Preparing for sea

Preparing a vessel for sea

A good sailor is always thinking ahead and has contingency plans up his sleeve to get out of awkward situations. Safety equipment should be secure and in its correct place.You should be familiar with your engine and make sure it is serviced appropriately to manufacturer’s specification. Probably most importantly, everyone that is on the vessel should be briefed on where all equipment is and how to use it safely. 

Check Safety Equipment

  • Lifejackets
  • Flares
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Lifebelts
  • Man Overboard Equipment
  • Life Raft
  • First Aid Kit
  • Crew Briefings on equipment

Below Decks

  • Switch battery on and check engine
  • Check instruments
  • Check navigation lights
  • Check radio is working properly and do radio check
  • Carry a toolkit and engine spares
  • Ensure your boat is  rubbish-free
  • Ensure all hatches and portholes are closed and watertight

On Deck

  • Remove sail covers with sails ready to be hoisted in case of engine failure
  • Raise a radar reflector if it’s not already fitted
  • Make sure the anchor is stowed and secured properly and also ready to be used in emergency
  • Check levels of water, fuel and gas and top-up as necessary

The Crew

  • Brief crew on the passage; the weather you expect on the way; how long it’s going to take; and securely stow all non-sailing equipment 
  • Have food prepared for the passage
  • Make sure seasickness tablets are available 
  • Make sure the crew is dressed for the weather expected on passage
  • Make sure everyone is wearing a lifejacket. 

The Engine 

  • Spare impellers, filters, alternator belts, 
  • Spare bulbs, fuses  and other electrical consumables. 
  • Can you bleed air from diesel fuel systems 
  • Emergency fuel and spare engine oil
  • Have you got an adequate tool kit on board?