We all know that maintenance is good for boats, that’s how they get to live a long life. But have you considered that maintenance may be good for your confidence, boat handling skills and seamanship?
Let me explain…
There are two types of maintenance, reactive and proactive;
REactive is the maintenance we do after something has broken down, which means it was preceded by a failure, maybe consequences of the unpleasant kind and certainly some emotional upset like “Oh why does this always happen to me especially at a critical…”
How true; using the reactive maintenance method, you can be assured that it will always happen to you and this is sailing, so chances are it will occur at a critical moment!!!
The second type of maintenance is PROactive; which is maintenance that follows a plan and is done as an alternative to breakdowns, crises, embarrassment and upset.
Could this be good for YOU?
The first step in any maintenance plan is completely fun, good for you and your yacht; use it, start the motor, turn on all the systems and take your mates for a maintenance sail. Use it or lose it, everything that is not used is deteriorating from lack of use. This is especially true for locked up boats in salt laden environments.
Second step is to invest time and money into the maintenance before you have a breakdown. Obvious, so obvious that it shouldn’t even need saying, but how proactive are we being?
Cars are usually a better example because we have legislation, safety inspections that helpfully bring maintenance to our attention. Do you embrace the safety inspections with joy? I invite you to as they contribute to you very rarely experiencing breakdowns, crises, embarrassment and upset. With yachts we don’t have the same support to practice proactive maintenance; unless your vessel is in survey, it is up to YOU.
As we go about creating a proactive maintenance plan and inquiring of suppliers and other experts what maintenance is required, we get to know our boat so much better and we get confidence in the yacht’s systems and best of all; breakdowns and unpleasant surprises become a very rare event.
I always cherish the words of Ratty, in Wind in the Willows; “…nothing so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Spending time maintaining our beloved yacht is all part of sailing, part of the joy that comes from having confidence in ones yacht and its ability to deliver us home reliably.
Anyone for a maintenance sail?