If you’re a yacht owner, we’re sure you are aware of how much the running costs are. Maintenance is not only recommended for safety but to also increase the longevity of the yacht.
There are various things you can do to keep your yacht looking and operating at its best. Some will need to be done only once a year whereas others will require more frequent maintenance.
Today we are going to share our yacht maintenance checklist to help you with your maintenance.
We will break these tasks down into the following areas;
- The Engine
- The Electrics
- Sails & rigging
- Crew safety
Your yacht’s engine is something that does require a lot of attention – arguably the most amount of any other part of the yacht as ideally it should be checked on daily. This may sound like a drag but it needn’t be a time-consuming task. Once you have done it a few times, it will take you no time to carry out these all important checks.
The daily checks
- Visually inspect the engine and the engine room
- Check the engine oil level
- Check the belt tension
- Visually inspect pulleys and check the alignment
- Check the transmission fluid level
- Look to see if the alternator and water pump belts are tight
- Check the coolant and antifreeze levels
Once you have done this a few times it will become second nature and take you no time at all. There may be a few other things you may wish to check, but this is a good list to cover your bases.
Once the daily checks have been completed it’s time to move onto the monthly checks;
The monthly checks
- Check the engine oil level
- Check transmission fluid level
- Change both the engine’s oil and filter
- Check levels of coolant and antifreeze – top up if needed
- Inspect the raw water strainer, pump and impeller
- Inspect and clean the thru-hull
- Flush and clean the syphon break
- Inspect and change the heat exchanger anodes if necessary
Once again, this is just a good jumping off list. If you want to add more things to your list, then do.
Last but not least, there are yearly checks. We recommend you do everything that you do on the daily checks, but then add a few more;
The yearly checks
- Change over the primary and secondary fuel filters
- Check on the diesel tank(s) for any damage or contamination
- Bleed the fuel system
- Inspect and repair any bodywork or damage to maintain proper insulation
- Test your batteries
- Inspect all wires, nuts and bolts are all in good working order
- Inspect the propeller and shaft
What yacht maintenance checklist would be complete without mentioning the Gelcoat/hull?
You might not always notice damage to your Gelcoat or hull straight away (unless you have been involved in a collision!) so we recommend you do a few things once a month or so to make sure it stays in the best condition possible;
- Inspect your hull, keel and rudder for damage – if damaged, make arrangements for them to be fixed asap
- Treat scratches or rusting from your bodywork using a rust inhibitor and Gelcoat restorer
- Inspect your deck to make sure there is no damage to the wood
- Clean and finish your deck if the previous coating is no longer working as it should
If your yacht’s Gelcoat has faded and is looking a little worse for wear, you could use a product such as Polytrol colour and shine restoring oil. It’s a saturating product that penetrates deep into the surface to re-wet the pigments that have become dry, restoring the Gelcoat’s colour and lustre.
If you have rust or want to protect surfaces against rusting, you could use a product such as Owatrol Oil.
As for the yearly checks, we recommend doing all your usual monthly checks but also removing the yacht from the water. A popular time to do this is over the Winter months as most people use their yachts less if at all over the colder months.
Removing the boat from water
This can be a costly thing to do, but we highly recommend doing it as it’s a quick way to see the condition of the entire hull and makes arranging appointments to get things fixed quicker and easier. Most people carry out annual anti-fouling, re-painting or zinc replacement anyway so this can all be done at the same time.
There are a wide variety of companies out there that offer a full service, meaning they will remove the boat as well as carry out all the checks and fix the hull up for you. However, this can be very expensive, so if this is something you are considering, we highly suggest you shop around first to get the best deal possible.
We recommend carrying out monthly checks on your electrics;
- Check all wires are safely and neatly secured
- Inspect wire casings are intact – fix if necessary
- Make sure wire connections are safe and in good condition
- Make sure wires are dry and exposed to as little moisture as possible
- Check all fuses and breakers
- Inspect batteries condition
- Make sure batteries are clean and dry
- Test batteries are working optimally
- Top up batteries with distilled water if necessary
Sails & Rigging
We recommend you check on your sails and rigging every month or so;
- Check the shroud and cotter pins are all in place and in good condition
- Ensure the turnbuckles and pelican hooks on the lifeline are in good condition
- Inspect to see if there is any chaffing where the headsail sheets attach to the clew as well as the traveller and boom vang
- Inspect to see if there is any wear on the mainsail
- Replace any worn lines
- Check sails for any damage or mould – mend or treat as appropriate
- Remove the sails at least once a year and give them a deep clean
When it comes to the safety of your crew you can never be too safe. We recommend both daily and monthly checks.
- Check floatation devices are onboard and in good working condition
- Check the first aid kit is fully stocked
- Make sure flares are onboard
- Make sure that both the first aid kit and flares are both in date
- Check that the fire extinguishers are in all in their designated areas and have been inspected by a professional with updated tags
- Inspect lifelines and rails – make sure they are in good, safe working condition
- Check the stove (and any other large piece of electrical equipment) is in a safe working order
- Test the fire alarms (and any other types of alarms on board)
Please not that these are all our basic checklists. Please add other things to these lists as you see fit. Keeping your yacht in good condition will help to keep everyone on board safe.
We hope you found this yacht maintenance checklist post helpful. If you have any other tips or advice, feel free to leave them down below. We love hearing from you!