Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Choosing the Boat (1)

What skills do I have?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been making checklists. I used the first one to list the types of work which might be encountered in building, restoring or renovating a boat. I found it a really valuable, but painful exercise, having to admit to myself just how limited my skill and knowledge really is.
The time spent was well worth it though. Now I know I won’t be building a brand new boat in wood or steel. I also know that I’ll probably try to avoid working on gas fittings, and that I have a good deal of reading to do if I have to deal with 12 volt electrics.

Anyway here was my starting point and I’d like to think the time and effort will be rewarded when I start the real work – hopefully in choosing my boat I won’t bite off more than I can chew
Checklist 1: About me (strengths and weaknesses) (scores out of 10)
Personal Skills/ Knowledge
Got a GCE in 1967, but that wouldn’t make me a boat builder. Built a Mirror Dinghy (stitch and glue) It floated. Good for Something
Tool up for small jobs – don’t buy a wooden boat or try to build one!
Working GRP
Some experience in repair and cosmetic  improvement, glassing in and stitch and glue construction – I’m a bit messy though
Like wood – can probably get away with small stuff but could not undertake a build or a major repair
Painting / Varnishing
Not too bad – I know enough to understand that preparation is the key
This is probably my best skill – could make a boat look pretty – my painting is better than my varnishing though
Engine maintenance /repair
I Know nothing!
This is something I will have to pay for. So single engine and keep it simple to keep costs down
Electrical systems and installation
Could fit a new VHF of wiring was already installed. It’s all 12 volt isn’t it?
Actually this is something I’m interested in because it has a direct relationship to shipboard comfort. So I need to read up all I  can and always stay with the low tech solution
Nothing – on a boat it might be quite simple – but through hull joints and fittings will have to be very well done
As above, lots of reading to do but if its kept simple I should be able to cope
Sewing – canvass work needle work
Nothing – but I know someone who does!
Convince Susan that this is her project as much as mine – consider a sweetener – Call the Boat Susan!
Rope work – Knots, splicing etc
No too bad – can do all the sailing knots and a few fancy ones for gingerbread work. Can make up halyards, mooring lines etc. Could not handle wire rigging
That’s my winter evenings taken up
Metal work – welding etc
Never done it – will have to avoid or learn
Don’t buy a steel boat!
Gas fitting
Everything I have reads suggests gas on boats can be dangerous and should be fitted by a qualified expert -
Get it done properly or find an alternative

Guess I'd better stay away from a wooden boat