Preventative maintenance is an simple way to keep things running smoothly and to identify issues before they become a problem. In partnership with Bellingham Marine, Marin Yacht Club has undergone several upgrades to assure that the marina operates effortlessly both now and in the future.
Less than an hour outside of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge rests the Marin Yacht Club. The private marina club includes 115 boat slips ranging from 30 – 80 lineal feet and sits on the banks of San Rafael Creek which feeds into the northern part of the San Francisco Bay. The Marin Yacht Club was formed in October of 1935 as a social and educational club, but its origins are as early as 1929 when the group was known as “The Yachting Annex of the Marin Golf and Country Club”. Although the club has a long history, its governance has been forward looking, and they have taken a proactive approach in their efforts to maintain the facilities. Rather than waiting for the dock’s system to extend past its useful life, the club has taken preventative maintenance precautions which have allowed the club to run efficiently by identifying issues before they negatively impact the club’s operations. The Marin Yacht Club has worked with Bellingham Marine for many years and has completed various repair and upgrade projects in the past. These projects include replacement of walers, rods and floats for both structural, safety and cosmetic reasons. The facility also benefits from a full time onsite member of staff that regularly performs maintenance.
The recent renovations at the California club were comprised of three main components: replacement of a main gangway landing area, replacing several multi-piece fingers, and upgrading to an improved waler system. The original multi-float gangway landing consisted of a group of floats attached by walers and was replaced with a match-cast float aimed to correct listing and uneven floats. The process of manufacturing a match-cast system begins with one float and then casting the secondary unit using the side of the adjacent float as a form. The method includes forming interlocking ‘shear keys’ so that modules fit together seamlessly. Rods along the top and bottom of the floats create a rigid foundation that mimics the feel of walking on a solid concrete foundation on land.
A recent survey asked marina operators what kept them up at night. A common response mixed with the stresses of managing the day to day operations was fire. The concern was elevated in the off-season with boats left unattended and heaters running, but the reality is, the risk of a fire is always present.
The question is what can you do to reduce the risk of fire at your marina?
To reduce your risk of fire you must place your focus on preventive maintenance and staff and boater education. You need to work towards building a community that understands the benefits associated with practicing routine maintenance and proper use of equipment and has a common goal of keeping the marina safe. The more eyes you can train to spot potential hazards the safer your facility will be.
Preventative maintenance is an easy way to keep things running smoothly and to identify issues before they become a problem. We perform preventative maintenance on our cars, our houses and even our teeth.
The ideal preventative maintenance program includes a schedule of planned maintenance actions aimed at the prevention of problems before they occur. Among the industries that benefit most from a proper preventive maintenance program are the electrical and mechanical industries. Studies show that the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher for components that are not part of a scheduled preventive maintenance program as compared to those that are.
The modern marina invests heavily in its electrical system. Large facilities operate as miniature distribution centers managing expensive equipment and with it huge amounts of electricity. On average, a large marina catering to mid-sized boats will require approximately 10,000 amps to service all its slips; for those catering to mega yachts it’s closer to 22,000 amps. In comparison, the average home requires just 200 amps.
By setting up an electrical preventative maintenance program, marinas can potentially save themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and lost business, and may also qualify for lower insurance rates.