What Should My Boat Maintenance Schedule Look Like?
When it comes to replacing or maintaining parts on more seasoned vessels, it can be a challenge to work out the rough lifespan of individual parts, pieces and components. To help you out with planning, preparation and budgeting, Mylor Rigging have put together the ultimate crib sheet to understanding how long things should last before replacement may be required.
Before looking over this schedule, it's worth noting that this is a provisional guide, and how well you look after your various boat bits and pieces will determine their true lifespan. Although the following components will typically last longer than you think, to avoid failure on certain items while they're still in use, it's better to have a 'glass half empty' mentality in regards to older items...
Boat Maintenance Schedule
Liferafts - consider replacement after 12 years
Lifejackets - consider replacement after 10 years
Batteries - consider replacement after 3 to 5 years
Electronics - consider replacement after 5 to 15 years
Engines - consider replacement after 15-20 years
Spars - consider replacement after 25 years
Cruising Sails - consider replacement after 10 years
Standing Rigging - consider replacement after 5 years
Running Rigging - consider replacement after 10 years
Canvas - consider replacement after 10 years
Upholstery - consider replacement after 10 years
Teak Decks - consider replacement after 10 to 20 years
Deck Gear - consider replacement after 20 yearsWhat Should My Boat Maintenance Checklist Look Like?
Having a concrete set of daily and weekly boat checks laid down will save you hassle, keep you safe and help you avoid any expensive replacements. Refer to these top 5 tasks as and when you need to...
#1. Inspect The Bilge
Before your morning sail or every couple of days a week, inspect the bilge for water or evidence of fuel leakages. Every so often or after a period of heavy rainfall, lift the floorboards to ensure the bilge is dry. It's also a good idea to look under the floorboards if the engine hasn't been fired up for a while.
If you find a leak, ascertain whether it's fresh water or salt water by dabbing a little on your tongue - freshwater issues are usually pretty straightforward, salt water could be an indication of a bigger problem.
#2. Set The Bilge To Automatic
Ensure your bilge pump is always set to automatic so it will immediately kick into action in the event of a leak.
#3. Do A Daily Battery Check
Bear in mind which type of battery you have as this will determine how often they need to be charged up. Over time you'll get to understand how your battery works and how long you can leave it before charging, but make sure you're doing regular battery checks on your boat to begin with.
#4. Check The Generator
Monitor the oil and water levels and every other significant aspect of the generator every week. Looking out for leakages, connection problems, war and tear, general grime and debris.
#5. Check Your Sea Strainers Are Running Smoothly
If the generator is running, things like air-con or refrigeration that may have a raw water or salt water cooling system will have strainers that will need to be carefully observed and cleaned if necessary, depending on where you sail.
Inspect the water flow on these cooling systems and make sure everything coming out of your onboard appliances is flowing smoothly. If water flow is poor, this will indicate a problem which you can immediately act on.