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Old 03-21-2015, 01:19 AM   #21
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Thanks.

And yes I have seen some engine schedules. Most of the boats I have surfed online were equipped with Perkins or Ford/Lehman. Diesels are a little foreign to me yet engine maintence isn't that foreign. In my opinion my current boat while there is some comparisions isn't in the same league as a vessel in the salt water all the time.

So for the most part the need is mostly about the engines and systems related to the engines?
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:10 AM   #22
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This is one of those difficult questions with no real answer. The boat you choose and about a thousand other variables need to go into the equation.

Currently you have no berth fees, bottom diving fees, dock electric meter fees, parts rotting in the saltwater, unprotected gelcoat getting baked in the sun, dirt cacking on your boat, seagull crap mess, canvas deteriorating, etc... You can also wash, wax, detail, load your provisions/clothes, charge batteries, change lubricants, make upgrades and do anything else you wish by stepping into your driveway or wherever you store it nearby.

Now you wish to buy a boat, store it 6 hours away and not do any maintenance and repairs(tinker with it) while the family is aboard. Sounds like you either hire it all out($$$$) or make an extra 12 hour round trip the weekend before to me. Forgot the 5/8" 6 point socket and 6" extension you need to tighten the motor mounts? Either buy new ones at Home Depot 17 miles from the boat or return to Arizona to get them off the drier where you left them. (Don't laugh but I've done that and live about an hour from the boat.) Hiring it all out is not that easy either, not every shop is reliable.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder with loved ones but not with a boat that never stops trying to revert back to the ecosystem. At the risk of piling on I'd recommend chartering until you are ready to go.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:16 AM   #23
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So for the most part the need is mostly about the engines and systems related to the engines?
Keeping the boat clean, decks, inside, and hull. Water systems. Fuel systems. Holding tanks. Heads. Bilge pumps. Batteries and electrical systems. Watermaker. Engines. Generators. Running equipment-shafts, props, seals. Tender if one. Anodes. Heating and Air. Steering. Autopilot. Nothing on a boat that doesn't require maintenance.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:23 AM   #24
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Yup. Not much difference of opinion on this one.

I live 20 minutes from my boat and often think - it would be so much easier if I was closer.
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:20 AM   #25
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I would look for dry storage. Storing an unused boat in the water is paying a premium price for something that isn't used and is even detrimental from a maintenance standpoint.

Second, I wouldn't do it anyway. Retire earlier or something, but don't chain yourself to this remote money pit.
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:27 AM   #26
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The more a boat is used the less maint will frequently be required .

One big hassle is most engine mfg have a very specific out of service procedure .

Some are detailed and require special fluids and an hour or two to do.

More commonly listed in the engine Service book than the owners hand book.

For many the protection is required if the unit will be out of service for over 30 days.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #27
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You might also be a good candidate for a C-Dory if you can abide the small cabin. Just tow it out and back with you, but you can also do Lake Powell for example.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:40 AM   #28
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A general "Rule of Thumb" is to assume 10% of the purchase price of the boat for annual costs (maintenance, moorage, insurance). I think we are probably right around that figure. Some suggest a higher figure of up to 20%. It depends on the age of the boat, current condition and how much of the work you, are prepared to do yourself. I find I spend about 3-4 days a week at the boat puttering about, just doing projects for 3-4 months before the cruising season. Ours is a 30-year-old vessel, that was well maintained, but "there's always bloody something" to do and worry about.

It's been a steep learning curve for me. I had zero knowledge of vessel systems before I bought this boat. Lots of well meaning admonishments from the cast and crew of this forum, nudging me along!


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Old 03-21-2015, 11:05 AM   #29
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So for the most part the need is mostly about the engines and systems related to the engines?

Don't know if I can quantify it as "most," but in any case there's also gensets, ACs, freshwater systems, raw water washdown systems, windlasses, electronics, heads, and everything else that suddenly decides to not work because it's been sitting idle.

For example, impellers can fail from non-use; they can sometimes just get brittle and die. Hoses can fail from non-use; haven't figured that out completely yet, but some stuff just seems to deteriorate if left unused.

Perhaps another way to think about is that you'll do exactly the same amount of maintenance you do now (multiplied to scale on a bigger boat -- by more engines, gensets, ACs other systems, whatever) PLUS a "bone idle" tax of additional maintenance you weren't expecting.

