What is Guardiennage? An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain…

What is Guardiennage – An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain

It’s a funny old word with many different spellings, and one few clients have come across before, so I thought it was time to expand a little on what Guardiennage means to us at Berthon Spain.

An integral part of our Service is the technical checks that we perform fortnightly on our yachts in guardiennage care. Exactly what is included in the chosen package can be tailored to your yacht’s needs. We always offer a number of options and can also be very flexible to ensure that we are catering to your individual requirements. In a nutshell, guardiennage is shore-based captaincy which, when done well, means you come out to a yacht that’s ready to go and one without a long list of jobs and cleaning needed that will fill your precious holiday time!

What is Guardiennage – An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain

As we all know well, yachts do not prosper from being left unused and unattended. Engines and pumps need to be run, seacocks exercised, furlers and winches operated, and sails aired or removed for dry storage. We pride ourselves on keeping the yachts in our care in top notch condition so for our Guardiennage Captain, Mike, these checks are his bread and butter.

When a yacht arrives with us, we will test every system and go through every bilge, from bow to stern. We can then provide the owner with a detailed report, with recommendations and costings on how to put right any issues found. Whether your yacht is for sale with us or you use her regularly, having her turnkey ready and in superb order means that she will fly through the pre-survey or be a reliable magic carpet on your all-important holiday.

What is Guardiennage – An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain

Each time Mike steps onboard the routine is the same, just instinctive – lines, fenders, neighbouring yachts, bilges, batteries and chargers. Then to the more in-depth checks. He will check oil and coolant levels, belt tension and carry out a visual check of the engine or engines and then start her up. The same procedure is followed with the generator or generators.

We will exercise the seacocks regularly, not everyone’s favourite pastime and with Mike’s larger frame not always an easy task, but it’s surprising how flexible he can be! This is an important job, often overlooked. We have many times come across an inaccessible, forgotten, seacock that is immovable and has lead to an unplanned haul out. If a pipe were to rupture through lack of maintenance this can invalidate insurance. Of course, strainers are checked and cleaned as necessary. A sure-fire way to damage engines, fridges or air conditioning is if the raw water flow is not as it should be.

What is Guardiennage – An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain

Along with the furlers, we will test the winches and windlass, navigation instruments and lights, and also visually check all deck fittings.

Back on the interior, we will run your fridges, freezer and ice maker, flush WCs, run and visually check all pumps. As far as watermakers are concerned, we recommend these are pickled when not in use, but during the season they will be flushed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

No system is beyond Mike’s conscientious and knowledgeable eye.

What is Guardiennage – An Insight into the Life of a Guardiennage Captain

Our storm watch policy ensures that the team are always on standby in inclement weather. Preparation for high winds is key, checking our guardiennage yachts and their neighbours, then regularly doing the rounds went the weather hits.

Safe to say that in Guardiennage care with Berthon Spain your yacht is in safe hands, 24/7.

To discuss Berthon Spain Guardiennage care for your yacht, be sure to get in touch today. We’d be delighted to help.

Managing Director – andrew.fairbrass@berthonspain.com
Office Tel: +34 971 415 441

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