Basic Boat Maintenance


Frank Brumbaugh has lived boating and written articles for most of his life. In that time, he has tackled every conceivable problem a boater could ever be confronted with on a boat. For the first time, he has put those years of knowledge into an easy-to-understand book, Basic Boat Maintenance.

This book contains a wealth of information any boat owner can use to perform routine maintenance and repairs. Along with this, Frank has provided his ...

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Frank Brumbaugh has lived boating and written articles for most of his life. In that time, he has tackled every conceivable problem a boater could ever be confronted with on a boat. For the first time, he has put those years of knowledge into an easy-to-understand book, Basic Boat Maintenance.

This book contains a wealth of information any boat owner can use to perform routine maintenance and repairs. Along with this, Frank has provided his recommendation for a time schedule to follow for this work.

Basic Boat Maintenance is highly illustrated with graphics showing in detail the steps needed to accomplish most tasks. Additional graphics show the correct charge state for the batteries, a schedule of maintenance, which tasks to complete, and when they should be completed.

The information is presented in a straightforward, easy-to-follow writing style. This allows any boater, regardles of skill level, from novice to advanced, to use the information quickly and easily without fear of mistakes during the projects. After completing the book, you will have the confidence to maintain and repair your own boat.

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What People Are Saying

Ted Duke
Basic Boat Maintenance would be a valuable addition to any boat owner’s library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892216236
  • Publisher: NetPV
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Edition description: Comb-Bound
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preventive Maintenance Tables
Preventive maintenance means a semiformal schedule of minor maintenance performed at regular intervals. This prevents accidental breakdown or warns of its impending occurrence early enough that it may be avoided. It is the least costly but also the most important maintenance for the boat owner.
The simplest program, adapted from one used extensively by the Armed Forces, is called FITCAL. This is an acronym formed by the initial letters of six descriptive words; Feel, Inspect, Tighten, Calibrate, Adjust, Lubricate. Memorizing this acronym makes it easy to remember the six actions required in this simplest maintenance program. FITCAL is briefly described below as applied to small boat preventive maintenance.
Feel -- Use your hands to check for looseness, abrasion, broken parts, overheating, etc.
Inspect -- Visually inspect the boat, her rigging, equipment, etc.
Tighten -- Tighten loose bolts and screws, turnbuckles, etc.
Calibrate -- Check operation of the compass against its deviation table. Check depth sounder operation against the hand lead line. Using methods detailed in instruction sheets for equipment, calibrate each as required when this is possible.
Adjust -- Adjust as required: Turnbuckles, carburetor, lines, etc.
Lubricate -- Oil moving parts of blocks, pulleys, genoa cars and tracks, pumps, fans, blowers, motors, generators, engines, alternators, rudder pintles, steering gear, hatch slides and hinges, etc.
FITCAL can be applied at any time you are on board and will be a useful adjunct to the more detailed and formal maintenance schedule described in Tables 1 through 4. This formal preventive maintenance schedule has been divided logically into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual or special conditions periods. Those scheduled for daily attention are for times when you are at sea on an extended cruise. They can be safely lumped with the weekly schedule when you are docked or at anchor for long periods. Other scheduled maintenance should be accomplished at the periods given.
Certain preventive maintenance actions are common to many areas of your boat and are mentioned here to prevent the preventive maintenance tables from becoming repetitious.
When checking any electrical equipment make sure it is connected to its power source. Check fuses and replace if blown. If the second fuse blows, remove power and check wiring for short circuits. Replace defective wiring.
When checking plumbing make sure seacocks are open on both intake and overboard drain. If manual pumps do not operate, check O-rings or impellers and replace if required. This also applies to electrically operated pumps after you have made sure of the electrical connections.
Tighten, repair, or replace loose, damaged, or missing parts on all mechanical equipment, rigging, etc. Remove corrosion wherever found. Oil lightly all wire cables. Wash antenna insulators often with fresh water to remove salt deposits, but do not oil them. A thin coating of silicone grease may be applied to insulators to prevent rain or spray from bridging them and shorting the antenna out.
Operate all seacocks at weekly intervals to make certain they are operable and to keep them in good condition. Do not leave seacocks open when at sea if the pump outlet is below the water line, except when using them. This applies particularly to the standard marine head on sail boats.
Refer to the instruction manuals for each item of equipment on board for specific maintenance instructions which are beyond the scope of this book. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the type of lubricant and the interval for lubricating moving parts. Use only cleansing agents and paints recommended by the manufacturer to prevent damage to the boat or her equipment.
The preventive maintenance procedures of Tables 1 through 4 include not only the boat itself but all equipment and stores normally on board. These procedures should be followed as scheduled, although some may be skipped occasionally by the skipper who is watchful and thoroughly knows the condition of his boat. Not all procedures apply to all boats. Sailboats do not normally have windshield wipers and not every small boat is equipped with a shower bath. Use those portions of Tables 1 through 4 which apply to your particular boat and ignore the rest.
Battery and Engine Logs, suggested in Table 1, are illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.
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Table of Contents

