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Old 07-20-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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How do you manage your maintenence

We have now had our boat for a couple of months and I am starting to feel confident that I am familiar with all the various systems etc. It has made me realise that I need a programmed maintenance schedule to ensure that I don`t miss anything - not just the engines and transmissions but the myriad of other systems - from the steering cables and pulleys, to the filters on the fresh water and holding tank vent - you get the idea.

Is there a commercially available programme or has anybody developed a spread sheet style maintenance management system.

Really interested to hear how others manage it.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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I use MS OneNote. I have a maintenance notebook with sections for spring, summer, fall and winter. I just use check lists. I also have other sections with part numbers, the yacht world ad (including all the specs),boats/friends and pretty much any measurement I take. OneNote has good integration with Outlook, so I can even set reminders that will populate in my calendar. Works well for me.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #3
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Excel spreadsheet in which everything is recorded both by date and number of hours. Thus the normal maintenance items are covered. For many things such as filters, heat exchangers I use a marker on the item showing the replacement date / hours.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisyboy View Post
We have now had our boat for a couple of months and I am starting to feel confident that I am familiar with all the various systems etc. It has made me realise that I need a programmed maintenance schedule to ensure that I don`t miss anything - not just the engines and transmissions but the myriad of other systems - from the steering cables and pulleys, to the filters on the fresh water and holding tank vent - you get the idea.

Is there a commercially available programme or has anybody developed a spread sheet style maintenance management system.

Really interested to hear how others manage it.
There are quite a few commercially available programs. They are at all levels. Just to list a few.

Manage My Vessel
Deep Blue Software
Triton Administrator
My Boats by Galatea
First Mate
Latitude 365
Marine Wright

We use Idea by Spectec, but it's a bit much for a single boat. We have multiple boats on it. Having access to all the information wherever we are, with or without the boat, was important to us.

I know most people here go for logs or spread sheets and they work fine. However, I'd suggest looking at some of the options I listed. Some are reasonably priced, others aren't. I've looked at some of them but don't have my notes handy at the moment. Now using software is like any computer system, in that initially it requires some work to set everything up. However, once done it will later reduce the effort and increase the effectiveness.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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the complexity of what boat and systems you have and what you plan to do probably has the biggest impact on what program you like/use.


for me, living aboard, so much is in my face I only need a calendar reminder to git'er done...then I just log it in a running maintenance log.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:31 PM   #6
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the complexity of what boat and systems you have and what you plan to do probably has the biggest impact on what program you like/use.


for me, living aboard, so much is in my face I only need a calendar reminder to git'er done...then I just log it in a running maintenance log.
It's also somewhat dependent on one's background. With mine in business, I'm use to computer systems to handle things. Now there is always that chance of me going overboard on such as well.

However, many of the software programs I've asked for have started with a more elementary version as a spreadsheet. And I've been accused by my wife of putting everything on a spreadsheet, but then she loves looking at them all and using them.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:20 PM   #7
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In my experience, unless someone is really anal....systems that require a lot of input often fall apart because the input effort outstrips the output..ask most government employees.

I too have managed complicated systems requiring multilevel oversight and execution.

My point is that many things needing to be done can be grouped together and detailed calendars or systems might be overkill for many boatowners.

Many systems if forgotten for a cycle or two of nice to do checking ....won't be the end of the world.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:33 PM   #8
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In my experience, unless someone is really anal....
I think you may just have described 90% of the TF membership.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:39 PM   #9
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I think you may just have described 90% of the TF membership.
geeeez...how did that get cut off...I meant analytic.........


wouldn't want to offend anyone....
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #10
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Really interested to hear how others manage it.
When we first started this kind of boating we bought a purpose-designed maintenance log and were religious about entering everything we did into it. That lasted about a month.

Today we simply use an aviation-style running log with pages that I designed that notes engine hours for each run (start times, stop times), total engine hours, hours since engine oil changes, hours since injection pump oil changes, hours since generator oil change. We change the oil and fuel filters at the same time we change the oil so no need for separate entries there. I also write the change date on all the filters and engine zinc holders with a Sharpie.

For big stuff like new engine mounts or belt replacement or new prop shaft or whatever we simply make note of this in the same hour log we fill out after each run. We also put the battery water checks in the same book.

So just one book for everything--- we also make trip notes in the same logbook--- and when we need new pages I just print them off on the computer at home.

We tossed out the purpose-made maintenance logbook years ago.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:51 PM   #11
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For the record, I agree with psneeld and Marin.

I am fluent in several different EAMS and CMMS systems, and thought that I would create my own automated spread sheet.

