After buying a boat, if it came with an inspection report, it is good advice to read it thoroughly, as this provide help on certain items or area’s to keep an eye on and could highlight flaws the boat has. If in doubt; you can always contact the manufacturer who I’m sure will be pleased to help you.
If you use your boat on a regular basis, wash it down regularly using mild detergents, anything stronger make affect the wax finish, which can be sensitive to sunlight and general dirt. Aside from the boats general construction, use the proprietary cleaners for other areas of the boat i.e. canvas, fiberglass, different metal types and wood. Maintain the sheen of the boat with natural waxing ingredients, at least twice a year.
The hull of the boat should always be protected by using an annual coat of anti-fouling paint when the boat in not in the water. This protects the surface from the general creep crawlies that like to attach themselves i.e. barnacles. This type of paint can be purchased from any reputable boat supply company or chandlery. This will also help you save a bit on the fuel bill as well!
The boats ‘pump’ and plumbing should be checked regularly, for seal breaks, cracked or worn hoses, the hose clamps and that the drains free and dry. Attention should be paid to the bilge pump where the impellers and diaphragms should be inspected and depending on the age of the boat may need to be replaced.
Malfunctions with the diesel engine, many time develop with a water pump failure. This is because of the extreme heat the engine produces, so the cooling system works flat out to prevent over-heating. So checking periodically will prevent breakdowns. Particular areas to note are:
The impellers on the sea water pump should be check on a biannual basis.
An infrared gun should be used for checking the engine temperature.
The intercooler should be cleaned.
The whole cooling system should be checked at least every two years.
Engine coolant should be replaced every two years.
Have a look around the engine periodically for loose or worn wiring, cracked or damaged hoses and gaskets; this should include the belts as well.
Look after the interior of your boat, on a regular basis, from hovering, carpet cleaning, interior surfaces, windows and blinds. This stops the build up of dirt and grime and will prevent nesting termites.
If you do not take the time or make the effort, your boat will deteriorate not only in appearance and operation but in value as well.
A boat service
There is a large range of different companies that will provide a full range of services ranging from a basic engine service and overhaul to repairs and maintenance of the exterior and interior of your craft. To keep your boat ‘shipshape’ so to speak try to find a company that will include the following:
A full antifouling service to remove all the marine growth
The full wax and polish of the hull and exterior after the boat has had a thorough clean and shampoo which should also include any ‘cutting back’ if required where the surface is showing signs of oxidation or dulling.
A exterior and interior valet that will include all surfaces to fully cleaned and polished from deck lockers to cupboards and head linings. A galley clean of all the appliances with any woodwork polished.
The deck should by fully scrubbed
Teak is the most popular used wood for the decking; this should be properly cleaned of dirt and grime and be brought back to its natural finish
Other services might include:
Repairs to inside covers and upholstery
A refit if required
Electronic systems from installing to repairs
A ‘guardiennage’ service – This is usually for the top end of the market and is based on a monthly fee which might include a regular check for security, checking on mooring lines and fenders, dehumidifiers and heaters. Checking and running the engine regularly when the boat isn’t in regular use
Providing if required a CuNiGuard copper based antifouling coating system