Following a rise in the number of breakdowns, the MCA is urging yachtsmen to service their vessels

Is your boat ready for the sailing season? Following a rise in the number of breakdowns, the MCA has teamed up with the RYA, RNLI and BMF to urge yachtsmen to service their vessels before they put to sea.

In 2004, 3,870 people suffered breakdowns due to machinery failure or fuel problems, many of which could have been resolved by routine maintenance. If you need advice on caring for your engine, pick up a copy of PBO for our new series on avoiding breakdowns. This month’s cut-out-and-keep checkcard is on bleeding a diesel engine and changing filters.

The MCA says correct maintenance is the personal responsibility of everyone who takes a recreational boat to sea. For more information click here. You could also arrange for an RNLI Sea Safety Check, which is a free service for leisure boaters. To register click here.

Members of the public are also urged to ensure they are physically fit and have enough experience before going to sea. ‘Make sure that you develop and maintain your skills in knots, chartwork and navigation,’ says the MCA, ‘as well as knowledge of rules of the road and the operation of any electronic aids you have onboard.’ If you need diesel engine training, or any other boat-related training, contact the RYA: