May 18, 2015

Keep Your Yacht’s Running Gear Operating Smoothly

Keeping a boat’s interior, paint and engine in pristine condition are often top priorities for boat owners. A yacht’s running gear, however, is often viewed as a necessary mechanical function, and is often not even on the owner’s radar. But, much like mufflers and axels contribute to the performance of a vehicle, what lies beneath the water’s surface has a direct effect on a vessel’s performance and longevity.

Annual Florida Boat Maintenance Haul Out – Boat & Yacht Running Gear Inspection

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Many boat and yacht owners think a haul out is not needed unless the boat needs bottom painting. However, bottom painting, which is recommended annually, isn’t the only reason for an annual haul out. A yacht’s running gear requires annual maintenance, plus this annual haul out provides the opportunity to thoroughly examine through-hull fittings, shafts, rudders, struts, intake grates, seals and zincs, which cannot easily be repaired in the water.

A pre-service sea trial will help identify specific issues. Engine vibration and sluggish performance can indicate a running gear issue.

  • Once hauled out, running gear and outdrives must be thoroughly cleaned of any fouling, old paint, grease and so forth.
  • Propellers, struts, rudders, trim tabs and bow thrusters should be closely inspected for integrity, plus shafts, seals, and cutlass bearings should be inspected for proper clearance.
  • After all repairs have been made, the metallic components should be carefully prepped and painted with the addition of a coating specially formulated for adherence to metallic surfaces.
  • Additionally, this is the time to inspect through-hulls and engine mounts, and replace zinc anodes.

Any of these items in need of attention should be identified, and adjusted, repaired or replaced to avoid incurring damage to the boat’s mechanical systems. Keeping running gear in proper condition will provide a smoother, more efficient and safer ride.

Florida Boatyard Selection and Haul Out

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When it’s time for a haul out, make sure the boatyard you choose has the equipment and personnel capabilities to properly service vessels the size of yours.

Also, make sure you know exactly where your boat will be serviced, who will be in charge of it from haul out to re-launch and confirm the boatyard is an authorized service center for your boat manufacturer if the vessel is under warranty.

Although we reference Florida as a boatyard location, these maintenance tips would generally be applicable to all boats in all locations. Check with your local boatyard manager regarding items of maintenance and servicing that may require regionally unique service or a different schedule of attention.

Finally, make sure the boatyard is sufficiently insured so you will have peace of mind knowing you are getting good quality work by a team of professionals.

Yacht Management South Florida, Inc. provides mobile dockside service and an 80-Ton Travelift for boats up to 100 ft. at our service center on Fort Lauderdale’s New River. Our divers, mechanics, painters and electricians are all certified, and we are licensed and insured for your protection.

 

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