Talk to anyone who’s ever owned a boat, and it’s not long before the old joke surfaces:
“What are the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life? The day they buy it, and the day they sell it!”
Many boat owners experience this because they are plagued by unforeseen expenses and costly repairs. Most of the time, however, these are a direct result of poor maintenance, and are completely preventable. Buying the boat is the easy part – keeping it in working order and reliable can quickly become a losing battle. Who hasn’t made the drive (across town or across the state) to the boat, only to find an engine won’t start, the AC is out, or the batteries went dead and the fridge is warm? The purpose of this program is to make the days between the purchase and sale more trouble free and enjoyable.
The Downward Spiral…
Boats can be equipped with a multitude of complex on-board systems. For each system or piece of equipment there is likely an owner’s or service manual – for everything from the engine to the emergency bilge pump. Tucked away, deep inside each one of those manuals is something that rarely sees the light of day… the Manufacturer’s Recommended Maintenance Schedule! While the automotive industry has this down to a science (and warranty coverage often requires it be followed…), most boat manufacturers do very little to compile any type of comprehensive preventive maintenance schedule. It’s no wonder boats become a maintenance nightmare. From the start, there are very few tools or services to effectively manage the maintenance of complex systems found aboard most pleasure boats. As the size of the boat increases, the complexity of on-board systems can go up exponentially. If you’re talking about a 22’ sailboat, chances are you can track maintenance in your head. On larger boats, however, the onboard systems, and the maintenance they require, can grow uncontrollably. The end result is that as the boat ages, little preventive maintenance is done. Eventually a line is crossed and entire systems or pieces of equipment have to be replaced, instead of simply maintained. The boat then becomes the proverbial “hole in the water you’re shoveling money into”, and repair expenses pile up. Had preventive maintenance been done along the way, the expensive repair could have easily been avoided, and the equipment would have remained reliable for its intended life span.
Very large yachts will typically employ a full-time captain and crew. Generally their job responsibilities will include managing maintenance and insuring the boat is ready for the owner to use at a moment’s notice. For boats that don’t require a full or part-time captain, the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program is a perfect fit! It consists of a combination of routine inspections and preventive maintenance outlined below.
- Our First Mate Checkout Service is the first element of the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program, and provides routine monthly vessel and systems inspections that are designed to test and exercise critical systems/equipment, and to catch problems before they become major issues, thus avoiding aggravating downtime. Everything from inspecting bilge water levels and pumps, battery water levels and voltage, test running equipment, looking over dock lines, checking navigation lights, and performing light routine maintenance (cleaning strainers, AC return air filters, etc.) can be part of a First Mate inspection. Starting and loading engines and generators, running air conditioners, or checking battery voltage is not only good for the equipment, but can catch small problems before they become weekend-killers.
- Our Chief Engineer Preventive Maintenance Program is the second element of the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program, and goes a step further. It provides preventive/predictive maintenance for your mechanical equipment. These predictive maintenance schedules are custom tailored to your mechanical equipment (engines, generators, etc.) and are developed from both the manufacturer’s predictive maintenance schedule and our industry knowledge of your equipment when used in our boating waters.
If unexpected repair costs, or more importantly, the loss of the enjoyment of your leisure time have plagued your boat-owning experience, then the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program is your stress-relieving solution! Proper maintenance and keeping a seaworthy, reliable yacht requires a considerable investment, but it is much less expensive than the alternative!
These are just some of the advantages of the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program:
- Maximize the use and enjoyment of your vessel
- Minimize frustrating down time
- Minimize expensive mechanical repairs through regular predictive maintenance
- Keep your vessel in good repair, ready to use at any time
- Protect the value of your vessel
- Allow you to enjoy time aboard your vessel
- Increase resale value by documenting maintenance history
- Avoid expensive deficiency negotiations when selling your boat
While no maintenance program is capable of eliminating 100% of all breakdowns and unscheduled repairs, it can insure these expenses are held to a minimum. Good maintenance makes for a seaworthy boat. Do you know when your fuel filters were last serviced? How old is your engine’s seawater pump impeller? What about your zincs? If you’d like to be able to answer these questions and feel confident that your boat is ready for the Bay or beyond, invest in the Captain-Lite Yacht Management Program. Don’t let the next best day in your boating life be the day you sell it!
True North Marine is evolving past being your first call for “Fix-it” services. Our Captain-Lite Program consists of a growing number of Yacht Support Services intended to proactively care for your vessel, just like a full time Captain would! While we will always be here for your repairs and installations, our mission is to keep you in boating as your leisure activity of choice. We deliver this by offering comprehensive services that care for your vessel in order to minimize expensive unplanned repairs, maximize your satisfaction with your vessel, and help maintain its value. Our goal is to break down the barriers that drive people away from boating.