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

ElectricalCheck battery charge level
EngineCheck oil level
EngineCheck water level
EngineCheck heat exchanger
EngineCheck coolant levels
BilgeCheck for leaks
Exhaust systemCheck for leaks, color of smoke
Fuel containmentCheck for leak, hoses, secure
GeneratorCheck coolant levels
RadioPower and operational check
Deck fixturesWipe down furniture, decks, rails


ElectricalCheck battery water level
ElectricalCheck battery voltage
ElectricalTest GPS
BilgeClean and service
BilgeClean limber holes
Propeller ShaftCheck fittings, wear and tear
PlumbingCheck for leaks, sanitize
Heat exchangercheck strainer for blockage
KitchenCheck fuel lines, valves
GeneralCheck all tie lines for secureness


ElectricalClean battery posts and tops
ElectricalCheck alternator tension and clean
Fuel systemsCheck for leaks
EngineChange all filters
HVACChange all filters
Emergency equipmentCheck/Test fire extinguishers, alarms
SeacocksCheck for corrosion, fit, -clean and make sure bung is close by


ElectricalCheck for battery leaks
EngineCheck engine mountings
RudderCheck rudder assembly for damage or corrosion
Hull, engine, cooling systemClean scale
ElectricalCheck everything for corrosion
AllCorrosion 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