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Date: 29 February 2016. Three Keys When Hiring.



Last week I spent in my bunk. What is worse, I was even too sick to read. It all started with some sneezing. Sunday night began a dry hacking cough. You would have thought I was one of those crusty smokers. In any event I don't remember Monday at all and a week later am coming up for air.

This time I did what the experts suggest:
Drink plenty of fluids, plus lots of rest.

I slept a lot. I am finally feeling less woozy. It was rather shocking to realize that I would not get better in two or three days as I had fully expected at inception. Such is life after the half-century mark. Argh.

On the other hand, I am living on a boat in Florida. Even under the weather, the view is still awesome. Today I am finally sitting up enjoying it, along with a cup of Almond tea gifted to me by a friend. Thanks Cheryl.

Back in 2015 in the
Hiring Expertise article I suggested we not be afraid to hire either tools or workers for our boat jobs. I will admit to an affinity to tools. I have lots, however I do not generally have the larger sizes needed for some projects.


My preference is to use my own tools. They are suited to my hand size which is smaller. I am already familiar with their characteristics and quirks as I've covered the learning curve on previous projects. That is always the best policy.

Sometimes I do not have what is required. Being able to borrow what is needed is great. It's a real money saver especially for one-time use items.

Ken on S/V Sparrow.


A friend said one thing regarding tools that has stuck with me for years. There is a lot of merit to his words. Ken says:

If you need a tool twice, you need to buy your own. Ken on S/V Sparrow.


Not everyone trusts other boaters with their stuff. I've been burnt a time or two loaning items so understand those who prefer to not share. In the long run however, I would prefer to be singed than not help someone who needs assistance. And most folks are truly wonderful.

In analyzing what went wrong on previous jobs, there are some conclusions I reached. If there is anyone who has suffered through veracity impaired workers, obfuscations, down right lies, delays, missed promises, dates broken, poor workmanship, lousy details, "unique" (and not in a good way) design flaws, it is me.

This is what I learned: I failed and failed again. What I did not do was quit.

I made some friends along the way too.

Me, Sarah and Ted from M/V Manatee.

Another boating couple had some ideas about paying for experts that sounded so logical I wanted to share it here. Regarding a test before hiring an individual my friends noted three points. During the initial inquiry they question the prospective worker asking general questions to ascertain the prospect's level of experience. These are their three criteria:

#1) No criticism of previous work or cutting down competitors. It NEVER makes the current guy look smarter. Thus I wonder at why talking bad about others is so prevalent among workers. Not everyone, but often enough...


#2) Professionalism. When asked opinions a good solid reason why to do something one way and not another. What do they think of ABYC* standards for instance?

*ABYC: American Boat and Yacht Council. The ABYC develop boat building and repair standards focusing on safety, equipment, installation, etc.  ABYC also offers training and certification.

#3) Being willing to pay for that service. It is helpful to have the financial wherewithal to compensate a top professional.

I am at the lower end of the $$ scale and have relied on shade tree mechanics in the past. I am done with that. I have learned a lot (way more than anticipated or desired) about this Kubota. It is surprisingly not that complicated.

My manual includes part numbers. That is helpful when replacements are needed.

What I have is an owner's manual, shop manual and the ability to learn more.

What I lack though is physical strength. I don't have it and that's cost me time. The "kids" (anyone younger than me) do not realize that broken promises especially regarding time are felt far more as I age. Maybe two weeks to them does not matter. To me however, that is both disrespectful and my time. There is not enough of it and stealing my time is NOT A GOOD THING.

Some workers steal your money. The time thieves are the worse of the two.


There seems to be a perception that those who are retired have no schedule to adhere to. What is never far from my mental horizon however is the realization that mortality comes to all of us. A brush or two with serious illness is a given. For self, chemo did it. I was not immortal! And yes, that was my wake up call.

Now I prioritize what is important. My family of course, and
my tranquil life aboard Seaweed. Both are vital to my happiness.


I have been thinking frequently about all the help I have had in getting Seaweed mobile again. Yes she is indeed running to perfection. There will be lots of details when I have finished processing pictures. In the meantime know I am so far beyond happy you cannot imagine. My cheeks hurt because I have been smiling so much.

All is well with the world when my Seaweed runs. Finally having the
freedom and ability to move the boat with ease is a tremendous relief.


It matters not if I am at a dock or anchored out. My life afloat changes not one iota.
The infrastructure providing power is in place and fully functional. Life is good afloat.

The next step is to install a fuel polishing system. It will remove the water that has ended up in my tank after a year of sitting. Details on that are upcoming, after I do it that is. I had intended to put that in last week before the cold knocked me on my transom.

In the meantime I am back to making lists of things to do yesterday. Wish me luck!

P.S. - I am glad to be back. I missed y'all.

Have you any tricks that help you make a decision when hiring a stranger?
What project is next that will require an outside worker?

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2016, 2023

Categories: Boats, Boat Talk, Characters, In the Bilges,

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