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Yacht

Essentials When Servicing a Boat

By Boat, important, Maintenance, servicing, Tips, Winter, Yacht

Servicing a boat you own at regular intervals in order to protect your investment, maintain your boat’s value and prolong its working life.

100 Hour Service

First things’ first – regular oil changes are a must. As general rule, change you boat engine’s oil and filter after every 100 hours of use. At this interval, you should also flush the outdrive with fresh fluid, replace the water fuel separator, fuel filter and spark plugs. You should also replace the cap, rotor and points as needed. Take a look at your boat’s trailer at this interval also to check if any maintenance work is needed on that.

Spring Service

Each spring, we recommend that a thorough service is undertaken on your boat. This should consist of an oil change, an impeller change if you have an inboard engine, a thorough clean of the fuel system to take care of any debris built up over the winter, maintenance of the battery charge and a full safety inspection of your boat’s lights, bilge pumps and blower motors.

Winterisation Service

When putting your boat away for the winter, you should have a winterisation service performed to ensure it’s ready to go when the weather turns for the better.

The first thing to have done as part of a winterisation service is stabilising the fuel left in your boat’s tank. It’s a good idea to fill up its fuel tank entirely before mothballing it for the winter. This is to prevent condensation from forming inside the tank.

Circulate the stabiliser throughout your boat’s entire fuel system and coat its cylinder walls with rustproofing in order to prevent any rust from proliferating. Also disconnect its batteries. It is advisable to invest in a battery tender to ensure they last as long as possible.

Following these essential servicing steps will ensure servicing a boat precious to you will last for many a year to come!

Top 5 Antifouling tips

By Boat, Exterior, Learning, Maintenance, Tips, Yacht

It isn’t the most fun job in the world, but every so often, your boat needs antifouling in order to keep it looking its best. Here are our Top 5 Antifouling Tips:

Tape up the water line

Before you apply a coat of antifouling paint, we advise you to apply masking tape at your boat’s water line to ensure you adhere to a straight edge when applying it. It’s also a good idea to remove the masking tape and then mask it up anew with each new layer of antifouling paint you apply. This is because it can become next to impossible to remove the tape if it’s been left in place for too long.

Sand the hull

As part of your preparation before renewing antifouling, sand down your hull thoroughly to ensure you remove all cracked or flaking paint, and ensure that the surface is entirely smooth. The better the preliminary sanding work, the better result you’ll have once your new antifouling has been applied.

Wash the hull before applying paint

It’s highly important that your boat’s hull is thoroughly washed before applying any paint. If the surface is not as clean as possible, the finish won’t be right at the end, so take care of this one. Remove any present grease or contamination using a suitable cleaner before moving onto priming.

Apply two coats

When considering the question of how many coats of antifouling paint to use, you should definitely apply no less than two. It’s important not to spread the paint too thinly, as well as sticking to overcoating and immersion times as specified on your paint’s can. Make sure you stir the paint thoroughly before you begin applying it.

Apply third coat on water line

A third coat of antifouling paint is recommended for additional protection around the water line. If you have a sailing boat, then take care of your rudder and keel with a third coat of antifouling to bolster their protection too.

Top Maltese Bays for Staying on a Boat

By Boat, Learning, Tips, Uncategorized, Yacht

The Maltese Islands has plenty of bays and inlets which are more obvious choices than the ones listed here, but we wanted to let you know what our favourite picks are for staying on a boat for a weekend. Check them out!

Santa Marija Bay, Comino

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Santa Marija Bay is a pretty little bay on the northern side of the island of Comino. It provides superb shelter should you be staying on a boat there. It is also quieter than the most well-known spot for boating in Comino, namely the Blue Lagoon. Should you want to venture onto land, you’ll find a campsite, Comino’s little police station and a small, yet superb, beach.

Xrobb l-Ghagin, Malta

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Xrobb l-Ghagin isn’t really known by the hundreds of thousands of tourists which visit Malta each year, however it is highly popular with locals, especially too moor a boat for the weekend. It features some stunning natural scenery – crystal clear water set against a backdrop of sheer cliffs. Although the bay is somewhat exposed, it still provides a good level of shelter against the wind and waves.

Crystal Lagoon, Comino

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Lying in the shadow of one of the Maltese Islands’ famous 17th Century Wignacourt towers, the Crystal Lagoon is the lesser known of Comino’s two lagoons. Shafts of light appear to come from its seabed, hence its name. It is surrounded on all size by high cliffs which provide great shelter for boats. You’ll get day-trippers coming in and out of the lagoon at the height of summer, but for the most part it’s quiet.

Mellieha Bay, Malta

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Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest bay, and as a result it teems with people from June through to early October. Many boats are also present, but there’s space for everyone due to the bay’s size. Should you have a dinghy, you can easily zip to the beach and back if you need to. Topping off the Mellieha Bay experience are incredible views of Mellieha village and Santa Marija estate, with the latter being one of Malta’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Dwejra Bay (Fungus Rock), Gozo

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Dwejra Bay is home to the Azure Window, an amazing natural limestone framing views of the Mediterranean Sea beyond it, and Fungus Rock, an islet which features a unique plant believed to have medicinal properties. Not only is Dwejra Bay a prized diving and snorkelling location, not to mention a place of outstanding natural beauty, it’ll provide plenty of shelter for your boat should you choose to moor for a weekend.

Boat Maintenance in Winter

By Boat, Cleaning, Exterior, Interior, Learning, Maintenance, Tips, Winter, Yacht

The winter months mean that extra care needs to be taken in order to ensure that your boat remains in tip-top condition. Taking extra precautions during the winter months, however, means that there will be less to do once the weather gets better.

In or out?

First and foremost, the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether you’re going to take your boat out of the water for the winter, or moor it somewhere safe where it isn’t too exposed to the elements.

If you’re going to go for the former option, then seize the opportunity to check everything methodically – establish what needs repairing or replacing, or whether there’s something you’d like to modify. Remove and store all ancillary items such as radio and GPS systems, batteries, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, lifejackets and safety equipment.

Exterior

Once that’s done, the first thing you need to do is give your boat’s exterior a thorough clean, inclusive of scrubbing down, waxing and polishing the hull (especially the part that sits underwater should you choose to take your boat out), the topside, bottom, deck and superstructure. Clean her sails and bilge too. If your boat is made of fibreglass, ensure you check for blisters.

Interior

Next, move on to the interior – take care of carpets, tables, and any other fixtures and furnishings. We recommend using moisture absorbers in cabins and lockers just to make sure everything stays dry.

Ensure your mechanicals are sound

The biggest piece of the puzzle, especially during the winter months, is to ensure all mechanicals are clean and working correctly. Should you be unsure of what you have to do, or should you be wary of missing an important detail, then we recommend consulting someone more experienced than you or employing a professional to take care of the job for you.

Every few weeks, check on your boat’s condition, especially if she’s remaining in the water. Make sure that the location she’s stored in will not pose problems caused by wind and weather exposure or falling foliage. If she isn’t, then make sure shores providing structural support are secure and stable.