Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Checklist

Sailing is one of the most relaxing activities I've done, but the spring "to-do" list is advanced punishment for all the enjoyment I know is just around the corner.

· Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild , environmental safe detergent
· Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
· Put on a good coat of wax in all hull topsides
· Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
· Clean teak (and other wood) and oil to reseal
· Clean windows and hatches, clean screens
· Use a hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches. Renew caulk or gaskets as necessary.
· Clean canvas, bimini and dodger (use same soap)
· Clean sail covers
· Clean interior including bilges
· Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
· Make sure registration is current and onboard
· Clean interior cushions, cockpit cushions and curtains

· Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair
· Check and replace zincs
· Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
· Check rub rails, has anything come loose?
· Check swim platform and/or ladder
· Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
· Check rudder and fittings. Check to make sure the rudderstock hasn’t been bent.
· Inspect prop(s) for dings, pitting and distortion. Make sure cotter pins are secure. Grip the prop and try moving the shaft - if it’s loose, the cutlass bearing may need to be replaced.
· Check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for looseness. After the boat is launched, be sure to check these as well as through-hulls for leaks.
· Touch up or replace antifouling paint

· Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
· Check ground tackle, anchor, rode and backup anchor / rode, etc
· Check lines, fenders, etc.
· Check chainplates, cleats and other deck fittings
· Check hull/deck joint
· Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
· Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
· Clean and grease winches
· Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
· Check dinghy, and life raft

· Check, test and lubricate seacocks
· Check all thruhull fittings
· Check condition of hoses and clamps
· Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
· Check bilges pumps for automatic and manual operation
· Check for oil in bilges
· Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris

· Check battery water level – the single most often ignored task
· Check/recharge batteries
· Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate .
· Clean and tighten electrical connections, especially both ends of battery cables. Wire-brush battery terminals and fill cells with distilled water.
· Check bonding system
· Inspect all wiring for wear and chafe
· Test all gauges for operability
· Check shore power and charger
· Check for spare fuses or breakers
· Check all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs
· Check all electronics for proper operation
· Inspect antennas

· Sound signalling device – spare air can for air horn
· Check distress signals and expiration date
· Check PFDs (lifejackets).Make sure you have a properly sized and wearable life jackets in good condition for each passenger, including kids and pets.
· Inspect life rings and cushions
· Check fire extinguishers certification and recharge if necessary
· Check and adjust compass
· Check navigation lights
· Check charts and waterway guides and replace as necessary
· Check radar reflector
· Check and replace first aid supplies
· Check bailer and hand pump

· Change oil & filters – have spare oil & filters onboard
· Check and change fuel filters – have spares onboard. Inspect fuel tanks, fuel pumps and filters for leaks. Clamps should be snug and free of rust. Clean fuel filters.
· Check and change engine zincs
· Check cooling system change coolant as necessary – have extra onboard. Inspect cooling hoses and fittings for stiffness, rot, leaks and/or cracking. Make sure they fit snugly and are double-clamped.
· Record engine maintenance log, especially date & hours of last oil changes
· Check belts for tension – carry spare(s)
· Check transmission fluid
· Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
· Check impeller
· Check and clean water strainer
· Check bilge blower and hose for leaks
· Adjust valves, general service engine
· Inspect fuel lines, including fill and vent hoses, for softness, brittleness or cracking. Check all joints for leaks and make sure all lines are well supported with non-combustible clips or straps with smooth edges.
· Inspect fuel tanks, fuel pumps and filters for leaks. Clamps should be snug and free of rust. Clean fuel filters.

· Replace spark plugs
· Check plug wires for wear
· Check prop for nicks and bends
· Change/fill gear lube
· Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
· Lubricate and spray moveable parts

· Checked for smooth operation – lubricate and clean as necessary
· If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
· Y-valve operation checked, valve labelled & secured

· Flush water tank
· Shock the drinking water tank. Spa shock breaks down in a few days and then can be flushed out
· Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
· Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
· Check for tank cap keys on board
· Check and clean shower sump pump screens

· Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
· Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC
· Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
· Check stove and remote tanks for loose fittings and leaking hoses.
· Check microwave, if fitted

· Check general condition
· Look for wear and chafing
· Check battens and batten pockets
· Check all sail attachments, including grommets, rings, and all reef-points
· Inspect all of the stitching on the sail edges and all seams. Pay close attention to the leech of the headsail
· Inspect bolt rope

· Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
· Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
· Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
· Check reefing points and reefing gear
· Clean and lube sail track
· Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
· Inspect stays for fraying and “fish hooks”
· Check forestay and backstay connections
· Check masthead fitting and pulleys
· Check and lubricate roller furling
· Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
· Remove tape on turnbuckles and lubricate threads, preferably with Teflon. Replace old tape with fresh tape. Tape turnbuckles, cotter pins, and spreaders
· Re-caulk through-deck chainplates as necessary (generally, once a decade).

· Inspect dock and anchor lines for chafing.
· Review your boat insurance policy and update coverage if needed. Be sure you have fuel spill insurance coverage.
· Check and clean the BBQ

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