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Making Your Boat Ownership Experience More Fun
VesselWise Simplifies Boat Maintenance     

June 25, 2015

We have all heard two of the most common aphorisms about boat ownership. The first is, “Boats are holes in the water, into which you throw money.” And the second is, “The two happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy a boat and the day they sell it.” Although these sayings may have little truth, there are many boat owners who might tell you that their boat really is a hole in the water. But what is it that makes boat ownership such an onerous commitment? There are numerous factors to consider.

    Environment: Yachts stay in an extremely hostile environment, being mainly exposed to the sea. Vessels used in saltwater generally have a shorter life expectancy than those used in freshwater because saltwater vessels encounter more extreme conditions, such as highly corrosive saltwater and the forces of rain, heat, wind and current, not to mention generally longer voyages. Saltwater constantly corrodes metal parts on the engine, motor mounts and other pieces of hardware. If the boat is not hosed down with freshwater regularly, even the gelcoat will start to get marred by salt residue very quickly. The systems on board a vessel are also complex and costly, and if not checked regularly, they wear out. That, ultimately, leads to heavy replacement costs.

    Usage: Many boat owners take their boats between salt and fresh water. The boat requires diligent checking and regular maintenance when used frequently between sea and lake water. For instance, the exhaust risers tend to develop salt residue preventing the engine from cooling effectively, so the risers and exhaust manifolds would require constant checking and maintenance. This is especially true for boats that are 10 to 15 years old. Modern boats, specifically built to run in saltwater, generally have either aluminum or fiberglass hulls—however, it is still very essential to wash the boat with freshwater after each use to minimize saltwater damage. Moreover, factors such as how often the boat is used, how it is stored in winter, etc. have a major impact on the boat’s overall integrity.

    Survey and maintenance: Finding good marine surveyors can be difficult, as the pleasure boating services industry is largely unregulated. And a lot, in terms of how well a boat is maintained, depends on the surveyor the owner hires. If a boat is not regularly and thoroughly surveyed, it runs the risk of potential system failures resulting in subsequent repair and overhaul expenses. So it is important to hire surveyors who have the rights skills and resources to execute accurate surveys and report critical issues in their survey findings.

Let’s be honest. Anyone who’s owned a boat has surely had great fun on it with family and friends. And even those who don’t own one have watched other families having fun on the water and wished they had finally bought one! For anyone whose fear of unpredictable maintenance and operating costs prevents them from buying a boat, let’s look at the truth about boat ownership.

  • Taking care of your boat: A boat, just like a car, needs good care and servicing. But because the systems on a boat are more complex, the maintenance requires more diligence (which isn’t much different from maintaining a luxury sedan as opposed to a small hatchback). It will require a lot of care, but with proper maintenance, you can enjoy the ownership of your boat to the fullest.
  • Staying informed about your boat’s condition: It is extremely important to get your boat surveyed before you buy it, whether you’re buying a used boat or a brand-new one. Regular and accurate surveys will keep your boat maintenance in check and save you from unexpected failures and the heavy expenses occurring from them.
  • Getting the most out of your surveyor: Hire a qualified, skilled and honest surveyor and provide the right tools, space and resources on board for him to execute the survey accurately. Follow his advice and communicate with your dealer representative or warranty manager to make sure the issues are dealt with efficiently and ultimately resolved.

Having read this advice, many prospective boat owners would think, “This makes perfect sense, but things don’t work as smoothly as you’re saying.” Well, that is absolutely right. And that is why the software platform VesselWise was developed.

VesselWise addresses the serious lack of resources available to boat owners to make the often cumbersome and hassle-laden repair and maintenance process smooth and stress-free. With it owners, dealers, warranty managers, surveyors and contractors can communicate in a transparent and efficient manner to resolve vessel-related issues.

VesselWise will make your boat ownership experience more fun! Learn more about us at www.vesselwise.com.

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