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Date: 18 March 2015. Hiring Expertise.


Living aboard for a budget boater means we need to be able to fix a great variety of systems. It is impossible to stock everything needed for all contingencies though we do our best. I do have got a fairly decent tools inventory however there are times when I simply do not have the tools nor experience required to do a job properly.

Though I do have
Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4the Edition aboard there are times when I need outside help.

And all too often knowledge is lacking too. For proof positive of that, I remind myself that I chose that man I married. What was I thinking?!? But I digress...

As for paying for stuff you can do yourself? Well, we are not getting any younger and frankly knowledge is valuable. With effort we should be able to rent the tools or supervise muscles that can do the physically challenging work.

For instance, I am more than willing to paint the bottom of Seaweed. There is no way in Neptune I will ever sand the bottom of this boat. That is a filthy job and I won't do it.

But sometimes it is not the knowledge that is lacking. The willingness is there but the tools for the job are not. That happened to Daddy too, long ago. You see, we had blown a head gasket on that first diesel.

Side Note: I do not recall the original motor brand, but it was followed by a Perkins. The final was a Cummins. Over a span of nearly 50 years, three diesels is I suppose about right...

This is our boat, docked on Sister's Creek in Marathon, FL:

We needed to repair the blown head gasket. It was copper and at that time we did not have the welder required for the job. Buying new was not an option.

According to my opinionated Daddy, electricians are the slobs of the universe. That turns out to be a very good thing. You see, we went behind a shopping center and scrounged up lots of wire. Using a Buck knife I stripped out the wire.

And yes I still have that same knife. It's been sharpened a few times as you can well imagine.

In any event, after removing the coating from the wires we had enough copper for the job at hand.

Next we walked until we found an old garage. The owner would not do the job himself. Instead, he agreed to rent the use of his welder to my dad.

That fellow watched Daddy make the repair. When finished the shop owner refused payment. He said he had learned more than any fee would cover. Free. I was so proud of my Daddy.

How cool is that?

I am not saying every job will turn out like that particular head gasket repair. Being prepared to hire tools or expertise will not alter your testosterone level.

You still "have it" and if you are smart enough to hire someone to do the work? Well, good for you!

Do you rent expensive tools you only need for a once-in-a-blue-moon job?
Are you the sort that wants a double cabin boat so you'll have your own tool workshop afloat?

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2015, 2023

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