Your guide to work and costs in a boatyard


Boatyard Work Guide & Check List


The Work to be Done

Read and use this guide – Prior to completing the boatyard check list.

Work to be done - Start by itemising clearly the work to be done, then into discussions with the yard. Confirm a date to be lifted out, into dry dock, or alongside. Try getting a price for the work. If it is a complex job, you may not get a price. Be concise with the work to be done and any peripheral work around the job, the boatyard will not like additional jobs to crop up unexpectantly. Try to plan your work when the yard is in a quiet period.

VAT - Don’t forget VAT

Lead Contacts – Log your main contact details.

Hourly Rate - Ask for the hourly rates charged by the yard for the various trades, they generally have a card with these on.

Outside Tradesmen – The boatyard will need to know if you are bringing in outside tradesmen to do some of the work, its best to sort it out at this stage, there may well be a charge. What work do you intend doing?


The date is set – Preparation

Maintenance Procedures – What maintenance tasks do you propose to carry out whilst the boat is out of the water. This is only a general guide, all maintenance details, tasks and location of spare parts are covered in the maintenance programme for your boat. Don’t forget to reset the time/date when you have completed the task.

Time Out – Do you have enough time to complete your jobs and anti-foul.

Special Requirements - Are there any special lifting out or laying down arrangements you need to discuss with the boatyard.

Living Aboard & Dogs – Will you be living aboard, what access do you have for toilets, showers etc. If sleeping aboard do you have a chemical toilet, or similar (bucket) for nightime emergencies. Check that the boarding ladder is suitable for carrying up your size of dog.

Anodes - Have you got spare anodes aboard, time to order them.

Anti-Foul - Have you got anti-fouling and paint rollers ready, or is the boatyard doing it.

Insurance - Inform your insurance company.

Welding Sentry - who is going to do this very important job, if the boatyard do it, you will have to pay them, they go home at 5pm the boat catches fire at 8.15pm. Best if you do the fire watching yourself (and save money).

Mast – Check facilities for storing your mast if it is to be stepped.

Spare Parts - Have all the spare parts been accounted for, time to order them, or is the boatyard supplying them.


Unexpected Costs to be considered

Moving Boat - Cost of moving your boat from berth to liftout area or drydock.

Cranage - Cost of cranage, or laying down in the drydock.

Pressure Wash - Cost of a high-pressure wash.

Waste disposal - Some boatyards automatically charge for waste disposal even if there isn’t any. If you can manage the waste disposal yourself inform the boatyard, this can be a surprise addition to the final bill.


The Start

‘On the Blocks’ – It’s exciting to see the underwater part of your boat! The next exciting thing is the high pressure wash, when the young pre-school leaver is doing his work experience and is today’s washer, he is already covered in gunge and slime by the time he starts on your boat, you are excitably watching this phenomenon take place but have forgotten to shut the windows upstairs, it doesn’t matter now because there are splodges of gunge all over the galley and bedroom ceiling! When the work experience lad has finished nip up and shut all the windows and then ask him to come up and wash off the topsides, if you leave it overnight you will need a chipping hammer to remove it the following day!

Progress & Photos - Follow the progress of your job discreetly with phone and notebook, jot down the times and hours worked on your boat daily. Take photos of the work area before starting, during work and when finished, the more photos the better.

Hull Compression – Once your boat has settled down on its blocks, your boat will be out of its true alignment as your topsides have compressed and deformed the hull, generally about 5mm but can be much more, you will find doors and hatches stiff to open. It is recommended that all doors and hatches are shut during the lift out and settling down, this is to prevent door and hatch frames from permanently being distorted.

Engine Mounts - If engine mounts are being changed take a reading from the bottom of the main engine mounting plate, to the engine bed plate using a DTI, use this reading to replace new mounts. Do not carry out shaft alignment until the boat is afloat, as the boat is currently under compression and out of line to the shaft.

Disarray & Dirt - Prepare your boat for grinding dust, paint removal, dirty shoes and disarray. Cover everything with dust sheets, cover door openings with plastic sheet, and have buckets ready for dirt and liquids, cover electrical equipment, and have lots of rags ready. An old towel at the bottom of the boarding ladder to wipe their shoes on, makes a huge difference.

Anodes – Check correct number of anodes, change if more than 50% worn. Are they the correct anodes for your cruising area? Magnesium anodes for fresh water. Zinc anodes for sea water.

Hull & Through Hull Fittings – Check hull & through hull fittings for any pitting and galvanic action.

Propellers & Shafting - Inspect the propeller looking for any pitting, signs of galvanic action on the tips of the blade, if there is, check the shaft anode. Clean and polish the prop and prop shaft.

Stern Drives, POD Drives & Sail Drives – Inspect area between propeller and shaft seal, looking for leaks and fishing line, if fishing line has embedded in the seal, consider changing the seal, especially on contra-rotating props (Duo Props). Check and change drive anodes. Change drive lubricating oil.

Rudder – Check rudder anodes. Check for any play on the rudder stock.

Bow & Stern Thruster – High pressure wash tunnels and props, remove prop and clean, if prop damaged change. Check spare prop available and at least three shear pins.

Cutlass Bearing - The original manufacturer is a company called Johnson & Co their name for the bearing insert was Cutless. Look closely at either end of the Cutlass Bearing Nitrile Insert, look for uneven wear on the insert, as this can indicate shaft misalignment or the ‘A’ Bracket /Strut out of alignment. Try moving the shaft up and down by hand if there is movement the bearing could be worn.


And Finally

Beady Eyes - Have a walk round the boat taking pictures.

Propeller - If propeller has been removed double check all securing arrangements especially the cotter pin, securing tabs etc are in place and secure.

Through Hull Fittings - Check individual valves and pipework connected with at least two clips.


Afloat – at last!

Stern Gland Packing - Check slight drip from stuffing box. If stern gland packing has been changed, check stern gland temperature after a short cruise – should be hand hot. If stern gland too hot slacken off gland nuts.

POD & Sail Drives – if these have been removed check around bellows seals for any leakage.

Toilets – If work has been carried out on toilet systems check all inlet and discharge pipe securing systems are in place, with at least two clips.

Dripless Seal - Squeeze bellows to check full of water, check seals are not leaking and all securing arrangements are in place and tight.

Anodes – Order replacement anodes, to keep spare parts up to date.

Finally – Take account of any items used from the spare parts locker and replace.



Generally boatyards are very good and extremely helpfull and will go out of their way to get your problem sorted. Not forgetting that they have done your type of job many times before.


Boatyard Work Check List

Please ‘Click Here’ to view or print out our Boatyard Work Check List.


Boatyard Work

Boatyard Work

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