Here at PBS our service manager Damian Goff oversees the maintenance of multiple yachts on behalf of our clients and we’ve been dealing with and looking after yachts for over 30 years, so we have a pretty good idea of the pitfalls and what works, and even more important the companies in the industry who are reliable and good value. So we offer a one-stop service for all of our clients and thought we would share some of our knowledge with you.
Two primary points that may seem obvious about maintenance are 1) Keep the sun off as much as possible for as long as possible, and 2) rinse your boat, deck fittings and running rigging as frequently as possible with fresh water, depending on the weather. If there is a very wet spell of weather go for a sail and dry the sails before water trapped in the boom-bag or furled genoa causes mould. If it’s too late and mould has already developed there is an excellent service in Sydney for sail and canvas cleaning called Vacu Wash (see their website at this link). If you use them make sure to mention that you heard about them through PBS.
The key elements in annual boat maintenance are pretty obvious, being engine service and antifouling. We can tell you that when it comes down to selling your boat if you have a full service history with engine hours recorded, and your antifouling has been done properly, then this makes a significant difference to the sales and subsequent survey process. Believe me that the number of boats we’ve had surveyed that have issues with the underwater of the hull due to poor antifouling jobs and lack of concern about such things as skeg-bearing wear is remarkable, even from some yards where you would expect much better. So if you’re not personally available to oversee this work, then having someone to look after your interests is a considerable benefit. One piece of advice is to find out what antifouling is most effective in your area and stick with that brand as we’re finding many issues with boats where the brand of antifouling has been changed and/or there has been a lack of preparation. Either will cause bonding failure between the antifoul layers which will cause flaking later on.
In terms of engine services there is a lot more to it than simply oil changing. Depending on how they are used some marine diesel engines start to clog up the engine exhaust elbow and subsequently develop blockage or worse still leaks. Also many owners don’t realise that diesel engines need to be driven hard on occasion, otherwise the cylinders glaze and cause the engine to run smokily. Having the hull and smooth surfaces properly machine polished one a year is a must for several reasons. Firstly it will make it much easier to maintain the yacht throughout the year and most grime will wash off, but secondly it helps maintained the gelcoat and keep the colour uniform and looking well which is important in terms of re-sale.
The canvas package on your vessel, whether power or sail, can amount to a considerable amount of money and has a significant influence on the look of your boat. Having it made by a reputable maker will ultimately save you money and increase the value of your vessel, and knowing how to maintain it is even more important. There are some valuable tips from Shane Beashel of SB Marine Trimming in a following story.
Keeping bilges clean and dry has many benefits. Minimising the chance of cockroaches, reducing odour, keeping mould at bay, and keeping moisture away from wiring and electrical connections to name a few. Never keep cardboard on board as cockroaches love it! Generally keeping the interior dry and dust free will enhance your enjoyment of your boat, but will also help to keep timber, upholstery and things like bathroom fittings looking like new for much longer. If your boat is kept on a marine and not used on a regular basis for any length of time consider putting a domestic dehumidifier on board, the type that has a drain hose that can be led into the galley sink.
To keep stainless looking smart for longer firstly use one of the many types of stainless cleaners available, then rinse with fresh water, allow to dry and then polish with a good quality car wax polish. This will make it maintenance free for quite some time.
There are many other elements of boat maintenance, but the above outlines some key elements which will help maintain the value of your boat. For any service advice or management please contact Damian on firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring (02)9979 9755.