Boat Ideas and Yacht Maintenance

Electronics to boating DIY chores, sail maintenance ideas and many other handy tips

Boatowners Electrical and Mechanical Manual

Yacht Ownership - the other side

Many misconceptions exist with regard to yacht care and maintenance. As with any hobby, car or even a house, there is an element of upkeep and with that, an associated cost.  While vehicle enthusiasts carry garaging and insurance challenges, we too have maintenance and upkeep to consider.

If one jumps in eyes-closed, they will join those who spruik the two best days of the boating life, ‘the day they buy’ and ‘the day they sell’. The same can be said if you spend the equivalent value on a house. There is always maintenance, insurance and upkeep and being proactive rather than reactive in approach, pays handsome dividends.

There is no cheap way to escape the environmental conditions and salinity of the aquatic experience. Proactive protection and good habits go a long way to stem the grief when trouble strikes. Frequent use of all working gadgets is another key to the balance of costs. Nigel Calders book 'Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual', explains this very well.

Having built our boat, we know every screw and any touch-ups cost us next-to-nil as we carry most of the items left over from the build. There are the antifoul costs to be considered which if planned well can also be minimised.

In five years, our catamaran has been slipped twice for antifouling and only when we have needed other work done, such as changing a transducer or outlet fittings. Our preference is the beach the yacht and antifoul at that time. We have managed to get this down to a fine art, allowing one person three hours to clean and repaint, at minimal cost and using 8 litres of antifoul.

The sails were removed after five years and sent back to the Yancy or Bucky from Doyle Sails outside Brisbane, for a quick check-up. Some stitching was replaced and the sails were back up for their next ten-year cruising span. The initial small cost in a better quality ‘cruising laminate’ sail has paid handsome dividends, with little to no stretch in all four sails.

Our proactive pantry includes:

Tectyl 506
This is an enemy to saltwater. Amber in colour, this rust preventer spray (made by Valvolene), is used on all our motors. It was sprayed over the brand new motor heads providing a film that has kept the motors free of external corrosion. We also spray this all over the fuel filters and external nuts (the ones facing seaward).

Fixtech MSP15
If you think Sikaflex is good, its not that great. You need to get your hands on this similar sealant. It does not yellow or go sticky with age like Sikaflex. It carries similar properties and a must for all our minor sealant projects.

Meguiars M45 Polish
This polish is designed for the marine environment and while not stopping oxidation; it does help in reducing the carnage of the suns UV rays. Like a car, it needs to be used on a regular basis. A great cutting compound is the Meguiars M105, then finish with M45.

Meguiars M105 Polish


Meguiars M105 Polish
The best polish for removing stains and even repainted surfaces after sanding with 1200 grit paper. Its one of products thats worth the extra few dollars to get the great finish. While not mandatory, we then finish with Meguiars M205 and you would not be able to see the repair.

Meguiars M205
This great product to rejuvenate a tired looking surface, brings up the old shine. It also a beauty for polishing stainless parts, brings them up very ahiny and no need to carry other cleaners in ones arsenal.

Jiff Cream Cleanser
This stuff is fantastic on waterline stains, rust stains and stains in general. It can be over-rubbed, so caution when using.