CHECKLISTS ARE ONLY OUR RECOMMENDATION LISTS
BEFORE SAILING - long
Unlock the life raft
Put valuables in the zip bag
Review weather forecast
Make galley/cabins sea-ready
Plan or start the route
Prepare (PFD’s) Personal Floating Device
Clear rudder control arm
Check electronics and GPS
Check engine oil and coolant
Check fuel status (incl. jerry cans)
Store sail covers
Attach halyards to main and staysail
Close and secure hatches and portholes
Ensure ends of all lines are secured
Check daily log, charts, and navigator’s notes
Turn on the VHF and put remote in cockpit
Make departure entry in the deck log
Stow the primary anchor and cover the windlass
Turn off anchor lights
Swim ladder stowed
BEFORE SAILING - short
- Create a plan
- Brief the crew and/or guests about the boat
- Brief crew and/or guests about travel plan
- Assign Crew duties
- Ask crew/guests to get into appropriate clothing
Engine and below deck
- Survey bilge for water, oil or fuel leaks
- Ensure the sea strainers devoid of any objects
- Test the bilge pumps – automatic and manual
- Check water tank level
- Check amount of fuel in fuel tank
- Note the battery charge level
- Note Fridge temperature
- Note Freezer temperature
- Check that the freezer water flow is flowing okay
- Check the air-con water flow is flow okay
- Give the generator an overall survey – leaks, lose connections, etc.
- Close seacocks (if necessary)
- Close hatches, windows and cover vents
- Give the rudder bearing greaser a twist (if necessary)
- Check that the speed log and depth gauge transponder are fitted securely and free from corrosion
- Anchor has the lock pin in place and is secure – area looks correct (if anchor is not being used)
- Anchor locker is free from blockages
- Ensure pulpit rails are secure
- Safety rails are secure
- Deck cleats are looking good
- Foresail is secured correctly to the furler drum
- Foresail sheets are properly attached and free to run and not chafed
- Jackstays/jacklines are secure
- Dorade vents are secured
- Mast fittings, winches, boom gooseneck and reefing controls are all in working order
- Check all halyards
- Examine boom vang/kicker, hydraulic lines, boom condition, topping lift and lazy jacks
- Examine the mainsail – condition, tack, head, clue and then the leach tension line and clamp. Check battens
- Prepare other sails (asymmetrical, staysail, etc.) for use if they’re stowed away
- Test tightness of water and fuel tank caps
- Check backstay tension
- Test winches
- Ensure main steering compass is working correctly
- Ensure steering wheel is secure on its spindle and working correctly
- Check all GPS sensors, antennas and other communication equipment are clean and secure
Safety and deck duties
- Survey safety systems (life-raft, life rings, safety wires and have life-jackets, lines available)
- Remove and stow outside navigation system covers, compass cover, etc.
- Remove sail cover(s), prepare sheets, halyards, etc.
- Disconnect shore electrics
- Make warps ready for release or prepare anchor to be lifted
- Ensure sun cream is available in the cockpit
- Put logbook in cockpit, fill out initial information and update every (x) hours
After systems are turned on
- All navigational systems running (plotter, GPS, etc.)
- VHF working?
- Navigation lights all working?
- Engine exhaust color okay?
- Engine cooling water is flowing?
- Engine operating temperature?
- Test bow thrusters
- Remind those responsible for pulling up the anchor or slipping the lines on the procedure. Remember to bring the anchor ball down
- Position able bodies to fend off with a roving fender (if necessary)
On your way
- Stow anchor ropes, warps and fenders
- Check that the stern gland is dripping
- Make water?
- Open holding tanks (if and when appropriate and not when making water!)
- Update logbook and check engine vitals every X hours
- Practice Man Overboard Procedure (MOP) procedure
- Brief crew and/or guests on who is doing what (bring sails down, coil sheets, halyards, throw warps, look-out, lazy lines, anchoring, etc.)
