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Old 08-30-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
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Owners Manuals

I'm curious to know from those owners who recently purchased a new boat what type of owns manual they received and from what builder? I'm not talking about a box of equipment manuals but rather an owners manual developed for your boat. What are thoughts on the manual you received?

Thank you

John T.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:20 AM   #2
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Mainship produces (or used to produce) owners manuals for their boats that are mostly worthless. The plumbing diagram is usually decent, but plumbing is something that you can follow your nose and figure out.

Often systems are described in generic terms and not specific for that boat.

Electrical diagrams are cartoonish. No point to point wiring runs shown. Mostly just the location of the appliances.

David
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:55 PM   #3
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I've seen some decent manuals on even the older Tollycrafts. The electrical was good enough we were able to follow it to find a problem, except of course for owner changes.

Things may be better now but I think if you expect a truly good manual you need to ask the builder/owner to see what they have.

My own boat is simply all the equipment manuals from when new. I've added and subtracted as I've changed things.

One thing I am slowly catching up on is the electrical. There were no dwgs. at all and of course for years I didn;t help. Things will be better for a next owner but it will take a lot of time to catch it all up.

So ask to see what is available.

I've also seen some "manuals' that were a waste of good paper, even on new.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:22 PM   #4
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When we bought our 1973 boat it came with the manual for every piece of equipment on board including the boat itself. The boat's manual is pretty good, but one has to remember it was created in 1973. Back then they gave you just enough information to operate the thing, and that was it. There are electrical schematics and useful specs like the load limit for the mast an boom and things, but very little information that one would want if one had to repair something.

When I got checked out in the deHavilland Beaver back in the early 80s, I bought a copy of the plane's operations manual. It was written in the late 40s, and it's about 50 pages long with a few supplemental tables and graphs. The last aircraft owner's manual I got was for a 1981 Cessna 180 Skywagon. That manual is over 200 pages.

I suspect it's the same with boat manuals. I've not looked at a newer Grand Banks owners manual--- there are some on the GB owners forum--- but I suspect they provide much more information than they provided in the past.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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On a stock sport boat, our boat manual is very small and says very little. Mostly things like cleaning the various materials and the hull warranty. It's obvious they assume the massive collection of equipment manuals is enough.

On a semi-custom we got both digital and bound a huge collection of information from the builder. We have every diagram they worked from. Electrical, plumbing, waste. Full detailed specs and blueprints. Every product listed, every material. But then we had that from the start of production. Part numbers, specific wire used. There is also extensive troubleshooting information as well as warnings and instructions in the event of various emergency events including things like running hard into a rock bank and compromising the bow or across something and ripping the running gear out. Some of the detail is surprising. Simple things like how to get the life raft down and launch it. While the basics are things they've done often in building 40+ of the model, it also includes details like furniture, mattresses (which we selected through our vendor), even the China pattern and vendor. Even though we have manuals for appliances, the master documents do show the equipment model and serial numbers and manufacturer.

I guess if I'm buying a stock boat at a modest prices I'm satisfied with one level even though I think they should provide more. But if it's custom and more expensive then they need detailed specs to build it, so provide me that information plus some.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
When I got checked out in the deHavilland Beaver back in the early 80s, I bought a copy of the plane's operations manual. It was written in the late 40s, and it's about 50 pages long with a few supplemental tables and graphs. The last aircraft owner's manual I got was for a 1981 Cessna 180 Skywagon. That manual is over 200 pages.
Funny you mentioned an airplane manual as the builder that provided us the very extensive one is a builder that uses very Boeing like manufacturing systems, basically modeling themselves after Boeing.
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Funny you mentioned an airplane manual as the builder that provided us the very extensive one is a builder that uses very Boeing like manufacturing systems, basically modeling themselves after Boeing.

Back in the '80s when an airline took delivery of a plane from us, part of the delivery/final signing "event" was at some point a bunch of women would troop in carrying big cardboard boxes. These were the operations and maintenance manuals for the plane. There were dozens of them and they would fill the racks the width and height of the rear door of a small ramp truck.

When I was supporting the 777 program I acquired the operations manuals for the 777. As I recall (they're stored away somewhere) it consisted of five or six smallish but thick. three-ring books.

Today, if an airline is given anything, it's a set of CDs or DVDs that have all the maintenance material on them. Everything has gone digital, to the point where at more and more airlines mechanics get on a plane with an iPad which links to the airplane's on-board fault isolation and reporting system and the airline's central maintenance computer.

I wonder if the high-end boat builders like Fleming and Nordhavn and Grand Banks have gone this route? You get a disk or a Flashdrive of some sort with the operator's manual on it.

Our Range Rover came with a very good and thorough owner's manual, and it also came with a VHS tape that showed you how to drive it in all sorts of conditions from wet roads to snow to full-bore off-road. I would think the ability today to imbed videos in almost any sort of digital presentation would be a real boon to the folks who create operations and maintenance manuals for boats, cars, you name it.
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