When a Man is into Sailing, He is in to Living! "

1195 West Lake Dr.  Novi, MI        thomas.harvey9@gmail.com       248.705.2527

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The first day of Spring has arrived

The time we spend preparing our boat for a summer of sailing will pay us back with countless days of sailing enjoyment.

It is important to prepare our boat, our crew, our plan for another wonderful sailing season, whether one is sailing the Great Lakes or the many beautiful inland lakes.

The following check list is offered as a reminder to make ready.

The Hull

1.What is the condition of the hull both above and below the waterline.

2.Once the hull was cleaned below the waterline, (usually after hauling, in the fall), it is easy to visually inspect the condition of the bottom paint.

3.It is common to provide a new coat of antifouling bottom paint every spring as needed.

4.Above the waterline, the hull can use a good cleaning and a coat of wax prior to launch.

5.The deck and cockpit certainly needs scrubbing.

6.What is the condition of the lifelines?

7.On deck instruments including knotmeter, depth sounder, compass, and or radio telephone that deserve attention. check if everything is working correctly?

The sailboat rigging.

Standing rigging, Inspect the condition of the wire strands and

lubricate the turnbuckles lightly.

Running rigging.  Inspect the lines, halyards and sheets for fraying.

Do they need to be replaced.

Deck hardware, cleats, turning blocks, mast fittings, spinnaker pole,

running lights, electrical wiring and circuitry.

Sails Look for tears, threads coming undone, is it time to take sails into a sailmaker?

inspect sail hardware.  Battens, Shackles, condition of reef lines.

Cockpit seats cushions, drains, check the steering (either tiller, or

wheel steering), for condition and maintenance needs.

Anchor, shackles, chain and line.

Cabin interior or down below.

Interior cushions, sleeping accommodations.

pressure water system

Interior lights, bulbs, Circuit breaker panel, bilge and sump pump, engine compartment.


Sink, Ice box or refrigerator with drain

Stove cooking top

Oven and Fuel shut off

Pressure water system or manual pump

Sink drains in galley and the head

Head. Manual pump, sink, drains, water supply, holding tank. Deck pumpout.

Holding tank condition and hose connections w deck pump out.

Incidentals, marine toilet paper, deodorant for head.

Forward V berth or sail storage. Hanging locker for cloths and

foul weather gear.


Auxiliary power, either inboard engine or outboard.

Change the oil and filter on the engine either in the fall or in the Spring.

Check inboard engine waterpump impeller for condition or replace. 

Always have a spare waterpump impeller on board.

Normally easy to replace by removing waterpump cover. 

Replace if rubber impeller worn or broken vanes.,Inspect diesel engine for

leaking fuel injectors,

or leaking fuel pump, fuel filter and water pump.

Change fuel filter cartridge, if Raycor, clean plastic bowl, to remove water or sediment.

Check condition of battery, charged, add water If necessary. 

Inspect engine mount bolts to make sure they are secure.

For outboard motor, grease lower unit clean or replace spark plugs. 

Safety equipment

Condition of life jackets, quantity required

Man overboard light. Safety harnesses.

Man overboard retrieval equipment.

(Practice man overboard recovery early in the season).

With editors permission, we also recommend Sailing Magazine.

SAILING magazine carries the passion of sailing in every issue and continues to be my favorite with sailing subjects of interest, including far off charters, and stories of what sailors are doing around the world.  The SAILING magazine website is: http://www.sailingmagazine.net