Frederick 's BLOG


Price of Poor Preparation: Yacht Maintenance In The 21st Century

Maintaining yachts is a costly endeavor; even more so when proper planning does not take place. Poor planning, when it comes to yacht maintenance, is not only a nuisance; it can also lead to significant losses in time, money, and usage. Without proper preparation, yacht owners, captains, and crew will generally find themselves in difficult situations. To avoid this, understanding the importance of going on the hard with a plan is vital to a successful maintenance period.

The unfortunate potential costs of neglecting to plan ahead during a yard period must be considered. From canceled holidays, to forced use of foreign repair services during season, a lack of prior scheduling can wreak havoc on boats, crew, and schedules – Owner’s trips and charters alike. Should a failure occur whilst at sea and the boat is able to make it back to harbor, the fact remains that it may require expensive repairs due to neglect. This creates additional costs that could have been avoided with proper planning. 

In addition to the potential financial losses, a more damaging and serious consequence associated with under-preparedness in yacht maintenance looms: SAFETY. To paint a clear picture, let’s consider the following. If a crew embarks on a voyage without adequately checking the vessel’s condition or stocking the necessary items and spare parts, the potential risks are incredible. A plethora of potential issues, from engine failure, to a leak, to unexpected weather can cause serious delays, difficulty, or disaster.

The solution to this problem? Preparation! Predictive maintenance is no longer a pipe dream. Captains and crew must understand their responsibilities and ensure they perform a vibration analysis survey before a maintenance period, to get a clear picture of the vessel’s overall condition. For example, imagine you have a significant vibration and you’ve honed in on the predominate cause being a bent shaft via dial indicator measurements. You schedule a yard period, the shafts are repaired and vessel back in service. All of a sudden, the engine fails during season and you’re left scrambling for a repair company whilst abroad. Turns out there was a hidden engine issue, which a vibration analysis survey would have identified, that went unnoticed and therefore unresolved. Now imagine this same scenario, but this time, you have a vibration analysis survey performed and pick up on the hidden engine issue in time to hire a familiar, reputable engine repair company during the planned yard period. The vessel then has a smooth and safe season!


Sometimes, in the latter situation, you may not know of a good repair company, this is where it helps to work with a reputable reliability services company that has trusted relationships with many other businesses in the industry. In these crazy times, procuring spare parts is increasingly difficult; lead times could extend up to 5 months. Without solid a plan, captains and crew are significantly behind the 8-ball, increasing the pressure and stress to maintain the vessel’s obligations.


In conclusion, when it comes to yacht maintenance, a lack of prior planning can lead to serious consequences. While some of the most extreme cases are generally avoided, the cost of inadequate pre-planning extends beyond the monetary costs, such as a costly bill for owner, or a blown budget. Ignoring the importance of proper preparation can be dangerous, and prevention is a must. Overall, successful yacht maintenance periods depend on thorough organization and advanced planning.

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