You know the old adage – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What is true for your personal well-being, is even truer for the health and longevity of your motor yacht. Here are four common issues we run across at FYM, that can impair your safe enjoyment of your yacht, and depreciate her value when it comes time to sell.

Most, if not all of these common problems can be avoided with prudent preventive maintenance.

Deck Leaks

A leaky deck is the number one cause of water getting into the engine room, and causing all sorts of mechanical havoc. In the design of most modern motor yachts, this is particularly true of cockpit deck leaks, which tend to be situated just above the engine room on most sporty styles. Your engine room needs to be inspected periodically to check for any signs of rust or corrosion that can indicate water leaks.

Most cockpit deck leaks can be avoided by never using a high-pressure hose to wash down the cockpit deck, and making sure your hatch gutter drains are clear and not clogged.

avoid deck leaks

Your Anchor Windlass

The anchor windlass is the machine that lowers and raises your yacht’s anchor. A malfunctioning windlass is a common boat breakdown. Usually a windlass will stop working due to water getting into the electrical controls. Windlasses also break down when they are strained beyond their limits. This can happen when the anchor gets stuck, and you put too much strain on the windlass trying to free it up. That can break the seal under the winch, and allow water to seep into the motor. You, or the person responsible for the maintenance of your yacht, needs to be sure that the windlass is checked regularly for any signs of rust or corrosion on the motor or its controls. If you see rust, that means you have a leak somewhere. If it is not attended to, you can be facing a costly repair.

windlass on yacht

Rusty Water Heater

If you are noticing a pattern here, most maintenance issues on board stem from water damage and corrosion. Another critical system subject to such damage is your yacht’s water heater. Only in this case, the water damage can be from within the system as well as from external sources. Rust damage to a boat’s water heater usually will occur one of two ways. One, if the drain hose has not been attached to the pressure relief valve properly, which can cause water to leak, making the base of the water heater rust. The second source of corrosion is if the water heater is seated atop a deck that is leaky. This will again cause the bottom of the water heater to rust. If it rusts out completely, and the heater bursts open releasing its contents, you will not only have the expense of replacing the water heater, but likely additional flood damage. Both of these incidents are easily avoided by making sure that there is a hose properly attached to the pressure valve from the heater, draining to the bilge tanks, and to have the water heater placed on shims above the deck, so, if you deck should flood, the water cannot damage the bottom of the heater.

Yacht Water Heater

Ugly Upholstery

We have seen many yacht owners that make the mistake of thinking that their yacht’s upholstery is in some way “weather proof.” It is not, and nothing can make your boat lose value more during a pre-sale inspection than shoddy upholstery.

If you treat your upholstery right, you can preserve it for years, and save yourself thousands of dollars in the cost to replace it, or in lost value when it comes time to sell your yacht. Having custom covers made for all of the cockpit seats, and other seating around the boat, is the best way to preserve their longevity.

yacht seating area

Preventive Medicine is Key

As always, “preventive medicine,” is the key to saving you money on costly repairs, and minimizing your boat’s depreciation. It is critically important that your yacht is inspected regularly for signs of wear and tear, before little problems become big ones.

That is where having your yacht in our On Demand service program, or part of our Charter Fleet can help. In either scenario, your boat will be under a strict program of routine maintenance, and you will always be able to monitor your boat’s condition, and any repairs being done, by logging into your secure On Demand dashboard!


Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at  (954) 900-9968.