Develop a Service Plan
Do you really want to have boat ownership that can be budgeted? It can be done. Do not wait for something to break down, set up a service plan. This is done on much larger yachts however this idea has not trickled down to smaller pleasure boats, and I am not sure why. It makes so much sense, rather than face big winterizing bills and spring start up bills every year, you should design an annual service program, set out an annual arraignment with your service provider, This program will allow you pay an equal amount each month, based on the service provider scheduling regular visits to service your boat. You would provide a list of services based on the hours of operation put on the boat and the trips you may have planned.These service visits are scheduled for each month, quarterly and annually. This not only benefit's the boater as you can create a budget for planned ownership, but the technician has a year round income so he/she can plan tool, and parts purchases, and staff.
The boat owner has the advantage in this negotiation:
1-The boater can negotiate the requested service to cover items you may normally do to save cash,
2-Get the best rate as you are committing to a full year of service at a time,
3-Purchase annual parts when you can buy them for the best prices,
4- Not face large bills at the end or beginning of the season,and reduce the risk of break down,
5- Hold the value of the boat as you can provide a service history, Know that someone is keeping an eye on the boat at all times.
6- Preventative maintenance goes a long way to keep up value and reliability
7- Boat owners can create a package which provides you with a cruise kit, every boater should have a cruise kit.This is a supply of parts that represents the standard list of components that are used regularly for service and breakdown. You can store this kit on the boat or bring it with you if you cruise long distance. A decent cruise kit will add value to your boat at the time of sale
As a boat owner you need to think about it this way if it costs you $3500.00 over a year this will convert to $292.00 per month, instead of seasonal hits and worrying about arraignment of service when you need it. You will also build a relationship with your service provider and your service provider with your boat. If your service provider is in your marina you can create a service plan which includes having the boat checked on in the case of weather or just a general check on a routine basis.Watching for loose lines, unauthorized entry or loose canvas for example. I am not sure why more boaters have not got together and set this up for groups of boats, if you and several of your neighboring boats use the same service provider then this program will be even easier to establish.
You will need to create or have a service plan put together for your boat based on the propulsion configuration, the accessories on your boat, were your boat is moored, and the hours of use. Once you have all of this information then you must determine the recommended maintenance that all of these items require each year. This can be determined in most cases from access to published flat rate manuals, or from the manuals that you should have received when you purchased the boat. Establishing a service plan may take a little work but it will pay dividends for you the boat owner, you will be able to determine over all cost of owner ship. (if you plug in the numbers of marina fees) If you are planning to buy a boat, and you take the time to complete a service plan you will be able to accurately determine the annual cost of ownership. I have seen a lot of boats sold when new boaters buy a boat and are shocked by the cost of ownership,this is why so many boats fall into disrepair or are not used. If you have put a service plan together be sure your insurance company is aware, this way if you have a claim the question of lack of maintenance by the boat owner is not questioned. This program will not stop major break downs however regular service should catch these types of failures before they happen, there are usually always signs of impending break downs.
Boat Nut is designing a down load of a service plan outline, you will only need to enter the details to calculate ownership costs and provide recommended details to develop the best service plan for your boat. You will be able to use this completed information to calculate the annual costs of a boat before you buy it or create a plan with your service provider. The download will also outline the information you should be asking for from your service provider to be sure that you have selected the correct provider for your needs. Do not assume that the marina or facility that you are using is screening service providers to be sure you sure protected. Also do not assume that if you are in a closed marina where you are having to deal with specific service providers that they are the service providers that are the right for you or your boat, I personally disagree with closed yards, I believe that forcing relationships never works out well, you as the boat owner should be able to contact any service provider who can meet the criteria standard in the industry.
When you purchase a new used boat it is very important to consider that the service you are receiving is within the parameters of your warranty requirements. quite often you will need to have the technician to sign off that he/she has completed the required service to the standard required and used the correct materials. The technician who signs off should be able to demonstrate that they are trained with a manufacturers certificate related to your service requirements. This will eliminate any questions should you need to process a claim for a failed component. These are the certificates that you see on the walls when you are in your service providers office. If the incorrect products or fluids are not used or you fail to keep up your service requirements than you run the risk of a rejected claim. When you consider the value of many of these components and the fact that you are probably paying for extended warranties, correct service is a necessity, Establishing a sound service plan will save you head ache and dollars, and in the process you should have a boat with the highest reliability and a side line, you will be maintaining the highest resale value of the boat you own.