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Old 04-03-2010, 21:37   #1
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Recommended Maintenance Schedule?

I am trying to get an idea of a maintenance plan for a 32-36ft monohull sailboat.

Basically, how often should I be doing what?

%99 of the time the boat will be on the Columbia River, also a liveaboard.

How often should certain systems be checked, maintained, etc.

I am new to this and need the big picture.

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2010, 22:39   #2
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wow. huge question. hard to answer without writing a book. I'll give some general guidelines and hope others pipe in. please realize that much of this depends on use, and the more use a boat gets, the more frequently that maintenance is required.

standing rigging: inspect yearly, replace every ten years.
running rigging: inspect monthly, replace every three years.
bottom paint: clean 4 times yearly, haul every two-three years
engine: as per owner's manual, but at a minimum figure on a complete change of oil/filters annually.
pumps: for liveaboards, figure on rebuilding pumps every two years
polishing brass, stainless, and fiberglass: annually (more if you like a pretty boat.)
exterior brightwork: every six months at your latitude. more if you move south
bilge cleaning: every six months if wet, once a year if dry
mildew remediation: in your ecosystem, monthly, but figure on a once-per-year marathon where you empty every locker and lazarette and scrub till you drop.
refrigeration, charging systems, electronics, propane systems: whenever they break
cleaning quano from decks: constant
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Old 04-03-2010, 22:40   #3
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If your a liveaboard the maintenance will be different then a sea going vessel.

At least it'll be in fresh water. The bottom growth (green) will be your biggest outside work other then keeping the birds and dirt off the deck.

The motor will be the next biggest item. you'll need to run it once a week or so to keep the moisture out and system operative.

Take your sails down and store them in a dry place. You'll need to keep an eye on your rigging they'll need oxygen to stop erosion. So keep the dirt out of the swag fittings. Cleanliness is the best thing for the exterior.

Run your pumps and electronics on occasion to keep them in shape and from erosion. Keep the boat ready to pull out in short notice when ever possible.

If you keep a list of to-do's, do one thing at a time whenever possible. Sometimes you'll have to tear into another item to fix the one you need to fix/change. Keep it to a minimum!

And keep your batteries up to task and clean. If it's a diesel make sure the tank is clean and keep it full with an additive. If it's gas keep it empty and dry. By keeping interior air circulating around the tank will keep moisture from forming inside. IAW keep the inside always warmer then the outside.

I'm sure there is a lot more I can add but I'm sure others will pipe in too.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:28   #4
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I have a 3 ring binder (owners manual) that's an inch thick of paper describing the maintenance procedures for the boat. To keep a boat in bristol condition is a never ending journey.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:58   #5
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I don't get the replace standing rigging every 10 years. If the rig is in good repair and the spar maker says its fine and the rigging supplier says it's fine why would it be replaced?
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:19   #6
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Sounds good so far...

I plan on going out sailing every weekend, not just staying tied to the dock.

Im trying to get a general idea, since everyone I know is trying to talk me out of getting the boat and living aboard.

Realistically Im not going to be spending $1000/month on maintenance, am I?

Ive been getting nothing but negativity and horror stories for several months now... now that my house sold and I am only weeks away from getting the boat, everyone has gone into overdrive trying to talk me out of it.

While I am under no illusions that I wont be spending time and money taking care of the boat... I just cant imagine that I will be spending hundreds of dollars each week. For the most part I can do most of the work myself, especially engine work, and the pumps.

I did a lot of searching here in the last few months and never really found a solid list of must-dos, like what you would find for cars. And no one posts how much their repairs cost them, so its hard to gauge what I will be spending.

For better or worse I am going ahead with all of this. Is there somewhere online where I could find recommended service intervals?

thanks!
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Old 05-03-2010, 20:41   #7
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I try to go thru all systems at least once a month - check the status and repair as necessary. Then haul out once a year - if possible.

No rigid schedule - more like keeping very close eye on all systems whether I use them or not and fixing today what might cost me twice the time and money tomorrow.

I believe, if the boat is OK now, it will cost you about 10% of its price towards maintenance per year. Less, if she is really sound and well maintained by her ex owner.

A rule I learned the hard way is - cry once (buy quality).

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Old 05-03-2010, 21:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I don't get the replace standing rigging every 10 years. If the rig is in good repair and the spar maker says its fine and the rigging supplier says it's fine why would it be replaced?

more of a rule of thumb- but should budget for it. IF it needs it you have the cash set aside and if its still good great. Instead of pushing a bad rig due to lack of money.


