Ship Maintenance Quality Plan

A ship maintenance plan aims to get the maintenance and repair work done in the least possible time with minimum costs. Ship maintenance is a comprehensive service consisting of several activities destined to keep the machinery up to date and in a smooth running condition, and to ensure the vessel is preserved in excellent shape. Proper maintenance of a ship is the right way to extend the life cycle of its components and reduce degradation or even failure of the machinery.

Vessel upkeep must follow all safety and prevention regulations, which helps to achieve optimal reliability across all systems.

Producing a Maintenance Plan

A ship’s maintenance plan should include all tasks and protocols needed to keep the vessel’s efficacy and reliability:

  • List of every task required to be performed at the facilities, also its frequency.
  • Improve the ship’s efficiency on every activity.
  • Keep machinery and equipment at optimal performance levels.
  • Keep track of every breakdown or failure and reduce its frequency and the time it takes to repair it.
  • Prevent forced downtime as consequence of serious damage or failure.

Maintenance process

Producing a maintenance plan consists of five steps: Information, planning, assignment, execution and analysis. The proper completion of all steps optimizes the performance of the vessel and prevents severe damage or failure.


First step consists of collecting information and data on the ship’s machinery and equipment, as well as its maintenance needs. This information must be provided by the manufacturer, and must consist of assembly schematics and instructions on the repairs and the replacing of parts.

Information on specific machinery protocols should be obtained, also information from the ship’s breakdown log could prove very useful, as information obtained from the crew members own experience.


To plan the maintenance means to schedule all the different tasks appropriately, and also to assign the crew responsible for each one. Some maintenance and repair must take place in dry dock, and must be planned accordingly well in advance to minimise vessel downtime.

It is very important to distribute the work load with the crew and request the electronic or mechanical  inspections from the specialist. Tasks related to the same system will be grouped in the maintenance plan.

Assigning duties

To determine the correct course of all maintenance tasks it is essential to be aware of the capacities of the crew members. Identify mechanical work from electrical and assign each worker the task they are better suited, and more prepared for. These tasks must be correctly scheduled and any task under administrative inspection must be given priority.

Ship maintenance plan
A ship maintenance plan aims to get the maintenance and repair work done in the least possible time with minimum costs.

Once all tasks have been assigned, workers will perform their duties with the help of the corresponding material resources. The execution step consists of several processes:


  • The Chief Engineer will supervise monthly maintenance, and will be responsible for delayed tasks.
  • Every crew member with maintenance duties assigned will see to them, these duties will be recorded in the maintenance log. It will include all relevant information, such as defects or imperfections found, or parts replaced.


All the information contained in the maintenance log must be notified to the shipowner. So they have a complete understanding of the ship’s condition, and also to keep a vessel’s repair log.

Types of maintenance procedures

There can be four levels of maintenance that cover all established protocols.

Corrective maintenance (or run-to-failure, breakdown or reactive maintenance)

It is described as non planned and taking place once a failure is detected. It’s the action performed because of failure or deficiencies occurring; or more generally, to repair an item to its operating condition. A corrective maintenance procedure must consist of a process to identify the existing problem, establish the cause and propose, implement and evaluate feasible solutions.

Preventive (or on-condition, scheduled or time-driven) maintenance

Recommended by shipbuilders. In general, preventive maintenance addresses the scheduled inspections, which are performed so as to establish whether a component or equipment can still operate satisfactorily or determine the item’s deterioration. Potential benefits incorporate an increase in available equipment, reduction of downtime and its relevant cost and improvement of safety and quality. Hull and decks are the barriers a vessel presents to the environmental hazards, therefore hull maintenance is essential in guaranteeing endurance and preventing the corrosion of steel. 

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance takes place before failure or breakdown. It’s the maintenance best required for the breakdown on parts where it is possible to tolerate a failure during system operation. It is the process that monitors regularly the condition of the item or equipment and ensures maximum intervals between repairs. Among its key advantages are providing actual data for planning the repair activities, early detection of potential failure modes, minimisation of unscheduled repairs and maximisation of the availability and operability of the system.

Scheduled maintenance requires changes on the equipment or machinery to prevent future failure. Maintenance is carried out irrespective of the condition of the machinery. The parts have to be replaced if it is written in the schedule, even if they can still be used.

Ship maintenance guide
Pedictive Maintenance takes place before failure or breakdown. Freepik photo.

Planned maintenance system, or PMS

PMS helps maintenance teams track recurring maintenance tasks. These systems are designed to make sure each preventive maintenance task occurs exactly as expected by managers, based on set intervals.

Maintenance Inspection

It determines problems within the vessel, the significance of each failure or malfunction and how urgent it is to repair it.

Keeping a vessel in perfect conditions depends on the ship maintenance plan. Get in touch with us and we will work together to find you the right maintenance plan.

To fulfill all requirements of a maintenance inspection we advise you to get in touch with Suisca Group.