It can be helpful to have a checklist ready before each sailing trip, even if you are not a complete newbie. To make sure you are ready for each outing, use our guide. Make sure you have a complete awareness of the marine weather conditions you’ll be traveling in so you can be properly prepared and aware of what to expect. A strong understanding of what the tide will do while you are out at sea is essential if you are sailing in a tidal location.
Tell Someone You’re Taking a Boat
Even if it’s just a little day sail, make sure someone on land is aware of your plan and the expected time of your return. It’s a good idea so that someone can sound the alarm if you don’t respond within a fair amount of time.
Shut All Boat Hatches
Make sure that all of the hatches are closed as you walk the length of the boat from front to rear. Likewise, the hatch latches are fastened. Check them all, including the ones that appear to be closed, since they could simply be pushed shut or propped open half way to let a cool air in. While stationary, a breeze is pleasant, moving is when you get a bucket of salty water on your bunk from a wave.
In the Boat, Secure Anything That Moves
Put away anything that could move while you’re sailing or get in the way of your crew when they are working below deck. Kitchenware and cutlery should be stored in drawers, clothing and shoes in lockers, pilot books on the chart table, and gadgets and boat electronics should be stored safely. Not only is it annoying to hear items clattering around, but having to send someone down below to clean up is undesired in rougher seas.
Verify the Boat Radio
Check the radio to ensure that the VHF on your yacht is operational. The marina will typically assist you with that. Someone should respond to your call on their local channel to confirm that they can hear you clearly. This is undoubtedly among the highest.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Where the Boat Safety Kit Is Kept
Every member of your crew will have a life jacket and a lifeline, so even if they aren’t using it when you cast off, make sure everyone knows where it is in case you need it.
Verify the Functionality of the Boat’s Navigation Lights
Even if you don’t plan to sail at night, you never know when your journey can get unexpectedly delayed. Verify the functionality of each navigation-light on your yacht. Turn the helm all the way to port and then all the way to starboard to inspect the rudder on the boat. It ought to feel unrestricted and free.
Nothing is worse than starting your exit maneuver and realizing you have no power! Make sure you have propulsion! Put the boat’s engine in neutral and start revving it while the lines are still fastened. The engine should start to rev.