Boat - sailboats

Commissioning List for Sailboats

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Exterior Boat Bottom  Exterior Running Gear  Topside  Deck  Rigging  Sails Bimini and Dodger  Interior
 Potable Water System  Head  Interior Electrics  Safety Items  Engine Running Gear  Bilge  Steering   Electronics  Dinghy  Other Gear
Check your
to do
Exterior Boat Bottom   Print
Visually inspect and clean (we recommend a power wash).
Select and apply bottom paint.
Inspect through-hull fittings including the transducers; ensure that you use specially-designated transducer antifouling paint when touching them up.
Inspect the keel and hull-to-keel joint. Pay special attention to water spots or wet patches. These can be early signs that the keel-to-hull joint is leaking and is in need of removal and rebedding.
Exterior Running Gear
(Including the engine shafting, propellers, etc.)
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Visually inspect all areas including the rudder, rudder stock and fittings (gudgeon and pintle systems).
Check propeller and shaft; lubricate fittings.
Check zincs.
Check cutless bearings. If you grab the propeller and rock it sideways, you should experience no discernable movement in the cutless bearing. If there is movement of 1/16 of an inch or more, the cutless bearing is worn and should be replaced.
(Including the sides of the hull)
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Visually inspect and clean hull. Again, a power wash is well advised.
Look for leaks. A key indicator for leaks is rust streaks below metal fastenings or stanchions. These can come loose, allowing water to seep into the hull. When this occurs, the stanchions must be rebedded.
Remove stains from the hull. Oxalic acid can be used to remove rust stains.
Find and paint or buff gelcoat nicks and scratches (paint for wood, buff for fiberglass).
Touch up and/or repaint boot top area (the area between the bottom paint and the topsides colour, marking the waterline).
Deck     Go to top    Print
Visually inspect the outside and inside of the deck. Look for leaks at the fittings and the hull-to-deck joint.
Note stains and discolourations that can be signs of leaking. As in the case of the topsides, look for rust around fittings.
Clean stains (remove rust stains with Oxalic acid).
Touch up paint or buff gelcoat stains.
Inspect all deck fittings including cleats, winches, chainplates and portlights. Look for signs of looseness or fatigue. Replace or tighten where necessary.
Inspect all docklines and fenders (bumpers). Replace where necessary.
Inspect all anchoring gear. Replace mousing on shackles and check for excessive corrosion of chain and line rode.
Paint anchor with a light-colored anti-fouling paint.
Restow the ground-tackles system neatly, so that it will unwind easily when dropping the anchor.
Inspect the shore power cords and fittings. Replace where necessary.
Inspect all bow pulpits and hard-fastened safety devices. Tighten/rebed where necessary
Rigging    Go to top   Print
Inspect wire rigging. Note the tops of rigging eyes, looking for wire barbs or signs that the wire is starting to fail. Prepare to replace where necessary.
Lubricate turnbuckles.
Inspect mast and fittings. Note corrosion of any fittings or metal parts. These should be replaced.
Inspect mast boot or tabernacle fittings. Look especially for corrosion or leaks. Replace or refit where necessary.
Replace bent and worn cotter pins. Replace all snagging fittings.
Check mast wiring for continuity and masthead lights for function. Replace burned out lights.
Touch up paint and varnish.
Clean and wax metal spars.
Inspect all running rigging for chafe and wear. Reverse halyards. Replace worn lines.
Inspect and lubricate all winches. Ensure you have a full set of winch spare parts in the toolbox.
Sails    Go to top   Print
Inspect all sails for wear, rips, stains, etc.
Check all parts for wear and corrosion.
Repair and clean where possible, otherwise take sails to a sailmaker for maintenance.
Bimini and Dodger    Go to top   Print
Clean and inspect bimini and dodger. Remove from boat when canvas is dry, and fold, being careful not to crease windows.
Store in a cool, dry place.
Tie down metal frames, so that they do not bang against the boat when it is in storage.
Interior    Go to top   Print
Inspect for water damage or leaks. Look for rust-coloured spots or darkened wood on the bulkheads. Check for delamination. Rebed any fittings that have caused leaks. Remove stains.
Clean all surfaces and remove any signs of mildew.
Clean and repair any cushions and bedding materials.
Potable Water System     Go to top   Print
Inspect for leaks or other signs of damage. Repair where necessary.
Clean interior of tanks or add antiseptics.
Turn on battery power. Pressurize water system and inspect all plumbing systems, right through from fixtures to drain sumps, with faucets turned on and off.
Inspect all hose clamps and fittings for rust or corrosion. Replace where necessary.
Fill tanks with clean water, or antifreeze.
Head    Go to top   Print
Inspect for leaks.
Pump out and rinse out holding tank(s).
Add deodorant and antifreeze.
Clean and inspect all remaining plumbing components. Repair or replace any loose fittings.
