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Hidden Maintenance and New Regulations

Winches / Anodes / Bonding / Batteries / Shore Power

 

Winches
Why should you service my winch? A service is a vital part in keeping a winch running smoothly and fault free. Your winch usually sits on the bow of your boat enduring every swell that makes it over the bow and every rock you try to fish out the ocean with your anchor. Usually no thought is put into how it could impact you if it fails.

How often? Ideally you should fully service your winch once a year if you are just a summer time cruiser either before the new season or after the season has finished. If your an all year round sailor/fisherman then every 6 months is optimal.

What is involved? For a full service on a winch we have to remove the motor, gearbox, shaft and chain wheel / capstan. Back at our shop we will dismantle the
gear box and assess everything internally. If all is ok we will clean all the old oil remove any salt deposit and rebuild them replacing all seals and bearings. As for the motor we clean out all the carbon and check for any insulation breakdown ensuring the motor will operate smooth and efficiently.

Is there anything you can do? Yes! A simple re-grease by taking our capstan/chain wheel off and apply waterproof grease to all touching surfaces. for any bolts apply a bit of rescue steel or any similar product that stops bolts locking up due to salt deposit.

 

Anodes
What is an Anode? An anode is a metal made of zinc or aluminium that erodes faster then steel/bronze. It protects your boat from electrolysis due to being in a marina.

Where is my Anode? You won’t find your anode by simply walking through your boat it is located underneath usually attached to any metal objects (e.g. prop shaft, prop, trim tabs and rudder) or the hull itself (Usually bolted to the hull with through hull bolts).

How do i check my anode? You can check your anode by either going scuba diving or pulling your boat out of the water. If your anodes are looking a little worn down its probably a good time to replace them while your boat is out of the water, if your unsure come see us and we can teach you what to look out for. Also have a look at your prop-shaft, prop, rudder, trim tabs and any metallic fittings for dimples that shouldn’t be there this can be a sign of electrolysis and may need urgent attention. If you wish to have your anodes and bonding checked while your boat is in the water give us a cal and we will come down with a special meter that measures the millivolts between the water and your protected metals telling us whether or not its time to replace your anodes or look at your bonding system.

What should i do if my anode needs replacing? We generally recommend you come see us and we can replace your anode for you as there is a process that must be followed to ensure you get optimal connection to your bonding system.

How often? Usually every time you take your boat out for a clean or for work it takes not time to have a glance at your anodes and assess their quality.

Bonding
What is bonding? Bonding is all the cables that connect your anodes to any metal that comes in contact with sea water while the boat is sitting at the marina. It is usually made up of 6mm cable that is colored green and yellow or plain green, it can be connected to copper strips of metal that run along the keel or stringers through out your boat.

Is there anything you can do? If you fancy getting into your bilge with the grease and oil just investigate the cables and where they connect up to various devices. Look for any connections that are turning green or broken/damaged as this can lead to a bad connection to the device it is protecting causing serious damage over time. If you believe the connections need to be replaced give us a call and we can visit your boat and do any work necessary to fix your bonding. If you wish to have your anodes and bonding checked while your boat is in the water give us a cal and we will come down with a special meter that measures the millivolts between the water and your protected metals telling us whether or not its time to replace your anodes or look at your bonding system.

What to do if your bonding system needs a spruce up? Give us a call and we will assess what needs to be done to fix your bonding system.

 

Batteries
What are batteries? Batteries are the power supply for all your electronic devices on your boat. They provide power to everything from your engine and winch, lights, chart plotters and much much more.

Where are my batteries? Your batteries can be located in an number of places. Typical locations consist of the engine room, underneath your cockpit floor or under a seat/bunk. These are just a few locations of where your batteries might be, if you do not know it might be a good idea to find out in case of an emergency.

How do I maintain my batteries? Depending on how you use your boat it is always good to keep them above 90% of their fully charged state (For a 12V bank that’s 10V for a 24V bank that’s 21.6V), if you are draining your batteries below these voltages they wont last very long. During periods of non use its good to keep them flooded batteries topped up with ‘deionised’ water and with all batteries charging them up once every couple months will stop any unwanted problems when you come to use your boat next. If you have any queries or are unsure and would like us to have a look give us a call and we can arrange a time to inspect your batteries.

What to look out for? If you think your batteries are starting your boat like the use to or are dying quicker then normal then it is a good time to call us to find out why. If you have gone about maintaining the electrolyte levels in your batteries your self and notice every time you check (once ever 6 months or before and after each season) then you might have other issues that need to be addressed immediately.

 

Shore Power
What is Shore Power? Shore power is what powers all your AC device when plugged into shore via a ‘Shore Power’ lead.

What do i need to do?  Every boat that is plugged into shore power must have an sticker and certificate for Electrical Warrent Of Fitness (EWOF) and a tag of compliance located at the shore end of your shore power lead. An EWOF is an inspection that takes place once every 4 years to ensure your boat is up to current regulation and standards once completed a sticker is then placed inside your boat on a window ideally located as to allow anyone to view it from the dock. A tag of compliance is a sticker that attached to shore side of your shore power lead to inform everyone that your lead was safe for connection as of the date of inspection, this must be completed once every four years with an EWOF, but any marina can change this time, you must adhere to the your marinas time frame to meet current regulations. For a full checklist of what is required for an EWOF click here.

 

NEW REGULATIONS REGARDING GAS ON BOATS

Due to new regulations and standards most boats now do not comply with what is required to have gas on a boat. If you haven’t had your gas install inspected in the last 2 years it might be a good time to call us to find out more about the new regulations.

 

For more information on any of the articles above please contact us and we will be happy to help.