Thoughts of a new boat owner

Gludy

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OK - its been a few weeeks now since I have had my first boat in Swansea Marina. We have spent every weekend on her and I have listed every job I want to do. The only problem is that the job list grows every weekend, it never gets smaller.

Social life in Swansea is great, the boaters are very friendly and helpful but because we are there every weekend, all other social life has ceased!

I have been a very good boy and not taken her out yet - I am working through the boat putting lots of little things right. It is in doing this and discovering just how parts of the Marine industry works that I am amazed at how some parts of the industry just rip people off.

My boat was maintained by a volvo mechanic who was paid to see all aspects were ok. Yet I find that even the basics such as topping up the batteries were not done - result is two new batteries.I think the principle he worked on was to encourage things to go wrong and charge the bills.

The boat is OK, and once I have worked through the jobs I will have a good understanding of most of the vital aspects and be able to carry out first line maitainance. That will give me at least some experience before taking her out to sea.

I am, I think considered a coward, in the Marina for not going out each weekend but frankly, for me, I do need to get a good understanding of all the aspects of the boat and really enjoy doing it. This totally contrasts with DIY at home or my car - where it takes wild horses towing me to get me to do anything.

The rib and 6hp Mercury arrived a few moments before I left last weekend. I am glad of the advice of the forum because it is a very zippy boat indeed. I cannot imagine what it would have been like with a 25hp on her.

I am probably going to upgrade the chart plotter/radar/fishfinder to the new Raymarine daylight colour HSB system. Just saving up the pennys at present.

So despite having been nowhere in it, despite spending hundreds each week on many little things, despite the large number of things I have done wrong and had to learn from bitter experience .... I am enjoying it very much. Does that make me totally bonkers?

Ah, yes .. the better half ... she is now adopting after the first weekend on it which she described as the worst of her life and I think, is also enjoying it. She is well into buying little things for it like an electronic egg boiler and has laready changed all the bed covers etc to new smarter looking sets. She is also into doing lots of little things that, I have to admit, make the boat look better. In fact, I am bef=ggining to feel harrased when I have to open up the engine covers as it disturbs the 'look' of the saloon. So she has imposed new 'tidy rules' such as I can only work upon one job at a time and must clear up after each job before starting the next. The problem with that is that in starting a job I see others all around me that need to be done before I can properly finish that job - hence each job gtrows and more items end up on my to do list that I had when I started the job.

Anyway that is my progress report to date. I know I am totally mad but it appears I am not alone in that.



Paul
 

paulineb

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Your wife sounds like a woman after my own heart. I hate to see the boat in a mess and especially hate it when Mr B has to lift up the floor in the saloon. In most instances, he can access the engines through a door in the lazerette but on the occasions when he needs access from the top, I try to persuade him that 'it would be better all round if he found time during the week to do it' so I can arrive on a Friday after work to find everything ship shape and I can sit down for my first G&T of the weekend.

Pauline B
 
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Most boat owners only put about 100 hours a season onto the engines. As a Friday night to Sunday night weekend amounts to about say 50 hours, it is fairly obvious that most of the time spent afloat is spent tied to a pontoon/mooring somewhere. So don't worry too much about not going out. However, don't get yourself into a timid state of mind about taking her out. It ain't that hard and it strikes me that you've been pretty conscientious so far about learning the ropes. Get an experienced motor boater to take you out a couple of times and help you with handling training. There is a bit of an art to it but not too much and it is certainly reasonably quickly learnable.

In terms of how the boat will react to the engines being put in gear, I devised a simple model which helped my lads get it in their heads. Draw a plan view of a simple hull on a bit of card and cut same out. Get two pieces of wire in a sort of broad flattened U shape (can be done with opened out paper clips). Poke one vertical on each bit of wire through your card hull shape roughly where your props are. If you use the remaining vertical as a handle, then push and pulling the handles on a flat (desk?) surface simulates the thrust of the props and the card moves in almost the same way as the real thing will.

When you are approaching a pontoon in a cross wind with loads of spectators, its a handy little tool to envisage in your minds eye when thinking about what to do next!

Have fun

Nick
 

jfm

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Re: Plotters

Gludy, good to hear the update. Sounds good and I'm afraid completely normal. Come back to the BB before you spend big £ on Raymarine daylight plotter, there are some who would say "no no no you dont wanna buy that you wanna buy this..... !" IMHO. We can at least have a damn good argument about it!
 

Gludy

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Re: Plotters

That is just what I am going to do in a new thread!
I had another boat owner maintaining his engines last weekend - he showed me some intersting things which I was keenly interested in then promptly apologised to me for him being so keen! I told him to assume I know nothing and that far from treading on ego I encouraged advice. As far as I am concerned I know nothing - even in a dispute I prefer to be wrong because that way I learn - if I am right I learn nothing!
My ego level on this is zilch. I have none. I am an absolute beginner in a subject that I know zilch about. I love this because there is so much to learn. This does not mean that I accept all advice - I filter it, balance it and then form conclusions that I can always modify through experience or better advice.
I was out on a boat approaching a harbour in a low tode situation. As we approached the harbour the skipper went to the right of the channel marker bouys. Two buoys were there, one red, one green and they clearly marked the channel. I could not resist asking why this course outside the marker bouys was chosen and was promptly told that the other boat - about half a mile to our starboard was not heading between them so it must be OK!! So one of my surprises is just how little prepared other beginners are before they launch out to sea.
I am taking a one to one skipper course on my own boat as soon as she is ready. I am not timid by nature, I just want to feel in control and have everything right - in fact, in my own terms know enough to know what I do not know before I take her out. In the meantime, I am enjoying every second (apart from the hole in my pocket) getting the boat ready.
It was advice from the members of this forum that was intrumental in my choice of boat and most of the major decisions since then.

