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How much yard time should I schedule?

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by stevenpet, Jun 21, 2009.

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  1. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    How much time should I allocate each year for yard work?

    I’m not a Captain, so I can think of only two reasons why to take a yacht into the yard, and those are:
    1. Major repair work that cannot be done while afloat, or while cruising. Obviously, these must be done ASAP, and can't really be scheduled in advance.
    2. Refits and upgrades. Of course, this could be scheduled well ahead of time.

    If I had my choice, I would make a 3 years itinerary with no scheduled yard time, but I'm not sure how practical that really is. Besides, I would rather plan for the inevitable now rather than having an inconvenient surprised later.

    Is it safe to assume that all the maintenance can be done with the hull in the water, and while in visiting ports/harbors during our schedules visits?

    With proper maintenance could I go several years before I would need to schedule extended yard time— where me and most the crew would just go home for the duration?

    Should I be planning on scheduling annual yard time for maintenance, or other "scheduled" work, like hull painting, etc? What other annual maintenance needs to be done while sitting idle in a yard? After all, how often does a hull need to be repainted and your ice makers replaced?
  2. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

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    The amount of yard time is dependent on the boat, the quality of construction how well it has been maintained and how hard it is run. However I would suggest you need at least one yard period a year even if it is only for a couple of weeks.
  3. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    We haul out annually whether we think we need or not, better to be ahead of underwater issues than behind.
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Your yard time will depend on a lot of things.

    I doubt you will get an anti fouling system that would last 3 yrs, they are available for commercial ships but are not successful on yachts.

    Their success relies on an almost constant movement at higher speed than most yachts can attain.

    Yachts typically like to cruise along and stop for weeks in certain areas, some areas are also really good for things to grow on the bottom. There can also be electrical currents in marinas and on docks that eat up your anodes especially when you are plugged into shore power and your boat is made of Aluminium.

    Painting- If your boat is new it will probably have the worst paint job of it's life covering it and with luck you will get 3 yrs before it is too bad- a lot of this depends upon the colour. The next paint job should give you a life of 5 yrs if all the soft spots, bubbles and other problems of the first one are taken care of properly and all the hardware is removed and re bedded with isolation and Tef Gel or similar on all fastenings. The removal and refit of the external hardware correctly goes a long way to how well the paint job lasts ( on a metal boat anyway)

    Varnishing and repair work can be carried out in a marina or on the dock if it is allowed by the facility operators.

    Mechanical repairs are a constant operation they can usually be carried out onboard and do not need docking but might need you to be alongside with crane access to lift heavy things on and off.

    Your safety equipment has service intervals that have to be adhered to such as Fire Extinguishers and Liferafts done annually. Unless you are on a small boat you will often find that the rafts are not able to be hauled ashore by hand owing to their location and sheer bulk, this will require assistance of a crane to get them away for service. Always use factory authorised service centers for Liferafts as there are a number of interesting stories out there about the usefulness of some old house bricks as flotation devices .Your IOPP needs doing annually.

    Sending most of the crew home during yard periods? You will have to look at hiring temporary replacements to do a lot of the work that the onboard team could normally accomplish.

    This will be a bunch of strangers taking care of items that have been lurking in some case for years and you hoping it turns out alright.
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    you didn't say what kind of boat you have so it's very difficult to answer your questions.

    Generally speaking, plan on a few days a year depending on the yard and what needs to be done.

    While most folks do the bottom paint once a year, you can stretch it to 18, even 24 months if you have a diver clean the bottom and running gear once every 3 to 6 weeks depending on location (the warmer the water the more frequent it needs to be done). And on a displacement boat, growth will not affect performance and fuel burn as much as on a planning hull.

    Besides bottom paint, the other thing that needs attention underwater are zincs/anodes. Usually that's done underwater by the diver who cleans the boat.

    There isn't much else which requires a haul out, unless you have to pull a shaft (very rare unless you hit something at speed) or unless you have a frozen sea cock (shoudlnt' happen if they are checked monthly like they should)

    Everthing else can be done in the water. I dont' see why you couldnt' remove fire system while in water, same with life rafts. Easier to make arrangements to get a crane dockside if needed than hauling out and then get a crane anyway. When possible, I like having the liferafts close to the tender crane, or at least on the same deck so that they can be removed with the crane.
  6. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    After each season

    I like to schedule a yard stay after each season. One is for scheduled maintenance (i.e. bottom job, paintwork, HVAC maintenance, etc.). The second is generally a shorter period during which time we take the time to repair or replace any items which we weren't able to address during our regular season (this may include repairs which require expertise which is difficult and expensive to import to the boat during running).
  7. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    How big is the boat? Is it classed?

    How much time are you going to put on your generators and main engines each year.

    A lot of the work is not elective.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    maybe it's the way the question was asked but i was under the impression Steven was referring to hauling out, not on water maintenance.

    How many hours you put on the gennies and mains has no impact on the need to haul out, although obvioulsy it's good to have a week or so to do some servicing and preventive maintenance, which can be done in water, dockside.

    in any case, it really depends on the boat and its schedule.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yard time will be dictated by your maintenance schedule and repairs as needed. Most jobs are done as you go if you have an engineer or during down time at the dock (If allowed by the facility). Do you plan a major refit? Doubtful you'll get more than 2 years out of antifaul paint unless you stay in cold water and the added work caused by waiting that long may negate any savings. Unless you're a mega you should plan a haul every 12-18 months for bottom paint, zincs and inspection of the bottom and running gear.
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    And what would you suggest if he has a mega yacht?
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Check with those who deal in that class like Marmot and K1W1.:D
  12. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    One Major, One Minor

    Thanks you for all your feedback. The boat I'm leaning toward is just over 50 meters. has a metal hull, is two years old, and will have two engineers on board.

    Aside from the ongoing maintenance, I'm going to work in two "planned" maintenance periods each year into our itinerary, an extended period for larger upgrades and repairs, and a shorter period for the little stuff.