What to check before going out to avoid nasty surprises at sea?


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.

There are many controls, improvements, and small jobs you can do on board to make your boat more comfortable and safe. Every shipowner knows that the “work list” is constantly being updated and will never end: but what are the essential checks to be made before setting sail, whether you are sailing peacefully with friends or are a true sea dog who loves harsh winter conditions?

Skipper Omero Moretti reveals them to us in his book “The Craft of the Sea” (ed. Il Frangente, 192 pages, 19 euros). Who, with his 35 years at sea and 39 ocean crossings behind him (we told you his story in the December/January issue of the Sailing Newspaper), has accumulated so much experience that he knows with certainty everything that is often underestimated and that could create problems at sea.

“It may sound trivial,” Moretti begins, “but first it is essential to know the boat perfectly, especially the sea intakes, submerged appendages and steering organs, which are the weak points of every hull. This inspection work must be done when the boat is ashore.” And so on. Jobs perhaps taken for granted, but indispensable. Taking a cue from Moretti’s advice, we have put together a checklist of what you must not forget before you cast off your moorings.


Check (when the boat is dry) that the sea intakes open and close perfectly to prevent water seepage, so that they can be used in emergency situations. Change socket seals often: they should never be corroded. Never forget to board wooden cones, to be used if a sea socket or through-hulls (including log and sounder) give way: it is important that they be placed in an easily accessible place.

If you have a hanging rudder, check (when the boat is on the slip) that the shaft is not cracked because, especially at portals and in windy conditions, the blade has to take a lot of pressure. To check for water seepage inside the blade, a good method is to drill a hole at the bottom. Take a look at the bulb: it should not be cracked and its pins should not be cracked or damaged by galvanic currents.

Since portholes and hatches should be kept tightly closed when sailing to prevent water from entering due to a wave or gust of wind, you should always check the condition of the seals: if they are worn or rotten they should be replaced. It is a simple job that you can do yourself if you have the parts sent to you by the original manufacturer.

Always check the tightness of the drapes and stanchions-they are a vital foothold for going forward, and if they fail, the worst situation could occur: man overboard. Mount a protective net, medium to small mesh, if you are sailing with children and animals.





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.

Now you have the incentive if you buy an electric motor

  Incentives are coming for the purchase of a marine electric motor. After years of vain waiting, bureaucratic delays and the feeling of being practically “invisible” in the eyes of the government in that much-ballyhooed race for “ecological transition,” a

Here are the right self-inflating jackets to sail safely

Self-inflating jackets are personal protective equipment that ensure the safety of the entire crew. Just as we wear helmets when we ride motorcycles, when we are sailing life jackets and can mean the difference between life and death. By wearing

VIDEO New Generation Parasailor. We tried the supersail

The cruising world is increasingly witnessing the demise of spinnakers. There is little that can be done, no one uses them (almost) anymore. And perhaps rightly so, because, outside the regatta, it is an “uncomfortable” sail. The solution is often


Sign in