Elements of a Planned Maintenance Program

Last week we looked at: Planned Maintenance, now let’s look at Elements of a Planned Maintenance Program

There are simple steps to follow to create a basic maintenance system for your vessel:

Step 1  Determine what items need to be maintained: engine, plumbing, electrics, bilges, batteries. You can break these down further and create a spreadsheet to keep track.

Step 2  List the types of maintenance that are required for each item.

Step 3  Check manuals and use your experience to determine the frequency to carry out particular tasks.

Step 4  Build this information into a Word document or spreadsheet to maintain your schedule.

Step 5  As you work through the maintenance, keep notes. E.G. spares, date of maintenance, and what was involved. Plus additional notes to help remind you (or crew) of the simplest process to follow while carrying out these tasks.


During Planning – Consider the following issues:

  1. Is an item worth maintaining?
  2. What is the cost to maintain this item ($ and time), i.e. is it time for a replacement
  3. Collate all your equipment manufacturers’ instructions, add additional notes with these
  4. Are there regulatory requirements to consider
  5. How big is the job? do you have to plan your cruising to be in the right place to carry out these tasks (haul out, or able to work on the vessel in the marina)
  6. What other resources do you require, should you order spare/replacement parts much earlier.

The Great Plan: Elements of a Planned Maintenance Program

With everything on boating, we must be able to adapt, it’s the same with maintenance. If we are carrying out maintenance on anchor, check the weather for adverse conditions; you may not want to complete an engine service/repair with inclement weather due.

Short-term maintenance and Long-term maintenance

Short-term maintenance:  includes weekly, fortnightly or monthly inspections/routines

Long-term maintenance: involves major overhauls

Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Commercial vessels must have a complete SMS, however, the prudent – recreational – mariner should have a similar system. This is where you record all the above information. Clearly, the operation and documentation will vary from boat to boat.

Compile your Emergency Procedure Safety System WITH EASE

In the coming weeks we will be launching our Emergency Procedures Course. This is an interactive and thought-provoking course that will build up your SMS (procedures) for emergencies. We provide all you need, templates, handouts, and scenarios to make you stop, think, prepare and give you the best chance of survival.

It will also stretch your thinking to maintenance as part of your preparedness tactics.

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