A WELL MAINTAINED BOAT AND THE PAYBACKS
Since 1978 the Sailor’s Wharf has been repairing and renovating boats. During those years we have observed the boater who spend as little as possible and those who want their boat to look as “Bristol” as possible. So which way is the right way and most practical.
My philosophy is none of us need a boat but it is a lifestyle that keeps us sane. We either go boating or we end up giving the money to a psychiatrist. I have customers that have bought their boat new 20 years ago and still maintain it in top condition and use their boat constantly. Those boaters will end up getting top dollar for their boat when they are ready to sell. More importantly, they will have a great time while boating. These boaters will look at safety first and make sure all systems work. Then they will look at the cosmetics and keep the boat in great shape.
We recently had a boat in our yard that the owner put on the market. It was a 42 footer that would normally sell for around $130,000. He did a poor job of maintaining the boat, never fixed any leaks, little or no maintenance of the engine etc. Because of the leaks that were never resolved, it caused interior damage and the entire interior had mildew. A good detailing company wanted $3,500 to clean the interior, eliminate the mildew and buff and wax the hull and deck. He chose not to spend the money and the boat sold two years later for $65,000 so, after the brokerage condition he netted $58,500. The money he lost would have paid for the correct maintenance cost on his boat for years.
I have seen boats that are 3 years old but look like they are 10 years old. I have also seen the reverse of well maintained boats that look new. Waxing the hull once per year and waxing the deck and hardware three times per years is a must in Florida and the tropics if he wants to keep the boat looking like new. Look in the bilge often, a clean bilge and flushing the toilets with fresh water when you leave the boat will keep your boat smelling fresh. On my own boat I replaced all the hoses on the toilets with high quality sanitation hose. The more PVC the hose has the less smell. The cost of is only a couple of dollars more per foot but the result is worth it. Look at your stainless steel hose clamps. You can’t believe how many times we inspect hose clamps and they will break as soon as we try to change them. Using high quality 316 s.s. clamps is the way to go. They are stronger and last for years.
Keeping your engine(s) and generator (if you have one) clean is a must. Keeping your engine room clean, wiping down the engine(s) will keep you focused on any issues you may find. A loose belt, leaking water pump, dripping oil and/or fuel will be noticed as you wipe it clean. Using a good corrosion block like T9 will keep you engine mounts from rusting and they will be free if the engine(s) needs to be re-aligned.
If you Google books on boat maintenance, you will find dozens including DVDs. If money is no problem you can always hire a management company to keep you boat maintained. I personally get great pleasure in keeping my boat in “Bristol” condition and I know the boat is always ready to go. I think it is worth the investment plus I like people at the dock telling me how great my boat looks!