Interior Electrics    Go to top   Print
Turn on main power source and check that all electrical fixtures and outlets work. Replace or neutralize any outlets that do not work.
Check battery and other charging systems, to ensure that batteries are taking a charge from the appropriate source. This is extremely important as you will want to make sure that you will be able to recharge batteries over the winter, if they are remaining on the boat. Otherwise remove batteries and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Note the voltage on the house battery(s) and bring up to full charge if it is not already in this state. Top up battery(s) with distilled water
Clean any batteries and dust electrical panels. Spray the back of electrical panels with waterproof spray.
Make sure you have adequate spare parts in the toolbox, including fuses, light bulbs, connectors, etc.
Clean refrigerator or ice box with disinfectant. Store with the lid or door open. Note and repair any leaks or damage.
Clean and check cooking surfaces, including burners. Clean oven.
Inspect fuel sources. Remove propane tank if you are using one, fill it and store it off the boat. Clean containers where propane or other fuel sources are stored.
Check fuel monitors and/or sniffers to ensure that they are in working order. Clean.
Check inventory of dishes, cutlery and other utensils. Make a list of missing items and replace. If this is spring sailboats, also stock cupboards with food staples.
Safety Items    Go to top   Print
Take inventory of, and inspect life jackets. Replace any missing or damaged ones.
Have all fire extinguishes inspected by a licensed person, and tags replaced.
Replace out-of-date flares.
Inspect and re-stock first aid kits. Ensure that any pills, creams or gels are not past their due date.
Test all sniffers and alarm systems.
Engine Running Gear    Go to top   Print
Ignition System - Visually inspect Alternator, Coil, Condenser, Distributor Cap, Points, Rotor, Spark Plugs, Switches and Wiring.
Fuel System - Visually inspect Carburetor, Flame Arrestor, Fuel Filter Pipe/Cap/Key, Fuel Filter Primary/Secondary, Fuel Pump/Strainer, Fuel Shut Off Valve, Fuel Tank, Fuel Tank Gauge Gasket, Injectors and check for water in fuel.
Cooling System - Visually inspect Expansion Tank, Fresh Water Coolant, Fresh Water Pump, Heat Exchanger, Hoses and Clamps, Hydro Silencer, Impeller, Sea Water Pump, Sea Water Strainer, Temperature Gauge, Thermostat Control, V-Belt and water Jackets.
Starting System - Visually inspect - Batteries, Battery Charger, Cables, Solenoid, Switches, and Terminals.
Visually inspect engine. Check oil, look for leaks in the engine compartment. Check interior accessible shaft-log and running gear doing a thorough inspection for wear and tear, leaks or broken parts.
Change oil and filter.
Change or add transmission oil or fluid if necessary.
Check belts for tension and wear. Replace if necessary.
Replace heat exchanger zincs.
Inspect heat exchanger fluids. Top up or change if necessary.
Add a ring of packing to the stuffing box or inspect it, if a low-maintenance non-packing type of shaft-log is being used.
Check/top up fluid level on engine starter battery and charge if necessary.
Note voltage of the engine battery. Check that the engine battery’s charging system is operable.
Check engine exhaust system for leaks, wear or heat damage. Replace any damaged hoses, clamps, etc.
Clean engine bilge sump and properly dispose of the cleaning fluid residue.
Inspect housing and change fuel filter.
Inspect fuel tank and all hoses and fittings for leaks, chafe and wear. Replace any hoses that are hard or brittle.
Check and replenish supply of all spare filters, hoses, hose clamps, impellers, rags, etc., also fluids including engine oil, gearbox oil and antifreeze solution for engine fresh water cooling system.
Top up fuel (diesel or gasoline).
Bilge     Go to top   Print
Inspect all bilge areas including main cabin, aft cabin, below cockpit soles, etc.
Clean and dry all bilge areas.
Inspect keel bolts for corrosion or leaks. These can require rebedding if damaged.
Tighten keel bolts, to ensure all nuts are snug.
Sand or plane edges of any swollen or tacky floor-boards. Check that floor boards are securely tacked down with bolts.
Inspect bilge pumps and associated gear. Repair where necessary.
Inspect secondary bilge pumps and alarms to ensure that all backup systems are functioning.
Steering    Go to top   Print
Check emergency tiller. Replace if corroded.
Inspect steering cables for wear. Replace any worn parts. Lubricate pulleys and adjust cable tension.
Inspect tiller/wheel system. Correct any slack in hinges and mounts.
Electronics     Go to top   Print
Check all electronics for proper function.
Remove any items that you do not want to sit out in freezing conditions.
If the boat is being stored out of the water, rotate knotmeter paddlewheels to check for working order.
Dinghy    Go to top   Print
Inspect and clean dinghy.
Remove and deflate (if your dinghy is an inflatable).
Winterize outboard if you have one.
Other Gear     Go to top   Print
Clean toolbox and oil tools.
Spare parts noted above should be purchased and stored.