Atlantic Yacht Basin has 85 years experience!

Tag Archives: boat maintenance

Meet Our Crew

Every e-newsletter, we highlight one of the interesting and highly experienced people who make Atlantic Yacht Basin so unique.  This time it’s James Taylor, our Vice-President and COO, who is incidentally one of the longest serving employees of the company.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  I still commute from there to Chesapeake, Virginia every day to work at AYB.

When did you first start working at Atlantic Yacht Basin?  Where did you start?  
I started in the Machine Shop as a mechanic in 1968.  I loved it then and I have loved it ever since.

What do you think makes Atlantic Yacht Basin different?
In my opinion, it is the personal touch that goes into everything that we do.  From the skill and pride in their work that our employees and craftsmen demonstrate to the many friendships we walk away having with customers, everyone at AYB goes that extra mile.  Working with Atlantic Yacht Basin is not like working with other more typical boat yards. We really love your boat like you do — and it shows.

What do you love most about your job?
How many people can say that they come to work every day to a place that they love?  I love my work — I love the boats, love working with the other people here and meeting new and interesting people all the time.  It’s never the same except for the fact that I have loved it all of these years.  My wife calls this job my “mistress”, because it has meant so much to me and I have devoted so much time to it over the years.

What first drew you to working on boats?  
Boating is in my family and in my blood.  I was raised on it and went to work in a shipyard as a younger man because of that.

What are your favorite boats that you have worked on over the years?
Asking me to pick a favorite boat is like asking a father to pick a favorite among his children.  I have had the rare privilege of being able to work on so many great boats and with so many great owners over the years.  From one-of-a-kind custom beauties to vessels that are pieces of history to the newest top-of-the line yachts, I’ve seen them all and hope to see many more.

If you could have any boat you wanted, what would it be?
am still amazed by so many of the yachts that come through the Yard.  But for fun, I am a “go-fast” kind of guy — so for me, the ultimate is a speedboat.  

What do you wish that guys coming up in the company now could have seen that you have witnessed in person?
There is something about the old-school traditions of building and maintaining boats that is really vanishing.  The good news is that we are keeping that alive in the best ways at AYB.  We respect history and tradition, but we also stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest marine trends.  But I have seen so many fascinating, wild, and beautiful things over the years working in this place and I wish that everyone that I work with could see what I have seen.  

What are your other passions besides boats?  
Well, I am a fan of what I call “land yachting” — my family and I love to take our RV out and explore.  And I am a Harley guy — which is a place where I indulge my passion for going fast and seeing the world.

Where do want to go next on your motorcycle?  Your boat?
Hitting the open road, it has to be the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota.  On open water, I really want to spend some time exploring the coast of Maine –
which they say has enough deep water harbors to accommodate all the world’s navies at once.  I’ve seen the islands and the Southern side of things – but Maine is my next dream spot.

Tips from Atlantic Yacht Basin

Spring marks the beginning of boat season for many.  So whether you are getting your boat out of storage or making plans for the warmer weather ahead, here are some key things to remember.

1. Build out your “boat list” in advance — Keep a running list of things that you need to do on your boat and schedule that maintenance and those repairs or upgrades proactively. Some fixes and upgrades are seasonal, some are cyclical and some are occasional. But having a plan for how you want to tackle the work that needs to be done to keep your boat in good shape will help you keep its value and maximize your pleasure in getting out on the water — and often with fewer costly surprises as well.

2. Do a thorough engine and systems check and a test run before you take your boat out for its first big trips of the season – So many boaters end up with having major repairs or getting stranded unexpectedly if they don’t check things out before they’re hitting the water for long periods of time. Staying on top of what is happening with your boat – on-season and off — is key.

Keep this checklist in mind for your spring maintenance.

  • Change the oil.
  • Replace fuel filter and water separator and inspect coolant levels.
  • Check batteries and confirm that connections are secure.
  • Check all zincs on hull and running gear
  • Inspect all hoses and hose clamps.
  • Check shaft log and rudder packing for leaks.
  • Clean and polish exterior.
  • Inventory and inspect safety equipment – check dates on flares and fire extinguishers.
  • Check operation of bilge pumps.
  • Check electrical connections for corrosion  – including shore power cord.
  • Check communications and navigational equipment and lights.

