Ready to set sail? Yes, after carrying out these checks / 1

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Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 2:26:41 p.m.
Assuming that you have done the necessary routine boat maintenance already when you winterized the boat, are you sure that you have checked just about everything so that the boat remains in perfect working order throughout your summer cruise?
People often underestimate some details that can cost them dearly when sailing. The anchor chain breaking or staining the whole boat with rust, the tender outboard abandoning you forcing you to row in the darkness in the roadstead, the onboard toilet acting up. The completeness of the toolbox and spare parts is also important, because if it is true that luck is blind, misfortune sees very well, and on board you must always be ready for any eventuality.

Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 2:21:21 p.m.TENDER OUTBOARD
Place the outboard upright and secure it so that it can be moved: once the canopy is removed, disconnect the pipettes, unscrew the spark plugs and clean them with an iron brush so that any fouling can be removed. Attached in the top cap is the engine start spring, which, together with the turning cord, enables ignition: give the mechanism a coat of grease to ease the cord’s travel. The hand throttle, after long inactivity, will need to be greased. In the foot, expertly check the condition of the impeller because, if it gets engulfed, it’s a pain.

2 - anchor chainANCHOR CHAIN
Take a look at the picture on the side: it was an anchor chain. Chain should always be checked as well, because rust will not only undermine the strength of the rings but also devastate the forepeak: Also, without the windlass, your hands will beg for mercy from the first two meters of hoisting. Check the health of the chain: if it is starting to rust there is little you can do, replace it, but before inserting the new one into the bow compartment, rinse the latter with fresh water and let it dry. The compartment would be better if it was equipped with a grilled container at the bottom and on the masonry to allow the chain to be ventilated. Our advice is to spend a few euros more for a stainless steel chain (instead of hot-dip galvanized steel), which has exceptional durability while eliminating the rust problem: but beware, the anchor must also be of the same material. Should you have a “normal” galvanized anchor, an iron-zinc stack could form that could quickly destroy the galvanization.

Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 2:21:07 p.m.WATER SYSTEM AND BILGES
There is water that you need to have on board and water that you need to get rid of: in the first case, this means water from the taps, and in the second, water from the bilges. For the freshwater system, completely emptying the tanks, pipes, pumps, autoclave, and boiler is virtually impossible. Add some Amuchina to the tank and turn on all water utilities to disinfect the system. Bilge pumps usually do not require special care because they have their own filter, but it must be easily accessible for cleaning. Likewise, check that the pump motor components can be inspected to proceed with lubrication: the electrical cables are water-resistant, but it is always best to clean them with an antioxidant spray.

Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 2:21:02 p.m.SAILS
Sails are your engine, don’t forget that. Before you set sail, take a day to go out to sea and hoist the game you plan to use for the cruise, so as to detect any potential problems: parts that are dirty, worn, or at risk of splitting. Having identified the trouble spots wash off the salt by soaking them in fresh water. Once this is done, proceed to remove the stains with very dilute common detergent.Often rust stains, which proliferate on lesser-used sails, such as mainsails and foresails, need ad hoc products to be removed. As for the seams, if they are minor imperfections, you can intervene without bothering a sailmaker: just equip yourself with one of the sail repair kits on the market, including a needle, thread and palm guard (the protection on your hand that allows you to exert pressure on the needle) and redo the seams by taking advantage of the old holes in the original ones.

Screenshot 2015-07-02 at 2:21:33 p.m.THE HULL IN THE WATER
You may have already hulled it, but before you let go of your moorings, why not check its health in the water? Perhaps a slimy layer of algae has formed: in this case you can take a garden blackout net and cut a long piece such that it can be passed from broadside to broadside. It only takes two people to make it go “up and down” by removing algae without having to dive. If, on the other hand, you have seafood spaghetti material on your hull, you will need specific spatulas (made of steel, with rounded edges) that are short and set up for the insertion of a handle stick. And good lungs!

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