There is nothing worse than a tender or jetski breaking down during a boss trip or charter. Or even worse, a break-down when a guest is using a toy or taking a joy ride to shore. It happens to the best of us and can kill a charter. So what can we do to ensure we’re providing the right care during down times to keep these crucial assets charter-ready?
Tenders and jetskis often take the brunt of our harsh marine environment. They are constantly moved in and out of seawater, operated at max speeds and are often beaten up! It’s no secret; tenders and toys can sometimes be the victim of a band-aid fixes in order to reduce the disruption to owners and guests. So it can be no surprise that when the downtime comes, tenders and toys often require a considerable amount of love and care.
Between seasons can often be the only time for crew to maintain tenders and toys appropriately. Corrosion is one of the biggest killers for tenders and not surprisingly, can eat a considerable amount of time for engineers. Mechanical parts will cease working with the corrosion of wiring and electrical components and can stop a machine dead in its tracks (minus a little momentum!) Corrosion control is a simple task but one that cannot be overlooked when looking to prep your assets.
After working in a number of yacht programs around the world and building maintenance plans for a large array of yachts and tenders, we have put together a number of tasks that can greatly assist during shipyard preparations-
- Start the season with fresh oil. Perform a service on all tenders and toys including oil changes, all fuel filters, air filters and zinc anodes. Log all services in your planned maintenance system. If it is in the middle of its service interval, do it.
- New anti-fouling. Take your tenders to the yard and apply new anti-fouling paint and replace all anodes (if applicable)
- Clean seawater strainers and intake lines. Ensure outboard pickups are free of marine growth. Check jet ski pick ups and flush all cooling lines. If in doubt, flush some more.
- Stock up on spare parts. Spare filters, spark plugs, anodes, fuses and lubricants are a must. Carry additional spare parts including starter motors, alternators and batteries. Call the manufacturer and request a complete service kit, as a minimum.
- Clean Fuel. Ensure your fuel tanks are clean! A tender, at times, can have fuel sit for months and a sludge layer can form. This sludge can enter your fuel lines and clog your filters very quickly, starving your engine. A fuel additive will often do the job.
- Protect electrical components including battery terminals with corrosion protection films. Spray corrosion protection in the key ignition and any exposed terminals.
- Check all wiring and connections for any exposed wires that could be affected by salt spray. Salt will find its way in if connections are poor. Ensure connections are tight. The loss of 1 or 2 volts can be enough to cause significant issues.
- Train your crew on how to use the tenders and toys properly. Don’t assume a new crew member can use the toys without training. Equally as important, train them on the after-use care. Rinsing and flushing should become the norm. In the long run, you will benefit.
These are just a few tips to keeping your tenders and toys loved during downtime. With the right preventative maintenance, your tenders and toys will go a long way to avoiding unwanted breakdowns during the season. Many of these tasks are easy to perform at the dock so be sure to schedule these tasks and avoid scrambling to fix an issue while at anchor with guests on.
Article submitted by Matthew Hyde,
Director at Seahub