- Prepare boat with fenders and warps
- Make ready the anchor (if anchoring)
- Tidy cockpit
- Close black and gray water tank(s) if not already done
After the boat is secured
- Set up passerelle, gang plank or board
- Visit marina or harbor office (if in a marina)
- Hook up electricity
- Wash down the deck (before opening the windows)
- Chemise the windows and chrome
- Clean the inside of the boat
- Pour your gin and tonic (or have it poured for you!)
- Weather report
- Amount of daylight (sunrise and sunset times) and note time constraints
- Crew capabilities
- Boat capabilities
- Departure pilotage (any restrictions or limits?)
- Arrival pilotage (any restrictions or limits?)
- Check tidal highs and lows
- Consider a potential route using tidal streams, gates and navigational aids
- Note shipping lanes and traffic separation schemes
- Estimate duration of the trip considering the distance, sea state, wind and route
- Tides – Spring/Neap/Interpolate? Tidal heights at departure and at destination
- Note possible refuges/shelters
- Find a place to anchor that has good holding.
- Point the boat into the wind.
- Make sure that the depth makes sense (have the ability to put out at least 5x the depth you’re in).
- Make sure you can swing 360 – ensure you’re not too close to hazards or other boats.
- Drop anchor and do your best to see it hit the floor (we painted our anchor white so that we could easily see it drop).
- If possible, have someone set the anchor alarm at the point where the anchor drops. We often set our alarm after we’re done, but then we’re not always on top of the anchor.
- Slowly move the boat backwards (use the wind or allow the engine to reverse slowly) as your letting line out so that the chain doesn’t become tangled in a big heap along the sea floor.
- At 5x the depth reverse the boat to ensure the anchor digs in. I often stand on the chain and watch it stretch out. If the chain bumps along, I know that the anchor is dragging. If, however, the chain goes horizontal and then the boat moves back towards the chain, without any bumps, I can be fairly confident that the anchor is set.
- Make a visual note of the position of the boat against at least two positions on land and wait at the anchor for a few minutes to ensure the boat is maintaining the position.
- Release the tension of the chain from the winch by a snubber or rope.
- Hoist the anchor ball.
- If possible put some goggles on, jump in and visually inspect that the anchor is dug in. Even veteran sailors are not ashamed of a visual inspection!
At Anchor (not moving)
- Survey bilge for water, oil or fuel leaks
- Test that the bilge pumps are working correctly
- Check sea strainer(s) if using freezer, air con, fridge
- Water tank levels
- Battery charge levels (run generator if necessary)
- Fridge temperature
- Freezer temperature
- Freezer waterflow
- Air-con waterflow
- Generator oil
- Generator water
- Generator belt
- Generator overall survey – leaks, lose connections, etc.
- Go through First Aid Kit
- Check Life vests
- Safty equipment/tools
- Lifejackets check
- Safety harnesses
- Deck jackstays
- Retro reflective tape
- Lifebuoys and drogues
- Dan buoy
- Flares on stock
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire blanket
Food / Provisioning ideas
- Baking – Sugar, flour, baking powder/soda, brown sugar, cocoa, corn starch, yeast, bread crumbs
- Bread – Bread, pita pockets, bagels
- Cereal – Oatmeal, cornflakes
- Condiments – Ketchup, mustard, mayo, soy sauce, vinegar
- Jars – Pasta sauce
- Dairy (fridge) – Milk, butter, cheeses, yogurt, cream cheese
- Dairy (non-fridge) – Cream, eggs, dried milk, parmesan cheese
- Drinks – Water, wine, beer, soft-drinks, fruit juice
- Drinks (powdered, granulated, teas, etc.) – Coffee, tea, cocoa
- Canned Fruit – Applesauce, peaches, pineapple
- Dried Fruit – Apricots, bananas, Raisins,
- Canned Meat – Chicken, ham, hash, pork, roast beef
- Canned Fish – Tuna, salmon, shrimp
- Fresh Meat – Bacon, Ground beef, pork, chicken, beef, hot dogs, sausages, steaks
- Fresh Fish – Salmon, tuna
- Nuts – Cashews, peanuts
- Oils – Olive, Coconut, Vegetable, Spray
- Packets/Mixes – Gray, pancake, sauces, taco mix
- Rice – plain white, basmati
- Pasta – Spaghetti, penne, macaroni, couscous, noodles
- Snacks – Potato chips/crisps, pretzels, crackers, breadsticks, cereal bars
- Soups – Chicken, vegetable, beef broth cubes, mushroom, tomato
- Spices – Britican Galley Herb and Spice Kit, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- Canned Vegetables – Beans, kidney, baked, beets, corn, green beans, spinach, mushrooms
- Fresh Vegetables – Tomatoes, cumber, onions, potatoes, carrots, zucchini/courgette, eggplant/aubergine, broccoli, cauliflower, root veg, garlic.
