The secret to great charter yacht maintenance

If you are exploring your charter yacht ownership options, then without a doubt you will have heard the term "professional maintenance" thrown around a few times by now. I will assume therefore, that you have also asked yourself, "What does this really include?" 

Investment in a yacht is a big step for most of us and the idea of handing it over to a stranger to look after can be a daunting step. It will be your utmost priority to ensure that the people that you enter a partnership with will look after it as well, if not better, than you yourself would. At this stage you may also be considering keeping the yacht privately after an initial charter term and will want reliability from your yachts for years to come.

Let me take this opportunity to walk you through why I personally believe Sunsail & sister company The Moorings’ yacht maintenance standards cannot be matched in the industry.


Keeping a Uniform Fleet

Sunsail started offering sailing holidays back in 1974 and The Moorings in 1969! Over the last 50 years we have learned a lot and this has transformed the company from building many of its own yachts, through to making strong partnerships with market leading manufacturers. Today Sunsail & The Moorings are Group Beneteau’s biggest customer globally (builder of Beneteau & Jeanneau monohulls) and also takes an active part in the revolutionary designs of R&C’s Leopard Catamarans. Our many thousands of customers have tried and tested all the latest gadgets from reefing systems to chart plotters and by taking on that feedback we have refined not only our own fleet, but also had some influence with the manufacturers designs too.

When you operate a fleet of around 1,000 yachts it is prudent to be streamlined. That occasionally requires us to say no to buyers with preconceived ideas about successful ownership, perhaps even looking a little inflexible at first glance. We ask that prospective owners and charterers put faith in the experience we have gained from years of customer feedback. In fact what we offer you is the most refined yachting model in the industry. When this is combined with our customer’s expectation for the newest yachts and the highest specifications, it starts becoming easy to see how sailing a “Sunsail” or “Moorings” model is the truly desirable goal.

The same uniformity keeps giving back during the 5 years it is in charter with us. Right from the start when we are able to confirm a huge annual yacht order from our award winning suppliers. This affords a more competitive price. A saving we share with you. Then our charter team can confidently advance sell weeks aboard your yacht, providing reliable revenues to cover the yachts running costs and financial obligations to you which we can guarantee to deliver. Our full time engineers quickly gain an in-depth knowledge of the fleet and how best to maintain it. Finally, a uniform fleet allows us to keep manufacturer spares no matter where in the world your yacht is located, ensuring your yacht doesn’t look like Frankenstein monster after 5 years in charter. Let me tell you, holding ourselves to this high standard is quite a challenge. The idea of running a fleet made up of a wide range of models and equipment levels like our competitors, simply isn’t an option if we wish to maintain this this level of care for our owners’ investment.


Scheduled Maintenance

Every one of our “Bases”, which we make a point of highlighting. Operates on a scale large enough to sustain a full time base manager, receptionist, cleaners, but also engineers and yacht technicians.

The engineers are tasked with providing a 4hr Guarantee on every yacht chartered. That means they must strictly adhere to the scheduled maintenance guideline, to provide high preventative maintenance standards. In the occasional event of issues under way. They must then have an in depth understanding of all systems onboard that yacht. The goal is to reach the guests, wherever they may be, with the correct parts and exact the repair, all in under 4hrs of receiving notification of an issue. It’s a tall order, but they beat the odds almost without exception.

So what does the scheduled maintenance element include? Well, we have after charter defects, this is simple stuff such as tightening a slack guard wire or replacing a boat hook. Next there is the quarterly service which includes oil change, rig checks, sail changes (if required) and aesthetic grp repairs. In addition to these we annually haul the boats out and antifoul as well as undertake servicing of parts below the waterline. If any equipment or grp repairs are essential mid-season we will of course add in unscheduled maintenance time, but usually this can be avoided with our regular servicing intervals.    


Warranty Issues

Sunsail will be your liaison to Robertson & Caine, Beneteau or Jeanneau, depending on who your boat builder is. This means that should a warranty issue occur with your yacht we will work directly with the manufacturer to have the correct part replaced. We have people on staff who handle all warranty concerns and claims so that you will never have to worry about this while your boat is in our fleet. If the concern is not with your boat manufacturer but rather your chart plotter, refrigerator, sail, engine, or otherwise. Then we will work directly with that equipment manufacturer to ensure proper repair or replacement. 


Our Promise

We know that our owners are investing in our company and we want to honour that partnership by keeping their investments in excellent condition. It is our hope that our owners will be so impressed with the job we have done that they choose to continue to invest in Sunsail & The Moorings for years to come. Thanks to the hard work of our base teams and the trust we have developed over the years, many of our owners are now on as many as their fifth yacht with us. More than just friends, our owners are part of the Sunsail & The Moorings family. On a final point I think it’s important to remember our promise extends to our charter guests too. They are also protected by the 4hr guarantee and we hope that one day they too will wish to join us as Yacht Owners.


Please contact us for more information!

Julian Adams

Julian Adams joined Sunsail in 2004 and has worked in various roles including Yacht Skipper, Charter Sales Consultant and Worldwide Sailing Schools Manager. In 2010 he joined the Sunsail & The Moorings Yacht Sales team and has gained extensive experience in all aspects of Yacht Ownership.