Maintaining your yacht is one of the most important aspects of yacht ownership. Properly maintained yachts or any vessel for the fact, seem to run forever. Here are some tips which can help you understand your yacht better.
Here are six things you must know about your yacht
1.) Know your Oil Schedule
Be aware of the specific oil requirements for your boat, which vary based on the model and type of engine. Change your oil whenever required. The easiest way is to take your boat to a certified dealer and have them change your oil. You can change it yourself with an oil extractor pump, oil wrench, and the time to work/cleanup, but it takes a little practice to learn the process (unlike cars, boats also require a stream of water via the water intake while changing oil). Don’t try changing the oil if you don’t know what you’re doing.
2.) Mold protection
Mold can be insidious, ugly and annoying on your boat. In addition to drying off your boat to remove all excess moisture after use, you should also wash your boat down with a mild solution to kill any mold spores that may be trying to grow. A light mixture of common white vinegar is usually enough to kill mold without harming any of your coatings.
3.) Gelcoat maintenance
The gel coat on your boat needs proper maintenance to continue to protect it – yes, gel coats are strong, but the wrong cleaners can dissolve them or stain them, so pick the right boat cleaners and use them regularly. You can remove most stains with careful buffing when the gel coat is strong, but if it starts to wear down then you may not be able to remove all stains, so protection right from the start is very important.
4.) Fuel management
In addition to making sure you have enough fuel, understand the proper boat maintenance necessary for your fuel type. Keep your tank filled when possible to prevent moisture from gaining entrance and understand what additives your fuel may or may not need. In the offseason, drain your fuel or add a protective fuel stabilizer to help prepare your boat for the next year.
5.) Basic engine repairs
Regular servicing of the fuel and lubrication systems is important. Typical fuel system problems will involve saltwater intrusion and corrosion. Proper maintenance might include draining the fuel tank, ensuring any sediment is cleaned out and replacing the fuel filters. Since emission controls bind modern diesel engines, additives in the fuel are now required. Ensure you’re using the proper marine diesel fuel by reading the manual provided. Clogged filters and a bad fuel pump can lead to fuel starvation. If a fuel pump is pushing air through the system, a number of problems can occur: the fuel pump bearings wear out quickly and injectors are not taking in the fuel at pressurized levels. Experienced vessel owners can easily replace filters and fuel pumps.
6.) Regular engine checks
A boat engine requires careful maintenance, especially before you take your boat out for an excursion. Every time you use your boat, run through a checklist so that your engine is ready for the journey. Check the bilge and hoses for any sign of leaks, check the fuel level and never go out without plenty of fuel, and check the water coolant level if necessary. Make sure you have enough oil in the reservoir, and while using your boat, watch both the oil pressure and the voltmeters to make sure everything is running as expected. This is also a great time to check your wiring.