Captain Chris Yacht Services Captain Chris Yacht Services
Cruisers 455 Asks Captain Chris About....   Icebreaker!!!!! Would you believe there is a Kadey Krogen Trawler under that snow?   Trawler Training with Captain Chris Yacht Services at TrawlerFest Fort Lauderdale aboard a Beneteau Swift Trawler 52   TrawlerPort Palm Beach
About Us       Delivery       Training Onboard      Testimonials      Training Video's & Ship's Stores      YouTube Channel

Ask Captain Chris



Photo Log

Favorite Links

Galley Recipes




Find us on

Follow us on Facebook

Loopers Move Up to a Nordic Tug 37

Hurricane Isaac Delays Trawler Training aboard a Gulfstar 44 Trawler

GulfCoast Yacht & Boat Show

TrawlerFest University Baltimore- Pre Show

Bridges? How do I navigate under drawbridges or get the drawbridge to open?

Nordhavn 47 Owners Train with Captain Chris

True North 38 - Delivery to the Abacos

A Looper Learns About the Florida Coast

Top Five DIY Maintenance Items for Boat Owners

Captain Chris Yacht Services
Top Five DIY Maintenance Items for Boat Owners
Checking your sea strainer for debris is an easy skill to master using a flashlight and no tools.
Additional Images
DIY. Do It Yourself. You might say, "yeah right, I am not a mechanic and have no experience with mechanical or electrical so why should I try?"

WOW! There are a lot of reasons to learn about your boat and its systems. Some key areas that will effect almost every boat owner can be easily mastered. Here are my top 5 maintenance skills you can and should DIY to save money and time:

  1. Change dirty fuel filters.
  2. Clear fouled sea strainers.
  3. Inspect and replace raw water rubber impellers.
  4. Burp your air conditioning raw water pump.
  5. Check hydraulic steering fluid and pressure.
Scroll down for more photos and videos of items to become familiar with.

You should discover the manufacturers recommended and predicted maintenance cycles. Then prepare yourself how to do the easier tasks that occur more frequently. Sometimes it is as simple as reading the manual. Other skills require a class or hands-on tutoring lesson. With a little effort and education you can often master the more expensive service items too.

One of the most common DIY service items we believe you should learn to do yourself is the oil change. I can detail the time and labor for this but I ask you to telephone a service company to ask their rates and expected timeline to change the oil and oil filters on your boat. Just for fun add in changing fuel filters and raw water impeller too. If you do not own a boat yet, tell them about the boat you plan to buy, twin engines or single and don't forget the generator.

Now take that number they estimated and compare it to the minimum cost for supplies that you would have if you were to do the the work yourself. Just think how much money you would save and can use for diesel fuel, marina fees or a nice dinner, actually a few nice dinners.

During our teenage years we had to learn how to change a spare tire and jump start the car before our parents would allow us the pleasure of borrowing their car. No AAA back then. Yes, you can argue we now have TowBoatUS and SeaTow but they only tow you to safety. They do not make repairs.

Join us to understand how to take care of the top 5 on our list and quite a few in the top 100 too! Our seminarĀ  Introduction to Boat Systems will help you understand how to manage your boat. Learn more here.

What does it mean when you see a bee's nest in the thru-hull fitting above the water?
Now you know what to do with the straw on that can of WD40.
This charcoal filter will freshen the air as it escapes from your sewage black water holding tank.
This Y valve diverts sewage either overboard when you are beyond the legal limit or into your holding tank when you are restricted in No Discharge Zones- NDZ.
This Y valve is secured in the holding tank position by using this zip tie.
Can you understand this rats nest of wires and hoses? Find an anti-siphon valve, one-way check valve, 110 VAC wires and drinking water hose to get started.
Adding hydraulic fluid to your steering reservoir. Notice the air pressure gauge.
The sight level gauge windows allow you to see the hydraulic fluid level. The pressure gauge shows you the actual amount of pressure in the system- this gauge is pointing to 12 o'clock. Watch the video again and it will make more sense.
Always check to see if your cap is screwed on tight before shaking! Add this potable water treatment chemical instead of chlorine to your aluminum water tank.
Look at this V-12 Detroit diesel 1040HP engine. Can you see that these are actually 2 V6 engines bolted together? The right turbo is for the forward engine and the left turbo is for the aft engine. Follow the large air pipe...or Ask Captain Chris!

Click here for more Maintenance

View other articles written by Captain Chris Yacht Services