grateful to be in a position to spend accordingly.
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