I too realized it offered little value, and now merely enter maintenance, observations, and replacements in the log.

Besides, the infrequent use of most recreational vessels would be better served by condition based maintenance, rather than predictive or planned maintenance.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:03 PM   #12
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I have pages at the back of my log book where I log maintenance. I have separate pages for each system. Each page has columns for date, engine hours and what I did. A quick look at the appropriate maintenance page lets me know where I stand. I also log all maintenance in the general log book pages on the day I do it. There I log time spent, and other details such as system tests after completion of work. My background comes from running a scientific research lab where all instruments required periodic calibrations. In the lab we had logs for each instrument for operation and maintenance/calibration. Every time an instrument was touched it was entered in the log. I do the same on the boats.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:36 PM   #13
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I have a spiral notebook onboard in which I record all routine maintenance including fuel top-offs with date, engine hours and any notes of significance. Oil additions and changes, battery servicing, fuel filters, tranny fluid changes all get recorded here. I also note the hours when the next round is due.

I also maintain a computer spreadsheet with my prioritized 'wishlist' of planned upgrades, mods, repairs and improvements. As Priority 1 items get completed, the significant ones get transferred to the completed section with the date of completion. Lower priority plans get bumped up as conditions warrant until they reach Priority 1. These items can include items like windlass installation, adding sound insulation, revarnishing window trim brightwork or repairing a cabinet door latch.

My completion list also includes all maintenance work completed by hired specialists. It is now quite lengthy and provides a great reference for 8 years of mods and improvements. When it comes time to sell, I'll have a very complete record of all maintenance and improvements for the next owner.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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In my experience, unless someone is really anal....systems that require a lot of input often fall apart because the input effort outstrips the output...
Guilty and my wife giggling at your comment. But, I also fully understand what is necessary to make it work successfully and make sure that's done. Everyone says new computer systems will always give problems. I never accepted that and have been involved in the implementation of dozens of systems and all went in smoothly because the work was done in advance. My IT choice knew the required standards and others knew that buying in wasn't optional.

But you're right about the lack of follow through. Often the lack of staffing to input the initial information and set everything up. We spent days, more like weeks, setting things up. It's amazing how well it all works now, however. But I'm the first to admit that my methods would be considered anal by many and wrong for most people.

Still I think there are some simple computerized software programs that can benefit with minimal extra work required, unlike what we did.

Still if spreadsheets are working for one, there's really no reason to change. You've got something already working, odds on it are 100%. When you change, what you change to may not work as well. Whatever the odds, they're less than 100%.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:04 PM   #15
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I'm in the decidedly low tech camp. I am on the computer all day at work and my husband is the master of the spreadsheet at his job. On the boat, we don't want to have to fire up the computer so we have a notebook. Not even a "log" book, just a plain old "composition" book. Almost five years in we are still managing fine with it. We were late on our last oil change but that was our own procrastination, not a failure in our system. Good luck with whatever you decide to use.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:09 PM   #16
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I keep a notebook with notes entered with date, what was done and part no.s, vendor, engine hrs if applicable. etc. Even if I install a 12volt receptacle. Whatever is added or changed. Although this doesn't automatically remind me-I'm always reading the log book and checking my hour gauge.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:14 PM   #17
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I take the boat to a boatyard to address annual engine maintenance, steel-boat paint maintenance, bottom/zinc maintenance, and other issues like non-working search light. The yard's invoice itemizes the repairs. I boat for pleasure. Heavy boat maintenance isn't my hobby. I'd rather have an expert work on my boat.


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Old 07-20-2015, 10:06 PM   #18
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I do it once a year.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:41 AM   #19
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WE use a commercial program, Vessel VAnguard. As some have noted, it can be a bit of a pain to maintain and upkeep, but we have managed to narrow down the most useful pieces for us and it works well. Helps to be aware of and to schedule all routine maintenance as well as issues we may hire out. It also has what seems to be just about every manual in the world available online. The initial cost may seem a bit steep, almost $700 for us, but they did the entire setup for that. That annual cost is pretty reasonable at about $100 per year.

That said, Jeff Siegel just did a multi-part piece on the phone based databases they use for all their vessel management. A lot of info and ideas for vessel management there. Check out his recent newsletters on Active Captain.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:29 AM   #20
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There is value in having an ongoing log of maintenance. I am entering my 17th year with Bay Pelican. It is hard to remember if I have even done something much less when it was done. The forum had a discussion not long ago about changing the hoses on the Lehman 135 engine. I searched and found the month and year in which I changed those hoses, 9 years ago in fact. Valuable for determining when to service the stuffing boxes and a host of other maintenance items.
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