- Paper Products – aluminum foil, plastic wrap, paper towel, napkins, paper plates, toilet paper, Ziploc bags
- Cleaning – Bleach, degreaser, dish soap, hand soap, laundry soap, sponges, trash/rubbish bags, window cleaner, bathroom and kitchen cleaner)
- Hygiene – soap, toothpaste, bug spray, dental floss, deodorant, skin lotion, cotton buds, razor blades, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, tampons, Vaseline
- Office – paper, envelops, printer ink, pens
- Boat Stuff – Cleaners, distilled water, fuel, cleaning products, spares
Snacks - easy food
- Veggie sticks with hummus, cucumber yogurt dip, cream cheese or store bought dressing.
- Salsamole with tortilla chips. Salsamole (1/2 jar of salsa, 2 smashed avocados, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of cilantro/coriander and salt).
- Pepperoni stick, cheese cubes and crackers.
- Bruschetta (tomato, garlic, basil, oregano, salt mixture) over old toasted bread.
- Saltines with cream cheese or peanut butter.
- Quesadillas (Use a tortilla wrap topped with any shredded cheese and ham/hotdogs/whatever with another wrap over the top and quickly melt over a frying pan) – cut into triangles and serve plain, with Ketchup or pasta sauce.
- Spread cream cheese (any flavor of your choice) over a tortilla, cover with wafer thin ham and roll up. Cut into 2” or 5cm slices and lay on a plate.
- Pasta and pesto – Boil pasta and mix in a jar of pesto.
- Rolls, sandwich meats and condiments – create a basket before you leave with all the necessary meats, cheeses, condiments, cutlery, napkins and put it in the fridge. When it’s time for a snack bring the basket into the cockpit.
- Bread, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt (If you omit the vinegar this is great for seasickness sufferers).
- Refrigerator store bought pizza dough pockets – roll the dough out to ¼” or 6mm think, cut out circles and stuff with anything you like. Fold over, brush edges with beaten egg, and bake for 20 minutes at 400F/200C. Ideas: Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheddar cheese. Ricotta, diced apple and cinnamon sugar. Tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Fruit sticks – using wooden skewers; add strawberries, pineapple, grapes and whatever else that takes your fancy.
Choosing a Marina
- Can you get to the marina (height/draft maximums)?
- Are slips available?
- Cost of slip/berth?
- Is there a fee for liveaboard status?
- Does the marina cater to your needs? Ex. Do they accept liveaboards?
- Is the marina easy to get to and from?
- Is there a fuel dock?
- Is there water hook up? Is there a fee for water?
- Is there an electricity hook up that matches the requirements of your boat? What is the fee for electricity?
- Is there a black water tank pump out facility? Is there a fee?
- Ease of entering and exiting the marina?
- Is there ample protection from swells, storms and adverse weather?
- Is the marina in a high wind (bura) protected area?
- What is the standard of toilets and showers? How many are available?
- How far are the bathrooms from the boats?
- Are the following available:
- WIFI (and does it really work?)
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Onsite shop for ice, groceries…
- What is the proximity to anchorages, other marina’s, day-trip spots with the boat?
- What is the proximity to local restaurants, bars, etc.?
- What is the look and feel of the area?
- Does the marina have points of interest near by (parks, attractions)?
At the Marina (leaving boat)
- Clean the boat. This is just a general hygiene task.
- Empty the bilge (attract mosquitos)
- *Empty all gray water tanks.
- *Poor vinegar down all drains (toilet, sinks, floor drains)
- Clean out the fridge/freezer.
