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Old 05-09-2011, 08:56   #1
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Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Engines rust, there is growth your inlet valves, wires perish, pumps no longer work, switches fail, batteries die, painted boats go dull, water maker membranes perish, ropes chave, etc. The wear and tear is extensive on a yacht, the bills are getting bigger year after year - never mind the time you have to invest maintaining things. The list is endless and a bottomless pit!!!

What are your suggestions to prevent some of these things from happening? What are you doing to ensure things last longer, require less maintenance or do not break down as often?
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:03   #2
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Sell the boat!
OK, if that is out of question, then reduce your systems to the essentials, use top shelf equipment, keep everything as clean as possible, observe which items fail most and if they can't be removed permanently, look at exactly what is causing the failure and try to eliminate the cause.

If you have some specifics, then maybe the answers can be more focussed.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:10   #3
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

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Originally Posted by MooseMoney View Post
..... switches fail, batteries die, ....
What are your suggestions to prevent some of these things from happening? What are you doing to ensure things last longer, require less maintenance or do not break down as often?
Here is one example, I only use sealed mil spec switches with screw terminals and still keep them protected as far as possible, they don't fail (at least only very very rarely) and batteries can be maintained with quality charging systems and regular maintenance, cleaning and inspections.

Keep the sun off your brightwork when you are not on board is another simple example.

You have to know why stuff fails before you can put in a plan to prevent it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:24   #4
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Two things I find invaluable. Boeing T-9 and 3M Dielectric Silicon Compound. I buy the T-9 by the case and use it to periodically spray everything metal like the engine and its nuts, bolts and fittings.
- - Also the secret to keeping your tool box tools from rusting into oblivion in a year or less is to put a "shop rag" over the top of the tools in each drawer and thoroughly soak it by spraying T-9 on the rag.
- - All electrical terminals/connections and terminal blocks get a coating of Dielectric Silicon Compound which blocks the sea salt air from getting to the wire/terminal/connection. I use a "flux brush" to apply the compound to already installed electrical components.
- - Some folks have success with the product "Corrosion-X" to coat circuit boards and stuff to convert "land" electronics into "marine" electronics. Also it supposed to be good for resurrecting old boards that got drowned in sea water.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:28   #5
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMoney View Post
Engines rust, there is growth your inlet valves, wires perish, pumps no longer work, switches fail, batteries die, painted boats go dull, water maker membranes perish, ropes chave, etc. The wear and tear is extensive on a yacht, the bills are getting bigger year after year - never mind the time you have to invest maintaining things. The list is endless and a bottomless pit!!!

What are your suggestions to prevent some of these things from happening? What are you doing to ensure things last longer, require less maintenance or do not break down as often?
I'm trying to figure how I get time to sail the boat

Two years back, the list was quite long, but as I tackle jobs, I try and figure ways to make the interval between last longer.
Spent a couple of days painting the engine block, made sure I did a good job, rust remover etc, sdo hopefully that will last a few years, and each year, it gets a good squirt of WD 40
.
Ropes go into bags etc, electical connections get greased etc.
Dont think there will ever be a day when I can sit back and say, right, thats it, all jobs finished
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:33   #6
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Hmm... forgot to mention that DeoxIT is an excellent electrical cleaner, far better than most. See Home

I use DC 4 as an electrical insulating grease, see DOW CORNING® 4 ELECTRICAL INSULATING COMPOUND
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:17   #7
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

A boat is a complex assembly of manufactured systems, operating in an environment more inhospitable to systems than the surface of the moon. So, in answer to the question of how to survive with less maintenance, as someone has already suggested, sell the boat.

If you want to retain this "space vehicle" in a dependable and life-saving manner, you have to create a preventive maintenance program that you will actually use regularly, or don't, and accept the responsibility for the consequences.

Airlines, the military, nuclear plants and other institutions that appreciate having stuff work relatively predictably use PM programs religiously. You can too. In the long run, it costs less, both in bucks and bodies, but it consumes time and some materials.

First, make a drawing of your boat's interior plan. Name each major compartment. Identify each unit in that space that needs even the simplest maintenance: portlight latches, light switches, drawer hardware, etc. Write it down (I use Excel spreadsheets). For the bigger units (engine, mast systems, etc.) break it down into those items that require more frequent checking, or require taking stuff apart to inspect. Assign a maintenance interval to these, say every six months or ten years.

