A new yacht is a person’s pride and joy for years to come. Nothing says luxury and relaxation quite like a yacht, and sailing the seas in a brand new personal yacht is something few people get to experience.
Whether your search begins at motor yachts for sale or ends with sailboats, maintaining your impressive new watercraft is one of the many joys of owning a beautiful ship, but how will you know where to start? How will the ebb and flow of the ocean gently carry you around without a well maintained vessel beneath your feet? Here we outline a beginner's guide to maintaining a new yacht, in order to allay some of the concerns many new yacht owners develop.
The key part of any water craft is the hull, as without it we’d be little more than a collection of rope and wood bits scattered across an ocean. The hull is responsible for keeping you afloat and the ship watertight, so maintaining it properly is very important. The hull on most yachts is almost constantly exposed to the ocean water, and everything that lives in it, meaning it needs to be cared for in such a way as to deter any organisms that might want to take up residence on its surface, and shield from larger sea-based animals that might damage it.
The latter is usually taken care of by the marinas that most yachts are stored at, but the former is often incorporated into the design by way of hard, non-stick surfaces covering the hull. As long as these are maintained and checked for damage regularly, there shouldn’t be any problems with the hull.
A yacht with an engine can be referred to as a speed boat, and for good reason too.
These ships can reach huge speeds of up to 50 knots, making them ridiculously fast in the sailing world. The key parts that make these ships so extraordinary are those glorious engines, that send them purring across the waves, and just like any engine they need maintenance.
Maintenance is usually performed by qualified mechanics at registered engine outlets, but basic maintenance can be performed by you, and most of it involved liquids. For the most part, putting oil in the engine when it needs it and putting the correct quality of fuel in the tank can go towards extending the life of the motor, but it is equally important to make sure that you don’t leave the motor wet when you intend to store it for long periods of time. Salt water erodes metals very quickly, so leaving a salty engine covered up in the garage can mean the next time you go sailing you’ll have no engine to move with.
Luckily, with some improvisation, cleaning a ship cabin can basically be the same as cleaning any room of a house, only without as stable grounding. Bring a battery powered vacuum aboard and clean the cabin from top to bottom, followed by vacuuming and mopping as per usual. The key to cleaning a cabin is remembering how everything fit inside in the first place and ensuring that your emergency supplies make it back into their designated areas.
Aligning the rudders on your yacht is doable by yourself, and can help to fix any steering issues you may be experiencing when sailing gloriously across the gentle ocean. Center both your rudders and look at them, if they aren’t identical, adjust the one that isn’t until they match up on the center line. This can take some doing, but in the end your yacht needs to be able to turn accurately and steer in any conditions, calm or choppy.
Finally, the rigging on your vessel will need to be replaced eventually, and the best time to do this is at the first sign of wear. Replacing all of your rigging can be arduous, and you’re legitimately better off getting a professional rigger to help you, as it isn’t as simple as just buying rope and having a good go at it. Different types of rigging is graded in strength for different purposes, different widths and lengths specifically for different tasks, and different kinds of rigging makes up every centimetre of rope on your boat.
With this guide, the relative beginner to sailing can ensure that their yacht remains in tip-top shape for years and years to come, so there’s no reason to put off your dream ship any longer!