- by William
If you own a yacht, you know that a lot of work goes into making sure that everything is fully operational. How can you enjoy your yacht if there are water leaks and engine trouble? If you pay attention to the signs that repair is needed, you’ll know exactly when to get maintenance on your yacht.
How Often Should You Take Your Yacht in for Maintenance?
The frequency of your yacht maintenance will depend on a few factors, and what particular type of maintenance you’ll be doing.
1. Monthly Maintenance
As a monthly routine, you should perform the following maintenance measures on your yacht:
1) Engine and Fuel System:
- Apply WD40 to the engine, control panel, and components to prevent corrosion
- Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature every month
- Clean out the water strainer
2) Electric Components:
- Check (and replace if necessary) all interior light bulbs
- Make sure the bulkhead and engine connections have adequate flex without fraying
- Assure that wire connections and terminals are sealed with no corrosion
3) Corrosion Prevention:
- Inspect the hull for corrosion signs
- Inspect props, bearings, shafts, rudder fittings, and through-hulls for corrosion
- Check connections, gear casings, steering cables, and engine cables for corrosion
4) Hull Maintenance:
- Check the hull, keel, and rudder for damage
- Inspect (and renew if necessary) the teak
Through-Hulls and Bilge Pumps:
- Inspect bilges frequently and ensure they are clear
- Make sure that through-hull strainers, intake and discharge components aren’t blocked
- Check that valve handles are attached securely
- Inspect hoses and plugs for cracks
2. Annual Maintenance
Every year, you should perform the following maintenance on your yacht to ensure that every aspect is fully operational:
- Check, and replace if necessary, engine belts
- Inspect the fuel tank for rust, contamination, or leaks
- Make sure that hoses aren’t cracked, worn, or leaking
- Check, and replace if necessary, the antifreeze level prior to winter storage
- Clean and apply anti-corrosion spray to the exterior bulb contact points
- Check the battery’s water level
- Replace zincs as per manufacturer’s instructions
- Test equipment (radios, compass, swing) to make sure all is functioning
3. Heavy Usage Maintenance
After heavy usage, like a 100 hour trip without substantial breaks, you’ll want to perform the following maintenance:
- Check, and top up if necessary, coolant and oil levels
- Check for and address any fluid leaks
- Check, and replace if necessary, oil pads
- Replace the oil and filter
- Test, and replace if necessary, batteries for capacity level
- Make sure that all wiring is secured and clear of the exhaust system and bilge
How Much Does the Average Yacht Maintenance Cost?
Typically, yacht maintenance costs will get higher with the age of your boat. This is because repairs will need to become more frequent due to parts expiring or deteriorating as time passes. During the first two years of ownership, the manufacturer’s warranty will cover most yacht maintenance costs.
According to Business Insider, it is not unusual to spend 10% of the yacht’s initial purchase price every year on maintenance and operations. This means that if your yacht was purchased new for $10 million, then you can spend up to $1 million in yacht maintenance costs annually.
Signs That Your Yacht Needs Maintenance
1. Paint Peeling
If you start to notice that paint on your yacht is peeling, chipping, or blistering, then you’ll need to take it in for repainting. Check your hull monthly for paint issues, and if any are found, visit a professional yacht maintenance company who offers painting services.
2. Overheated Engine
If you notice that your engine’s temperature is rising to abnormal temperatures, leading to an overheated engine, then you should bring your yacht in for repairs as soon as possible. An overheated engine is typically caused by the cooling loop failing due to any one of a variety of issues that a professional will determine.
3. Broken Fiberglass
The fiberglass on your yacht is susceptible to scuffs, dents, and scratches. If you notice any of these issues on your yacht’s fiberglass, then it’s time to take it in for repairs.
4. Power Outages
If your yacht is experiencing power stuttering or outages, then you most likely have a serious electrical or engine issue that needs to be repaired as soon as possible. There are many reasons that your yacht may lose power, such as spark plug issues or complicated electrical issues.
5. Starting Issues
If you find that your boat won’t start, then that’s a sign your yacht is having an issue that may need repairs. Faulty starting could happen for a variety of reasons; dead battery, faulty connection, rotor problems, and many more. Because of this, it is best to bring your yacht into a repair service so they can properly determine and fix the problem.
6. Water Leaks
While it’s typical for your yacht to take on water, it becomes an issue when you’re taking on significantly more than usual without it being expelled. If this is happening, you’ll need a repair due to potential damage to the bilge pump. It is essential to get this fixed as soon as possible because leaks can lead to engine damage.
7. Intense Vibrations
If you’re feeling vibrations that are much more intense than the typical small vibrations from the engine and propeller, then you most likely have a propeller issue. You will need to have your yacht looked at by a professional to determine the exact problem, find out what is causing it, and solve it with repairs.
8. Corroded Hull
Your yacht’s hull may begin to show signs of corrosion, such as leaks, peeling paint, deposits around any fixtures made of stainless steel, or white powder on an aluminum hull. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to bring your yacht in for some maintenance.
9. Rusted Fuel Tank
Your fuel tank is also susceptible to corrosion and, as a result, rust due to oxidation. This can lead to fuel contamination, which can be a serious problem for your yacht. If during your annual check of the fuel tank, you notice that your fuel tank has signs of rust, then don’t hesitate to take your yacht in for maintenance.
10. Structural Damage
If your yacht has experienced any structural damage, such as holes, tears, or cracks, then you’ll need to bring your yacht in for maintenance. Be sure to work with a yacht repair company that has professional experience with repairing structural damage, custom molding, and more.
What to Look for in a Yacht Maintenance Company
When looking for a yacht maintenance company to employ for their services, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- See what services they offer. If you know what type of maintenance services you’d like to get done on your yacht, then do research and find a company that can service all of these repairs. Many repair services are provided by Galvez Yachts, the best yacht repair company in Miami, Florida.
- Assure that they have great attention to detail, hard work, and dedication to their craft. When you get maintenance, you’re entrusting your yacht, which is surely one of your most prized possessions, in the hands of a maintenance company. You’ll want to make sure those hands are the best in the business with a history in the industry. A mistake made to your boat can be costly.
- Check if they undertake all warranty service requirements. A good yacht maintenance company will be sure to maintain regular contact with the various manufacturers that they represent. Be sure to check that they adhere to international service standards as well, so that you can be comfortable knowing that your yacht is in the hands of industry professionals.
- Make sure the company is close by to your main docking station. If your yacht is stationed in South Florida, then you will be better off looking for a company who does yacht repair in Miami, rather than one who operates in Northern Florida. Yacht repair in Florida is an expansive industry, so choose wisely.