Always Keep Updated and Informed

What Kind of Maintenance Does a Yacht Need?

When Do You Need Boat Insurance?

Yacht maintenance is a crucial component of yacht ownership and operation. That gorgeous yacht is a substantial investment, so it must be protected and maintained to ensure reliable operation and to preserve value.  Yacht maintenance is imperative, not just for peace of mind while operating, but for the safety of those aboard during use.

Become familiar with the manufacturer’s ownership manuals as they contain a plethora of information regarding maintenance. Map out your cleaning and maintenance routines and ensure you know how to handle specific situations. Never simply “wing” it! Always consult a professional to ensure the yacht is properly cared for and that you’re adhering to manufacturer-recommended service and maintenance needs.


Some owners may have the boat cleaned every month, but for those wanting their vessel to always be in excellent shape, every two weeks is better. All visible elements on the exterior of the yacht should be washed and cleaned. Streaks and dust should be removed. Any bird droppings should be eradicated. All upholstery must be wiped down. Metal should be cleaned and polished, and woodwork scrubbed. 

Having the barnacles cleaned off the bottom part of the boat on a regular basis is important for long-term care and efficient performance of the yacht. Typically this involves a diver cleaning the hull from the waterline and below to ensure all barnacles and other forms of algae and marine life are cleaned from the boat. Also, ensure all running gear below the water is free of barnacle growth. 

Annual Engine, Drivetrain & Generator  

Once a year, you’ll need to get your yacht serviced. Haul out is not required, but it can be helpful to check the bottom and running gear. Similar to when car owners bring in their vehicles for regular servicing; all necessary items on the main engines, transmissions, and generators will be serviced. Be aware that costs increase with larger yachts.

Air Conditioning 

In warmer climate locations, air conditioning systems need regular maintenance. The air conditioning lines on a yacht should be acid flushed every six months to ensure proper cleaning and removal of anything that has attached itself in the lines.

Fuel & Lubrication 

Typical fuel system issues involve saltwater intrusion and corrosion. Proper maintenance might include draining the fuel tank, ensuring any sediment is cleaned out and replacing the fuel filters. Since emission controls bind modern diesel engines, additives in the fuel are now required. Ensure you’re using the proper marine diesel fuel. Also marine coolant is crucial. Just as with oil, owners must follow manufacturer guidelines. Check the coolant before every trip.

Exhaust & Air Intake

Monitor smoke discharge at startup from the exhaust. While a small whiff of black smoke isn’t typically a concern, anything more might require further investigation. Examine air filters regularly as they are key to engine performance and longevity.

Electrical Systems

Yacht owners should be proactive regarding simple oversight of the electrical system. Items to check on a regular basis include:

  • Proper capacity levels in all batteries
  • Examine connections into the engine for anything that may have worked its way loose
  • Wire connections are properly sealed and that no evidence of corrosion exists
  • Replacement of bulbs on the interior and running lights throughout
  • Visual transmission inspection and checking fluids.

Regular maintenance is important, but accidents can always happen, and you’ll want to have another line of protection. When you perform your routine yacht maintenance, take a look at your Yacht Insurance as well. Make sure that your coverage is sufficient for your watercraft, and that you know what will happen in the event of an accident.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.