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Old 18-09-2012, 09:59   #1
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Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

So I've been looking around on the forums and I'm sure its there somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. What i'm looking for is some information on a tentative maintenance for the average liveaboard. Personally I have a Morgan 33 O/I, liveaboard, and do some weekend/coastal cruising. What I've seemed to have a problem with is getting a maintenance schedule going in order to keep up with my boats needs. If any of you are old Navy salts I know your familiar with a proper maintenance schedule and thats what I'm looking for. Not a calendar date that each task needs to be performed but perhaps a spreadsheet that gives maintenance intervals for equipment on the average cruising sailboat. Any information you guys can throw out i would appreciate. I'm looking to make a comprehensive maintenance plan and will share it when I complete it.
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Old 18-09-2012, 10:12   #2
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Get up in am. Have coffee. Do one maintenance thing each day. Go snorkeling! :>)
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:57   #3
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Hah! Touche. Thats one way to do it.
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Old 18-09-2012, 13:31   #4
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Really hard to generalize things like that as each and every boat is different. For your mechanical systems, go with the manufacturers suggested maintenance intervals. For other things, like cleaning the bottom, flushing your a/c system (if you have one), talk to other live aboards at your marina. Anything else (electronics, rigging, sails, canvas, paint etc) just go with works best for you and the level of use you put on your boat.
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Old 18-09-2012, 16:58   #5
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Why dont you walk from bow to stern with a pen and a note pad and make your own best assumptions? No dont roll you eyes, its as simple as that.

Example (with coffee in hand)

bow rollers, greased or not?mark a date

chain stop, lubricated or not? same thing

anchor winch, disassembled and greased when

etc etc

i normally would do all exterior items every few months to a year depending on if they have covers and have been used or not, winches, rollers, self tailers, blocks etc

anything easy to do, do it right then and there, anything that gives you grief check the availability of parts before you give it some rough loving.

just cause something hasn't been used does mean that it doesn't need love, sometimes corrosion or hiding in some dark dank hard to reach place on your boat will kill it from lack of use faster than using it to much.

ohhh, if its rainy or cold then do the same walk inside.

once you have gone from front to back then inside from back to front, you will have you schedule sorted and if you carry some small tools on your walk half your maintenance will already be done too.

Carry a camera too, its a godsend to take photos of your maintenance time frame, e.g from disassembling that expensive self tailer to where did that spring that flew off come from?

as the other post said, is something that i totally agree on,.... Do at least one thing to your boat everyday otherwise you end up going backwards.

One you have done this over a few days, you will have a nice note pad full of scribbles and dates and greasy marks, but you will also have the best start to a checklist that is customized for your boat.

Either then rewrite it of put it into a spreadsheet program.

Matthew
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:49   #6
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While formal preventatitve maintenance schedules are a great idea they work best when you have an excess of labour that needs to be kept busy. Liveaboards don't usually have this issue.

I suggest applying the rule of threes. Each day list the three most urgent things to be fixed. Do a walk around with you're morning coffee. Don't just look for the obvious but imagine worst case scenarios.

Prioritise in terms of safety, strength, luxury. Once you're finding less safety and strength corrective maintenance issues you can either concentrate on luxuries or tackle some preventative maintenance issues. Put the list up in a prominent spot and celebrate when a task is complete.
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Old 18-09-2012, 19:24   #7
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

I use a section in our log book to note every repair and maintenance thing we do on the boat....that way I have a record of when and what.
We change the engine oil every 100 hours. We check the oil before we start the engine every time.
We wipe down all the outside teak at least every two weeks and in the process can see if there is any repair or maint. needed.
We flush the watermaker weekly.
We check the bilge weekly and clean if needed.
I clean the ref. and defrost the freezer every two weeks.
I am always looking at and checking things and I try to keep everything as clean as possible....that way it is easy to see if something is not right.
If something breaks.....I order the parts ASAP and I try to fix it as soon as the parts are in.
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Old 18-09-2012, 20:04   #8
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

boat will tell you what it needs and exactly when it NEEDS to be done.
mine has had very frequent oil changes, as the oil wouldnt remain inside engine block, but would escape.
my starter required immediate service in pacific ocean east side of cedros island, so i went there to fix it....lol
fuel was a lil dirty , and there were air leaks in fuel line--we fixed it underway.....many times....and the last time was 1 minute after start up on my way into the anchorage last march--much was repaired then..
nav lite wiring decided to warn of impending malfunction--repair pending....
masts were climbed and inspected for rot spots--i am clear!! and fitting for mizzen triangular spreaders was repaired for 20 dollars, us...
toilet stuffed intake of self with eel grass, so no incoming flush water....fixed --easy fix!!
yup.. they tell ye when they are needing repairs and maintenance--
my mizzen was giving me some input--we went into the mizzen step and strengthened and supported that so isnt a potential problem for a while..
the list will form and you will figure out when to fix things as you learn the list.

i try to have spares of important stuff--alternator, starter--i didnt have these when i left sd--they came to me as i made it further south--friends gave me a new alternator, i paid 150 dollars, us, for a starter and fuel and mechanic time for 4 days in cedros island village wharf....but try to have spares before you leave port
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Old 19-09-2012, 08:29   #9
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Quote:
If any of you are old Navy salts I know your familiar with a proper maintenance schedule and thats what I'm looking for.
I know just what you're looking for JD, PMR cards. A set of those for my boat would be great. They had all the diagrams (some exploded), tools/materials required, simple step by step instructions and the time required for each step. They were broken up in time ranges like weekly/bi-weekly/monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly/annually/etc. It's been a long time since I went on a Navy ship but I assume they still use them.