Preventive Maintenance Tables
Hull and Topside
Sails, Rigging, and Ground Tackle
Electrical System
Galley, Head, and Plumbing
Below Decks, Furnishings, and Spares
Instruments and Electronics
Bilge Water and Leaks
Rodents and Insects
List of Figures
List of Tables
Tools & Supplies
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There is always something which needs doing on a boat. No boat owner will dispute the truth of that statement. Some of these jobs must be done right away; others can safely be postponed, but not forgotten. This book is written to sort out the things which need doing, to place them in proper perspective, and to indicate the simplest and easiest ways of accomplishing what has to be done.
If the little things are done while they are still little, they will never become big. Small discrepancies, not important in themselves, can combine to produce a dangerous situation later, or one which will be expensive to eliminate. Big jobs are more difficult and time consuming than all the small ones which cause them. No boat owner will dispute the truth of that statement.
The boat owner who keeps his eyes open will readily note areas which require attention. He can thus schedule his time so that these can be attended to without affecting the use or enjoyment of his boat. Most small jobs can be tucked into spare moments at the dock, and many can be done while under way. Big jobs will be rare, and these can usually be anticipated: Bottom painting and engine overhaul are typical examples.
There are no mechanics or repair shops at sea. All knowledge, tools, and materials available are those aboard the boat. It is up to the boat owner to see that all materials and tools which may be required are on board. This book provides much of the knowledge and guidance necessary.
The secret of effective boat maintenance is control, and this is best effected by a semiformal schedule of inspection, regularly applied and adhered to. It need take little time or effort, but it must not be neglected lest a little job, unnoticed, grow into a big one. A check list should be used so that nothing is forgotten. It will pay to note in the ship's log when an inspection is made as well as a listing of discrepancies noted requiring attention.
Engine hour logs and battery logs, if properly kept, will serve as an excellent reminder and usually give warning before trouble can develop. A preventive maintenance check list such as that given in Chapter I should be prepared for each boat, and individualized to include equipment on board. All boats have hulls, most have engines, half have sails, and some have such extras as a motor-generator electric plant and electronic equipment of many kinds. Since no two boats are exactly alike (different boat, different long splice!) your checklist must be individualized for your particular boat.
This book departs from the limited scope of other similar books in that the author's definition of boat maintenance includes the maintenance of safety, convenience, and healthful conditions for all aboard, and thus this book is not limited entirely to the mechanical aspects of maintenance but forges beyond these limitations as necessary.
The author has tried to foresee every possible thing which could possibly go wrong on every type of small boat under all possible conditions. It is unlikely that he has succeeded but probable that he has come very close. Not everyone will need all the information contained in this book. A few may need specialized information which is outside its scope. But 99 percent of small boat owners will find here all of the general guidance they need to maintain their boats shipshape and in Bristol fashion -- safe, convenient and healthy.
—Frank Brumbaugh
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