I agree with everything and have one thing to add. Before you leave port, especially with an unfamilar boat (we still do this with Paloma and we've owned her for a couple of decades), is go over the boat from stem to stern and check everything that has to work at sea. If something is broken or isn't functioning - fix it, replace it, or stay home until it is.
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.