As Good as New: 6 Golden Rules for Maintaining Your Ship

A single cargo ship or other seagoing vessel can cost millions of dollars to purchase even on the secondary market. A ship that receives the right types of maintenance and other attention should repay the investment made in it many times over, however.

Keeping up with maintenance is the single best way to ensure that any ship will provide as much service as possible before it needs to be retired. Heed the following six rules to make sure your own ship will always be in great shape.

Inspect Regularly

The value of regular, proactive maintenance of ships can hardly be questioned, but every such type of activity also needs to be directed appropriately. The only way to become and remain informed about a ship’s condition and maintenance-related needs is to inspect it frequently and comprehensively.

Companies like NautiSnp make sure that every ship they list receives a thorough inspection before being handed over to a new owner. Inspections need to continue throughout a ship’s lifetime, though, if the information they reveal is to remain relevant and useful.

Inspections should be seen not as a supplement to maintenance work but as a core part of the process. Should it ever be necessary to skip even a single scheduled inspection, a more thorough one should be conducted as soon as possible.

Log Every Job

Ship maintenance sometimes seems routine enough that it becomes basically unremarkable. That can lead to problems, though, as when shortcuts and outright omissions start undermining the effectiveness of maintenance-related duties.

Logging every maintenance appointment will make such problems a lot less likely to arise. Data-driven maintenance is also just as relevant to maritime environments as to the terrestrial settings where it has been popular for years.

Set Reminders

Most ships today include systems that can be set up to issue reminders when maintenance is needed. Whether that means checking an engine’s grease points or a compressor’s seals, warning lights and the like command attention. Reminders should be seen as complements to scheduled, planned maintenance that make lapses less likely.

Keep Corrosion From Setting In

Many of the most formidable challenges that arise in the course of ship maintenance stem from the hostility of the maritime setting. Salty air and briny water make corrosion almost inevitable if it is not guarded against at all times.

Once any surface on a ship succumbs even slightly to corrosion, it will deteriorate more quickly thereafter. Proactive maintenance is always preferable to the reactive kind, but especially so when targeting corrosion.

Manage Your Maintenance Inventory Effectively

A lack of supplies or equipment is a common reason for important sorts of maintenance to be delayed or neglected. When the tools and resources needed are always available, maintenance becomes a lot more likely to be carried out as scheduled. Over time, staying on top of maintenance-related inventory management will keep any ship in better condition.

Compile Comprehensive Reports and Make Sure They Get Read

Data acquired via inspections and task-specific logging should be collected and analyzed regularly. A report generated in this fashion will summarize a ship’s condition at a given time and serve as a reference point in the future.

Even simply scanning a thorough maintenance report will help highlight any issues that need to be addressed. The goal of maintenance is not just to prevent a ship’s condition from deteriorating but to pinpoint ways of better protecting it in the first place. Thorough, thoughtful reporting makes such insights a lot more likely to arise.

Abide by these six rules at all times and ship maintenance should become even more of an asset. Every ship deserves and will benefit from the support that only regular, careful maintenance can provide.

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