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Old 05-03-2004, 05:19   #1
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Question General Maintenance

We are within a month or so of taking possession of our new boat, and although this is our third, I am not certain that I have a good grasp on maintenance (i.e., what to do and how often to do it). Because this is our "new home", I want to make sure that we take the best possible care of it. Of course, the maintenance info/schedules in the equipment manuals that will come with the boat will be a starting point, but I need to satisfy myself that I'm not missing something. So does anyone have a recommendation on some good books on the subject? Keep in mind that this is a fiberglass catamaran with no wood trim.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:37   #2
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Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
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I really like Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems. I am not familiar with his other books, but this one has proven quite useful to me.
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Old 05-03-2004, 13:10   #3
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Take care of it as if your life depended on it. Because it just might!
All the mechanical and electrical works should have manuals. You'll need to pick up books on fiberglass and the rigging. The rest is all sailing.

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Old 05-03-2004, 15:02   #4
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Hi Harriet,

I work in an industrial facility and have become well versed in the value of preventive and predictive maintance. Preventive is simply a schedule of maintenance or inspection tasks you complete to head off failures that would be costly in either money, time or most important, safety.

I am planning on putting together a spreadsheet for my boat. I think the best starting place is walking thorugh the boat and listing all of the systems. These would include rigging, steering, engine, etc. Then, use a combination of manuals, Calders books, other system owners to list the items to be checked for each system. Make sure you list the interval as well.

You can use this to put together a book with check lists for each system. Then make a master list for each of the check lists and put the date it is next due. If it is weekly, and you just did the PM, then put the next date it will be due on your master list. Then you just have to scan the list once a week, pull out the check lists for the systems due, and complete the work. File the completed check lists. Some PMs are not given by calender time, but by operating time, such as an oil change at a certain engine time. For these, you need a review list to check once a week and see if you are at the trigger point.

Every time a failure occurs, try to understand what was the root cause of the failure, then figure a way you might have prevented it with a new or more frequent PM or inspection. Then add this to your list/book.

Some failures are predictive in nature, such as a water filter. When the back pressure hits a certain, point you change the filter. Add these to your "operating time" review list.

I know this can seem like a big pain in the butt, but industry has learned that frequent planned maintenance is much less costly than unplanned maintenance.

After collecting some of these sheets, you can use them to budget your maintenance and stock spares based on your future travel plans.

Regards, Woody
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