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What % of people perform all their own service/ maint. work


Ronny61
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I do my own minor MX including oil change, fall winterization etc. Also some engine work like tune ups, alternator change and ZO conversion. Did an oil pan change in this pic. Internal engine stuff I would probably take to specialist.

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When creating a new topic there is a tab for "Poll" which allows you to create a poll for questions. For example:

 

Do you perform your own maintenance or have a dealer service your boat?

1) I perform all service work myself

2) I do basic maintenance myself, but bring my boat in to a dealer for other work

3) I take my boat to a dealer for all service work

Screen Shot 2023-01-21 at 11.23.55 AM.png

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I have done all of my own work on the three inboard boats I have owned since 1985.  Usually it is just an oil change, transmission change, and impeller replacement. Occasional plugs, wires, rotor and cap.  On my previous boat, I did a top end rebuild that included new heads after a freeze crack on my 1993 ProStar. I have replaced my prop shaft, replaced strut bushings, repacked the stuffing box, added a dripless packing box.

The ONE time I left it at a dealer, they left it outside during an unexpected cold snap to get a rudder and rudder box replaced. I was rear ended on my way home at the end of the season, and the accident bent my rudder and cracked the rudder box. My bad for not winterizing the engine before dropping it off at the dealer, their bad for saying it would be kept inside. The crack didn't fully develop until 8 months later, and by then the dealer was out of business. It was a good winter project, and I know it was done right.

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I do it all myself. I've owned my boat ('89 centurion falcon) for 20 years.  These inboards are incredibly reliable.  Oil change and impeller every year.  Outside of that I've replaced my starter 2 times, new dampner plate, new seals and bushing in rudder box, new steering cable, new shift and throttle cables, replaced all hoses, and a stringer repair that had to be dealt with.   I did do several upgrades over the years that include new propeller and shaft, upgrade to electronic ignition, and added Stargazer.   All in all i'd say that was pretty minimal over the course of 20 years.  It runs very well and in my opinion it skis very well too.  I don't think the wakes give up anything to the newer boats.  Tracking isn't as good but I mean a little input from the driver solves that.   It is a wood stringer boat and that is it's downfall.   If i can upgrade to a newer boat with composite construction for a reasonable price I would consider it, but at this point the boat owes me nothing.  I could redo the stringers and floor, and foam for relatively cheap and enjoy this boat until i'm too old to ski anymore. Not bad for an original purchase price of $7500 for a boat that was 12 years old at that time.

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I do everything myself.   In the last few years I've replaced all the fuel lines, pulled the injectors for cleaning and changed the alternator and plug wires.   Plug wires on my engine was a PIA.  I typically do the fuel filter, spark plugs, tranny fluid and impeller every 2-3 years.   I think 1x per years is overkill on those.

Oil every 50-75 hours

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Everything on the sea and land fleet. 3 cars, 2 boats. Who knows what seasonal help a boat dealer might have in the back, no thanks. I'm not a professional mechanic but I generally enjoy the work and I figure I'll put more care into my own stuff than somebody punching the clock. Great learning experience and if a particular job is an excuse to get new tools it's even better.

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Everything mechanical myself, except for body/upholstery work outside of buffing/waxing. I do not have the patience, experience, or skill to do fibreglass or upholstery. I had to have a small nick in the bow of the hull fixed ($1000) as well as the prop strut area redone. PO of my boat hit something and ripped it off, and "fixed" it himself. Was ok for one season, and then I started digging into it and didn't like what I saw. I think that repair was $1800, and that was after I completely prepped everything by removing the driveshaft, prop strut, interior pieces, etc so that it was fully accessible for them. I feel WAY better about the repair now after seeing their work. 

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It's a mix for me.  Until recently, I would take the boat to the dealer at the end of the season for oil change, winterization, and impeller (every 2 years or so for that).  When the pandemic hit, so many people bought boats that the dealer was backed up a couple of months for winterization and, noticeably, repairs from the escapades of novice boat owners.  So, I started doing the annual winterization myself.  I did have one warranty item on my Malibu throttle control early on and that did cause a couple days loss of use.

In the past, I've been fortunate enough to have end of season work done at the dealer while I waited and watched - so no lost time or second trip to retrieve the boat afterward.  That has also occasionally included some other sporadic maintenance like new riser gaskets, new plugs, new distributor cap.  Once demand returns to normal, I'll probably go back to the dealer periodically just to have it checked over, but I'm doing more of my own work now.

