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Old 16-10-2004, 03:55   #1
Senior Cruiser
GordMay's Avatar

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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
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Maintenance Check List

Found this check list in my computer files. I don’t recall the source. Like most of us, I’d have a few additions, deletions, and changes - but it seems complete enough to provide a decent starting point from which to customize your own check list.

Periodic Maintenance Schedules:

Once a day:
~ Apply sunscreen.
~ Air out and dry out bedding.
~ Walk the deck, looking at all hardware, rigging, lines, covers, etc. Adjust chafe points on all lines.
~ Check drains in cockpit and chain locker.
~ Check bilges and through-hulls.
~ Check electrical panel for popped breakers, proper settings, etc.
~ Make log book entries.
~ Inspect all stored fruits and vegetables for mold/decay.

Once a week:
~ Check transmission oil.
~ Check belts.
~ Check engine oil.
~ Check engine coolant.
~ Check frequently-used raw water intake strainers (engine and genset ?).
~ Check frequently-used heat-exchanger zincs (engine and genset ?).
~ Visual check of batteries.
~ Operate and inspect all seacocks.
~ Quick look into all lockers, compartments, cabinets, etc for anything wrong.
~ Run all pumps, including emergency and manual ones. Clean strainers for all bilge pumps. Make sure all bilge pumps actually pump water. Make sure a couple of buckets are easily accessible.
~ Clean and dry the bilge.
~ Check for loose bolts on roller-furler, wind-vane, and steering linkage.
~ If have roller-furling, and kept in one position over last week, roll sails in/out to keep the bearings from freezing up.
~ If anchor windlass unused over last week, roll rode in/out to keep the windlass parts lubricated.
~ Disinfectant scrub of toilet and head compartment.
~ Check navigation lights and flashlights.
~ Wash hull and topsides.
~ Practice celestial navigation.

Once a month:
~ Check/clean all water intake strainers.
~ Check engine air filter visually (don't remove it).
~ Check for oil under engine; clean oil off engine mounts with water and dishwashing liquid.
~ Check drive train grease points.
~ If pedestal/cable steering: lubricate cable sheave bearings and check cable tension.
~ Test emergency steering.
~ Wind-vane: wash with fresh water, then lubricate. Clean the oar. Inspect everything for cracks and loose bolts.
~ Check propane system for leaks.
~ Hose off and lightly oil winches.
~ Oil anchor windlass.
~ Lubricate bow roller.
~ Lubricate zippers and snap fasteners on canvas with silicone grease.
~ Lubricate gaskets/seals on hatches, ports and deck-fillers with Vaseline.
~ Check/clean all anti-siphon valves and vented loops.
~ Change watermaker's pre-filter.
~ Check for corrosion and loose wiring in battery system.
~ Equalize/condition (slow-charge at higher voltage) wet-cell batteries.
~ Clean engine and touch up chipped/bare spots with high-temperature paint. (Don't get paint on wires.)
~ Check bilge pump screens/strainers. Clean the pumps if they look messy.
~ Dive over and clean off stuff growing on the hull and propeller.
~ Pretend water is rising in the cabin. Practice quickly checking all through-hulls and head and sink.
~ Imagine that the boat next to you has caught fire. How quickly can you start the engine, cast off and get away ?
~ Practice (or at least review) First Aid techniques.
~ Inspect MOB equipment and practice MOB maneuvers.
~ Inspect and shake up fire extinguishers.
~ Do a surprise fire drill (to the point where everyone has a fire extinguisher in their hands and pointed at the base of the "fire").
~ Test fume alarms.
~ Test EPIRB with built-in self-test.
~ Bring contents of all lockers up onto deck, to dry out, air out, and let sun kill mildew.
~ Unpack, inspect and re-bag all stowed sails.
~ Uncoil, inspect and re-coil all stored lines.
~ Clean refrigerator and vegetable/fruit storage areas with bleach.
~ Clean insides of dorades and other vents with vinegar or Chlorox solution to kill mold.
~ Clean insides of snorkels and mouthpieces with vinegar or baking soda to kill mold/mildew.

Every six months:
~ Check fittings at top of mast.
~ Check screws at top and bottom of roller-furler.
~ Turn anchor chain end-for-end.
~ Empty and scrub out chain locker.
~ Wash anodized aluminum (mast, spars, etc) and rigging wires with fresh water.
~ Test all hatches/ports/lockers for leaks by dumping water on them.
~ Test deck filler caps for leaks by putting a little water on thread gaps and seeing if it drains.
~ Inspect all sails.
~ Lubricate mainsail track on mast.
~ Lubricate sail hanks.
~ Lubricate and work all turnbuckles.
~ Check oil in anchor windlass.
~ If hydraulic steering: check pressure, look for leaks at joints.
~ Clean and wax gelcoat.
~ Sample fuel from bottom of fuel tank. Pump it into a clear jar and let it settle.
~ Check/tighten all zincs. If totally corroded or not corroding at all, there is a problem.
~ Check hoses, hose clamps, and exhaust pipes (corrosion).
~ Check refrigerant pressure and fluid level.
~ Vacuum/wash refrigerator condenser coils/fins.
~ Inspect engine sea water pump impeller.
~ Check "weep hole" at bottom of engine water pump with engine running; if steady dripping, replace seal.
~ Scrub out water tanks with bleach and water (if non-aluminum) or Aquabon (if aluminum), rinsing well.
~ Shock treat fresh water system with bleach, rinsing well.
~ Check oil in outboard motor gearbox.
~ If have folding or feathering propeller, re-grease it.
~ Lubricate rudder shaft.
~ Clean corrosion off tools.
~ Inspect storm equipment (sea anchor, drogue, storm sails) and practice deploying it.
~ Test all contents of abandon-ship bag and liferaft.
~ Inspect (and use) PFDs, harnesses, jacklines, MOB equipment. Orally inflate all inflatable PFDs and let them sit for 16 hours.