And FYI, if you owned a house its the same, think about how big the book would be if you made a house maint list? The garabge, cutting the grass watering the grass, cleaning the windows etc. And OMG how much you really pay for the house after instrest- hell no one would buy a house.

So just tune out the nan-sayers and go for what you want.
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Old 05-03-2010, 22:01   #9
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if you live near the lower Columbia , as i do , take extra precaution on the critical systems. the frequent nine knot ebb and the Columbia bar are no joke
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Old 05-03-2010, 22:06   #10
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a good question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I don't get the replace standing rigging every 10 years. If the rig is in good repair and the spar maker says its fine and the rigging supplier says it's fine why would it be replaced?
I understood this to be the ABYC standard used by marine surveyors. However, when I tried to find this standard online, the website I consulted would not give me the standard unless I purchased it. So the only authority I can quote regarding standing rigging was what I was told by a surveyor, long ago, that the standing rigging on a boat I wanted to purchase needed to be replaced because it was more than ten years old. If memory serves, I believe this included turnbuckles, shrouds, stays and lifelines.

If someone has more definitive information regarding a maintenance schedule for standing rigging, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 22:08   #11
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if you live near the lower Columbia , as i do , take extra precaution on the critical systems. the frequent nine knot ebb and the Columbia bar are no joke

For sure!

I am going to be docked at Tomahawk Bay Marina on Hayden Island in Portland.

Im thinking that I want a good 5 years of sailing the Columbia before I even think about crossing the bar... or the "Graveyard of the Pacific" as it is known!
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Old 05-03-2010, 22:17   #12
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Five years is a long time and the coast is beautiful
You just have to be in touch with weather and tides and...
if your maintenance schedule leads to gear failure......you need a quik plan B
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:21   #13
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Don't know if you've run across the old rule of thumb 10% of the amount of the boats REPLACEMENT value will be required for maintenance. Take in point the sewn portion of the boat. Figure replacing every 8 yrs. For mid 30 footer interior upholstery w/foam $4k. Cockpit cushions $1k enclosure w/bimini and dodger $6k misc sail covers $1k. Set of sails $8 k. So looking at $ 20k every 8yrs. Or $2500 a year or $210 month. Much of which can be diy.

For an idea of what's involved in maintenance see if you can get hold of the owners manual for a weekend and read it cover to cover. Mine describes the maintenance for just about everything from waxing spars to changing packing. With the intervals and inspection procedures.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:13   #14
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Big projects aside....Like Cushions, dodgers, standing rigging etc....and not including slip or mooring fees...I probably spend about $1,000 a year..maintaining, and then improving my 34 footer. Things that I consider must-do's

Every year: Fuel filters, oil change, oil filter, Zincs for the prop/shaft/heat exchanger/engine. Transmission fluid, Brightwork treatment( cetol, natural), Wax for the hull, Bottom paint every 2 years, touch up every year. ($200. us gal.) antifreeze, Holding tank treatment, Stainless steel cleaners, Sandpaper,
Clean and lubricate winches, Clean and lubricate seacocks. replace Impeller.

Every year, you are going to want to throw in an extra or two as needed to keep things in bristol shape.I chip away at these.
(This is not a complete list..)

Cabin sole refinishing..maintaining
Check ground tackle..
replace hoses and clamps connected to seacocks,
replace engine hoses/clamps to cooling and heating systems..
Check hoses to head/ holding tank/ possible rebuild head gaskets.
Check fresh water systems hoses, pumps etc.
running rigging...sheets, and control lines..halyards
Check steering..
Check shaft packing
Check Batteries
Check bilge pumps, sump pumps
Check Thermostat
Alternator belts

Now and then...something will simply break or fail..and you'll need to replace it. Heat exchangers, Water Pumps...etc etc.


Then you have the big things that you might want to do or need to do depending on their condition.

Sails, Cushions, Standing Rigging, Wiriing, tenders, Canvas- dodger/ bimini
Upgrading electronics etc. These are the things you have to make an assessment of and then budget for them..as they can be big ticket items.

If you owned a home, you are always maintaining, fixing, and improving things ,so a boat is no different. Except...a house is likely to appreciate in value...
With a few exceptions ..a boat will depreciate in value, no matter how much time, money and effort you put into it. So it becomes a labor of love...or insanity..depending upon your viewpoint.....apparently your friends think the latter.
But, I'll bet you they'll come sailing and help drink your beer..on a nice day!! If they're good friends they'll come help on the work days!
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