If you own a yacht, you need to perform maintenance checks on a regular basis. Not only do they help keep you safe when you’re out on the open water, but they could also save you money on potential repairs.
Here are the daily, monthly, and yearly checks you need to complete on your yacht to keep it in great condition.
In terms of the checks you’ll need to perform every day before you set sail, the engine and passenger safety checks are most important. These checks are quite straightforward to perform, and you should be ready to set sail within an hour.
Here are a few engine checks to remember to carry out:
- The engine room: Have a look around the engine room and make sure everything is as it should be.
- Check the engine oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and coolant levels: Much like checking the oil and brake fluid on a car, it’s important to check these levels on your yacht to ensure you don’t run low on anything after you set sail.
- Check the belt tension, the pulleys, and the alignment: Make sure the belt isn’t too slack or tight. Also, check the pulleys and make sure there isn’t any misalignment between them.
- Check water pump belts and the alternator: The water pump belts should be tight before you set sail. The alternator should also provide the right amount of voltage for your yacht.
- Floatation devices: Make sure you have enough of these devices for everyone onboard. Check they’re working properly and are in good condition.
- First aid kit: Always have a first aid kit that you can easily access on board. Ensure that it’s fully stocked at all times.
- Flares: You never know when you might run into trouble or get lost. Having flares on board will ensure that anyone looking for you can find you easily.
As well as carrying out the daily checks included above, you should expand your checks once a month to include the following.
- Change the engine oil and the filter: Doing this will help your engine run more smoothly.
- Clean the thru-hull: When you’re doing this, check the metal where the paint has come away a little and make sure it’s gold. If the metal has started to turn pink, you need to replace your thru-hull as soon as possible.
- Clean the syphon break: Cleaning this once a month will help it to continue filtering raw cooling water as it should.
- Check the heat exchanger anodes: If 50% or more of the anode has been consumed, it needs replacing.
- Inspect the rudder, keel, and hull: If you notice any signs of damage during your inspection, you should arrange to get it repaired as soon as possible.
- Check for scratches or rust on the bodywork: If you come across any scratches or rust, treat them before they become bigger problems.
- Inspect the deck: Make sure there’s no damage to the wood. If the coating isn’t as effective as it was, give it a clean and finish.
- Test and check the battery: Test the battery to make sure it’s working properly and is still in good condition. Make sure it’s clean and dry.
- Check wire connections: Make sure all the electronic wires are secured and kept neat and tidy. Fix any wire casings that are wearing away. Check that the wires are dry and aren’t exposed to water.
- Fuses: Look over the fuses and make sure they’re all ok.
Rigging and Sails
- Check sails for damage and mould: If you spot any signs of damage, get them fixed as soon as possible. Mould can generally be cleaned easily.
- Check the mainsail: See if you can spot any signs of wear and tear.
- Cotter pins and shroud: Check they’re in good condition and are in place as they should be.
At least once a year, you should check the below.
- Battery checks: Test the batteries and make sure they’re supplying energy as they should be. If they’re not performing well, it’s probably time to start thinking about sourcing replacement batteries.
- Check the fuel tank: See if there’s any damage. If there is, check that the fuel hasn’t become contaminated with water.
- Inspect bodywork: The engine should be properly insulated at all times. If you spot any sign that the bodywork has been damaged, you should get it fixed as soon as possible.
Rigging and sails
- Deep cleaning: Once a year, you should take down the sail and give it a deep clean. This will help you lower the risk of it getting mouldy at points through the year.
Specialist yacht insurance from Insure4Boats
While performing regular maintenance checks will help keep you and your yacht safe, it’s also important that you have the right insurance. Without it, you could end up paying huge amounts of money if you accidentally damage your or someone else’s yacht.
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