Owning a yacht is an investment, and a critical part of keeping it up to standard is maintenance. Understanding what it takes to keep your vessel up and running might seem tasking at a glance, but it will ensure that your team are doing the right things to keep your investment afloat. So today, we will give you a breakdown of the important things to keep on top of to ensure your yacht maintains optimal performance and stays with you for as long as you need.
As you know, a fabulous yacht relies on many factors to boast its superiority. It isn’t a case of giving it a quick once-over every twelve months. You must consider the electrics that keep its functions running sweet, the engine, the air circulation, fuel intake, ropes, chains, anchors, and more. Not to mention keeping the exterior clean and free from corrosion. Some enthusiasts like to tackle this themselves, but with so much to take on, it makes sense to outsource to some extra hands. However, as we said before, it is still vital for the yacht owner to know, even if an experienced team are responsible for its upkeep.
Yacht maintenance is similar to the process you might have taken when purchasing your vessel. Give every minute detail a thorough inspection to ensure no damage or corrosion. Before we break down the key components that require service and maintenance onboard your yacht, we have a tip to ensure your boat is treated correctly.
If you don’t know, you probably already own a book with everything you need to know about your yacht. The manufacturer’s owner’s manual will detail what needs to be serviced and cared for onboard your yacht. A pro tip is to familiarise yourself with this manual and take the time to go over it more than once. Reading this will also make you develop even more of an appreciation for how fantastic your boat truly is.
If you bought your yacht second-hand, you should also have a tool to help you keep on top of things. The boat’s logbook should already have a maintenance routine for you. Either way, you will need to map out a maintenance plan, as there is a great deal to take care of.
Checking the onboard electrics – One of the most important parts of your yacht is the electrics. If something goes wrong here, it could result in a disaster, so yacht owners must be extra vigilant in this area. Be sure to check all the wire connections to the engine, capacity levels in batteries, and the transmission, and that all wires remain sealed. This should be at the top of your to-do list if you spot any sign of wear, corrosion, or loose cables.
One thing we couldn’t recommend more is making sure that whoever is insuring or maintaining your yacht will be able to respond in any emergency.
Keeping it clean – If you always want your yacht to be in top shape, you must maintain a strict cleaning regime. Some owners give a deep clean every month or so, but we recommend every two weeks to maintain optimum quality.
And when we say clean, we mean everything you can see, from the vessel’s exterior to the upholstery. Another thing that new yacht owners learn quickly is that if you don’t keep on top of this, your beautiful yacht will look like a seagull’s restroom. As long as everything is wiped down, washed, scrubbed, and polished regularly, your craft is in for a long life.
When cleaning, you also need to remember to clean the bottom of the boat. It would be best if you had a diver regularly remove the barnacles, algae, or anything else building up on your yacht’s bottom.
Making sure the engine is in good perfect condition – Once every year, you should have a full service done on the engine. You don’t need to consistently haul it out of the water unless you need to check the bottom or the running gears. This should cover all necessary maintenance on the engine.
Perform regular system checks to ensure your yachting experience is as good as possible. This includes coolant levels, batteries, pumps, AC, exhaust and air intake, fuel and lubricant, and everything else it takes to keep your yacht running smoothly. Below are some key points to keep on top of.
Airconditioning system – Take care of your AC, and it will undoubtedly take care of you in a hot climate. If you are yachting in more tropical destinations, give your air conditioning system an acid flush every six months and regularly check the filters.
Transmission – If your gearbox doesn’t feel right, having somebody take a look is an excellent idea. Often, a boat sitting still in the water for too long can cause problems if there is a build-up of oil or saltwater corrosion. This is one thing you don’t want breaking whilst out at sea.
Fuel and lubrication – The intrusion of saltwater can cause corrosion, so this is something that needs regular servicing. Whether draining the fuel tank or removing sediment from the filters, make sure your team keeps on top of this. It is also good to ensure you are using the proper marine diesel.
Coolant – Make sure you read the owner’s manual to use the correct type of marine coolant.
Exhaust and air intake – Air filters are crucial to the longevity and performance of your vessel. Keep an eye on the amount of smoke from your exhaust when the engine starts. A little is no concern, but you will need to consult someone if it increases.
Waxing – You should regularly have your boat waxed above the waterline to protect it from the elements. Depending on the climate, this will usually need to be done every three to six months. If your yacht is coloured, it might be worth considering doing it more frequently.
Painting below – This needs to be done much less often than everything else. It is recommended that it is done every two years, but it is good practice to haul it out and check the underneath as often as possible.
Onboard safety equipment – While we have talked about increasing the performance and longevity of your yacht, it is also good to ensure that all your onboard safety equipment is stocked and up to date for obvious reasons.
Two important things to remember are that salt water is not always your friend when it comes to yacht maintenance, and always keep a logbook. We hope you now have a good idea of how to look after your sailing yacht, but if you have any further queries or are considering a great team for yacht maintenance, get in touch with Simpson Marine. We have years of experience and various teams who know exactly what it takes to take care of any vessel properly. When it comes to yacht management, nobody knows more than Simpson Marine.
22nd May 2023
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