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Kumar Is Labasa’s Top Boat Mechanic

Ever since his enrolment at the Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) Automotive programme 19 years ago, Ronald Ritesh Kumar has never looked back.
01 May 2022 12:20
Kumar Is Labasa’s Top Boat Mechanic
Ronald Ritesh Kumar repairs an engine on a fishing boat in Labasa Town on April 22, 2022. Photo: Sampras Anand

Ever since his enrolment at the Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) Automotive programme 19 years ago, Ronald Ritesh Kumar has never looked back.

He is now a well-known inboard diesel (Yanmar) engine mechanic in Labasa.

Mr Kumar said his parent’s support and dedication encouraged him to learn the different repair methods and diesel boat engine operations.

Despite not being able to complete his programme, he was able to utilize his practical skills (stage 1-3 of automotive engineering) to develop his understanding of boat engine repair methods.

“Our family has a fishing background and we have always owned a fishing boat since my father was an active fisherman,” he said.

“Whenever the boat was anchored, I would try to learn the repair methods from my dad, who had a vast knowledge of boat engines”.

Mr Kumar remained one of the finest in his job in Labasa, with different fishing companies opting for his services.

“Every week I am occupied with repairs either for engine overall, gearbox repairs and other minor boat repairs,” he said.

The 35-year-old said being a boat engine mechanic had always been a beneficial job for him for sustaining his family.

There were challenging times as well when fewer repair jobs were available, but this never dampened his spirits.

“Because of my interest and performance, people respect me and usually try to contact or track me down to repair their vessels,” he reiterated.

There are times when he is busy the whole week repairing engines for different boat companies.

A single overall engine repair earns him $350 while normal repairs bring him $120.

Mr Kumar encouraged interested youths to venture into their field of interest and for anyone who wanted to learn boat mechanics, the door was always open.

“I believe if a person wants to learn a subject or field and makes it a passion, then the job will become easy and enjoyable,” he said.

Mr Kumar along with his father currently own two fishing boats and this remained a major source of income for their family.

“People at times think that being a mechanic is a dirty man’s job, but, the satisfaction I receive after repairing someone’s boat is a great joy,” he emphasized.

Proud father, Vijay Kumar, said his son always worked hard to learn the principles involved with boat mechanics.

“My son repairs and carries out maintenance of our boats and this saves us a lot of money, ‘’ he added.



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