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Old 03-21-2015, 11:14 AM   #30
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Just ask a Captains that deliver boat for for a living and all the trouble you have when you run a boat that has sat for awhile. The first few day is all about living with out or fixing something thing.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:29 AM   #31
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Keeping the boat clean, decks, inside, and hull. Water systems. Fuel systems. Holding tanks. Heads. Bilge pumps. Batteries and electrical systems. Watermaker. Engines. Generators. Running equipment-shafts, props, seals. Tender if one. Anodes. Heating and Air. Steering. Autopilot.

Nothing on a boat that doesn't require maintenance.
Your last statement is a known for me.

Is there a schedule for freqency for the above or just as needed?

As specific you listed bilge pumps. Is there some service proceedure for a larger pump on a trawler or are you just saying keep it clean?

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Old 03-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #32
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Your last statement is a known for me.

Is there a schedule for freqency for the above or just as needed?

As specific you listed bilge pumps. Is there some service proceedure for a larger pump on a trawler or are you just saying keep it clean?

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I'm saying regularly check there's no water and the pump is in functioning condition. For me, that's someone checking the boat weekly. For others, it's less frequently. I'm aware of too many boats to develop a leak around a hull fitting and the bilge pumps not be in operable condition. And boats equipped with fairly strong back up emergency pumps but start leaking at sea and the pump not work.

Someone mentioned dry storage above and if the right size boat and facilities available it has definite advantages.

Something often overlooked is a boat kept tightly closed for extended periods in humid areas. Now, in Southern California you don't encounter that as much of a problem.

A part of what I'm attempting to describe is checking things and addressing any problems. The second part is regularly starting the engines and bringing them up to operating temperatures while checking everything out. (And I include generators when I speak of engines). The third part is regular maintenance that is typically required by hours or time and the average boater does it by time. Not unlike a car that sits. If we changed the oil in our cars by miles, we'd only change every couple of years. Our cars sit in our garage at home six weeks at a time. We do have someone who starts them every week and runs them periodically. And oil gets changed periodically even though it's barely been used. We'll probably be buying new tires at around 20,000 miles while the tread on the old ones looks like new. And replaced one battery after two years, got fewer than 8,000 miles out of it.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:46 PM   #33
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I appreciate the input. And the dialog about periodically and regular maintence based on time.

What I am getting little of and really want is specific proceedures at specific intervals. You state, "The third part is regular maintenance that is typically required by hours or time and the average boater does it by time" And I still don't know what that is. Barring your statements above about engines. And we can set engines aside because I have enough data outside of this forum regarding engines, specifically marine diesel engines both running and generating, to formalate what I seek.

It is those other regular maintence items you mentioned needed based on time that I feel are important and Ihave so little input on it. It seems based on the posts that everyone does those things on a random basis when ever they are on their vessel. I would have thought that there are printed schedules either recommended or created based on needs. It would seem to me that a vessel that is this expensive and complex (as compared to a car or light truck) would have all kinds of charts, logs or scheduels that require inspection/actio or replacement at given time intervals. In the auto industry I can refer some one to pages and pages of schedules based on year make and model. And as you pointed out above these schedules are based on time OR mileage (use) which ever comes first.

My Wellcraft is kind of the same way there isn't a schedule to do things other than season opening and closing and annually. It is really a poor manual that I got with my boat. I would have thought for the expense there would have been something more specific with this kind of vessel.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:57 PM   #34
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I appreciate the input. And the dialog about periodically and regular maintence based on time.

What I am getting little of and really want is specific proceedures at specific intervals. You state, "The third part is regular maintenance that is typically required by hours or time and the average boater does it by time" And I still don't know what that is. Barring your statements above about engines. And we can set engines aside because I have enough data outside of this forum regarding engines, specifically marine diesel engines both running and generating, to formalate what I seek.

It is those other regular maintence items you mentioned needed based on time that I feel are important and Ihave so little input on it. It seems based on the posts that everyone does those things on a random basis when ever they are on their vessel. I would have thought that there are printed schedules either recommended or created based on needs. It would seem to me that a vessel that is this expensive and complex (as compared to a car or light truck) would have all kinds of charts, logs or scheduels that require inspection/actio or replacement at given time intervals. In the auto industry I can refer some one to pages and pages of schedules based on year make and model. And as you pointed out above these schedules are based on time OR mileage (use) which ever comes first.

