What to check before going out to sea? Part Two


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We continue our checklist of essential checks to be made before embarking on a navigation, based on Omero Moretti’s advice contained in the fine book we recommend, “Il mestiere del mare” (ed. Il Frangente, 192 pages, 16.15 euros).


Everyone talks about it, few mount it. The advice is to rig a jackline, which is a cable that runs from the stern to the bow, to which you can tie yourself with lifejacket carabiners when you need to leave the cockpit to maneuver, operate a sail change, and so on. But don’t trust the jackline 100 percent and always be careful (read: “low butt”), even when strapped in. Falling overboard is still extremely dangerous.

Boat Checks

If you are sailing “long,” be aware that the sails will be subjected to a load that is often underestimated-so it is very important that halyards and pulleys are in place. Replace them at the first sign of failure (stripping, corrosion) because in sailing, a halyard breaking is a difficult problem to solve, especially if you do not have a witness inside the mast to use.

boat checks sailsLINES
If you go and look at the statistics of boat failures, rigging failures (which are often followed by dismasting) are at the top of the list. Sartie, forestay, backstay: if you have the classic spiroidal braid check under the masthead splices for cracks in the strands. If you assemble the rod, it is a good idea to frequently conduct liquid penetrant checks for microcracks. Operate a complete rigging replacement every 8-10 years.

Boat checks: Sails

Sails wear out when used frequently, there is little to be done. To prevent damage, protect them by wrapping the crosses with foam rubber or a cut rubber tube (or there are special cross covers on the market). The classic plastic caster to aid the passage of the genoa over the foredecks is also a solution we recommend.

boat checks equipmentENDOWMENTS.
In addition to the normal safety equipment required by law, very useful is the so-called “danbuoy” (the buoy with a two-meter pole weighted in the immersed part, equipped with a light to increase visibility at night). Moretti then recommends always keeping the dinghy inflated and tied on deck, within easy reach, as well as fenders. Both can serve in emergency situations, in addition to the mandatory raft.




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