1. Invest heavily in a wide array of good tools. They can be better than money in the bank. I have TWO crowbars on “Chez Nous.”
2. If you need to take courses on “fixing things” about the boat, do it. You’ll have fun, you’ll be safer, and it’ll probably save you a fortune.
.3. When something isn’t working right, take the time to analyze the symptoms. Ask yourself what should be happening inside to cause the proper result, and what could not be happening that’s causing the improper result.
4. Try to visualize components that may not be working well, and their relation to other components.
5. If you decide to disassemble something, assume that you may not get it working and try to do so at the dock if this is practical.
6. Always think safety first at every step of the way.
7. If you disassemble something, have containers ready for parts. Considering labeling parts if you think you need to. A helper doing this can be invaluable. Your hands may be covered with grease and occupied with little parts.
8. Try to pick a time when you’ll have minimum disruptions. If you can put the thing back together shortly after you take it apart, you’ll be more likely to remember what goes where. Make notes if necessary.
9. Remember that most machinery is logically put together and operates logically. It isn’t magic. Think logically. Try to figure out what a part or mechanism is supposed to do and how it does it.
10. Never hesitate to call the manufacturer of a product and ask for advice. Often you’ll find people who know what the problem is and are eager to help.
11. If you get totally ticked and throw the thing overboard, be sure to write down the part number first.
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale