CHECKLIST So you don’t argue with your boat


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

YOU DON’T WANT TO END UP LIKE THEM! Follow our check-list so you don’t risk finding yourself “shipwrecked,” like Madonna and Adriano Giannini, stars of the film “Swept Away by Destiny” (directed by Guy Ritchie, 2002), a remake of Lina Wertmüller’s 1974 masterpiece “Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August” (starring Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini).

Back from the cruise? Get ready for fall outings, but first check your craft in detail, helping you with our checklist

After summer cruises, a thorough check of the boat is always advisable before embarking on fall outings, typically characterized by unstable weather, during which perfect hull and equipment functioning is essential.

Summer, let us not forget, is the time of maximum wear and tear on the hull, and it is not always possible to prepare proper maintenance or replenishments due to breakdowns and material losses. To do a rational and effective job, it is good to have an outline to ensure that no detail is missed. We devised it together with experts from Be Skilled, the advanced sailing training school created by Water Tribe. We will start, therefore, with an analysis of the living work, and then move on to the yacht’s bilges, apparatus, deck, and rigging.


Arm yourself with a fin and mask or, alternatively, an underwater camera pole to check it out:

– the keel, the drift, the ballast;
– The rudder blade(s);
– The propeller shaft (or saildrive) and the propeller.

The most common problems are due to planks or chains coming into contact with the live work and hull appendages. Check very carefully that propeller shaft or the saildrive has not hooked lines, nets, bags, lines or other material. The presence of foreign matter near the propeller and stuffing box could not only compromise the watertightness of the engine compartment, but also the proper functioning of the transmission and engine cooling circuit.


Check for liquids in the bilges. Proper maintenance of the boat should not produce accumulations of liquids in the bilges; if not, you will have to check the type of substances present:

– Freshwater —> you will need to check for leaks in the whitewater distribution circuit;
– Salt water —> you will need to check for water seepage from service/engine intakes, propeller shaft, bulb witnesses (very rare and usually only after extraordinary events);
– Black water —> you will need to check for leaks in the toilet black water storage circuit;
– Diesel —> you will need to check for leaks in the engine fuel circuit from the tanks to the pre-filters in the engine compartment.

You will also need to check the triggering of the automatic bilge pumps (operation of the floats) and manual pumps.


Checking the boat’s deck is always the most delicate moment, which hides the greatest pitfalls due to wear and tear or improper use of equipment while sailing:

– Anchor winch: A) operation, B) minimum number of engine revolutions for operation, C) location and operation thermal switch, D) barbottin clutch, E) meters chain or textile and anchor on board the fine end, F) anchor and respect chain/tie;
– Sails: check genoa and mainsail A) wear and tear, B) cuts and old repairs, (C) splints, D) ease of opening and closing (furling circuit and mainsail furler if present), lazy jack and lazy bag (if present);
– Mast and boom: A) straightness, B) blows and dents, C) if through, check shaft foot/cover seal;
– Wear of “current maneuvers.”
– Winch: A) operation and ease of rotation, B) greasing, C) handles (at least 2 + 1 respect);
– Mooring lines: at least 1 of 50 meters, 3 of 20/25 meters and others of various lengths and diameters;
– Fenders: number and status;
– Sartie and stays: status and tension, especially if you have faced hard sailing with strong winds and strong seas;
– Electricity cable and control adapters;
– Monoleva: A) check status and ease of engaging gears (forward and reverse) and throttle, B) neutral throttle insertion control, C) check linkage and connections from the single lever to the engine.


– Presence and proper maintenance status of all safety equipment on board with special attention to:
– Raft (hooks if on deck and drive line);
– Lifebuoys;
– seat belts;
– fire extinguishers;
– flares;
– epirb (if any);
– VHF radio and its power battery (often autonomous from services);
– GPS and its external antenna.

– Wheelhouse and on transmission and demultiplier systems:
– rudder shaft (presence of the emergency tiller on board);
– Voltage recording of transmission cables to the wheelhouse;
– frenelli;
– Rudder wheel/wheels (coupling to binnacle)
– Autopilot and its transmission systems to the rudder axis.

– Charting and landing materials: surveying compass, compasses, squares, and nautical documents (nautical charts of intended navigation area and vicinity, pilot book of the area, list of lighthouses).

– Basic electronics: fuel oil level indicator, white/black water, echo sounder, log, wind station.

– General first-aid kit: band-aids, bandages, tourniquet, disinfectant, ammonia, aspirin, painkillers, antidiarrheals, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, broad-spectrum antibiotic, burn ointment, disinfectant.

– Toolbox: check for at least: 1 hammer, Phillips and slotted screwdrivers of various sizes, pliers, parrot wrench, wrenches various sizes from 6 to 22, allen wrenches, hacksaw, scissors, electrical tape, grey-tape, rope and chokes, shackles and carabiners various sizes, sail and tender repair materials, wood plugs turafalle, respect bulbs, alternator and water pump belts, water pump impeller, oil and fuel filters, engine oil and heat exchanger fluid.

– Engine and batteries: visual check of condition and operation, check oil, water, cooler fluid, battery fluid levels and their condition, alternator operation, water pump and cooling circuit, belt tension and air filter cleaning.

– Tender: general condition check, pressure seal, oars, engine.

Be Skilled is the sailing training school created by Water Tribe (founded by Simone Todeschini), specializing in sailing courses with high technical content for racers and aspiring skippers, qualified to issue international certifications for commercial command. It is one of the very few Royal Yachting Association Training Centers in Italy at which to earn titles such as Essential Navigation, Diesel Engine, GMDSS-SRC, Yachtmaster shorebased. RYA courses and certifications are among the most coveted by skippers and others because they attest worldwide to experience and skills acquired in all areas of sailing.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.

Lalizas e Arimar a bordo di Cheyenne

TEST The perfect life raft for racing and cruising

Safety first. And to be safe with one’s boat, cruising and racing, first and foremost the crew must be calm. Therefore, one of the key items to have on board is a quality life raft that has maximum efficiency and

Do you need power on board? Try these generators!

Air conditioning (and heating in winter), refrigerators, electronic devices such as tablets, PCs and smartphones, or useful tools for cooking. They are just a part of the many devices that are now (almost) indispensable on board but require power to


Sign in