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Old 09-06-2023, 10:51 PM   #1
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Most Common Systems for Maintenance

Ok, I'll try this again with no context.

I am trying to identify the most common systems onboard a boat that most cruising boats have that require regularly scheduled maintenance. So far I can think of these. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on any I am missing and why you think they should be included. Thank you.

Propulsion engine
Generator
Transmission
Anchor Winch
Tender Motor

Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-07-2023, 01:07 AM   #2
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FLA batteries require regular maintenance.
Water heaters require periodic maintenance
Seacocks require periodic maintenance.
Zinc's
Bottom paint.

The list goes on but its late and I'm going to bed now.
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Old 09-07-2023, 03:04 AM   #3
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Heads. When it breaks it is critical. And ask your wife how important that is. Some heads require almost no maintenance and others require a lot. So it depends on what head you have if you will have a lot of maintenance to do on it or not.
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Old 09-07-2023, 05:21 AM   #4
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Itís not the items that most people know about that become the problems, itís the ones most people donít know about. Thatís the niche companies like wheelhouse and vessel vanguard operate in. Pretty impressive what they have done. They can actually add value to some of their vessels if the owner keeps up with the system.
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Old 09-07-2023, 06:12 AM   #5
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AC raw water circulation system

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Old 09-07-2023, 07:00 AM   #6
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anything wire an electrical wire
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Old 09-07-2023, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don L View Post
anything wire an electrical wire
Yep, that's it, lately, for me. Of course if I'd leave well enough alone I probably wouldn't have as many electrical issues, but nooooo, I had to upgrade the alternators, had to wire in a dedicated inverter for the fridge, had to update the GFI outlets in the 110v system, had to update the CO detectors, had to wire in a charging station for family cell phones to reduce clutter elsewhere...
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Old 09-07-2023, 03:49 PM   #8
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Stuffing box or dripless system
Electrical interconnects
Sanitation System
Leaks from above can drive you nuts
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Old 09-11-2023, 07:12 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone. This will help a ton fine tuning my project for keeping up with maintenance. I really appreciate the input.
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Old 09-11-2023, 08:21 PM   #10
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Wait, we have not touched the hull.
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Old 09-11-2023, 09:08 PM   #11
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  • Outboard motor
  • Firmware on electronics
  • Safety gear (expiration dates)
  • Water filters
  • Lubricate snaps and zippers on exterior canvas
  • Sea strainers
  • Stuffing box
  • Solar panels need to be cleaned
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Old 09-11-2023, 09:16 PM   #12
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Keep in mind that every piece of equipment on a boat is a component in a system, and anything you do to any component impacts that entire system.


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Old 09-11-2023, 10:49 PM   #13
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All systems on a cruising boat need maintenence...
It is hard to say what is most important but my list is...
Engine...mainly fuel system while cruising
Bilge...monitoring any leaks and resolving them asap
Deck...making sure all safety items are good to go
Electrical...everyting is charging as it should and genny
Regular inspections while underway to make sure there are
no issues...maybe I am just paranoid.
Admiral gets worried when I lift a hatch to check things out....
But she has learned to get over it...it's just me!
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Old 09-14-2023, 10:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Heads. When it breaks it is critical. And ask your wife how important that is. Some heads require almost no maintenance and others require a lot. So it depends on what head you have if you will have a lot of maintenance to do on it or not.
On my last boat, the holding tank overboard pump failed at the most inopportune time. As a result, I spec'd my current boat with two completely independent holding tank systems for its 4 heads. In fact, everything of any consequence that has ever failed on any of my previous boats is redundant on this boat.
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Old 09-14-2023, 11:43 AM   #15
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1. Pump (electric or manual) to suck out used oil during oil change.
2. No toilet paper allowed to go into head. I keep a box of ziplock bags in a rack above the head and instruct visitors to use them and throw the bag in the garbage. Toilet paper can clog up the macerator pump which involves me taking the pump apart in the hot engine room.
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Old 09-14-2023, 01:01 PM   #16
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Bilge pumps needs to be cleaned and tested. don't ask how i know.

Oh wait wood on a wood boat
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:56 PM   #17
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Everything.