My Wellcraft is kind of the same way there isn't a schedule to do things other than season opening and closing and annually. It is really a poor manual that I got with my boat. I would have thought for the expense there would have been something more specific with this kind of vessel.
I give up. I'm clearly failing to deliver what you want. Someone else can try. I told you things I'd check weekly, gave you other information. And you keep comparing it to a car, well I haven't seen a car owners manual yet that tells you how frequently to wash the car, to wax the car, to clean the upholstery, to paint the car. My auto owner's manual doesn't tell me when to change the battery. It covers mainly the engine and a couple of other things like the brakes. If you decide to follow through with this you should select a management company where the boat is located and work out with them their frequency. But they cannot tell you when a bilge pump will need replacing. All they can tell you is how frequently they'll check. They'll let you know when it needs replacing. You don't have the boat, no one can give you a detailed schedule of an unknown, only generalities. When you get a boat with actual equipment, the manufacturers' websites for all that equipment will have owner's manuals and maintenance recommendations.

I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know any further way to answer.
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:15 PM   #35
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My Wellcraft is kind of the same way there isn't a schedule to do things other than season opening and closing and annually. It is really a poor manual that I got with my boat. I would have thought for the expense there would have been something more specific with this kind of vessel.

Based upon you stating the boats you are looking at have Perkins and Lehman engines(nothing wrong with them at all) prepare to be disappointed in the owners manual area. Most of them will not have one and IF they do it won't be any better than the one on your Wellcraft.

The only exception might be found in Carver yachts. Baker at this forum purchased a Carver a year or so ago and stated that his came with a reasonably complete one. Not too many Carvers will be found with Perkins or Lehman's though.

Specifically, what kind of boat are you looking for?
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:17 PM   #36
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Sounds like you need to talk to someone with a dock queen that's maintained in perfect condition. Personally, I've never seen or heard of one. All the boats I'm familiar with that are properly maintained are operated and enjoyed regularly.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:11 PM   #37
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Action: Though the well-thought out advice you've received does not meet your needs, please recognize that for those of us "in the trenches" ... well, we have seen all too many absentee owners and the eventual derelicts that ensue. It happens, even to those with the best of intentions.

You want to buy the boat and keep her in usable condition from afar: That happens too. And it is not inexpensive. So, consult management companies in the area you're planning to leave your new acquisition. They will be able to give you a general idea of their solutions for distant owners.

Routine includes everything from simple checks on the bilge pumps (I do that weekly and live aboard so I'm right here) and I've had one fail. Okay, the doggone thing ran however the impeller was shot and it did not pump water. Not good.

Also, fire extinguishers (are they in the green?)
Each week I use every outlet on the boat -- when one quits I find out why.

In the bilge I check for anything out of place/odd. A couple days ago I noticed a bit of green on the wind genny wiring -- fixed it.
I run through a tank of water every 5 to 7 days therefore my system is flushed. However monthly I add h2O2 to keep everything fresh. Still, I'm about due to replace the hoses in my system.

The whole house, er boat, filter needs replacement every three months.

Monthly I separate out my batteries (individually) and check they hold a charge (by placing a load on the batt to see how far down it goes and how quickly, plus how fast it recovers after the load is removed)

And

The power cord (I'm docked for the engine swap) is removed, corrosion/dielectric grease is sprayed in the female ends and replaced.

The doggone skylight in the pilothouse leaks. Discovered that the last time it rained. Lovely -- nothing "wrong" and no maintenance issue. It simply started leaking. If I were six hours away this is an issue that would be discovered at some point, but I'm not sure when.

The screens are deteriorating -- need replacement
My 12-volt Orek vacuum just died. No reason -- darn thing won't work though.
The drill died a couple or three weeks ago. That one was old age.

I'm here and every single day I do something for my home -- it might be as simple as wiping down a bulkhead (grime, or mildew when it's damp and the windows are open)

If you want to enjoy a new bigger boat, take the advice offered by BandB and others: charter until you're ready to use her.

Or, hire a professional team to take care of your vessel and have her always shipshape and ready to use. That's what the big guys do. They have paid staff (captain and crew) who take care of the boat for the absentee owners. Those boats generally are larger, but very nicely maintained.

