Maintenance of your motor yacht can sometimes be a laborious and tedious annual event however, when completed regularly and properly, it not only improves the enjoyment of your boat yet also protects the value of your lifestyle investment. Here are our top tips from resident Whitehaven boat maintenance expert, Daniel Jackson.
Daniel has had decades of motor yacht experience, management and operational knowledge under his belt. He is the newest team member for Whitehaven and is the go-to man for owners seeking guidance, support and management of their motor yacht. Between troubleshooting phone calls with owners and stints in the shipyard managing annual yard time, Daniel gave his top five must-do for boat maintenance.
Tip 1: Check your ball valves
When your yacht is high and dry on the shipyard, it is the perfect time to test all the ball valves onboard. If one fails or needs repair, it is much better to find that out when the motor yacht is not in the water. It is as simple as ensuring they’re moving free and easily and although there may be many onboard your boat, the most important will be the largest seacocks for the main engines. These supply essential sea water that’s paramount for cooling. Other seacocks supply generators, air conditioning and ancillary items such as deck wash and water makers.
Tip 2: Antifoul your hull
It seems a little obvious yet it is worth mentioning. A freshly antifouled hull will give you a more efficient performance of the boat. Each year, you should lift your motor yacht and inspect the antifoul. Depending on which system you have previously applied, where you berth your boat, how often you use it, and where you cruise will dictate how regularly it will need to be reapplied. In most cases, antifoul will need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months and the best practice is to wet rub the hull to remove flakes from the previous application before applying two fresh coats. At the same time, it is a chance to have a good visual inspection of the hull and replace anodes (another topic altogether) and consider propspeed for the propellers.
Tip 3: Engine service
Whether you have a sailing or motor yacht, regular, thorough and professional servicing of your engine is important. Not just for fuel efficiency yet as a safety requirement. In a dire situation, a fully functioning engine is a life saver. This should also include the outboard engine on the tender. It is best to seek an authorised dealer. Authorised dealers are best placed to have the right parts, lodge any warranty claims, completed any required software updates for newer engines, and have experience with legacy engine models.
Tip 4: Clean Sea Strainers
Like the seacock checks and engine services, checking and cleaning sea strainers out of the water is as much about efficiency as it is about safety. Sea water intakes keep the major systems onboard – including the engine – cool and running which is essential for the safe operation of the motor yacht. A partially blocked sea strainer can significantly reduce water flow and create over heating problems with engines, cause air conditioners to cut out on high-pressure protection and water makers to trip on low pressure. Regular checking is imperative, but doing major inspections works whilst the vessel is out of the water makes it a million times easier.
Tip 5: Check and clean the bilge
In an ideal world, there would be no liquids in your bilge. No water. No fuel. No oil. If there is, then it can be the result of a leak somewhere in the motor yacht’s systems. This would also be a good time to test the bilge pumps are in good working order. Having a clean and dry bilge not only is best practice yet also will reveal any leaks quickly. It is also the sign of a lovingly, professionally maintained boat which will impress any potential new owner should you ever choose to sell.
This is not an exhaustive list yet certainly an important one.