3. Have a back up plan for your onboard communications equipment – So many people are such steady smartphone and computer users that they forget the importance of including a back up plan for their onboard communications equipment.  Or they try and rely too heavily on spotty cell reception and uneven Wi-Fi access while out on open water. Don’t get caught in a dangerous situation – for you or your boat – with communications or navigational equipment that is in sub-par condition.  Letting people know what you are up to from time to time while you are underway is also key.  Staying prepared and in contact helps ensure that you can get help if and when you need it most.

How To Make Sure Your Personal Flotation Device Fits Properly


Did you know…


  • That half of all recreational boating fatalities happen in calm water?*
  • That these fatalities often happen close to shore?*
  • That in most cases, there were PFDs stored on board the boat, but they weren’t being utilized?*
  • That the number of U.S. boating accidents had steadily fallen from 1997 to 2012, but they have been on the rise since then?**

This is why The U.S. Coast Guard’ Boating Safety Division recommends that all boaters wear PFDs (personal flotation devices) while they are out on the water. Simply having them on the boat isn’t always enough to save a life.

Just wearing a PFD isn’t enough, though. It’s very important to select the right type of PFD, and to make sure that it fits properly. A PFD that doesn’t may slip off, be incapable of keeping the wearer afloat, cause an unconscious person to flip over, or in some cases, cause loss of blood flow or strangulation.

So how do you make sure your life jacket fits? Follow these guidelines, courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard:

PFD Fitting Guidelines
Whether swimming, fishing, participating in water sports, or just having a family cruise, we want everyone to have a great time out on the water. As always, happy and safe boating from Atlantic Yacht Basin!




9 Most Useful Boating Apps

You probably have dozens of apps on your phone for your everyday life, but did you know there are more you could add for your boating adventures? Apps entertain us, teach us, and keep us connected both on and off land. Here are 9 of our favorite boating apps.

Boat Ramps from TakeMeFishing.org-

as the name would suggest, this app features over 35,000 boat ramps and marinas across the country. If you ever find yourself in need of a place to dock, or launch they have you covered. This app makes it especially easy to plan trips as you will know exactly where you can launch and dock your boat wherever you go.


This app’s most useful feature is the ability to call for a tow and BoatUS will be able to give a location. They offer social media integration to share locations and photos through the app. Your membership also provides discounts at marinas and other locations.


Get high-resolution NOAA RNC raster the United States waters marine charts to your phone. This app offers thousands of charts, making it easy to plan and execute your route wherever you are.


The BEST weather app. You can track the forecast 10 days out or just a few hours. It provides National Weather Service warnings for severe weather and real-time tracking of hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and even earthquakes.

Boat Essentials-USCG Safety Gear-

This app provides a checklist to ensure you have all the mandated gear on board. You can add your own items to the list so you don’t forget anything important. You can also track the maintenance schedules for up to 3 boats including maintenance for items like fire extinguishers and flares.

Boater’s Pocket Reference-

The Boater’s Pocket Reference provides a multitude of information. It is easy to reference for any boating questions you may have. It has a glossary of marine terminology, guides to understanding weather and U.S. and Canadian Navigation Rules, plus many other helpful features.

Float Plan App-

The Float Plan App makes it easy to file a float plan with a friend or family member. A float plan is a pretty general safety tip and something everyone should file before a boating trip. This app makes doing so even more efficient. It will provide your friend with your route and intended arrival date so that if anything goes awry search crews will know where to look.

Friend Mapper-

Friend Mapper shares your location with friends so that they can find you even out on the water. The app makes it easy to meet up out on the water even if you haven’t planned beforehand. You can also hide your position whenever you want, for those times when you are just looking for some quiet space.

IGFA Mobile-

This app is for all the fisher’s who insist they’re caught the world’s biggest fish. Now you can quickly see how your catch adds up to the world records. The app also has a fish identifier as well as a logging system to keep track of your catches. It really will become your best fishing buddy.

5 Steps to Hauling Your Boat

Unfortunately, there are instances where you may need to take your boat out of the water for overland transport. This can be a stressful experience and definitely present’s it’s own set of challenges. Fortunately, it has been done many times by many people and there are certain tried and true methods to make sure things go smoothly. When you are preparing your boat for transport there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure safe travels.

