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Boat Mechanic vs. Airplane Mechanic

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Boat Mechanic vs. Airplane Mechanic


Old 04-13-2008, 01:18 PM
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You'd think it would be backwards. If a plane mechanic F's up you'd hear about it...... it's not like a lousy boat mechanic would have anyone left to complain he didn't fix the plane right the first time!!!
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:32 PM
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Wall Paper

I get called into a lot of jobs when the "trained technicians" can't get a it right. I walk into shops that have a lot of "wall paper" all these certificates of all the training that their techs have been through. But if the problem is just slightly out of the normal realm they can't diagnose it. I just got called in on a brand new boat. The bow thruster would only turn in one direction. They replaced the unit, they replaced controls they "checked" all the wiring to no avail. Time to call "Expensive Ed". One look at it I turn around and tell them "The cables are too skinny". I calculated the load to line loss and told them to replace the 2/0 cables with some 4/0 ones.
Got a call a week later everything was great. Then the shop chief said he knew I was a diesel tech but he didn't know I was an electrician too. I told him I'm not an electrician . But any good diesel technician needs to know electrical theory. If a diesel tech can't figure out battery cable size how can he properly install an engine. Under size the cable and you will have all kinds of starting problems. A lot of "qualified techs" out there have no idea of basic electrical, hydraulic and mechanical theory. Also they have no process of elimination skills so they can't diagnose real problems.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:43 PM
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In 30 years of motorsports I have met all kinds.

Some could diagnose anything but I would not let them near the tool box.

Then I had some that were brillant at the wrench but would have a hard time diag-ing a missing wheel.

Then there were a few that tuned engines, make 6 2-barrel webers sing like a song just by ear.

A few could do it all. But they were often moody and hard to work with.

So I think it is the person that is the most important.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:45 PM
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A good tech really needs:

1. Common Sense
2. Patience
3. Confidence
4. Open mindedness
5. Pride

And then he can start training. In today's technical world if you don't learn something every day then you are not paying attention!
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 29Firefox View Post
A lot of "qualified techs" out there have no idea of basic electrical, hydraulic and mechanical theory. Also they have no process of elimination skills so they can't diagnose real problems.
That is a fact !
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by LapseofReason View Post
From what I find 5 % of the good techs can fix anything and do it right and have pride in their jobs, 5% are on the way to being the next top guy, 5% need to stick to one field and do a good job by the book, another 10% are good helpers and do what they are told, the rest need to sell their tools.
As a Master Auto and Medium/Heavy Truck tech, and long time shop owner, I couldn't agree more. If anything, those numbers may be a bit high. Sad, isn't it?
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:12 AM
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I have to go along with 29Firefox and Trippin.
The lack of diagonstic skills seperates the pros from the wannabes.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bobl View Post
Years ago I was a certified aircraft mechanic, left that field and went into communications and am now a marine mechanic owning a high performance boat shop. This was always my passion so I"m doing what I love now. What I can say about my aircraft training is that I learned to follow procedures and documentation. In my training I learned how things worked and why, not just to see a symptom and replace a part. I have carried that training throughout my life in everything I do. But to be effective you must have an intimate knowledge of the product you are working on whatever it is. So, a good aircraft mechanic does not necessarily make a good boat mechanic unless they have the training and experience to go with it. But, they should have the foundation to learn quickly and do a high quality job.

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Bob is da man! He is my mechanic. I am just a "parts replacer".
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:43 AM
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I'll sum it up like this:
An A&P aircraft mechanic is trained by an accredited program, tested by the federal governmant and accountable for every screw he turns and job he does.
A boat mechanic is a guy that says he's a boat mechanic, its up to you to find out what he actually knows... usually an expensive process with no accountabuility.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Boatfixr View Post
Aircraft mechanics learn more discipline for proper procedure and are used to a better system of checks and balances to limit failures in the craft that can be disastrous. General knowledge of things mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic make technical jobs blend from one trade to another but if the discipline is not there the work is compromised.
Yea, you hit the nail on the head ............ Just to elaborate on your great point if you don't mind .......... No deviation's from the maintenance manual is permitted in aviation ......... These are highly complex machines operating under severe conditions traveling at near mach speeds, global nav systems, full autoland, fully pressurized, Retractable landing gear, a fuel system alone that would totally blow your mind ............... those are just a few high points .......... 65 interfaced computers help with the rest ....
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