I'd love something similar for various systems on my boat to make sure I didn't overlook anything and knew just what I needed to do before things broke. I'm surprised there's not something similar for major systems like the engine. Maybe that's the next $20 idea ...
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:34   #10
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

JDRichlen, you have asked the question that is key to one of my specialties. Many years ago I started a marine biz based on Preventive Maintenance. No one was doing it and I had a boat to experiment with, so, voila.

The first step is that you need a boat that is fully repaired and serviced, before you begin a PM program, so you start with that. Do a whole boat survey listing all the units that require attention. If all is well, the item gets a simple checkmark. If ANYTHING isn't well, it gets a notation and a priority. Health and Safety is the uppermost consideration, and gets an A or B priority. A priorities are immediate threats, such as a leaking propane line, questionable anchor system, failed bilge pumps, etc. A B priority indicates a safety hazard in the making and would involve out-of-date flares, unwired anchor shackles, rusting propane tanks, etc.

The next category is Maintenance and Repair, and reflects anything related to the condition of the capital investment, the boat. A C priority is an immediate condition that is actively threatening the boat's integrity: dry rot, faulty engine, electrical failure, plugging toilet, etc. D priorities reflect a developing maintenance situation that will soon cause immediate damage: leaking hatches dripping onto teak cabinets, jamming drawers, rust building up on the engine, etc. Finally, a category that is fun: Improvements. This is for projects that will materially improve life aboard the boat, but are not as high a priority as the previous items, including adding a shelf by the bunk for your glasses, installing a fuel vacuum gauge in the cockpit, or adding battery capacity to the house bank.

Once you have this list made, you can fix the high priority items first, thereby spending your money and available time most efficiently. Then you start on the higher priority repair issues, and occasionally, add in an improvement to keep your spirits high.

Once everything is under control, you have the basis for performing monthly maintenance checks that require about an hour to perform. If the survey is in a word program format, you can set it up this way. Check the engine fluids, start the engine and warm in neutral while confirming the spring lines are secure on the dock. Put the boat in gear forward and increase the throttle to a low cruising RPM, pushing against the spring lines to exercise the engine under load. While this goes on, you go forward inside the boat to the forwardmost compartment and check every serviceable item, from the overhead to the bilge, checking items that are acceptable, noting and prioritizing anything requiring later attention. Move aft, performing these checks in the same manner. When completed inside, check the engine and drive train to confirm no issues, leaks, loose alternator belts, etc. Back to the cockpit, put the engine in neutral, then reverse, then neutral again. Note the instrument readings in your survey. Leave the engine in neutral, walk up to the bow, check the anchor and all gear forward, then work your way aft, stopping at the mast base and looking upward to see if anything obvious is an issue. Back at the cockpit, note the readings of the instruments once more to check for cooling rate of the engine, etc., then shut down the engine. End of first stage.
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:42   #11
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Second stage (and the answer to your original question): Assemble maintenance instructions for as many of the systems as you have aboard. Find schedules inside, or make up your own based on reasonable guidelines. The engine stuff is easy. Some things depend on haulouts (thruhull valves, rudder repairs, mast overhauls, etc. Other stuff, such as toilet overhauls (remembering that true Preventive Maintenance means fixing what ain't broke), you can simply make up a number of hours or months or years between overhauls. Varnishing, sheet winch servicing, and fuel tank cleaning are highly personal, based on available time, degree of use, and personal diligence. You can make your own rules for many of these. Talk to folks who do the work in these areas and ask for recommendations as to service intervals.

Keep records, either in a maintenance log, or on an Excel spreadsheet. You won't have as many surprises or "accidents".
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Old 23-09-2012, 02:21   #12
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Hi Guys,
Great topic , lots to put in action,
Thanks Emmo
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Old 23-09-2012, 06:58   #13
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

I would be interested in seeing something.

I suspect that if someone was of the mindset to keep such a thing updated then they would have created their own, because it would be "better" than what someone else did .

In practice I guess most of us are somewhere between preventative ("a stich in time saves nine") and re-active maintainence ("oh dear, it broke" ).......and in varying places on the graph between those two points.......based on budget (immediate), knowledge (and lack of), wishful thinking - and how lucky one is feeling . Of course how critical a failure would be also no doubt gets factored into the equation, from "oh, dear - one of the 7 heads doesn't work" to "oh, dear - where did that mast go?" .
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Old 23-09-2012, 11:56   #14
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
I would be interested in seeing something.

I suspect that if someone was of the mindset to keep such a thing updated then they would have created their own, because it would be "better" than what someone else did .

In practice I guess most of us are somewhere between preventative ("a stich in time saves nine") and re-active maintainence ("oh dear, it broke" ).......and in varying places on the graph between those two points.......based on budget (immediate), knowledge (and lack of), wishful thinking - and how lucky one is feeling . Of course how critical a failure would be also no doubt gets factored into the equation, from "oh, dear - one of the 7 heads doesn't work" to "oh, dear - where did that mast go?" .
Ha!
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:33   #15
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Re: Maintenance schedule for liveaboards

For a new boat owner this is good stuff, thanks.
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