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Creating a Maintenance Schedule For a 15m Motor Yacht

Dimitris Tsapis
August 3, 2022
This guide details the process you need to follow to set up a maintenance schedule and track expenses for your 15m motor yacht. Click to read more.

Owning a 15m yacht can be challenging. The boat is too small for a crew, so you’ll have to wear many hats. You are the captain, engineer, and deck officer, all in one. This requires a practical nature and strong organization skills. 

In this article, we help you set up a maintenance schedule for your 15m motor yacht. We also discuss the best way to track expenses, and when these might be higher. After reading this post you will have the tools to create a better overview of your boat’s needs, and more time to enjoy it.


How to track maintenance tasks on a 15m yacht

Since you will most likely work on the vessel alone, there will be many tasks to attend to. You may have to start your day by checking the proper operation of all essential and non-essential systems. This could be followed by cleaning, repairs, and logistics. Finally, you may need to communicate with marinas, repair services, and suppliers. 

All in all, a heavy workload requires proper planning. Thankfully, planned maintenance systems (PMS) can help with that. They usually come in the form of software applications and can be accessed by desktop or phone. You can use them to organize recurring maintenance tasks, set triggers, review daily work, and create a log of past repairs. This can be useful for insurance purposes, time efficiency, and saving on potential costs associated with avoidable mistakes.

The cost of a PMS is also very competitive, considering the money and time you will save by being organized at all times. Our PMS software, PlanM8, is a great example. You can inquire for a 15-day free trial and have a qualified team assist you with the whole setup process. The app is customizable, and thus very adaptable to the needs of your vessel.

>> Request a FREE trial for PlanM8 (no credit card required) <<

How much does it cost to maintain a 15m yacht?

On average, a 15m yacht costs between $20.000 and $25.000 to maintain. This amount can easily double if you decide to make a long trip overseas (mainly due to fuel). The best way to track your expenses is by using a simple excel sheet. We have prepared a sample sheet that you can use for this purpose. You can view and download it by clicking here. Simply click on File, and then on Make a copy. You can now use the sheet online or download it to your storage if an internet connection is hard to establish.

So, what should you track? In the sheet, we have categorized costs into some basic categories.

Tracking sheet breakdown

  • Fuel - This will most likely be your biggest annual expense if you plan to make trips. Obviously, if you just keep the vessel in your main port and go nowhere, the cost will be close to zero.
  • Oil/Filters/Racors - This tab refers to the yearly oil change, filter change, and other related maintenance tasks.
  • Slips - That’s what you pay to keep your yacht docked at the port. You may pay an annual fee to reserve a spot year round, which may lead to a small discount. Alternatively, all short stays and their fees should be calculated together.
  • Repairs - Add costs related to repairs of all systems onboard. If you choose to fix a breakdown add costs related to supplies you had to purchase.
  • Improvements - Costs related to things you do to the vessel to improve it, not necessarily attend a breakdown. This can include preventative maintenance. For example, you may choose to update your electronics or add new driveshaft ceilings.
  • Maintenance - Maintenance tasks do not have certain timeframes of recurrence. Some may have to be performed on a quarterly basis while others have to be done every 10 years. To improve long-term tracking, you may want to spread the expenses across time. For example, if a maintenance task costs $1200 but has to be performed only once per year, you can add $100 to each month of the ensuing year.
  • Cleaning - You can here add the costs of cleaning services and, if needed, cleaning products.
  • Insurance - Add the combined cost of your annual insurance needs.
  • Tips - Here you can add the tips you have given (e.g. for the dock hands of your local marina).
  • Miscellaneous - All other smaller costs are best grouped in one category unless you want to add more rows for exact tracking.

Repairs vs maintenance tasks

Following the breakdown of the above expenses, it is important to differentiate between repairs and maintenance tasks. Repairs will usually be more expensive and are linked to mistakes or accidental breakdowns. When something breaks, you fix it. 

You can log breakdowns on PlanM8 as unplanned maintenance events, in order to log your steps of action in the software’s history.

Maintenance tasks are recurring tasks that need your attention on a regular basis. They are mainly tied to the up keeping and correct function of your vessel while they are often tied with insurance. These tasks are triggered based on predetermined timeframes or your vessel’s meters.

You can set up maintenance tasks on the Components section of PlanM8. Select the system you want to create a recurring task for, and add descriptions, triggers, and other relevant information.

Finally, it’s important to remember that your vessel will need fewer repairs if you don’t take long trips. Maintenance tasks should be performed regardless of your vessel’s activity, with an exception for tasks that need to be attended based on meter triggers.

Wrapping up

Creating a yacht maintenance schedule reduces your annual costs and helps avoid unplanned breakdowns. In this post we looked at the benefits of using PlanM8, the different types of expenses you’ll come across, and how to track them effectively. Following this post, make sure you check out the rest of our blog for helpful yachting tips and guides.