Top Yacht Maintenance Tips from the Team Windcraft Service Team

All our Hanse Group yachts are quality sailing yachts…… but however well a yacht is built it has to be properly maintained if it’s going to survive the harsh marine environment.

Take care of your yacht and you’ll enjoy trouble free boating and achieve the best possible resale value if you choose to up-grade later.

Yacht Maintenance – Pre-Departure Checks

It really is worth taking a few extra minutes to check your boat over every time you go sailing. It’s a great way to get to know your boat and spot any problems while you’re in the safety of the marina berth.

Here’s a basic pre-departure checklist for harbour sailing

• Do you know how your yacht works, including emergency steering and valve locations?
Check the current weather forecast
• Check engine fluid levels and engine bilge for contamination
• Check fuel level and glass bowl filter for any contamination
• Check battery levels and voltages
• Check bilge pump operation and bilges for fluids
• Check fresh water levels, filter and pump operation
• Operate seacocks
• Check navigation lights and VHF radio
• Stow loose items
• Is the LPG bottle turned off?
• Brief any new crew about using winches, moving around on deck, where safety items are and how to use the head
• Walk around on deck and check boat hook, anchor, shackles and halyards
• Start engine and check exhaust water and gear operation before you drop the mooring lines

Yacht Maintenance – Pack up procedure

• Check mooring lines allow for weather changes and tide changes
• Shut off engine
• Check bilges
• Tidy up sails and sheet lines
• Check shore power voltage and leave battery switches in correct position
• Fill in logbook for any items requiring attention
• Shut all hatches and pull blinds
• Fill water tank and pump out holding tank
• Wash down deck, anchor and locker, cockpit and hull

Yacht Maintenance – What should be serviced when?

Regular servicing helps you enjoy trouble free times on the water.

For most yachts in general use in Australia we recommend the following Annually

• Engine Service (as per manufacturers recommendations)
• Slip and Antifouling
• Sail Drive Service (as per manufacturers recommendations)
• Hull and Deck Polishing
• Rigging check and tune
• Seacock condition and operation
• Steering System Inspection
• Keel Bolt Inspection
• Cathodic Protection
• Anchor Winch Service
• Sheet Winch Service
• Toilet System Service
• Fresh Water Filters
• Sump Pump Filters
• Battery Test
• LPG System Check
• Instrument Calibration
• Full interior detail
• Steam Clean and Scotch Guard
• Bilge Clean

In Addition we recommend

• Stainless Steel Polish every 6 months
• Teak maintenance and cleaning every 3 months
• and Hull Scrubs every 3 months – more if you’re racing regularly

Our service team can help you work out a yacht service schedule that’s perfect for you

Yacht Maintenance Seacocks

Hanse yachts come equipped with good quality metal ball valves for all underwater through hull fittings (toilet, engine, galley) to ensure the watertight integrity of your yacht.

If at all possible, it is best practice to get into a routine of shutting these valves off every time you leave the boat – and have some sort of reminder system in place to remember to turn them on when you board your boat to avoid damaging the engine by running it with no water.

Here’s why we think you should do this. The obvious advantage is, not having to worry about the consequences of a hose or fitting springing a leak and your bilge pump stopping operation because it drained the batteries while your yacht was unattended!

One other major advantage of regularly operating the valves from the open to closed position is that over time, without use, the valves tend to get growth and become stiff or even seized in the open position.

So by the simple process of regularly operating the seacocks on your yacht, you will then have the confidence of knowing that they are operable in an emergency.

Yacht Maintenance – Fuel Problems

The main problem you might encounter with diesel fuel on your yacht is contamination from algae.

Algae survive and grow on the carbon and hydrogen in the fuel and the oxygen of any water lying in the bottom of your fuel tank.

The algae sludge will eventually block your fuel lines and filters and corrode your tank and valuable engine components.

How can you stop fuel contamination on your yacht?

• Water usually gets into fuel tanks from condensation – so keep your tanks topped up to limit this.
• Be aware that this is also a bit of a trade off with the fuel going stale – you need to use your boat and the fuel.
• Use a quality fuel additive that has a Biocide – these are very effective at killing any algae in the fuel, but will lead to any sludge blocking the filters, which will need changing at regular intervals until the problem goes away.
• In a bad case of algae growth your tank may need to be pumped out and cleaned.
• Regularly check the condition of your fuel in the glass bowl primary fuel filter – this should show early signs of water or a fuel discolouring.
• Be aware of other early indicators of contaminated fuel: engine won’t reach full rpm or dark exhaust smoke or soot on the transom.
• Only buy fuel from a reputable seller who has a high turnover.
• Have a chamois cloth over the filler and use it as an extra filter when filling your fuel tank.
• Fix any early signs of contamination immediately to stop it getting worse and to prevent any engine damage.

To chat about a yacht maintenance schedule for your yacht call our Service Team on 02 9997 1709.

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