If you’re lucky enough to own and sail a sailboat, you hopefully know all you need to know to keep your vessel in good running order. At Natal Power Boats, we believe that you don’t need to have deep mechanical knowledge to observe maintenance procedures when you’re at sea or at anchor.
There are just a few simple tasks that you need to carry out on a regular basis to keep shipshape. In fact, there are nine key sailboat maintenance tips in this blog that are absolutely indispensable.
You may want to do this every morning but every day is fine as well. check the bilge for water, oil or fuel leaks. Just lift the floorboards and check that the bilge is dry on a regular basis. You should this especially when starting up the boat after a long rest or after a storm.
Before you set off from the harbour, check your bilge pump. This part of your boat is absolutely critical because a leak that results in a considerable amount of water being taken on board could become a terminal disaster if the bilge pump is not working.
Check the stitching, tears in the fabric and any nicks and scratches. Sails take a lot of battering, so they will need your attention quite often if you are sailing a lot.
This is especially the case if you’re running generators, air conditioning or refrigeration that requires a raw or saltwater cooling system.
Make sure that all of the raw water cooling systems are draining properly. You do not need extra water on the boat, so you really need to ensure that all excess water is draining away effectively.
If you are planning to stay at sea for an extended period of time, don’t forget to check that your freshwater levels are sufficient. This is not so much a matter of boat maintenance, but it is nevertheless a vital check for the well-being of everyone on board.
Once a week or so, depending on how much you are running your generator, check all of the essential components – oil, fuel, water, belt, etc.
Check your anchor regularly when you are anchored for long periods of time. Your chain could get damaged or entangled on rocks or could hit the reef and destroy it. It could also get dislodged. Don’t drop anchor and assume that it is set. Keep an eye on it.
When it comes to the more complicated aspects of boat maintenance, things that will require you to take your boat for hull maintenance or engine maintenance, set up a schedule and make sure you stick to it. It’s a lot like servicing your car – you just need to take your vessel to the experts at the right time.
For information about sailboats, contact Natal Power Boats – or browse our range of new and used boats.