- Have a plan for the batteries to make sure they don’t drain down too low or become dead.
- Turn everything off on a boat.
- Lock all windows and close blinds.
- Unplug any electronics and/or appliances.
- Pack paperwork and important documents, passports, etc.
- Take the trash out.
- Check lines and warps to make sure boat is secure.
- Make sure someone at the marina has your phone number to call you in case of an emergency.
Tasks at the Marina
- Fridge/freezer clean.
- Filling up with water.
- Check the rigging.
- Clean the boat.
- Prepare extra food.
- Chill out.
Dinghy to Land
- Get the kill cord
- Turn your anchor light on if there is a chance you’ll return after dusk
- Remember to put the plug in the hole if you haven’t lowered the dinghy yet
- Check fuel level
- Pump up the dinghy if it needs more air
- Lifejackets (children?)
- Apply sunscreen or bring it with you
- Bring travelling First Aid Kit
- Remember your shoes.
- Bring a hat
- Extra carry bags – they come in handy for groceries…
- Handheld radio or Walkie-Talkies (if someone is left on the boat)
- Pack up your rubbish/trash
- Bring your list of things to
- Pack toys, books, Ipad and things to do for children
- Water and snacks
- Phone/camera (in waterproof bag)
Going to the beach
- Goggles/face mask/snorkel/fins
- Bucket, pale, spade (beach bag)
- Umbrella, beach tent
- Change of clothes
- Wet wipes (they’re always in need – kids or not kids!)
- Bag for wet clothes
- Speakers (Bluetooth to your phone for music)
Symptoms of sea-sickness
- Feeling nauseous
- Feeling dizzy
- Head feeling heavy
- Yawning even though you had a good nights sleep
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth
Prevention of sea-sickness
- Drink lots of water before and during a sail – make sure you’re very hydrated
- Avoid alcohol and very heavy, greasy foods the day before
- Avoid caffeine and sugar
- Prepare food and water so you don’t have to make unnecessary trips below decks
- Make sure you have adequate clothing on so not to get cold
- Prepare a variety of things to keep your mind off of getting sick (reading a book, knitting, make a macramé bracelet, doing a crossword, and/or be prepared to helm the boat, etc.)
- Look at the horizon
- Use one of the other options below
First Aid Kit For Boaters
- Assortment of plasters/ Band-Aids
- Non-stick dressings – a variety of sizes
- Bandages – a variety of sizes and lengths
- Adhesive tape
- Non-latex gloves
- Alcohol-free moist wipes
- Scissors, safety pins and tweezers
Topical or external treatments
- Anti-septic cream and or spray
- Antibiotic cream
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Burn gel or ointment
- Calamine lotion
- Anti-fungal ointment
- Local anesthetic gel
- Painkillers: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen
- Antihistamine: (Allergy, allergic reaction, bug bites)
- Antibiotics: two types of broad-spectrum
- Rehydration packets
- Other: Laxatives, Imodium, heartburn
- Seasickness pills
- Muscle relaxants
- Oral antihistamines
- Pre-loaded adrenaline syringe for anaphylaxis
- Common cold medicine
- Thrush, yeast infection, vaginal infections
First Aid Kit for Day Trips (off the boat)
- Selection of Band-Aids/plasters
- Alcohol-free moist wipes
- Anti-septic cream and or spray
- Antibiotic cream
- Bug spray
- Tweezers, needle and lighter (for splinters)
- Re-hydration sachet
Routine questions about the illness
- When did the Illness first began?
- How did it begin (slow/sudden)?
- What did the patient first complain of?
- List all their complaints and symptoms.
- Describe the course of illness from start to present.
- Any important past illnesses/injuries/operations?
- Known illnesses in the family?
- Social or occupational history?
- List all medicines/ tablets/drugs taken before illness began and doses.
- Has patient been drinking or do you think they’ve taken drugs?
- Describe general appearance of the patient.
- Describe appearance of the affected parts.
- Any swelling, tenderness, lack of movement?
- What tests have you done and what are the results?
- What do you think the diagnosis is?
- What other illnesses have you considered?