Posted by: S3Maritime | April 17, 2013

Spring Maintenance checklist

SPRING MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

Every  spring right around  the end of March, early April boating season begins.  For  many of us  projects begin after starting up our  boats for the season. Here is a great guide of items to check on your vessel.

GENERAL:

  • Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild detergent
  • Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
  • Put on a good coat of wax
  • Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
  • Clean teak and oil
  • Clean windows and hatches
  • Clean canvas, bimini and dodger
  • Clean interior including bilges
  • Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
  • Make sure registration is current and onboard
  • Check and replace wiper blades if necessary

HULL

  • Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair
  • Check and replace zincs
  • Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
  • Check rub rails
  • Check swim platform and/or ladder
  • Inspect and test trim tabs
  • Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
  • Check rudder and fittings
  • Touch up or replace antifouling paint

DECK, FITTINGS, SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

  • Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
  • Check ground tackle, lines, fenders, etc.
  • Check chainplates and cleats
  • Check hull/deck joint
  • Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
  • Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
  • Clean and grease winches
  • Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
  • Check dinghy, and life raft

BELOW DECKS:

  • Check, test and lubricate seacocks
  • Check condition of hoses and clamps
  • Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
  • Check bilges pumps for automatic and manual operation
  • Check for oil in bilges
  • Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM AND COMPONENTS:

  • Check battery water level
  • Check/recharge batteries
  • Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
  • Check bonding system
  • Inspect all wiring for wear and chafe
  • Test all gauges for operability
  • Check shore power and charger
  • Check for spare fuses
  • Check all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs
  • Check all electronics for proper operation
  • Inspect antennas

REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT:

  • Sound signaling device
  • Check distress signals and expiration date
  • Check Pfds
  • Inspect life rings and cushions
  • Check fire extinguishers and recharge if necessary
  • Check and adjust compass
  • Check navigation lights
  • Check charts and replace as necessary
  • Check radar reflector
  • Check and replace first aid supplies
  • Check bailer and hand pump

INBOARD ENGINE(S):

  • Change oil & filters – have spare onboard
  • Check and change fuel filters – have spares onboard
  • Check and change engine zincs
  • Check cooling system change coolant as necessary – have extra onboard
  • Record engine maintenance log, especially date & hours of last oil changes
  • Check belts for tension
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
  • Check impeller
  • Check and clean water strainer
  • Check bilge blower

HEAD SYSTEM:

  • Checked for smooth operation – lubricate and clean as necessary
  • If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
  • Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured

WATER SYSTEM:

  • Flush water tank
  • Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
  • Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
  • Check for tank cap keys on board
  • Check and clean shower sump pump screens

GALLEY:

  • Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
  • Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC
  • Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
  • Check microwave, if fitted

OUTBOARD MOTOR:

  • Replace spark plugs
  • Check plug wires for wear
  • Check prop for nicks and bends
  • Change/fill gear lube
  • Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
  • Lubricate and spray moveable parts

TRAILER:

  • Check for current registration
  • Check rollers and pads
  • Check and lubricate wheel bearings
  • Clean and lubricate winch
  • Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
  • Test lights and electrical connections
  • Check tire pressure and condition
  • Check brakes (if equipped)
  • Check safety chains
  • Check tongue lock

SAILS:

  • Check general condition
  • Look for wear and chafing
  • Check battens and batten pockets
  • Check all sail attachments
  • Inspect bolt rope

MAST AND RIGGING:

  • Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
  • Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
  • Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
  • Check reefing points and reefing gear
  • Clean sail track
  • Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
  • Inspect stays for fraying and “fish hooks”
  • Check forestay and backstay connections
  • Check masthead fitting and pulleys
  • Check and lubricate roller furling
  • Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
  • Tape turnbuckles, cotter pins, and spreaders
  • Lubricate stuffing boxes, shaft and rudder logs
  • Empty water separator filters

Shock the drinking water tank. We suggest pool shock not bleach. Pool shock breaks down in a few days and then can be flushed out.

Posted by: S3Maritime | October 24, 2012

Vessel Winterization

                                                     VESSEL WINTERIZATION

Unfortunately, the boating season is either winding down or over for most of you.

By now you have probably performed certain maintenance to protect your valuable asset.  The time and effort you spend now will have a definite effect on your boat’s performance, or lack of it, and can certainly save you time, effort and money in the spring.  You should also remember that your insurance policy may not cover damage done by lack of maintenance or neglect.

The following is a checklist of items that should be accomplished.

Check the owners manual for your boat and systems for manufacturer’s recommendations

on winterization.

Fuel Systems:

  • Fill  your fuel tank(s) to avoid condensation over the winter months.
  • Add   a fuel stabilizer by following the instructions on the product and the engine manufacturers recommendation.
  • Change  the fuel filter(s) and water separator(s).