1. Find a Specialist

Finding someone who has transported boats before is always a good idea. You are placing your prized possession in the hands of someone else and you should ensure that those hands are capable. Talk to friends who may have already been through the process and look at reviews online.

2. Take Before Pictures

Having photos of the condition of the boat before departure will enable you to show evidence if there is damage to the boat when it arrives at its destination. It can also be helpful if anything has to be disassembled during transport. You can document the process of taking it apart and have images to follow when putting it back together.

3. Prep the Boat

You should empty all fuel, water, and waste tanks before transporting. In the winter you may need to drain additional systems. Disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical problems. You will also need to check for invasive species on your boat. The presence of invasive species when crossing state borders can be cause for impounding.  

4. Make Sure Everything is Secure

Regardless of how far you are traveling it is important to have everything secure. Check cabinets so that things don’t get jostled. Pay extra close attention to things that could potentially move past the hull and be damaged during transport.

5. Check Measurements

Lastly, measure your boat. Check height, width and length when on the trailer and compare the measurements to any measurement restrictions on the route. The last thing anyone wants is to scrape the top of the boat on a low overpass.

Transporting your boat doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Following all these steps will benefit both you and your boat, ensuring a safe journey to your destination where you can place your boat safely back in the water.


Repairing and Maintaining Your Boat or Yacht

Almost each and every man-made object will fail at some point. The degree of said failures can determine when it is time to repair something or move on. Electronics, appliances, cars, and boats all require maintenance, and without needed maintenance, your boat may not last as long. Repairs can be tricky to navigate- expenses, trustworthiness of the repairers, and time can all be factors that affect repairs. The following are some general tips that may be able to help you through the maintenance and repair process.

Maintaining Your Boat and Yacht

Wash your boat regularly, especially if you boat in saltwater. Saltwater can have damaging effects on your boat’s hardware (particularly the metals your boat is comprised of). Cleaning your boat is fairly easy and requires marine boatwash (or car wash or laundry soap) plus time to brush and rinse your boat.

Be sure to regularly monitor your fluids. Fluid analysis helps to check the life of your boat’s mechanical systems and how they endure the elements: heat, friction, stress, pollutants, and the like.

Follow a schedule. Keeping tabs on all of the small components helps in the long run for the lifespan of your boat. Avoid those unusual noises or engine failures by following a set checklist that includes practices such as regularly adding oil, conducting a fluid analysis, watching the gauges, checking the propeller, etc.

Repairing Your Boat and Yacht

Consider your budget. Get a written estimate and make sure the repairer you go to gets your authorization on each repair that must be made. Boats are expensive, but you can keep your purse strings tight and still fix your boat. Written estimates help you to approximate costs, while ensuring authorization can prevent the shop from drowning your budget should unexpected problems arise.

Don’t be hasty, stay in communication, and follow a plan. Create a work order and completion date to keep things on track. Make sure that the shop keeps in contact with you throughout the repair process. Repairs take time and money. If you are unhappy with your repairs, talk to the shop and see if they can make it right. Don’t be quick to judge. Should they decline to help out, head to another shop and see what can be done.

Get help with big problems, but know when it is time to walk away. Complex repairs should be assessed. Work with a marine surveyor before settling on such a big decision. If the marine repairer you are contemplating giving your business too seems uninterested in helping you out or fails to meet your basic requirements (you can’t have everything your way), it may be time to walk away and find another shop.

No one wants to break down when they are having fun and enjoying their time on the water.  Don’t be discouraged with repairing and maintaining your boat. It takes time and money, but in the long run will help your boat run smoother and last longer.

Boat Music to Enjoy

Music is an inspiring thing, as is boating. When boating and music come together it can create a perfect harmony that can affect and impact your life and daily activities positively. Maintaining your boat is an important task. Making sure you have the right equipment (such as having quality marine speakers that can survive the elements) is just as important. Music just adds to having a great boating season. Having an updated playlist of boat music to enjoy over your marine speakers should be easy to come up with. You have to make your music work for you, but the following are a few songs to get you started.

Boat Music Playlist

These songs are really in no particular order, but this list includes music that can be perfect for waking up, getting motivated to get a move on, for enjoying your time on the water, and for your journey home.

