The New Generation


The New Generation


The New Generation

Jasmin Forever

The New Generation

Dolce Mare

The New Generation

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Manage Running Maintenance Work

Every yacht that is in use will deteriorate over time, the heavier the use, the faster. No boat owner will get around frequent repairs, and it is useful to manage these “running repairs” in an efficient manner. In this article, it is given some advice on how to achieve this.

The maintenance of a yacht will require frequent repairs, since many parts of a boat are “consumables”: they wear off, they deteriorate, and eventually they break and need to be fixed. It is useful to have a checklist handy when it comes to managing running repairs.

Since different Gulets have different “weak spots”, it can only give general advice on how to manage repairs and maintenance work. A big uncertainty factor is the weather, which will depend widely on your local climate. Take this into consideration when you plan repairs.

Checklist for Returning Repairs

1.) Try to write down all parts of your boat that might need to be exchanged, fixed or treated in some way. Rank them according to their importance for safe sailing – start with crucial parts like the canvas and go down to “cosmetic” parts such as the teak on your deck. Designate numbers to each of these parts.

2.) Think about how often you need to check these items – once a year, once a month, before every sailing trip? Under most conditions, there will be checks necessary at the beginning of the sailing season and at the end of it; before major sailing trips; and maybe some for special occasions, for example, when it is dry in the summer and the ideal season for repairs on the hull or woodwork.

Write down all these dates or occasions and then add the numbers of all the parts that should be checked at this occasion. For example, you might find “Early spring: 1, 3, 4, 8, 12, 18.” This will then match with all those parts of your yacht that you should check at the beginning of the sailing season of this time. A list of this kind can be very convenient.

3.) Over the course of a year or season, you should keep an eye on your boat; it is likely that you will discover more things that wear off and need to be fixed. Be ready to amend your list and keep in mind that it is meant to be a guideline, not a natural law.

4.) Mind the “risk curve”. Let’s go back to the list from above: The top-positions should be held by vital parts that will be crucial for sailing. If they break, you will have serious problems during a trip or at least an unpleasant interruption of the sailing season.

Ask some simple questions: Are spare parts available in my area? Are they going to be available all year round? How do these parts into the “risk curve”? The “risk curve” is a diagram in which you plot the likeliness of a part to break against the damage this would cause.

For example: The mast; if it breaks, the damage would be horrendous, however, it is not very likely that it will. The varnish on your deck; little damage occurs if it wears off, with no safety risk involved – however, it wears off quickly and needs to be replaced frequently. These two items will occupy opposite positions in the “risk curve”. It should help you to identify parts that have a particularly high significance for your safety.

5.) Especially if you go on cruises or if you do very competitive sailing, you might want to carry spare parts for those that have high risk-values. This might include parts of your radio and communication system; parts of the engine, oil, fuel or filters; electronics and energy supply (batteries); canvas, rope and rigging in general; hull repair kits, epoxy glue and assorted pieces of board from wood. Depending on your type of boat, your equipment, your location and the type of sailing that you do, the list of essential spare parts will have to be “custom made”.

6.) Manage your workshop: Most repairs are best done in a dry, warm place. Everything that involves solvents, such as handling paint, lacquers, varnish, as well as many detergents and epoxy resins should be used only in well-ventilated spaces. Some repairs will have to be done at sea, and if you are on a cruise, you might even have to do them seriously offshore.

Go back to your risk-curve and see if you could cope with that. Some cruisers have workshops on their yachts; others just try to match their toolkit with the requirements defined by their boats. Whether or not either way is sensible will once again depend on where and how you sail.

Electric Maintaince

Battery Care

When the weather gets messy and your yacht needs propeller assistance you want the engine to start. You can either crank start it (when did you last practice that?) or depend on your battery. So some battery care tips are not merely useful but essential for boating safety:


1. Visual inspection: Check electrolyte level at least once a month. If the battery is fully charged and still charging, water loss may increase. It is advisable that a new regulator be installed to normally prevent over-charging of the battery. Overcharging is indicated if the battery is bubbling vigorously.

2. Hydrometer test: Check the electrolyte level to see that it is above the plates in all cells. If it is below the plates, the test cannot be carried out until water is added and the battery charged to mix the water and residual acid in the battery. It is important to ensure that the plates do not remain exposed to air and allowed to dry and oxidize. The state of charge of each cell can be measured with a hydrometer to determine the specific gravity (S.G.) of the electrolyte (specific gravity is its weight compared to water).

Hydrometer Use

Draw the acid into the hydrometer so that the float is lifted free and not touching the top or bottom. The barrel must be held vertically and the eye must be level with the surface of the liquid. Disregard the curvature of the liquid against the glass (read from bottom of meniscus).

Generally the battery state of charge is as follows:
S.G. (@25°C) Volts State of Charge
1.260 6.32/12.65 100%
1.220 less than 6.22/12.45 75%
1.180 less than 6.10/12.20 50%
1.120 less than 6.00/12.00 Discharged
Cell temperature corrections should be applied if accurate readings are required. 0.004 points should be added or subtracted for each 5°C ± variation from 25°C.

3. Voltage Test: Voltage readings should be taken while the battery is neither charging nor discharging (nothing connected and turned on). Immediately after charging or discharging the battery voltage may not have stabilized. The voltage will settle down in about 30 minutes after charge or discharge is discontinued.

Electrolyte Level

Many batteries have markings on the cases to show the maximum and minimum advisable levels of the electrolyte. The lead plates in the battery must be submerged completely by the electrolyte, but there must also be a certain amount of headroom to allow the battery to gas without causing the electrolyte to spill out of the battery case.


1. Keep battery clean and dry - dampness lets electric current leak away.

2. Keep vent plugs in place to stop dirt falling into cells.

3. A thin coating of petroleum jelly helps prevent corrosion of terminals and connections.

4. For topping up cells, use either distilled water or clean rain water preferably collected in glass or plastic. Never top up the battery with anything other than distilled water or rainwater. Tip: A dehumidifier produces copious amounts of pure (distilled) water. Ask a friend with a dehumidifier for some of its water.

5. Make sure that the positive and negative plates inside the battery are covered with electrolyte at all times. Do not overfill.

6. Avoid adding water to a battery just prior to taking a S.G. reading as the reading will be misleading. If water is to be added, the battery should be charged for a while to mix it with the electrolyte thoroughly before the reading is taken.

Maintenance Schedule

Item to Check Frequency

1. Check S.G. of electrolyte 1 month
2. Check level of electrolyte. Top up if necessary 1 month
3. After boost charge check cell voltages. These should correspond to each other to within 0.05 volts 1-6 months
4. Check tightness of terminals and remove corrosion if necessary 6 months


DO NOT top up the battery cell with water when the battery is in a state of discharge. If the level of electrolyte is low, top up only to make sure that the plates are covered and no more. The fluid level rises with the level of charge, so if water is added when the battery is discharged, it may overflow on charging and lose electrolyte.

DO NOT use alligator clips or other sprung jaw methods as sparking often occurs when they are removed or attached, Hydrogen gas is generated by batteries under charge which is very explosive in the presence of air. Sparking can ignite it. The resulting explosion will not only destroy the battery but also injure the person holding the alligator clips with flying debris and battery acid.

DO NOT lift the battery by the lugs or terminals. Batteries need to be adequately supported from underneath.

DO NOT overcharge your battery to the point of heating the cells up. This will cause terminal damage. It is acceptable to charge to the point of the electrolyte bubbling. You may need to add water if the electrolyte level goes down.