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A Brief Insight into Ship Maintenance

A Brief Insight into Ship Maintenance

If you want your boat to run successfully all through its work life, you need to perform regular maintenance. Boats usually have strong engines and other heavy duty machinery. This machinery needs constant attention in order to put out its maximum.

It is a good idea to have all your check-ups at the same place, so as to have the mechanic be familiar with the state of your ship. This way, they can notice the difference in operation between the two maintenance check-ups, potentially preventing a breakdown before it happens. If it does happen, make sure you have the best mechanics around to fix it for you. PCE is a San Diego ship repair and maintenance facility with ties to the US Navy and over four decades of experience.

So, how does ship maintenance work? When do you do it? How often?

Preventative Maintenance

The best thing you can do is have a scheduled preventative maintenance at regular periods. Depending on the size of the ship and the amount of effort it is submitted to, you can choose to carry out the maintenance per working hours or according to time periods. The more accurate choice is to go according to working hours of the machinery, since the frequency of use may depend on many factors, creating significant differences between two time periods of equal length. Working hours method requires a checkup every 4000-8000 hours. For some people, like fishermen and tourist boats, which see relatively uniform use all through the year, the time period might be more suitable. In this case, you can schedule your maintenance every six months, but no less than once a year.

Do I Need to Do This?

Preventative maintenance is paramount to responsible and safe boat ownership. The machinery is inspected thoroughly, regardless of the state of it. You can have a brand new rudder, it still needs to be inspected during this checkup. If there is any part which needs replacing or is close to needing it, this information is logged into the schedule.

What Gets Inspected?

All of the machinery needs to be closely monitored to ensure it functions properly. The majority of your machines are in the engine room, and that’s where the inspectors and mechanics will spend the majority of their time. Everything from the engine, generator, cooling system and life support are inspected in detail. 

Breakdown Maintenance

Sadly, not all breakdowns can be spotted in time or predicted. If a part of your ship meets an untimely end outside the regular maintenance time, you will need to perform a breakdown maintenance. You really shouldn’t let it come to this too often because your ship is a complex machine with interconnected systems, meaning that a breakdown of one part can damage others as well. It is also potentially dangerous since a breakdown can occur out at sea with nobody around to help you, not to mention the potential added costs of needing to tow your boat into the harbor or a shipyard. 

Prevention

So, can you do anything to protect yourself from these unexpected events? Actually, there are some sensors and gauges which make it easier and quicker to spot potential problems and act before anything potentially disastrous happens. More modern boats have these sensors and gauges preinstalled, so you may not need to invest any further money in this. You do, however, need to learn to interpret the data from these.

Whatever your method of maintenance, make sure you entrust your boat to the right people. PCE has over 40 years of experience as a San Diego ship repair and maintenance facility. 

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