DIY Tips for Yacht Owners: Electrical Systems Service and Maintenance



Anyone who thinks that owning a yacht is all sunshine and rainbows is sadly mistaken… if only! Yacht maintenance can cost a small fortune all on its own if you don’t know how to DIY the worst of it. Never fear! We are here to help you on your way to becoming a yacht repair aficionado… or at least a person who can handle the basics.

The Cost of Yacht Upkeep

How much does it cost to maintain a yacht? That fully depends on the size of it. Denison Yacht Sales put the maintenance costs of a super yacht at $4.75 million per year. The fuel costs alone are more than most of us make in five years, never mind the dockage fees and insurance costs. Yacht World can also give you a step-by-step breakdown of owning a smaller yacht… still… boats are expensive!

Our point is that you already paid a small fortune to buy the yacht to begin with. Now, you need to think about things like winter storage and life jackets. We can help you take care of at least one overhead of yacht ownership; electrical systems service and maintenance.

Electrical Systems and Maintenance on your Yacht

The electrical systems on your yacht will degrade over time. It is recommended that you have a survey of your electronics every five years[i], just to make sure you are still in full control. Circuits are far more likely to corrode due to exposure to salt air and maintenance is constant. That being said, here are our tips on fighting off that sea air, successfully!

Check for Wire Corrosion – strip back a half inch section of wire in any suspected circuitry. If it is pink and shiny then great. If it is black then it may need replaced due to corrosion. Replacing one wire at a time is a lengthy process but it can lower your repair costs and protect your system.

Invest in a Spray – you can get sprays which are anti-corrosion. They have been designed to protect your system and make it last longer. They definitely do help, according to the Practical Sailor.

Securing Terminal Connections – the biggest place you are going to notice wear and tear is around the terminal. If water gets in here then it can fry the system. You have to make sure those connections are absolutely impenetrable. You can find a step-by-step guide here.

Service your Inverter – You can learn more about how to maintain an inverter from Sail Magazine; but the upshot is basically that you need it to run your household appliances, on board your boat. Keeping spare fuses and learning a little about electronics is a great idea if you have one of these, or intend on making the modification.

What if You Can’t DIY Your Yacht Maintenance?

Of course, if all of this sounds either too technical, or too much like hard work, you can always call in a Marine electrical company to do the job for you! Like any other maintenance service they will specialise in exactly what you need to keep you afloat.

One thing is absolutely certain: if you ignore your yacht’s maintenance it will cost you more than just the price of a service. Don’t neglect your electrical systems. They are just as vital as the sails.