Maintaining your Private Island
At home in your condo, you pay people to landscape, paint the hallways and clean the pool. If you’re alone on your island without staff or access to repairmen, maintenance comes down to you.
Being a skilled handyman is a definite asset on a private island. If you can’t fix things yourself, keep things simple. Buying air conditioners and washing machines is great, but keeping them running without the Maytag Man is another story. Before you buy a piece of machinery, ask for the manual. Follow the maintenance schedule to a tee.
Inspecting your home and property on a regular basis and following good maintenance practices is the best way to protect your investment. Whether you take care of a few tasks at a time or several all at once, it is important to get into the habit of doing them. Establish a routine for yourself and you will find the work is easy to accomplish and not very time consuming. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance can put a stop to the most common – and costly – problems, before they occur. If necessary, use a camera to take pictures of anything you might want to share with an expert for advice.
If a boat is part of your island life, you’ll need a maintenance schedule for that too. If your water ride is a small dinghy you beach on the shore, maintenance is usually as simple as keeping it in the shade. If your dingy sits in the water all the time, look after your motor because it’s the most expensive part of your boat. You need to run the motor frequently, even if you’re not using the boat. Keep the outboard tilted when not in use so the propeller doesn’t sit in the water collecting seaweed and barnacles. With a large boat, change your oil frequently. Also, keep the hull well cleaned and painted.
Maintenance costs on a private island can be high, but the costs depend on your infrastructure. The more you have on your island, the more there is to maintain. If you’re close to the mainland, it’s easier to access supplies and repair people. If you have an island in the Bahamas with an airplane runway, villa, staff, electricity and running water, your costs will rise accordingly.