Preventative Boat Maintenance
Do you ever wonder if there is a way to perform preventative boat maintenance? A way to get an upper hand on underlying problems? Yes, hiring a surveyor to inspect your boat is a great avenue to take to do this, or when handling the sale of your boat. But not everyone wants to spend money if it is not needed. There are general things an owner can be mindful of for the maintenance of their boat.
If you are looking to stay ahead of the game and looking to deal with potential issues, before they completely develop, we have a few recommendations from experienced captains who now reside as a part of the HMY Sales Team. Dealing with problems before they have fully matured can save you the headache of a much more costly fix.
Here are some preventative maintenance tips that may be valuable to you and the maintenance of your vessel.
The General Overview
When performing preventative boat maintenance, it is important to keep in mind that this is a general overview of the boat. Just like going to a general doctor, if something is wrong one is typically referred to a specialist.
If you find something is not right on your boat, it is best to call a specialist to help you fix it.
If you are going to perform general preventative boat maintenance on your boat it is important to make a checklist, make the time to inspect your boat, and have the correct supplies or contacts to fix problems before they worsen.
Make a Checklist and Check it Twice: What to consider checking on your boat before it becomes a major problem.
When performing a preventative overview of your boat it is important to focus on structure and systems. Cosmetic problems are easily noticed. Hull and deck failures can be costly repairs, but most issues come from the systems onboard your boat.
HMY Yacht Sales Professional Brian Komer recommends having the following items on your list to visually inspect:
- Bilge pumps
- Air Conditioners
- Oil leaks and levels
- Wire connections
- Check for corrosion
- Hose clamps
- Seacock inspection
- Water maker
- Spot Zero
- All fresh and raw water pumps
- Navigation and safety equipment
The list could go on and on, especially depending upon what type of boat you have and the condition it is in. Some recommend working off a previous surveyor’s list of the boat, if handy.
Komer says, “Routine maintenance is important on the engine alone; check the fuel filters, oil, belts, etc. But, some things that stick out to me after going on multiple boat and yacht surveys, are the items that seem to get flagged on surveys more frequently than others.”
“Some items that can be easily avoided by checking the wire connections to make sure nothing is disconnected or loose. Look for corrosion in any of the wiring, your engine, or any systems. Make sure there are no cracks in any hose clamps. These are all easy things that can be checked and avoided on a survey beforehand.”
Another big item that many people forget to keep maintained is the seacock. “A lot of boats are flagged on surveys and are said to be stiff or need more exercise to improve movement. An easy way to avoid this problem is to open and close the seacock often,” says Komer.
Our team at HMY also recommended making sure you keep your Seakeeper maintained. “Seakeepers are pretty self-contained, but make sure you rinse the Seakeeper with fresh water and keep an eye out for rust. This will help one stay ahead and keep the system running properly,” says Komer.
HMY Yacht Sales Professional Brian Weaver, highly recommends always checking your engine room out before looking anywhere else. “Most issues will stem from your engine room. This is where everything starts, this is the heart of the boat and all its systems.”
“You want to check your batteries, your strainers, etc., everything enters and exits through the engine room. If you have a hired captain who maintains your vessel, I would expect the captain to be attentive to the engine room. It is critical,” says Weaver.
If you are not going to hire a surveyor or someone to come out and perform a “check-up” on your boat, it is imperative that you take the time to cut out time to do so. Make a plan and stick to it.
Otherwise hiring someone to do so may be more beneficial.
“The advanced technology on a boat can sometimes require calling a specialist to diagnose systems. Your broker can help with finding someone,” says Komer.
HMY Yacht Sales Professional Brian Komer stated, “Day to day maintenance is a great way to catch small issues before they become major problems. You can visually inspect your boat, check your fluid levels, and make sure your boat is clean. This can help prevent the failure of a lot of systems. Most issues are visually noticeable.”
Hiring a Specialist to Diagnose the Problem
Komer mentioned, “A lot of systems are very technical with the advanced technology many boats have today, if something doesn’t seem right, hire someone to investigate and diagnose what is going on.”
By staying ahead of the game and visually inspecting your boat for potential problems, you can catch issues before they become something much worse. But our team recommends reaching out to a specialist who is knowledgeable in the area of concern, just like a doctor.
Contacting your yacht broker, or manufacturer can be a good starting place in finding someone trustworthy to assist in a more in-depth diagnosis of your boat.
If the vessel is still in warranty, the use of a certified mechanic or company that is authorized to do the work and can be submitted for warranty coverage. Typically, the dealer for the boat will have a warranty contact person that can handle this.
Our team recommends even general maintenance being done by a certified company or mechanic.
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