Yacht maintenance - all you ever wanted to know

Owning a yacht, besides its numerous benefits, requires a huge amount of responsibility and care just like any other marine vehicle. Yacht maintenance is an essential thing for everyone who wants their yachts to last longer and to be highly functional on beautiful sailing holidays over time.

Without regular yacht maintenance, one yacht could suffer lots of damages as a consequence of constant vibration while driving, strong sun and saltwater, which will often require costly repairs.  

In order to be able to work on the maintenance of yachts at all, the first thing on the list is to have the appropriate infrastructure such as hydraulic conveyors and hangars where all work can be done with the yacht being adequately protected and respecting environmental standards.

Once it’s done, yacht maintenance is now possible and easy. But, what exactly does the term “yacht maintenance” conclude?  

Washing yacht after use - the most important element of yacht maintenance

The basic rule of yacht maintenance one must always remember to do is to wash the yacht after using it. Simple as that – if one is not washing it properly after the use, the saltwater will remain on the elements of the yacht and will eventually eat them away.

That is because the saltwater is corrosive and could easily destroy the engine parts, Gelcoat, and other chromes of the yacht over time. Quality cleaning brush and soap are the best things to use while cleaning the saltwater off the yacht elements. 

A pressure washing system can also be very helpful if it is used carefully because it could damage the paint. If you clean the yacht regularly, you will also prevent rust and decay of components and surfaces. 

Yacht maintenance is very important because it also ensures that yacht usage doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment. 

Big yacht sailing in sunset

How to do the washing the right way?

When it comes to the exterior surface of the yacht, it will require regular waxing for optimal maintenance. Depending on sun exposure, the visible parts of the yacht should be waxed every three to six months. 

If the hull is colored in a strong color, the frequency of waxing may be increased. 

The waxing will prevent damages to occur on the yacht if it is done often. This way your luxurious yacht would look even more perfect and beautiful.

Integrated vessel washing, cleaning, and tightening of rails and awnings are also very important things to do. Here are some tips on how to do the yacht washing:  

  • Canvas areas of a yacht are washed with mild soap and water. Applying additional waterproofing spray is necessary if canvas loses its’ ability to repel water.
  • The hull is important to be polished and smooth
  • Polishing and washing the windows is done with proper products for rigid polycarbonate and soft vinyl materials
  • The carpeted areas of the yacht are cleaned with the vacuum to remove the debris
  • In order to prevent corrosion and rust do the regular cleaning of the metal components with solvent and then lubricate them
  • Wooden areas are best cleaned with mild soaps and soft brushes
  • Rinsing and flushing holding tank after every pump-out is part of effective maintenance. Periodic application of water softener and chlorine bleach will also help maintain cleanliness.
  • The upholstery of the yacht can become tainted and soiled with mold without proper cleaning. Dry upholstery after it gets wet to prevent mold from building up on your cushions.
  • It is important to never empty a yacht holding tank into the water because it could result in very serious contamination of the water itself

Once a month do the deep cleaning of the bottom of the yacht. A cleaned hull is crucial to the long-term efficient performance of the yacht.

Yacht deck maintenance - do the regular cleaning 

If you want proper yacht deck maintenance you should be aware that it needs washing without cleaning agents on a weekly basis with ordinary freshwater or saltwater. Mildew and algae may start to become established in the grain structure become rougher.

The rougher structure will make the deck more susceptible to wear. Cleaning the track deck on a regular basis will prevent that to happen. Yacht teak deck maintenance is crucial for your deck to look good.

Changing oil is essential for your yacht

Changing the oil in your yacht is also a very important element of regular yacht maintenance. If you want to increase the life and the performance of your engine, you must change your oil on a regular basis.

Approximately after every 100 hours of use is a good time to change the oil, but it can depend on the other factors of the yacht such as size, model, year of production, etc. Changing the oil on your engine is best to be done by a good yacht mechanic.

Man on computer side the yacht

Checking all systems is a very important practice

Running a yacht requires a huge number of systems that are essential for its’ good functioning. Some of those systems are pumps, coolant levels, batteries, air conditioning, fuel and lubrication, air conditioning, electrical systems, etc.    

For at least once a month it is advised to get all the systems well checked by a professional who will take care that everything works completely fine. A service report summary and recommended courses of action are provided after the service is performed by a yacht mechanic.

Servicing your yacht once a year is a must 

Generator, Engine, and Drivetrain services are very important to be done each year. 

It is crucial that the bottom and running gear work perfectly well.

It isn’t very different from a regular car service. Every vehicle requires an annual service for the safety of a driver and all the passengers, and regular service of your yacht is the most important part of the regular yacht maintenance.

Repainting the bottom of the yacht is important 

Hauling out the yacht once a year, or once in every two years, is a very good practice. Repainting the bottom of the yacht’s hull, alongside annual servicing is very important.

Often, cleaning the bottom of the vessel and scraping off the barnacles can do damage. The existing paint layers on the vessel could be deteriorated and thinned.  

White yacht sailing on the sea

Yacht maintenance cost - what you need to consider

Yacht maintenance cost can vary depending on the size and the model of your yacht. About $30 per foot is repainting the bottom of the yacht with anti-fouling paint. For waxing the hull and fabric treating the cost could be up to several hundred dollars.

Just for regular cleaners and soaps, you’d need approximately $200 to $300. An oil change can run about $300, but for example, if you want to fill a 350-gallon tank, you’d need about $1,800. 

Yacht maintenance costs annually a good amount of money, but it all depends on many factors. In this case it is best to consult with a professional who will tell you the exact annual costs for maintaining your yacht in the best way. 


The professional service department at a marina

If you are preparing to cruise your yacht and want to make sure that everything works perfectly fine, it is good to find a professional service department at a marina that can do the proper service, washing, oil changing, etc.

If you are planning to go sailing on the Adriatic coast, Porto Montenegro in Montenegro offers great marina services for all-sized yachts, such as customs clearance, and mooring assistance, free 24-hour yacht assistance, 

onsite repair and maintenance facilities at 3 nearby boatyards and so on.

Wherever you go, it is important to be informed about nearby marina services that can help you prevent or fix the problems that could occur on your cruise. Before departing, make sure that your yacht is highly functional and in the best shape possible.

Have a good trip!