Paul
 

Scubadoo

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Your just another mad boater like the rest of us and enjoy going out and fixing things.

The list will never end, you've really got to stop and take her out (the boat), the weather this weekend starting to look good with not much wind - why not go for a spin, I know I will even though I got jobs to do (that can wait until next weekend).

RM.
 
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Glad to hear your having a great time with the boat, how did you get on sorting out who did the scratch to the hull? in Port solent.

Regards

paul J S .
 

david_steward

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Re: Sounds Like...

You are doing just fine to me. It would help if some of the rag and stick brigade read some of your comments. Maybe it would show that not all PowerHeads simply sell their scrapyard and shell out 200k on a shiny plastic toy just to show off their beerbelly and trophy wife.

This excludes Colin & Byron of course:)

Keep ripping up those £50 notes with a smile.

Have you checked those exhaust elbows yet?

Both of mine dropped off within the first 5 months!!!

Good Luck.

Dave S
 
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Re: Sounds Like...

you're just like the rest of us. Spending a fortune. Don't EVER work out the cost per boating hour, you'll be crying for weeks. Next big hurdle is using it. Go on, if the weather looks good just a little cruise outside the harbour to get a feel for her.

Then you need a word with Dave Steward re your first X channel, he's THE MAN for this.

Or from where you are first Ireland trip. Haydn's done it loads of times and as long as you've got a VP mechanic nearby to fix the bits H breaks, I'm sure he'd be up for it.

Have fun.
 

Gludy

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Re: Sounds Like...

The exhaust elbows have had extra welding done on them. The cost of a pair of new ones is about £1400 - totally abusrd for two castings but hat is how it is. I am toying with the idea of having them fitted - the advice in this forum was if it works keave it alone. Is it inevtable that they will go? I really do not fancy them doing that on the way to Ireland. Advice welcome on this matter. What would you do?



Paul
 

Gludy

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Re: Sounds Like...

"Go on, if the weather looks good just a little cruise outside the harbour to get a feel for her" Very tempting words indeed ... but I need to fix things like the bilge pumps etc..... and the better half is totally opposed to an early venture out.
I cannot last much longer though. This weekend is a good forecast on weather and the tides are perfect .... should I?



Paul
 
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Re: YES YES YES

Don't tell her what your doing, just say oh we'll just pop round to the fuel berth 'cos I need to fill up to check this new Soltron stuff and oh dear the steerings gone all funny and we're heading out of the harbour entrance and oh isn't this nice dear, do you want a little drive and oh look at that over there oops the throttle's just slipped in my hand and cor this is terrific hang on tight darling it might be just a teensy bumpy for a second over this wave and isn't this fun and I think that's Ireland over there and if that helicopter pilot's not careful the man he's lowering down is going to end up on our deck and ....


Go on DO IT. Are you a man or a mouse....eek eek.
 

longjohnsilver

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Re: Sounds Like...

Surely fixing bilge pumps won't take that long. Go for it , give her a spin, you don't have to go too far or be too adventurous.

It will also do the engines and sterngear good to be used, as all the mechanics say it is far better to use the engines, that way they will last longer and should be more reliable. Also better now to find any problems which may need attention rather than start of the season when it can be frustrating to be sat there when you really want to be somewhere else.

There's nothing like being out on your own boat, nothing in the world to beat it. Go for it!!! You'll love it!!!!!!
 

Gludy

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Re: Sounds Like...

You konw ... as it happens ,,, the weather forecats for Saturday is great - the tide is such that the lock is in free flow ..... I am adding some Soltron to the tanks and they need filling to prevent condensation etc as well as mix the Soltron ..... I know the area having been out a few times now in other boats...... the boat alongside me has been taken out for the winter leaving me a lot more space in what otherwise is a tight berth .... the other half is coming around to it as well ...... so there go all the good intentions of being a good boy .... fate has destined that this Saturday or Sunday will be my first trip!

Paul
 

BarryD

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Re: Sounds Like...

Gludy - I hate to rain on your parade - but check your insurance (and pardon if this is a suck eggs situation) the policies I'm getting say I can only go out by myself if I'm RYA Day Skipper / Powerboat 1&2 qualified or have a competent / experienced other on board. This may not be applicable to you but you should at least be aware of it!

Having said that there is no definition of "competent / experienced" so SWHMBO would probably do. A grey area that I for one shall be exploiting!

Barry D.
 

Gludy

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Re: Sounds Like...

Thanks for the advice - I have just checked my policy and basically it states that the skipper must be suitably qualified or experienced. I cannot claim to be that until I complete my day skipper course ..... so I need to go out with such a person and they must have had no insurance claims on any boat within the last 5 years.

I reckon that there are a few folks there who would like to help me on this, so I still plan a trip on Sunday subject to finding such a person.

This is a very good point you made and I thank you for it.

Paul
 
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