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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

    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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