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Yachts are beautiful and expensive so it makes sense to care for them. I can’t imagine anything that would look sillier than a 25+ m yacht drifting or listing because someone failed to do an adequate inspection of critical components. Just like a larger cruise ship, yachts are subject to intense elemental effects.

The Need For Yacht Preventive Maintenance and Inspections

Without proper care the impact from the elements combined on the myriad of onboard mechanical systems can turn the summer yachting season into a disaster. Proper care for yachts means extensive inspections and preventive maintenance both at sea and in dry-dock.

The Need For Yacht Preventive Maintenance and Inspections

Princess Mariana

There are several keys to establishing good maintenance management practices for yachts. The first is to define what assets need to be maintained. The second is to define how the items are to be maintained. Lastly, defined items need to be scheduled according to experience and best known practices. For example, the following checklist provides a basic outline for 35 tasks to be completed as well as their frequency.

Sample Checklists

Daily or Weekly

Item Description
Electrical Check battery charge level
Engine Check oil level
Engine Check water level
Engine Check heat exchanger
Engine Check coolant levels
Bilge Check for leaks
Exhaust system Check for leaks, color of smoke
Fuel containment Check for leak, hoses, secure
Generator Check coolant levels
Radio Power and operational check
Deck fixtures Wipe down furniture, decks, rails


Item Description
Electrical Check battery water level
Electrical Check battery voltage
Electrical Test GPS
Bilge Clean and service
Bilge Clean limber holes
Propeller Shaft Check fittings, wear and tear
Plumbing Check for leaks, sanitize
Heat exchanger check strainer for blockage
Kitchen Check fuel lines, valves
General Check all tie lines for secureness


Item Description
Electrical Clean battery posts and tops
Electrical Check alternator tension and clean
Fuel systems Check for leaks
Engine Change all filters
HVAC Change all filters
Emergency equipment Check/Test fire extinguishers, alarms
Seacocks Check for corrosion, fit, -clean and make sure bung is close by


Item Description
Electrical Check for battery leaks
Engine Check engine mountings
Rudder Check rudder assembly for damage or corrosion
Hull, engine, cooling system Clean scale
Electrical Check everything for corrosion
All Corrosion check and maintenance

The Usefulness of a CMMS

Yachts have thousands of components that may need inspection or maintenance and even an experienced crew can forget to perform a tasks leading to possible trouble at sea. To avoid oversight, Yacht Captains or engineers should make use of Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS). This software will help inventory all yacht equipment as well as enabling the scheduling of inspections and preventive maintenance. Upon inspection any item identified as needing repair can then be transformed into a work order.

The advantages of using a CMMS don’t stop here. A CMMS will record the entire maintenance history of assets allowing for accurate projections for replacement of items or the amount of inventory needed for spare parts. This is a definite advantage to yacht owners who want to make greater use of seasonal crew members. The historical database provides an excellent resource for training and knowledge.

Share with us how you keep track of inspections. If you liked this article you may also want to read