The Hidden Maintenance Problems That Can Ruin Your Day: Part 1

Cracked, corroded stainless steel can set you up for a critical, if not catastrophic, emergency. Watch for more hidden maintenance problems in coming issues: Seepage and Flooding, and Gremlins in the Electrical Systems


What jobs can push down on your ‘to-do’ list for later, and will there come a time when you really regret doing that? Sometimes the answer to that question is obvious. If the engine won’t start or the main halyard fell in a heap at your feet when you tried to hoist it, you aren’t going sailing until you’ve fixed it! What I want to talk about here is not the obvious but rather the hidden problems. Especially if you are relatively new to maintaining a boat, but even for the more experienced skippers, some jobs are not at all obvious. There are jobs you may not even be aware of, but they can lead to very expensive or dangerous situations if left undone. These are the hidden boat killers.

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Roland Stockham
Roland Stockham got his start sailing Olympic-class 470s and Finns in his native England. He started his journey as a voyager crewing for yacht owners sailing to Europe because he was handy at diesel repair. His first cruising boat was a 26-ft. Folkboat with no engine. He lives in British Columbia and sails a 35-ft. Colin Archer design. He is a Royal Yachting Association certified Yacht Master and is qualified to make trans-oceanic deliveries.


  1. Catastrophic and Critical should be switched around. I would think sinking or a life at risk is catastrophic and worthy of a Mayday call. Critical seems better for an important system, but not life and limb concerning.