Preventive Maintenance = Trouble-Free Ownership
The Importance of Proactively Inspecting and Repairing Your Vessel

November 2015

According to boatingmag.com, “Preventive maintenance is the best insurance—and a key to boating enjoyment.” Diligent maintenance does in fact make owning a boat more enjoyable, as well as substantially increasing its life and resale value. There is one thing common among boats irrespective of their size, and that is that they all have complicated systems on board. The larger the vessel, the more complicated the electrical and mechanical systems tend to be. For owners to ensure that all systems remain in good condition, it is essential that they take a proactive approach to their vessel’s maintenance.

Most longtime boat owners are fairly comfortable with basic troubleshooting. However, to keep every aspect of the vessel in check, such as the various engine, electrical, structural and cosmetic components, taking expert advice always goes a long way in ensuring the vessel’s safety. Owners can easily overlook some very common problems, which can ultimately lead to serious damage to the boat. While a diligently maintained vessel will bring you many happy moments on the water, negligence can result in sudden system failures causing accidents that can be fatal. A boating article revealed that “in recently reported accidents, 8% of reporting vessels listed boat equipment / maintenance related factors as the cause. Additionally, 4% of all fatalities were due to boat equipment / maintenance related factors.”

Some new boat owners tend to take a reactive maintenance approach. Reactive maintenance basically means taking a “run it until it breaks” approach, relying on the manufacturer’s warranty to resolve any problems. This is usually not the best way forward. Modern boats are precisely engineered and boat builders are constantly looking for new ways to offer feature-packed vessels at competitive prices. The result is boats that are increasingly sophisticated and heavily equipped, but those same complex component designs also mean that modern-day boats suffer from compromises in build quality that inevitably arise with the pressure to add features while keeping the prices low.

There are some common problems with most modern boats, such as decreased part tolerances and higher operating pressures, that result from complex designs created to fit more features onto smaller boats. Quite often, these boats are found to be fitted with inferior quality materials due to aggressive cost cutting. A good example is the use of commercial-styled plastic fittings instead of metallic fittings for components. Plastic fittings that are under the waterline can easily corrode within one or two seasons from saltwater exposure, so plastic fittings on valves or hoses may begin to leak after a few seasons.

Taking a preventative approach to boat maintenance, as opposed to a reactive approach, also ensures that you use your boat for its intended purpose—to sail on the water and enjoy it. Most new boat buyers will tell you that even though being covered under warranty ensures that system failures are taken care of by the dealer, they would much rather not experience any system failures at all. Imagine losing precious sunny weekends during boating season while your vessel sits with the dealer for repairs. Or imagine being stranded at a distant lake in the middle of a family vacation due to some system failure. This is why preventative care is important. By acting early, you ensure that small issues are immediately dealt with before they cause much bigger problems.

Following some basic preventative measures can go a long way in ensuring the safety and longevity of your vessel. We at VesselWise know that keeping a log of all the issues that a vessel inevitably develops can be a painstaking task. Therefore, we have created a smart, unique tool for owner-operators, surveyors, captains and managers to capture vessel-related issues and communicate with dealers and warranty managers in the most efficient manner. The VesselWise app helps boat owners achieve prompt identification of technical issues, clear communication with technicians and quicker resolution of the issues. It also helps establish a complete record of any issues, as well as their dialogue and repair history, increasing the resale value of the vessel.

Visit VesselWise to find out how you can maintain your vessel in the most efficient manner.