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Old 05-08-2010
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Pre-Trip Checkout

Let’s say you are helping someone with a few day coastal move. You are not the captain or owner but since we are all ultimately responsible for our own safety you figure it would be prudent to do a quick check before taking off in an unknown boat even if only coastal.

A full survey would be great but probably not likely to happen.

The following is a list of stuff I would check:
1. Walk around the boat slowly and just look at everything.
The idea is to see if something is just not right and to just get a feel for the boat.
2. Check the bilge, ideally dry the bilge completely, and shut off the bilge pump.
The idea is to do this first as the checkout will probably take at least a half hour and we want to see if the boat is leaking at the dock. At the end of the check-out check the bilge again and make sure it is not leaking and that the pump works.
3. Ground tackle size and length.
4. Standing rigging
5. Running rigging, Winches, handles, blocks
Just trying to see if the boat is in good enough shape to sail and has all the parts.
6. Dock lines and boat hook
7. Hoist sails if possible at dock
8. Steering
Checking for unusual play
9. Reefing
10. Horn, lights, PFD’s, flares, Insurance, Registration, BoatUS membership card
11. Through hulls
12. Battery(s) 12.6 volts
13. Start engine
14. Transmission
15. Fuel tank size (full)
16. Battery 14+ volts with engine running
17. Chain plates
18. Head (Tank empty)
19. Radio
20. Charts
21. Compass
22. GPS
23. Fresh Water
24. Food
25. Clothing appropriate for everyone
26. First aid kit

This is just my first pass. What would you add?
The goal is not to ascertain the value of the boat like a full survey. The goal is to do what is prudent.
In most cases there will be things that are not perfect but at least you have an idea of the chance that the boat will survive a short trip.

Last edited by davidpm; 05-08-2010 at 05:17 PM.
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