Print the items, in a checklist form, based on location. Here's how I use mine: I start by checking the docklines and especially the springlines. I check the engine fluids and battery levels. I start the engine and let it warm while I collect my inspection materials in a bucket: rag, flashlight clip board and list, WD-40 and sponge. When the engine is warm, I put the boat in gear at the dock and bring it up to a low cruising RPM, churning the water behind the boat. Then I go below, forward to the furthest compartment forward, stick my head in that space, wave the flashlight around and take a look and a whiff. I confirm that I have looked at the bolts on the underside of the deck holding stuff above and that no rust or mold is there. I note that it's been several months since I pulled all the anchor chain out to inspect the bitter end, but note that it will come up at its PM service date in two months. I work my way aft, opening the floorboards, sticking my head down there to look for surprises, I open and close, several times, any thruhull valves, I stand up and check the overhead lights, portlights, pull any drawers completely out and look behind, I open and close any faucets, operate the toilet, and note if anything needs better cleaning (at another time). I continue this process until I run out of compartments (and systems) below decks. Then I go on deck, shut down the engine (having noted the hour meter, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel vacuum and voltmeter readings), and contiue the inspection, per the check list, from the bow to the stern, using the binos to check the mast. By this time the engine compartment has cooled down and I give it the final looksee. This takes one hour, once a month. There are fewer surprise issues. I use it to introduce a new crew member to what is on the boat, and allows them an opportunity to become a knowledgeable mate.

Or, you can ignore this stuff and then enjoy the joyful sense of surprise and whimsy that results when the engine conks out as you are threading your way through some lobster pots in a tight channel, or that faint scent of something burning isn't associated with lunch.
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Old 05-09-2011, 17:25   #8
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

1) Use the boat as much as possible. Nothing deteriorates quicker than an unused vessel. Using it is the best way to keep up with maintenance.
2) Simplify. A simple boat with simple systems is much less of a headache. I can guarantee you that if you don't have a watermaker you will never have to fix it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 19:46   #9
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
. . . I use DC 4 as an electrical insulating grease, see DOW CORNING® 4 ELECTRICAL INSULATING COMPOUND
Actually the stuff I use is Dow Corning not 3M - here is a picture of it. You can get tiny tubes of the same stuff from West Marine but I like the big tubes as I use a lot of it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:45   #10
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Thanks for the many tips and ideas shared!
Perhaps a few members misunderstand what I was attempting to say here. It's not your fault for not understanding, rather it is mine for not being clear. It's not about selling one's boat or me moaning about the maintenance required. Indeed it is about sharing practical ideas what a yachtie can do to make things last longer, wear less, break less and hopefully save money in the long run.

Having said this, there are plenty of such ideas already shared in this thread such as;

* Periodically spray everything metal like the engine and its nuts, bolts and fittings with Boeing T-9.

* Spent a couple of days painting the engine block, made sure I did a good job, rust remover etc, sdo hopefully that will last a few years, and each year, it gets a good squirt of WD 40.

* Roy M's very informative post about a maintenance plan.

Many of these ideas and several others are based on years of experience which we newbies can learn from.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:57   #11
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

I use lithium based moly grease anywhere on metal threads, etc... to keep away water.
I found out that lithium grease is not washed away dissolved by water where as normal grease is.
Grease is oil mixed with a soap base.
Last thing I greased up were the engine adjustment studs.
a description of various greases
http://www.warrenunilube.com/greases.html
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:20   #12
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
A boat is a complex assembly of manufactured systems, operating in an environment more inhospitable to systems than the surface of the moon. So, in answer to the question of how to survive with less maintenance, as someone has already suggested, sell the boat.

..................................

Or, you can ignore this stuff and then enjoy the joyful sense of surprise and whimsy that results when the engine conks out as you are threading your way through some lobster pots in a tight channel, or that faint scent of something burning isn't associated with lunch.
Hi Roy M
Thanks fo the valued info! Would you care to share your spreadsheet?
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:36   #13
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Re: Maintenance - Preventative Steps

Being ex-Navy I always thought I would put together a regular Preventive maintenance System for the boat. But in practice it just not not really seem all that possible.

Corrision is by far the biggest problem and there just isn't anyway to really tear the boat apart on a regular basis to always check stuff.

So overall I find that instead of preventive I do corrective maintenance. But while working on the problem do as mush in the area torn apart to hopefully not have the same type problem at that location later.
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