I've done a few installation tasks, though.  Full initial StarGazer installation on my MasterCraft years ago.  Shower system, heater, and heated seat on my Malibu.  Other than the heated seat install, no upholstery maintenance or replacement yet.

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Pretty much do everything on the boat that doesn’t require removing the engine.  I have no facility for doing that. Same goes for trailer stuff if the boat needs to be off for any length of time, I’m out of luck and would need to take it somewhere. 

Get high, Get fast, and do some good work.

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Add me to the list of DIY's. Great to see so many skiers do their own Maintenance. I own a 72 CC Mustang, a 88 SN and a 99 SN so it's nice to be able to do my own wrenching. Might cost me a small fortune if I didn't on top of the fuel bill I already have. 🤪

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Good to see so many other wrenchheads 🙂  I also do all my own maintenance on my new (to me) '99 Response and did it on my '89 ProStar. Did a carb rebuild and put GT40 heads from a junkyard on the Prostar. Did new seat bottoms on the Prostar and the Malibu, did trunk cover &  added a seat heater on the 'bu. Had to redo the shower and heater on the 'bu, and added SG. Sewing is an art, takes time to get it looking decent. Gotta get into fiberglass/gelcoat work too, that's gonna take some time to develop the skill. Have a '76 Hobie Cat 16 that I'll be trying fiberglass/gelcoat work on first. Started out of necessity (couldn't afford to pay for a mechanic), stuck with it as it's kinda fun, and I enjoy figuring stuff out. Haven't had a boat repair yet that I've had to pay for. Gonna teach myself how to weld soon as well. Also do all the maintenance and any repairs I can on the 4 vehicles: '89 Supra, '00 CRV (kids car), '14 Jetta and '15 Cherokee. 

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I try to do everything myself save for fiberglass. Haven't had a job too big yet thankfully.

The few times I've used a 3rd party on both boats and vehicles in the past I have been let down with the results. I'd rather learn and do it myself than pay someone else to do a subpar job. Not to mention just convenience; I can winterize in 60 minutes, taking it to someone else and dealing with all that is more time wasted. 

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When I first got my newer boat I took it to the dealer, but they are a 2 hour drive away. The next year I paid someone to come to my house and do it, but then I watched what he did and realized I can do it myself. Been doing all my own oil, impeller, winterization and other maintenance work myself for a couple of years. It's pretty easy / basic stuff really. Next up - replacing the transducer for my depth finder. NautiqueParts.com is my friend. 

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I have always done all of my own work, but never had a serious mechanical problem.  This spring will be the first time I go to the dealer to replace the damper plate on my MasterCraft 197.  Originally, I was going to do it myself like I had before on a 1975 Correct Craft.  But after looking at this heavier, tubing&wiring entangled power train, I decided paying the dealer $2000 for labor was a better path for me.   I have an elastomer damper plate waiting to be installed.

With a lot of practice in painting cars,  in 1980 I converted the graphics and color scheme of my 1975 Red/White SkiNautique to match my neighbors Grey/White 1980 SN.

This promo boat cost $2200 in 1976 with 40 hours . . . !  Not counting the MasterCraft trailer.

75 correct craft2.jpg

Edited by swbca
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98 SN - I do my own maintenance which has included regular fluid changes and winterization, filter changes etc. Installed PP Stargazer and otherwise the boat has been excellent. The trailer on the other hand....alignments, bushing replacements, brake upgrade, annual wheel bearing service, re-carpet, replaced carpeted wood skirts with puckboard, new jack and on it goes.

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I do all my regular Ilmor manual scheduled maintenance on our '20 Prostar at the factory recommended intervals.  That would include oil and filter, PRV replacement, raw water impeller, plugs and wires, serpentine belt and transmission oil and filter.  With another 600 hours left on the warranty, anything requiring any legitimate mechanical knowledge and skill I'd have done at Action in Polk City. I did also replace the thermostat when troubleshooting an overheating issue after assuring that there were no weeds or crud in the water intake, raw water filter or the trans oil cooler filter.  It was the low hanging fruit at that point.  Turns out that all it was was that the clear see-through elbow at the raw water filter had loosened slightly and was sucking in a bit of air. It wasn't leaking water so it was not an immediately obvious problem, but it was an easy fix in the end.

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Doing my own maintenance / repair / modifications (and all other projects) I take the same approach as the 'CFO' would adopt, a great way to acquire all the cool tools I want need.  "I saved all that money so I could get this cool 'xxx' so it's basically free" 🤣.  (just like 'but it was on sale, see how much I saved').   

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