Maintenance and protection of vessels ...

1. What is a detailed boat inspection?
A detailed boat inspection is carried out for several reasons and only on request of the customer. The main purpose is the valuation; submitting an offer for service works, submitting an offer for insurance companies, the purchase/sale of vessels, etc.

A detailed boat inspection or its major components (propulsion, main engine, generator, watermaker, hull, electrical systems, navigation systems, etc.) always depends on its purpose. In general it is not an additional cost for the client in case if a cost estimate is done by service specialists for the performance of service work. For demanding inspections where for a realistic valuation more time is needed and in case that the service work will not be realized, the submitting of an offer is calculated by all professionals according the needed realistic work hours if they are not otherwise defined in the price list.

2. What does regular boat maintenance include?
First, a regular maintenance is always the best and second it preserves the value and usability of your boat or its main components. It includes a continuous controlling of all systems on the vessel including the underwater part (hull) and the superstructure. The control continuity is at least 2 times a year. In practice this means in the winter and spring. As long as the boat is in the water, we can maintain all systems, including the superstructure, but for the maintenance of the underwater part we have to lift the boat out of the water to remove the sediments on the hull and propulsion.

3. What does the winter / spring service include?
A winter service or a service after a season of use includes the removal of salt from the superstructure and sides of the boat with fresh water (to preserve geal-coat, sealants, teak, etc.) and the flushing of the aggregates with antifreeze (conservation) that are directly or indirectly in contact with salt. Practice shows that one part of boat owners at the end of the season place their boat on a dry berth, remove the sediments on the underwater part of the boat with a high-pressure cleaner, wash off the salt, conserve all aggregates, cover the boat with a winter awning or thermal foil and leave it on the dry dock until the next season starts. The other part of boat owners also prepare their boats after the season for the overwintering by washing the salt off and the conservation of the aggregates or starting them regularly. These boats stay for the whole year in the water. The maintenance of the underwater part of the boat is done in spring before the season starts. Both approaches for the winter maintenance require the maintenance of the batteries to preserve their capacity as well as airing of the boat to prevent condensation which will result with mold growth (high risk for the interior).

The spring service or the preparation of the boat for the season depends on how well the boat was prepared for the winter storage. It mainly includes: the deconservation of aggregates and their commissioning, renewal of the A/F paint of the underwater part on request, the replacing of the zinc anodes and the preparation of the sides, superstructure, teak and stainless steel (cleaning, washing, polishing).

All other possible works (plastics, carpenter, electrician, mechanic) depend exclusively on the needs of the boat owner and should best be planned for those periods in which the boat is not used and if the execution of such work does not depend on the weather.

4. What is osmosis, how to discover it and protect yourself?
Osmosis is a water contact incurred chemical modification process within the fiber glass structure of the hull. The main and only reason for its existence is leftover water in the manufacturing process of the hull. Bubbles are the most common warning signs, their size varies from a few mm to 10 cm, and they are filled with water and have a harsh and sour smell.
The best protection against osmosis is of preventive nature. An old wisdom says „A stitch in time saves nine!“, in order to achieve this a regular inspection of the underwater part and its maintenance are very important.

5. Which antifouling is the best for my boat?
No A/F paint is the best choice for every type of boat. The best choice depends on the type of the boat (MY,SY), as well as on the type of previous coats and their condition. It would be the best to ask other boaters on your region who use their boats in a similar way as you use yours and to consult with an expert about the condition of the current A/F paint and an eventual change of it.

6. How can I protect the gel coat color on the hull from fading?
The best method so far is to apply a coat of wax on all open gel coat surfaces on your boat. The removing process is a little bit slow, but when you remove it in spring, your gel coat will be nice and look like new.

7. When is manual polishing used and when machine polishing?
Before polishing it is important to finish all the rough work such as sandblasting and applying of the A/F paint and to prepare the boat for polishing. The preparation includes the washing of the entire boat which is very important. In fact, if you start to polish a dirty boat, you will not know which parts need more care during the polishing.
An estimation of the gel coat condition determines the way how the boat should be polished. Manual polishing is used on smaller superficially damaged gel coat surfaces or when the gel coat matted due to sunlight, while the machine polishing is applied for larger damage of the gel coat and the process is performed in layers and requires a professional approach.
New and old boats are polished for the boating season, using different polishing agents, depending on the condition of the gel coat.