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Old 07-09-2013, 04:02 PM   #21
City: Seattle
Country: US
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,142
Kevin-you could make a fortune if you developed a "boat fix" app!

Spraygun-my experience is owner's knowledge of his boat is inversely proportional to boat size. But then again, it is probably a function of wealth-if you can afford a $5M boat, you can afford to have someone else do the work.

Also, once beyond a certain point, I am not so sure that complexity increases that much with boat size. Past 38-40 feet or so, virtually all boats have the same or similar systems, just on a different scale. The operating and functional theories are the same. A 154 HP JD as we have generally operates on the same principles as a 2,500 HP MTU and has the same maintenance issues.

In my experience, organization of all the info surrounding the systems is a huge headache. We have decided to use a service to do that for us-Vessel Vanguard. We have had it for about a year and have been quite pleased with it. The setup is a bit expensive, $600 or so, but the annual cost is reasonable, around $200. I have access online to every manual, operating and repair. for every single piece of equipment on board. It keeps track of warranties, maintenance intervals (and notifies me), equipment lists with serial #s and the like, completed maintenance logs. They have significantly reduced the huge stack of paper on the boat. As an aside, I have no connection with them, just a pretty satisfied customer.

As to learning, as many have suggested, you can find qualified folks who will help you out, either because they like to or for pay. For me, I paid a local JD mechanic to spend two days with me going over everything engine and fuel related. It was well worth the cost.

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Old 07-09-2013, 04:59 PM   #22
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Sounds like it's not much different than with their cars, when's the last time you saw someone check their oil at the gas station?

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Old 07-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #23
City: Carefree, Arizona
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Vessel Model: DeFever 48
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Originally Posted by Spraygun View Post
I met a couple of fellows that both have fuel polishers on board and have no idea how to use them..
Based upon what I have read and heard over the years, not understanding the mysticism surrounding many on-board polishing systems is quite common. Especially when using magnets to remove sludge from tank walls and paper towel fuel filters as part of the recipe.

If you attempted to explain the whys, piping and pumping schemes that are touted by many out there, no wonder the fellows may have seemed confused.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #24
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It's amazing what we cause ourselves and find out the hard way! Last Friday I left for a cruise and the auto pilot alarm went off with a message on the screen that said "not recieving compass signal". The prior weekend I was straightening up my spare part and tool storage area underneath the steps to the forward stateroom and placed a package of spare flashlight batteries in the back of the compartment under a black plastic box bolted to the back of the stairs. I now know where my electronic compass for my AP is!!! Moved the batteries and now it works!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:04 PM   #25
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I know what your sayin there. We had our boat for almost a year.And we were still finding nooks and crannies full of goodies. I was messaging someone earlier today. We were discussing hoping to find a boat with owners manuals and technical data. I told the person we looked at boats for a year before we have the one we have now. The day we opened the boat up it was very clean we started going through and found a couple of binders full of the original sales brochure and manual and schematics etc. Every piece of equipment that was added to the boat since 1984 was still on the boat. We knew that person cared. So that was the boat for us. Unfortunately the broker botched up the deal, so we were never able to meet the owner.Now we have about seven binders for the next folks.All neatly organized with plastic sleeves.

Sent from my Galaxy SIII using speech to some words may not be perfect.but it's easier.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:19 AM   #26
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"It's just the bigger the boat the bigger the pieces."

So what , the maintof a 1/2 inch sea cock is identical to a 2 inch.

Pumping 6 gal of oil instead of 6 quarts , is hardly hard.

The usual hassle with bigger boats is more volume frequently means many more complex systems installed.

KISS,,,,and a "big" boat is as easy to maintain as a smaller boat.

Load it up with "necessities" or desirements and the work load goes way up!
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #27
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City: Cape Cod, MA
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Vessel Model: Friday Island Ferry 32
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I am in the process of building my boat now, I am 5 years and perhaps 60% done witha 32' Friday Island Ferry design. From the beginning my thinking has been that I want nothing abord that I cannot fix or repalce myself with either spare parts inventory or easily avaliable parts. That means some things are perhaps more basic than they would be in a production boat however I do have full standing headroom in the engine room. I am all in fovor of technology if it is used to "keep it simple" like the C-zone electrical distibution system but not technology for the " gee-whiz" factor.
I have not done everything myself, I have an excellent marine mechanic who comes in and works with me when needed and a great electrical engineer who is designing and specing the system, I will run the wire and he will come and inspect and do the final hook ups. However I will know this boat stem to stern.
The only mayor problem with this thinking is that when something goes wrong I will have no one to blame but myself.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:04 PM   #28
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Rvanvoris: Any pictures to post? Systems and or boat.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #29
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Pictures of 32' Friday Island Ferry build

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overall from Starboard quarter 2 months ago
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Interior looking forward
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View from the bow
engine room

Hope you can see tese images, thanks for your interest.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #30
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I bought a Hull and engine.
Every system on board I installed myself. and like my signature says.

If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat.

If something isn't working I know what is wrong. I don't have to sit and scratch my head trying to figure it out.

I think the best thing to do is get in there and get your hands dirty. Trace everything from start to end.

You can't just play with the boat all the time.
Gotta have down time to work on things.

If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #31
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This is why I've crossed to the Bahamas at least 40 times in the past 50 years in my boat without a " buddy boat " - I know my boat , its condition, it's systems and if need be, I can fix them - I don't know " crap " about my buddy's boat and in most cases, nether does he !
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:47 AM   #32
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I have always been the type who needs to pull things apart to see how they work. When I first got by boat I squeezed my body into every tight little crawl space I could to follow the cooling system, the wiring, steering controls, fuel lines, fresh water system, all thru hulls, drains, etc until I had a basic understanding my boat.
There is no way I could take her out to sea, and not know what is under me.

I try to do all maintenance myself - sometimes to my detriment the first time. Once I completely understand how it works, then I am more likely to hire a mechanic to do it for me.

Still - I have heard of people who have crossed the Pacific without knowing how to tighten their rudder shaft packing (and lived).

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