Make a spreadsheet, list every possible system, find out each system’s maintenance cycle and document them. Then do the maintenance.
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Old 09-15-2023, 05:13 PM   #18
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I have not seen anyone mention WAX. (maybe I missed it)

I have not seen the "sump" listed yet.
Where gray water from bathroom sink and shower usually goes.

Then there is WAX for all the gelcoat surfaces above the waterline.

Everything below the waterline (zincs, thruster, SPURS)... after 20 years or so, a good "blasting" (not sand blasting) of all the old paint and new coats of various types is commonplace. You may never, ever need a prop to be trued up. But then again, you might be like most of us who do.

Wax comes to mind also.

We had a disablement that was caused by corroded cable connections to the main engine's starter (which was difficult to inspect and clean.) SO, don't just look at the battery connections! Look at the other ends of those cables too!!!

A more interesting list might be what folks have WISHED they had spares for while cruising:
e.g. Fresh Water Pump
Fuses. Bilge Pumps. Hoses. Impellers for everything. Head rebuild kit.

R
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Old 09-16-2023, 12:06 PM   #19
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Purely from a time standpoint my number one item is exterior washing. Second is gel coat upkeep. I compound/polish/wax the house, gunnels etc every 8 to 10 months which is a 3 day job working alone. I do then hull sides when I haul out.

Repairs seem pretty evenly spread out.

Oh, and the strataglass enclosure is a lot of work as well.
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Old 09-16-2023, 04:58 PM   #20
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FWIW.....Only fix what breaks is the most expensive way to maintain a boat and the need for a fix never makes itself known when it's a convenient time to do it. Preventive maintenance otoh can almost always be done when it is convenient and usually costs a lot less.

Examples:
Sea water toilets: a weekly cupful--2 at most--of distilled white vinegar flushed all the way through through the system, followed after 45-60 minutes with about a quart of clean fresh water will prevent sea water mineral buildup in the hoses and on the joker valve. Contrary to popular opinion, vinegar CAN also dissolve buildup, but it's so labor intensive--the vinegar must be replaced about every 30 minutes--that it's not worth the effort when a couple of doses of muriatic acid will do the job.

Sea water left to sit in toilet intake lines will stagnate and stink. A slight modification to the intake plumbing can prevent it: tee one end of a line into your toilet intake line, the other end into your head sink drain line using a shutoff valve that can close the sink drain. To rinse all the sea water out of the entire system before the boat will sit, close that valve, then fill the sink with CLEAN fresh water...flush the toilet. The toilet will pull the water out of the sink, rinsing all the sea water out of the entire system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl and the toilet discharge line (fresh water only added to the bowl will only rinse out the toilet discharge line).

Sink drains and sumps: Raritan only markets their C.P. as a toilet bowl cleaner but it's a bio-active product that's also the best sump and drain cleaner on the planet! Hair, soap scum, body oils etc will clog a sump and cause it to stink. The cure: 2-3 oz of C.P. in a sump about half full of water, left t0o sit at least overnight (the enzymes need time to work) will leave a sump as "clean as a whistle." No manual labor required. Sink drains require plugging the thru-hull, then putting 1-2 oz of C.P in the drain and filling the drain with water...again, when it can stand at least overnight. Reopen the thru-hull and flush the drain with clean water. Done on on a regular schedule, this will keep sumps and drains running freely and odor free.

Holding tanks should be thoroughly flushed out 2-3 x/season, every 2-3 months if you're a live-aboard or use your boat year round, and espcecially when prepping for winter or any other extended layup.
Pump out, then put 5-6" of water into the tank VIA THE DECK PUMPOUT FITTING 'cuz that sends the water into the tank at the bottom to stir up any sludge to hold it in suspension so it can be pumped out. Pump that out, then repeat till you're pumping out clean water. Last step if you have an overboard discharge pump, add water one more time and this time open the plumbing to that pump and turn it on to rinse out that system. Waste is sticky..left to sit in a macerator pump it can crack or even break an impeller vane, can even jam the pump.

Just a few of the ways to PREVENT problems that came to mind as I read through this thread.


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