About New Boats
Because of the long business boom, it seems
that everybody and his dog is getting into the boat building business.
On the other side of the coin, boat building yards that used to do lots
of commercial fishing boats are finding themselves without work, due to
the decline in the commercial fishing industry. The transition to building
pleasure craft is not without it's difficulties, many yards will not succeed.
Here is a list of some of the problems I have seen.
I would not mention these things were it not
for the fact that fixing problems of this nature, after the fact, is even
more expensive than the original installation.
Inexperience at installing pleasure craft
machinery and equipment.
Installations not done according to equipment
- Inverters installed without adequate ventilation, in hot engine or other areas. Sometimes on its back where it should have been on it's side.
- Using too small wiring for heavy power using equipment: inverters, autopilot motors, SSB, bilge pumps, etc..
Failure to read the installation instructions.
Hidden wiring for electronics installed in
such a way as to be totally unmaintainable. (Rats nest wiring).
- Embedding fuse holders for bridge electronics in with wiring bundles, where they can't be found.
- Using stainless steel to make blackwater holding tanks.
- Using stainless steel fittings in exposed locations where salt water can get trapped and promote corrosion, and then not sealing the fittings properly (evidenced by light rust streaks).
Wiring without any markers.
Fuel systems engineered and installed that
- Fuel feeds that power multiple engines (not good). A leak in one can bring down the others.
Fire Extinguishing systems so dangerous the
system itself, not a fire, is a threat to those aboard.
Steering/Handling so unstable as to be a threat
in close quarters as well as in large seas. Not obvious if testing done
in calm water.
Equipment installed, later found to contain
no working parts!
Wiring using untinned wire. Leads to serious
Air Conditioning systems that leak freshwater
condensate into sub flooring, instead of overboard.
Discontinuous welding; leads to rusting within
days at sea.
Pin hole leaks in the covered over exhaust
Failure to include manuals for every
piece of equipment on board: doors, port lights, flooring materials, engines,
Dinghy hold down systems totally inadequate
in rough seas.
Hydraulic systems with inaccessible hoses, impossible to find leaks.
- Mismatched hydraulic fittings(45 degree with 37 degree).
Equipment requiring routine inspection installed
such as to be inaccessible or, such that it can't be reinstalled after
Shutoff valves that can't be turned or accessed.
- Bilge pumps that cannot be turned off; needed in some ports where pumping not allowed..
Failure to separate electronic data cables
from power cables to eliminate interference.
Multiple grounding locations. Leads to corrosion.
Jamming electronic equipment into pilothouse
such that it can't be worked on.
Frequently used electric circuits turned on/off
solely by the circuit breaker.
In some cases breakers next to each other,
that control equipment, that will be destroyed if accidentally engaged.
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2000. Michael Maurice. All rights reserved.