A Quick and Basic Boat Maintenance Checklist
January 2, 2019
Regular maintenance is an essential part of owning a boat. Whether you own a Lagoon or an Oceanis Sailing Yacht, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to take care of your vessel. And while you can always hire an experienced yacht crew to keep your boat in great condition, it’s still a good idea to learn about the basics so you know what to look out for.
Just like with your car, you need to be familiar with how your boat normally operates, so you can spot problems immediately when they first manifest. In particular, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the normal working functions of your boat’s engine, which is one of its most important components. Try listening to the engine, and take fuel samples to check for contamination. Also look out for leaks, and replace coolants, oil, filters, and pads regularly.
Even better, make sure to schedule your boat’s engine for regular monthly and annual maintenance. After all, engine breakdown is one the most common reasons for distress calls to the coast guard. That’s a problem you wouldn’t want to encounter when you’re far out into the sea.
Ensure that your navigation lights, electric windlass, auxiliary lights, and autopilot are all in good working condition. It’s good practice to keep the wiring neatly organized to prevent fraying and disconnections. Corrosion is a common issue for a saltwater boat so you need to take the time to check out the wiring and other electronics in your boat.
Washing your boat regularly after sailing on saltwater can keep away corrosion much longer. Use only products that are specifically made for boats to protect the finish and components. Inspect for damages such as peeling paints, scratches, and rust. Treat these damages immediately and according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Finally, keep the exterior finish clean, waxed, and polished to prevent corrosion and oxidation.
We at Europa Yachts Philippines believe that safety should be the top priority every time you sail. Check for defective lifejackets, lifebuoy lights, fire extinguishers, and life rafts. These lifesaving devices need to be inspected annually to ensure that they work as expected in case of emergencies. Moreover, your first aid kit, flares, and EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon Station) need to be replaced regularly as well.
The bilge is often the most ignored part of your boat but in fact, it plays a vital role in keeping it afloat. One of the essential components in the bilge is the pump that flushes out the bilge water from your boat. It may get clogged after a while because of marine debris so you need to clean the bilge every once in a while. What’s more, you need to ensure the pump is working by checking that it runs in both manual and automatic modes.
Taking the time to check the windlass, sheaves, and winches ensure a smooth sailing expedition. Your manufacturer’s manual should have service procedures available for each gear so it’s worth taking the time to read the instructions.
Your boat’s running rigging is designed to last for a very long time. However, like everything else, it will eventually break down. You need to watch out for frays especially where the rope makes contact with the sheaves. Friction will eventually wear ropes out so you need to get them replaced before they break.
Preserve your pristine interiors by hiring an experienced staff that understands the needs of your boat. Using strong chemicals on a boat finish may ruin its luster and you’d have to spend money on refinishing. Organic and mild cleaners are preferable in most areas especially on the furniture and the galley.
Just like your car or home, your boat needs regular maintenance in order to preserve its value. Putting in the extra effort to do some of the maintenance yourself helps you keep an eye on your investment. In fact, you might even gain some sense of satisfaction seeing your boat clean and shiny, knowing that you put in a bit of elbow grease to make it so.
If you have recently bought a boat from Europa Yachts and you have pressing questions about its upkeep, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts. Get in touch by sending us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at (+632) 7553-2027 or (+63) 917-657-0045.