Engines, Generators and Transmissions:

  • Change  the oil and filters to avoid exposing the internal bearings and engine parts to the acids and moisture in the oil that can cause corrosion of the vital engine parts.
  • Check  the fresh water cooling (anti-freeze) for Ph and adjust or replace as necessary.
  • If  you are not using the boat during the winter, drain the water from the raw water cooling system and shut off the water intake valve.  Be sure to label this somewhere to remind you of its status.
  • Gasoline  engines and outboards with carburetors need to have the engine run to warm up the oil before you change it.  Shut off the fuel and let engine run until it stops.  It is important that all fuel is drained from the carburetors to prevent deposits of evaporated fuel.
  • Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil in the cylinders to lubricate the cylinder walls and pistons.
  • Change transmission oil and or lower unit oil.

Batteries:

  • Check  all battery levels to make sure they are topped off and connections are tight.
  • Check  output voltage of battery chargers for appropriate settings.

Water Tanks:

  • Open both hot and cold spigots to run tanks dry.
  • Turn off fresh water pumps.
  • Pour a few gallons of non-toxic anti-freeze into the water tank.
  • Turn  on the pump and open both hot and cold spigots on each faucet starting  with the furthest one and moving closer to the pump.
  • When all faucets have anti-freeze coming out of them, the system is winterized.
  • Shut off sink drain thru-holes and pour non-toxic anti-freeze down them.
  • Be      sure to tag all breakers and thru-hulls that have been turned off and closed.

Holding Tanks:

  • Pump out the holding tank at a approved facility. While pumping add freshwater to the bowl and flush several times.
  • Run deodorant through the system and into the tank.
  • Shut  off the thru-hole.  Pour non-toxic antifreeze into the toilet and pump it throughout the system and into the holding tank.
  • Be sure to label your thru-hole closed.

Air Conditioning:

  • Shut off thru-hulls to air conditioning systems.
  • Open the system and drain all the water out.
  • Run non-toxic antifreeze through the system by removing the input hose from the pump and sticking it in the antifreeze.  Run the pump flushing the antifreeze through the system until it exits.
  • Turn  off the pump and reconnect the input hose.
  • Vacuum intake filters.

Diesel Furnace:

  • If  you plan on using your diesel furnace through the winter season we  recommend having a service technician inspect the unit. We do recommend that your unit is serviced annually.

Watermaker:

  • Consult with owners manual.  Be sure that the system is either stored with  pickling solution or is set to fresh water flush approximately every  fourteen days (unless you have drained your fresh water tanks). If you have questions regarding service for winterization for your Watermaker please contact us and we would be happily to advise.

Bilges:

  • Check  operation of bilge pumps and float switches along with any electrical  connections that maybe subjected to bilge water submersion.
  • Make  sure the bilges are clean and dry.  this way you will be able to detect any leaks that may occur.

Thru-hulls:

  • Lubricate  and exercise all thru-hulls to be assured of proper operation.
  • Close and tag all thru-hulls that are not associated with bilge pumps and deck  drainage.

Protection Systems:

  • Check the fire suppression system tags to ensure it is up to date and in working order.
  • Check to make sure the fire extinguishers are current.
  • Check to make sure all smoke/fire alarms and CO2  detectors are working.

Galley:

  • Remove all perishable items from refrigerator.
  • Turn off and defrost freezers, refrigerators, and leave  a fresh box of baking soda in each.
  • Prop open fridge/freezer doors that are not in use for  better air flow.

Boat Interior:

  • Remove any personal items that you may want to have cleaned, checked or replaced.
  • Open drawers and lockers and clean thoroughly.
  • We recommend small electric oil filled space heaters to keep your boat dry  and mildew free if you don’t plan on leaving your reverse cycle AC or diesel furnace on.

Boat Exterior:

  • Make  sure all drains are clear and draining properly.
  • Washing  and detailing the boat with a coat of wax will help protect the gelcoat and paint throughout the wet winter months.

Canvas, Cushions, and Fabric:

  • Canvas  covers and bimini’s not being used for winter protection should be  cleaned, treated, dried and stowed.
  • Cushions  and mattresses should be stowed on end to allow air to circulate, better   yet store them in a climate controlled environment if possible.
  • For  sailboats we recommend removing all sails.   Have them  cleaned, repaired and stored in a dry environment.

Electrical cords:

Inspect all power cords, especially shore power plugs and inlets for corrosion and fit.  Repair or replace and that show signs of corrosion or electrical arching.  Please note that electrical cords are the number one cause of boat fires.

We at S3 Maritime hope you find this list helpful. We can help with any work you may be unsure of or unable to perform, from winterization to complete refits we are here for you!

Posted by: S3Maritime | September 27, 2012

Galvanic Corrosion

Galvanic Corrosion

Whether you’re new to the world of boating or are already an avid boater, it’s a good idea to know the facts about galvanic corrosion. Those who are properly informed about this form of metal deterioration can take the necessary precautions to ensure they will get the maximum life out of their equipment.

So what is galvanic corrosion? It is the process by which deterioration occurs when two dissimilar materials (such as two different metals) come in contact with each other as a result of a conductive material (i.e. saltwater.)

Boaters who have had their watercraft on the water for a while may have noticed pitting on their drives, props, and other metal components below the waterline. This is the direct result of galvanic corrosion. This corrosion, if not addressed can lead to catastrophic failure of crucial components.

So what can be done to prevent this costly nuisance? Simple zinc or aluminum anodes are often the answer.  Sacrificial anode is a metal that will begin corroding long before the other components of your boat begin to.

