Boat Care Tips that can save time and money in the long run from Martyn Jenkins of Marlin Yacht Surveys
I inspect all types of vessels in the course of a year and there is a common theme that runs through the faults list. The items highlighted In this article are some of them and most are for both sail and motor craft.
It’s surprising that most faults found during a survey are caused simply by a lack of every day maintenance.
1 Sea Cocks
No matter what type of sea cock your vessel is fitted with they must be able to be turned off at any time. Most are left on all year and not used but, in that time they will seize up. Gate valves are the ones that give the most problem as the spindle seizes and the wheel, which Is of steel, rusts and breaks up under pressure.
It is good practice to grease the moving parts annually but also to turn them off and on several times a year. You never know when an emergency will happen and turning off the sea cocks could save your boat.
2. Bilge Pumps
Most bilges are dirty and sludge covered areas. OK not all but you know what I mean. In the course of one survey I found screws, a Jubilee clip, cable ties and two long matches (discarded from the galley area) one of which was lodged into the Impellor of the electric bilge pump. Luckily there was a second electric pump which worked as it should. Most vessels do not have the luxury of two pumps. Whether it is sludge, everyday debris or matches, they can all cause a malfunction of the pump so inspect the bilge area every month, clean it out and test the efficiency of the pump. Don’t forget to test the manual one as well.
3. Running Rigging
Rope halyards and other lines that sit on the mast all year can easily get frayed when rubbed against fittings in wind. Also a halyard when In tension will wear as it sits on the Masthead Sleeve and could fail at any time. I know this as it happened to me. In this case the halyard was of Dynema and the outer case broke leaving the core. From then on I examined the new halyard every month. At the top of the mast I could not see any reason for the problem. But then we did sail 2000 miles a year.
4. Fuel Bugs
Anyone who has suffered from having fuel bug In the diesel tank will know how dangerous and annoying it is. I have seen the results of engine failure when coming into a mooring, luckily with minor damage. It seems that despite adding anti bug chemicals to the diesel it can still thrive. Some owners keep their tank topped up all year round and others have fitted a secondary fuel cleaning system. No matter what action you take, and perhaps all three actions are best, do not ignore this problem.
We all love our boats and we hope they love us, so to keep this relationship a happy and enjoyable one keep a regular eye on the things that are not so visible.
Marlin Yacht Surveys is a YDSA-member yacht survey company based in Palma de Mallorca offering survey, guardinage and both vendor and purchaser support in the sale and purchase of yachts.
Marlin Yacht Surveys represent Grabau International as Strategic Partner in the Balearics.
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