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The Lowdown on Service at Nomad Shelter Cove Yacht Basin


Does the thought of bringing your beloved boat into the service department cause your head and wallet pain? Well, it doesn’t have to. Having a top-notch service department that knows their way around any size vessel, and understand just what needs to be done and when, will make that pain go away. To help you navigate the choppy boat maintenance and service waters, we’ve turned to our trusted colleagues at Nomad at Shelter Cove Yacht Basin’s Service Department, in North East, Maryland.


To give you a bit of history about this almost 60-year-old marina and its impressive team of technicians, Shelter Cove is located on 17 acres with convenient access to the Chesapeake Bay. It has 150 wet slips, accommodating boats with a max LOA of 50 feet, and a max beam of 12 feet. And, most importantly, it has a fun array of amenities onsite, and impressive repair and maintenance service department.


We asked their crew of technicians to give it to us straight and share some of their secrets to keeping both boaters happy and their boats running like clockwork. Here’s what they told us:


What maintenance services should boaters have done annually?


To keep your boat in top performing condition guarantees optimal enjoyment, safety and resale value. And, of course completing all the maintenance needed for your vessel means you’ll be out on the water as soon as the cruising season begins. Here’s what should be part of your boat’s annual maintenance:


The Technicians

· Change the oil and all filters

· Change the anodes

· Outdrive service

· Tune up the HVAC

· Paint the bottom

· Change fuel filter

· Check the engine and operating temperature

· Check propeller for any damage

· Test steering for any leaks

· Check transom mount (for outboard motors)

· Check fuel lines for weak points or leaks

· Change oil

· Check spark plugs

· Check fluid levels

· Check gearcase for water

· Check belts, cables and hoses

· Lubricate fittings


The electrical system

· Check battery connections and cables

· Check battery charge level

· Inspect for any acid leaks around terminals and clean as needed

· Replace battery – if necessary

· Check interior and exterior lighting and wiring


The electronics

· Check wiring for corrosion

· Check voltage levels

· Update boat’s storm watch firmware to latest version


The HVAC system

· Check the drain for clogs

· Check for condensate in pan under evaporator

· Clean air filters and raw water strainer

· Reverse cycle the system to make sure heating is available

· Check the water pump impeller and condenser coil for any build-up


Here are a few things you can do yourself:


The safety equipment

· Check flare(s) – replace after 42 months

· Check fire extinguisher and replace when expired

· Inspect lifejackets for tears or missing parts

· Inspect and restock first aid kit

· Check flashlight and batteries

· Check and refill spare gas can

· Check Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)


The upholstery and canvas

· Check for mold and mildew – clean with vinegar solution

· Remove and wash canvas

· Check for waterproofing –waterproofing if needed


What do you offer that other marina service departments don’t?


We have experience in, and do, every type of boat maintenance and repair. But what we’re most proud of, and is important to our customers, is that we are one of just a few marinas on the Upper Chesapeake that have Certified HVAC Technicians. Another piece of it is that “we come to you” with our Mobile Marine Service.


We also have solid experience and tenure you don’t find in every marina service department. For instance, our Lead Technician has been with Shelter Cover for over 40 years. We also have four additional technicians with over 100 years of combined experience. That’s worth something!


What are the most common issues you receive calls for?


For the most part, boat troubles can be avoided by simple annual maintenance. That being said, there are four issues we get calls on pretty frequently:


· Engine won’t start -typically an electrical issue like a battery

· Boat engine is sputtering/losing power – if you didn’t run out of gas, it is usually a filter or plug issue

· Engine is overheating – This is often caused by a blockage or clog in the raw water intake – could be anything from a plastic bag to seaweed


We hope this information helps you and your boat to enjoy years of safe and fun boating – year in and year out. And a big “Thank you!” to Service Advisor, Elizabeth Adams, and Service Department Manager, Neil DeMatt, for sharing this valuable boat maintenance information. Boaters know they can trust why Nomad at Shelter Cove Yacht Basin’s extremely dedicated team to get them back on the water quickly. It’s easy to see why they have earned, in their own words, “A huge returning customer base!”


Written by: Jo Montgomery