If your components are made of aluminum, zinc would be the best protection. If your components are primarily brass or steel, then aluminum anodes can be used, which will last a fair deal longer than zinc. However, be sure not to mix the two types of anodes when outfitting your boat. If you use the two types together, the anodes will protect each other but not the components you’re hoping to save.

Also be sure your anodes are kept in good condition and replace those that begin to deteriorate too much. An anode that is crumbing is not nearly as effective in preventing corrosion damage. With the proper use of anodes on your watercraft, you can save yourself the headache of trying to repair costly components.

From your friends at S3 Maritime, we wish you a fun, and problem free boating experience.

Posted by: S3Maritime | August 17, 2012

Pump Maintenance

They say that prior proper preparation prevents preposterous performance. That saying is very applicable to the marine environment. Salt water is very corrosive and in regards to pumps, it is the impellor and seals that takes the brunt of this corrosiveness.

In general it is good practice to replace the impellors in your pumps once a year, no matter how often or how many hours you use these pumps. The cost for repair from an impellor that has gone bad can be steep, as they disintegrate and can clog systems where they are in place.

There can be many impellor pumps in your boat. There is usually one in your main motors cooling system, in the raw sea water pump.  The generator will also have this same system if you have one aboard. Water pumps can be, and some bilge pumps can be. The rubber impellor pumps are the ones that need this care and concern.

It is always a great idea to have spare impellors and spare seals on board for the random incident that can take place at usually the most inappropriate times. When you think about it pumps are some of the more important devices on the boat, it pays dividends to give these simple devices the attention they require for proper performance.

Posted by: S3Maritime | August 2, 2012

Battery care

From runabouts to large-scale yachts, your boat’s batteries are crucial system for any watercraft. Unlike your standard automotive batteries, marine batteries require consistent maintenance in order to keep functioning properly. Failure to properly service your watercraft batteries may end up leaving you stranded on the water.

So what can you do to keep your batteries functioning to their full capacity? Here are some helpful hints to maximize the life of your power supplies.

  1. Keep your batteries properly charged.

One of the most important things you can to ensure you are getting the most out of your batteries is to keep them properly charged. That being said, keep in mind that boat batteries tend to be more sensitive to how they are charged. Under or overcharging can lead to a shortened lifespan, and most automotive chargers are not equipped to handle a marine battery. Therefore, it is best to find an automatic float charger that is designed specifically for marine and deep cycle applications. Automatic float chargers usually charge at a bit slower rate than standard ones, but will shut off on their own then the battery has reached proper voltage. Battery size can also play an important role in the kind of charger you use, be sure to find one that is rated at about 15% of the battery’s amp-hour rating.

2. A clean battery is a happy battery.

Make sure your batteries and cable are kept free of corrosion. In marine conditions, batteries are often exposed to a fair bit of condensation. The ensuing corrosion can lead to poor battery performance and can also be a safety hazard. Be sure to check them regularly and use a wire brush to clean the terminals and cable lugs if needed. You can also coat them with an anti-corrosion spray or dielectric grease.

3.  Avoid sulfation.

Batteries that are only lightly used are at risk for sulfation, the buildup of sulfuric acid and crystals in the bottom of the battery. This condition can drastically affect performance. To combat this, batteries should undergo a process of equalizing once a year. Certain marine chargers are designed to be capable of doing this by temporarily charging at a higher voltage to the battery, which will dissolve the sulfuric crystals. Keep in mind this can only be performed on wet cell batteries.

4. Know your types of batteries and maintain accordingly.

In today’s market there are three types of marine batteries available flooded acid, gelled acid, and Advanced AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). Gelled acid and AGM batteries are virtually maintenance free, however it is crucial they are kept properly charged and stored when not in use. Flooded acid batteries however, are not sealed like the other two, and therefore will lose electrolyte over time. Letting a battery lose too much electrolyte can expose the lead plates within a battery causing poor performance and heat transfer issues. Therefore, it is best to make sure these batteries are kept full. Use distilled water to top them off. Never use tap water, as it will contaminate the cells. You can also purchase a hydrometer, a handy tool that will show you the specific gravity or concentration of acid within your battery.

5. Storage

If you are not using your boat for an extended period of time, it is best to store your batteries in a location in which they will not freeze. Once a battery freezes, irreversible damage is done that will dramatically shorten its life. Also, be sure your batteries maintain a proper charge and keep terminals covered to prevent corrosion or possible contact with conductive items.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that you are getting the maximum potential life out of your marine batteries. Saving you money and allowing you more time to have fun out on the water. Here’s wishing you a safe and fun boating season from S3 Maritime. Systems Service Support.

Posted by: S3Maritime | August 2, 2012

Hello world!

Here at S3 Maritime we provide service to all types of yachts in all types of situations and environments. Our motto of Systems, Service and Support means we are ready, willing and able to help you anytime and anywhere with your marine projects or problems. We are experts and we provide professional service on time, in scope and within budget. We will be talking about yacht repair, yacht maintenance, systems and installation. We will discuss the new technology and how these items can help you.

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