Otherwise you can count on, depend upon, and rely on the fact that your boat will deteriorate. And please know I like folks who boat -- they are the most fun ever. However all too often I see boats bought for the long term and goals change.

What you find wrong with your boat today and want to replace with that bigger boat will change in the coming years. That's nature. I know no one who lives a static life. You might want a fly bridge today. And next year a bout of skin cancer will say "no more fly bridges for you Sonny" so your needs change.

The go-fast fishing boat might be perfect today, but in five years when that w-o-r-k thing is over you might like life at six knots. Or the reverse might be true.

Until you are ready to use your boat on a more frequent basis you would be FAR BETTER off to charter. The experience you gain in trying for a week or three a variety of boats is far more valuable to you than any advice we on this forum might offer to you.

Those charters will solidify the type of boat you want. But don't be surprised that after a dozen charters you'll have gone through at least 8 different boat wishes for The One.

I wish you well and realize that this answer is probably just as unsatisfactory as the good advice you've been offered before. I am not trying to rain on your parade. I am offering the words of experience from one who lives aboard and sees the results of choices others have made. Some wise, and many not-so-smart.

To you and yours Action, all the best.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:59 PM   #38
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This whoole maintenance thing is missing a big concept.

My engine and generator maintenance amounts to a couple days labor at the most a year.

Its all the oother stuff. The door rollers that if you don't lube them have issues. The little leaks that all boats get. The plumbing systems, the macerator pump that won't work if you don't use it. The shower sump pump that gets soapy and needs cleaning out.

A zillion little things.

I spend several weeks a year, a day or two at a time maintaining all the little things.

Now, if you buy a new boat you will have a honeymoon period on allot of this stuff, but I dont think thats your market.

I do not have a problem with your distance to your boat. What I have a challenge with is that if your expectation is to show up a few times a year with ther wife and kiddies and all will be OK, think again. Or plan on having huge maintenance biills, and or a partly functional boat at any given time.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:25 AM   #39
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Don't forget the critters. There will be small ones (and plants!) attacking your underwater surfaces 24x7. And birds pooping on your decks, maybe even nesting if you're not around. Don't forget the insects - spider droppings on your gel coat and various nesting insects in your vents. And maybe a muskrat munching on your waterline exhaust. Or, heaven forbid, maybe a rat finds it's way aboard.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:03 AM   #40
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What I am getting little of and really want is specific proceedures at specific intervals. You state, "The third part is regular maintenance that is typically required by hours or time and the average boater does it by time" And I still don't know what that is.

It is those other regular maintence items you mentioned needed based on time that I feel are important and Ihave so little input on it. It seems based on the posts that everyone does those things on a random basis when ever they are on their vessel. I would have thought that there are printed schedules either recommended or created based on needs. It would seem to me that a vessel that is this expensive and complex (as compared to a car or light truck) would have all kinds of charts, logs or scheduels that require inspection/actio or replacement at given time intervals.

On that documentation thing, not so much. But everyone here really is trying to help.

Our boat documentation may be typical of relatively recent deliveries: a decent operator's manual (with physical and electrical schematics) produced by the boatbuilder, and then a briefcase full of individual systems manuals for everything else they installed. The engines, the genset, the battery charger, the ACs, the bilge pumps, the freshwater pump, the raw water pump, the cooktop, the microwave/convection oven, the coffeemaker, the faucets, the showerhead, the inside sound system, the outside sound system, the tank gauges, the electronics (each individual component), yaddy yaddy yadda...

All these latter manuals are from the system manufacturers, and these days its not too difficult to recreate all that in softcopy. Given that all of us likely don't have the same internal systems, it's not easy to come up with a blanket schedule that would apply to all boats of a certain class.

Other than what OB and psn and others have tried to describe.

I can tell you I do daily checks of almost everything in sight, when aboard. Sometimes the check are cursory; for example, if the freshwater system works at the faucet when I make coffee, and the pump's not running on, good to go. Today. Probably. And so forth. But if something needs fixing, I fix it... either immediately or as soon as possible after ordering parts/tools. And using the freshwater example, just 'cause I "checked" it today, that doesn't mean a fitting might not work loose tomorrow.

OB mentions running engines up to temps; ours won't hardly get there, idling at the doc. So doing that means taking a nice little river cruise, weekly, at the very least. Which in turn also holds down bottom growth...

And I do that with the genset running and a load on, so it gets a workout too.

-Chris
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