Yacht Maintenance Guide

Your yacht is a substantial investment that provides unlimited recreation and opportunities to create memories with friends and family through the years. Like any asset, you must protect and maintain your yacht to ensure that it provides safe and reliable operation each time you take it out. A well-maintained yacht gives you peace of mind and preserves your yacht's value.

Create A Servicing Schedule

When it comes to yacht maintenance, make sure you discuss servicing schedules and maintenance with the yacht broker or company that sold you the yacht. Become familiar with the manufacturer manual and stick to the maintenance schedule recommended for your vessel. Also, consult a professional yacht mechanic to ensure that the yacht is properly cared for and that you are adhering to manufacturer specifications.

Follow These General Yacht Maintenance Guidelines

In a broad sense, maintenance includes keeping the yacht clean and lubricated. A minimum, make sure all fluids are at proper levels and wash and wax the boat's exterior. Also, follow these general guidelines:

Clean the Yacht Exterior

There are several practical reasons to keep your boat clean. First, you remove any marine life that may have attached to the boat while you were on the water. Second, cleaning the exterior helps the boat retain its beautiful finish and reduces saltwater corrosion. Last, a dirty hull can increase fuel costs by up to 30 percent. If possible, try to clean the boat on land after every excursion.

Focus on cleaning these boat materials to keep them in good shape:

If the fiberglass takes on a chalky appearance, polish and wax the fiberglass using a specially designed solution for the material. You can clean canvas by using freshwater, mild soap and a light brush. Try to keep the upholstery cover or stored between outings. Clean the woodwork with a mild cleaner that is designed for teak wood. Scrub the teak across the grain to keep it in excellent condition.


Yacht Storage

Where and how you store your yacht depends on the size and make of the vessel. Proper storage involves shielding the boat from ice, snow or rain while allowing adequate ventilation to prevent mold or mildew buildup. If you plan to put your boat in storage for an entire season, you need to prepare for several months of inactivity so that it will function properly when it is time to set sail. Take the following steps to prepare your boat for storage:

  • Flush the water tanks, water lines and the engine with fresh water.
  • Open the drain plugs to allow any moisture to drain out.
  • Apply grease to the shaft.
  • Clean the yacht, including the propeller and shaft.
  • Remove any food or beverages and clean out the refrigerator.
  • Fill the tank with fuel and add anti-bacterial stabilizing agents.
  • Replace the inline fuel filters.
  • Lubricate the spark plug holes.
  • Replace cracked hoses, top off the antifreeze and disconnect the battery.

If you store the yacht outside, be sure to cover the top of the vessel to protect it from the outside elements. You can have your boat professionally shrink-wrapped so that it remains covered and ventilated at the same time. If you prefer inside storage, then consider renting a storage unit for the winter. If you have a larger yacht, you can store it on the water in a local marina. A storage harbor offers professional services to protect your boat during the cold season.

We'll Help You Create a Yacht Maintenance Schedule.

Boat Engine Maintenance

The engine is the most crucial component of your yacht. Preventative maintenance reduces costly repairs and prevents you from replacing the engine prematurely. Only perform routine maintenance on your boat if you are certain you know what you are doing. Otherwise, most boat marinas offer a full-time licensed boat maintenance crew that can keep your boat in excellent condition.

Some maintenance should be performed after each excursion. Scheduled maintenance needs to be performed according to manufacturer specifications. Make sure you read your boat manual to learn more about your boat's engine maintenance requirements. With that in mind, below are a few yacht engine maintenance tips.

Before each trip:

  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel and that the fuel tank vent is open.
  • Tighten the engine mount screw clamps as needed.
  • Check to make sure the water intake is free of debris.
  • Check the propeller for oil buildup, debris or fishing lines.

After each trip:

  • Flush the motor to remove sand or debris.
  • After flushing the motor, disconnect the fuel line.
  • Clean the motor and apply an anti-corrosive agent.
  • Allow the engine to burn the fuel in the carburetor.
  • Cover the motor with plastic or canvas.

Routine or scheduled engine maintenance:

  • Make sure the tank vent is free of any blockage.
  • Inspect all clamps for rust.
  • Check the fuel primer bulb for cracks.
  • Replace any damaged fuel hoses.
  • Check or replace engine or propeller belts as needed.
  • Check the fuel lines for damage or wear.
  • Change or top off the oil as needed.
  • Check for water in the fuel.
  • Replace spark plugs as needed.

Remember, yachts that are 40 feet and longer are more likely to remain in the water full-time. Therefore, routine maintenance is important since the Gulf’s waters contain high saline levels, which are corrosive. Last, make sure you keep a log of all maintenance performed on the yacht.

Here's a Quick Boat Maintenance Checklist

A yacht is essentially a makeup of various parts, which require ongoing attention to work properly. In addition to the maintenance tips above, below is a quick checklist of everything you need to monitor and maintain your vessel. Again, make sure you follow the manufacturer's manual when cleaning, fixing or replacing any of these parts.

  • Hull: Check the hull for any cracks, blisters or other damage – fix any damage immediately.
  • Fluid Levels: Make sure all fluids are at proper levels before going out to sea.
  • Oil: Check or replace the oil and the oil filter as needed.
  • Electrical lines: All lines should be connected, protected and free from corrosion/damage.
  • Water pumps: All water pumps in all areas should be pumping water adequately.
  • Battery: Check the battery charge and connections. Store the battery during the winter season.
  • Propeller: Make sure the propeller is in good condition – grease the shaft, remove debris and secure the propeller nut.

If you have any further questions about boat maintenance, check with your marina's maintenance crew. They can help you with any maintenance or repair needs.

Contact Pensacola Shipyard Today

Pensacola Shipyard is the Emerald Coast's premier boatyard. Whether you need ongoing boat maintenance, resources or facilities, we have everything you need for a complete boating experience.

 To find out more about our marina and boating services, call 850.439.1451.