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  1. #1

    Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    We are halfway through our 2-year plan to liveaboard a 53'+ Hatteras. We have already revamped our finances, sold our house, downsized dramatically, and got rid of years of stuff. Now, in my final year of prep I am trying to prioritize my preparation to minimize some of the learning curve pains once we start living aboard. I am a youtube genius but want to better understand systems to help me better troubleshoot what actually needs to be fixed. Here are the areas that I think I need to work on, would love your opinions on what matters and what doesn't.....
    • Troubleshooting electronics - I am currently restoring a 1967 pinball machine to teach myself how to learn schematics and basic wiring logic
    • Mechanics - There is an automotive class at the local community college. How much does car engine knowledge transfer to boat diesel engines?
    • Navigation - I am well versed in aviation navigation so switching to boat nav will be less of a pain
    • Weather - Same, I learned a lot to pass the FAA exam but want to up my knowledge of ocean weather forecasting. Any good suggestions here?
    • General knowledge/OUPV - I am working on OUPV content, I want to have the knowledge portion complete in the next year, then can get the on-water experience portion completed in the first year onboard
    • On-water experience - I am actively looking for crewing opportunities to get some on-water experience. Any great resources to find someone willing to take on a smart newbie for a week or two?
    What am I not thinking about that I should be spending energy to learn?
    What am I spending energy on that could be spent elsewhere?

    I appreciate your advice!

  2. #2

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    One thing I will say is, you can't learn everything at once.

    I don't think you will be able to get the on water experience in one year.

    Experience counts for a lot.

    So, just keep learning and doing and checking stuff off the list.
    Brett Portzer 1972 Hatteras 43DC331
    2019- SUPERNOVA Waterford, NY
    1977-2019 CAROL-SUE Baltimore, MD
    1972-1977 C.VALPRISAN IV Boston, MA

  3. #3

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    Your questions indicate a depth of knowledge and a willingness to learn that qualifies you as better than the average Sea Ray owner.

    Go forth and gain experience. Happy to have you in another Hatteras on the water. Bring whatever the problems you run into to this forum and you will be able to learn as you go.

    I've read my old posts back to 2001 and they describe the evolution of an idiot on the water. Happy idiot still, and always.


    Bruce

    Freestyle

    1986 62 CPMY (54MY with ext)
    Tampa

  4. #4

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    Any mechanical experience will be useful to you, but a course on marine diesels, if anyone offers one within a reasonable distance, will serve you the best. Virtually all Hatteras yachts of the vintage you are looking at were powered with two-stroke Detroit diesels, so you might join boatdiesel.com and look at the section of their forums that talk about DDs and maintenance of them.

    I suspect you will find that the navigation part comes the easiest to you.

    The car engine class locally can't hurt. Most of the work on boat engines that boat owners do is pretty basic- oil and fuel filter changes, seawater pump impellers, changing zincs- those sorts of things.

    Learning the various ship's systems- the electrical ones, the AC, the fresh water, stabilizers if the boat you buy will have them, is what takes the most time. All 53s have some age on them now, so you will get plenty of opportunities to figure out things even on a well-maintained boat.

    It will take two years to get enough hours for the OUPV sea time log, I think.

    As far as ride-along time, you might contact HOF members in your area and see if anyone is willing to offer you time crewing on their boat.

    Good luck! "Chance favors the prepared", as Pasteur said, and you are preparing.

  5. #5

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    Riding along with someone is an option, but I would think your best bet would be to find someone to ride along with you on your boat. That could be an experienced friend, or you could hire a Captain for whatever time it takes you to be comfortable.

    Getting an OUPV is, IMO, pointless unless you plan to charter. There are easier/cheaper ways to learn the basics, but in the end, there is simply no substitute for wheel time.
    Randy Register - Kingston, TN
    www.yachtrelocation.com
    www.Safes4Guns.com
    aka Freebird aka Sparky1
    1965 41DC #93

  6. #6

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    The best way to learn and retain knowledge is to fix stuff as it breaks. It's the hard way. But I am while not a mechanic or AC tech pretty good now at assessing, fixing, or putting a bandaid on something to limp through a trip or get home. Now while that sounds like not the best thing being on this forum is a good asset. Besides reading back through old threads to educate yourself post up a thread when you get into a bind. Include pictures of your dilemma. Many here are very experienced and jump in to help out.

    Also Take Feeebirds advice and get on a friends boat or hire a captain. Not sure where you are located but I learned this summer that in Fort Myers there is a school that takes you out on either one of their boats or yours to cruise a few days and learn the ropes.
    1966 34c
    1982 46 HP

  7. #7

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    There is a ton of experience behind the advice youíve already been given above. Thereís no replacement for time behind the wheel, especially at first with a trusted and experienced Hatteras owner/Captain. This is amplified if you arenít fully confident in your boatís systems. Pick the right model Hatt for your needs then find the one in best shape and get after it!! Good luck!

  8. #8

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    The number one skill needed on a boat, especially an older one, is troubleshooting. You need to be able to break down the problem and hit it step by step. Whether electrical, air con, etc. you need to have the mind set to troubleshoot the problem. Some people have a hard time getting in the mindset

    I doubt a car engine class will be useful. A diesel course, yes probably

    I also can to boating from an aviation background which I think is a big plus. Navigation, weather, dealing with emergency etc. really helps.

    You mention OUPV content which I understand to be learning the content but not necessarily getting the license. I agree with Randy that getting the actual license is pretty pointless. Study the course and material and learn. The license involves a lot of red tape and costs.

    Rising along or crewing may help you learn a few things but the best way to learn is to jump in.
    Pascal
    Miami, FL
    1970 53 MY #325 Cummins 6CTAs
    2014 26' gaff rigged sloop
    2007 Sandbarhopper 13
    12' Westphal Cat boat

  9. #9

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    This is a pretty good introductory video about marine diesel maintenance.

    It is broad, but there are certain areas that they break down by engine type and a lot of examples with Detroits.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDRvzOodax8&t=2349s
    Brett Portzer 1972 Hatteras 43DC331
    2019- SUPERNOVA Waterford, NY
    1977-2019 CAROL-SUE Baltimore, MD
    1972-1977 C.VALPRISAN IV Boston, MA

  10. #10

    Re: Need advice on learning skills for Hatteras living

    Freeboard provides good advice on both points.

    By the way, unless you have experience operating a yacht of this size, you probably won't be able to get insurance on the boat until a captain signs off on your skills. Something to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
    Riding along with someone is an option, but I would think your best bet would be to find someone to ride along with you on your boat. That could be an experienced friend, or you could hire a Captain for whatever time it takes you to be comfortable.

    Getting an OUPV is, IMO, pointless unless you plan to charter. There are easier/cheaper ways to learn the basics, but in the end, there is simply no substitute for wheel time.

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