Once a year:
~ Haul out and bottom-paint ? (See also “Haulout” Check List)

+ Remove, clean and reseal the mast boot.
+ Pull and re-grease any stainless-steel fittings on aluminum masts or spars.
+ Wax anodized aluminum (mast, spars, etc).
+ Dye test for cracks in swaged fittings.
+ Dismantle, clean, lubricate winches.
+ Service/lubricate the compass.
+ Retune the rig.
+ Wash halyards and dock-lines.

Below Waterline:
+ Service (disassemble and lubricate) all seacocks.
+ If pedestal/cable steering, dismantle and check everything.
+ Inspect the rudder bearings.

Drive train:
+ Repack stuffing box.
+ Check all struts and fasteners related to the propeller shaft.
+ Remove and inspect propeller and key. If has plastic bushing, replace bushing and key.
+ Repack bearings on engine idler pulleys.
+ Disassemble exhaust pipe and check for carbon.
+ Change transmission oil.
+ Clean heat exchanger.
+ Change engine coolant (use correct type for your engine).
+ Replace engine water-pump impeller (save old one as spare if not damaged).
+ Replace all belts (save old ones as spares if not damaged).
+ Clean engine air filter (wash with kerosene ?).
+ Clean engine intercooler.
+ Check engine mounts.
+ Check engine-propeller alignment.

Outboard motor:
+ Remove propeller, inspect, check shear pin, grease, reassemble.
+ Change oil in gearbox.
+ Replace water-pump impeller, seals and gasket.
+ Replace disposable inline fuel filter.
+ Clean filter screen on integral fuel tank.
+ Inspect starter rope.

Rebuild the head (even if it is working fine).
+ Or at least replace the joker valve.
+ Replace holding tank vent filter.

+ Flush refrigerator condenser with muriatic acid.
+ Clean gaskets on all ports, lubricate with silicone spray.
+ Have EPIRB tested by USCG or manufacturer.
+ Have liferaft tested and repacked.
+ Replace triggers in automatically inflatable PFDs ?
+ Inspect all tanks for leaks/corrosion and proper mounting.
+ Sand and repaint propane tanks.
+ Refit aluminum tape on propane connections.
+ Check bonding wires for continuity and low resistance.
+ Unplug all electrical connectors and check for corrosion.
+ Varnish cabin sole.
+ Review stowage plan, discard unused stuff, and look for ways to increase stowage space/utility.
+ Make sure all licenses/documentation (boat, dinghy, fishing, etc) are up to date. You can renew USCG Documentation by filing form CG-1280 without waiting for renewal notice to arrive.
+ Review boat insurance to see if terms and valuation remain appropriate.
+ Check with manufacturers to see if there are any software updates to GPS, chartplotter, SONAR, auto-pilot, RADAR, radios, EPIRB, computer, inverter, charger, navigation software.
+ Replace expired medicines.
+ Have a skin-cancer examination.
+ First Aid refresher class ? SCUBA skills refresher class ?
+ Have SCUBA regulator serviced.
+ Have camera and lenses professionally cleaned to remove mold/mildew.

Every two to three years:
~ Replace engine thermostat (save old one as spare if not damaged).
~ Replace all engine hoses and hose clamps (save old ones as spares if not damaged).
~ Steam-clean the fuel tank.
~ Clean the water tank.
~ Regalvanize anchors and chain.
~ Pull mast and inspect mast base, mast step and all wiring in mast.
~ Pull a couple of keel bolts and inspect them.
~ Replace centerboard pennant (cable).
~ Repack the rudder bearings.
~ Replace jack-lines (especially if nylon webbing; UV damage weakens them).
~ Replace valve on inflatable dinghy ?
~ Have SCUBA tank hydrostatically tested.
~ Expect to have to replace batteries.

Every five to seven years:
~ Remove and rebed all through-hulls.
~ Remove and rebed all deck hardware.
~ Replace standing rigging.
~ Replace lifelines.
~ Replace anchor chain.
~ Replace steering cables.
~ Replace exhaust manifold and riser.
~ Replace rubber engine mounts.
~ Replace smoke/fume alarms even if still working.
~ Have electrical system survey done.
~ Expect to have to replace all sails.
~ Expect to have to rebuild diesel engine.


* Every 8 hours of engine running:
~ Add shot of grease to stuffing box (if greased).

* Every 20 hours of engine running:
~Test engine coolant with coolant tester.
~ Test batteries with hydrometer.
~ Check engine hoses, clamps, wires, tubes, belts, mounts, drip pan, vents, gaskets.

* Every 50 hours of engine running:
~ Have engine oil analyzed ?
~ Change oil and filter. (Use for-diesel-engines oil only.)
~ Inspect zincs in heat exchanger and exhaust riser.
~ Remove anti-siphon valve in exhaust system, wash it with warm soapy water, and inspect it.
~ Check engine air intake system for dust, rust, water, salt, particles.
~ Check for loose bolts on engine (due to vibration).
~ Inspect/clean outboard motor's spark plugs.

* Every 100 to 150 hours of engine running.
~ Change primary fuel filter (water separator).
~ Adjust valve clearance.
~ Retorque cylinder head bolts.
~ Tighten fuel lines.
~ Decarbonize outboard motor with fuel additive ? (Clean spark plug afterward.)

* Every 300 hours of engine running.
~ Replace air filter (maybe at 200 hours, or every 3rd oil change).
~ Change secondary fuel filter.
~ Change transmission oil.
~ Top up autopilot oil (for an in-decks pilot).
~ Replace crankcase ventilation air filter.
~ Replace outboard motor's spark plugs.

E. & O. E.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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