“If I Had a Boat” by Lyle Lovett – This song can be perfectly swaying if you don’t know whether or not you want to go boating on a particular day. In the song Lovett sings about yearning for a boat and what he would do with it.

“Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys – Originally a mariner’s and old folk song from the early 1900’s, this song is invigorating and a fun one to listen to.

“To Live is to Fly” by Townes Van Zandt – While there are some sad undertones, one of the main messages of the song is to live your life to the fullest. Why not do some of that on a boat?

“And It Stoned Me” by Van Morrison – Influenced by a fishing trip, this song covers the beauty of the water and how inspiring it is.

“Boats” by Kenny Chesney – This entire song is about the beauty of boats. Enjoying the beauty of your boat shouldn’t be too hard when you take it out on the water.

“The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin – From one of the greatest albums of all time deemed by Rolling Stone Magazine, Houses of the Holy, this song will get you pumped up. “Singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean’s roar”.

“Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude” by Jimmy Buffett – A song that encourages going to new places and traveling. What better way to do that than by boat?

“Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash – While this song is supposedly about sailing the world after a failed relationship, it is still a great song to listen to once you hit the water.

“Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles – How could this not make the list? Especially for those of you with children, this is a great and fun song to enjoy and sing along with.

“Redneck Yacht Club” by Craig Morgan – This song is perfect for when you find that spot in the afternoon that you want to just hangout and jump in the water.

“I’m On a Boat” by The Lonely Island featuring T-Pain – With fun and silly song with lyrics like “do you have your swim trunks and flippy floppy’s?” this number is sure to get the party started if that’s your thing.

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles – When you are coming home after a day of sailing, this song is excellent for when dusk is settling in. A relaxing yet fun song.

“Come Sail Away” by Styx – Although this song is actually about aliens, it offers a theme about reflection. After a day on the water, meditation and reflection can be a great thing.

“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison – The lyrics do all the talking for why this is an excellent song to enjoy while boating. “…Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly…”
Music is a great way to set the mood for and during your outing. Keep in mind that breaks between songs are beneficial because it won’t overstimulate you and it leaves room for conversation, as well as the ability to appreciate the next couple songs on your playlist. Upbeat music can get you pumped and ready to go, although you don’t want to overdo it because that energy could turn into anxiety. Soothing songs will help give you a feeling of calm. The songs you choose to listen to on your boat are your choices and yours alone.

Hauling Out Boats and Yachts for Maintenance

Hauling out your marine vessel can be an important part of keeping your boat in tip top shape. Regular haul outs are necessary for hull painting and routine maintenance. Keeping the lower half of your boat clean and up to par is equally as important as any other maintenance needs. When you are hauling out your boat, one must consider the method of haul out, timelines of when and how long your boat will be out, and calculate the costs.

Methods of Hauling Out

Each of these methods has pros and cons, and regardless of which method you choose, there is always a risk of damage when you haul out your boat or yacht. Some methods of haul out include the use of forklifts, travel lifts, and airbags. Forklifts are quite useful for many boats, while other times, it could be damaging if the weight of the boat is distributed improperly over the fork lift. Travel lifts are wide lifts that use nylon straps and slings to lift boats straight up. Some of the damages that can occur include hull and rail damages, but most often these are caused by defective or weak hulls and rails. Airbag (also called air dock) boat lifts involve rubber tubes that are inflated beneath a boat to lift it out of the water.


Hauling out a boat for maintenance takes some time. It could range from a several days to much longer. Consider all that will be done. The boat will have to be blocked and staged before out of water work can commence. The work list and maintenance list will have to be completed. This could include several things such as repairs, running propellers and gear, cleaning, painting, and finally re-launching the vessel. Visit here for more specific information on Time


The costs associated with hauling out a boat vary but most are per square foot. All of this will depend on where you go. Consider some of these costs that may be included: repairs, paint, blocking, or a variety of other costs (like any EPA charges). Additionally, there can be costs of not having a haul out, particularly dependent on the insurance company and policy you have.
Hauling out your boat is an important part of boat and yacht maintenance, and sometimes required for insurance purposes. Understanding the different hauling out methods available, what type of timeline you should expect when you haul out for maintenance purposes, and the costs that can be incurred when hauling out.