Marine Maintenance System by SeaKits/ Hood 55 Expedition

Associate editor Tony Bessinger previews a web-based program for organizing systems and maintenance information and scopes out Ted Hood's new 55-footer. "Gear Up" from our September 18, 2007 /SW eNewsletter/

GUHOOD368
Portsmouth Marine

Boats are complicated, so complicated that even the most detail-oriented owner needs help. Owner's manuals, maintenance schedules, wiring diagrams, warranties, spare parts; they all add up to more paperwork than most people can handle effectively. Hiring a professional skipper or a management company could solve the problem, but by the time you've bought and outfitted your boat, there's probably nothing left in the coffers for such luxuries. Besides, one of the reasons you bought a boat is to putter around on it, right?Former U.S. Navy submariner and owner of an expedition yacht, Barry Kallender, realized the enormous challenges of boat ownership soon after he bought his boat, and came up with a novel way to simplify things. His company, SeaKits, introduced the web-based Marine Maintenance System last April. What MMS does is what you'd like to do if you had the time. First, it creates a master systems and equipment list for your boat. This master list contains serial numbers, warranty information, etc. From that list, the program creates a spare parts and inventory list, an inventory recommendation list, and a maintenance schedule, which helps you stay on top of scheduled and preventive maintenance for all your systems. With your input, MMS keeps track of maintenance performed and documents all the necessary information associated with your boat's systems. Having all that information in one place makes it easy to make warranty claims, preemptively order things like new bilge pumps, and order parts from far-flung destinations. Technicians working on your boat will have online access to schematics, wiring diagrams, part numbers; everything they'll need to minimize their down time and maximize their efforts.There are two levels of MMS, the Complete, which is described as a turnkey program designed for a specific vessel, and Lite, for the do-it-your-selfer who wants to specify their own parts and maintenance program. There are also different levels for coastal and offshore boats; the coastal system will suggest onboard spare parts for coastwise cruises, while the offshore version will suggest parts and maintenance for extended voyages.One of my colleagues, Chris Cornell, attended the recent Newport International Boat Show and was tasked with selecting the best new product at the show. Cornell, an admitted Luddite, came away from the show with a sincere appreciation for SeaKit's Marine Maintenance System, particularly the online interface. When we hit the lottery, both Cornell and I plan on telling our yacht captains to immediately sign up our megayachts with MMS.Prices start at $2,900 (one-time setup fee) for a 55-foot (or less) vessel for the coastal version, with an annual fee that runs from $195 to $395 for boats from less than 50 feet to 77 feet. www.seakits.comAlso receiving an award for the best new sailboat at the Newport Show was the Hood 55 Expedition. It's definitely a cruiser, but, thanks to a tall rig, large sail area, and a slippery hull, there's no denying the racing pedigree from designer Ted Hood, a man who won the America's Cup and who designed more than a few groundbreaking raceboats. www.yachtworld.com/portsmouthmarine