Pre Trip Checklist
When heeled over in a blow, I would sometimes realize that I had forgotten to close a hatch or valve, empty the standing water in the head, etc., and that I now had water in the salon. So I created a checklist, and have never had any of these things happen again. I had it sealed in plastic at Kinko's, and usually have someone read it to me as I go from Bow to Stearn. Takes about a minute. When you look at the list, you realize how many components there are on a small keel boat. Too many for me to remember every time! Though I'm certain it's not a novel idea, I've never seen another skipper use one. I also searched this forum and didn't find any mention. I've found the list useful, so here it is (obviously, you would have to modify it to apply to your boat):
Disconnect shore power (if applicable)
Rotate Head Cowling aft (if applicable)
Secure dehumidifiers (Port and Starboard)
Sink valve CLOSED
Head water intake valve (thru hull) OPEN
Head water intake (lever right side of head) CLOSED (horizontal)
Empty water in Head
Motor coolant valve OPEN
Maint. pump OFF
Bilge pump AUTO
Sink valve CLOSED
Knot meter in (if applicable)
VHF radio ON (channel 16)
Connect shore power (if applicable)
Rotate Cowling (if applicable)
Instruments and all panel switches (other than cabin lights) OFF
VHF Radio OFF
Engine coolant valve CLOSED
Batteries switched to BOTH
Knot meter out (if applicable)
Maint. pump AUTO
Bilge pump AUTO
Head water intake valve (thru hull) CLOSED
Sink drain (thru hull) OPEN
Open Dehumidifiers (Port and Starboard)
BEFORE CLOSING COMPANIONWAY
Check that Bilge pump is switched to AUTO and Batteries are switched to BOTH
Like the idea, tho not sure what the maint pump is.
I put the battery switch to no 2, leisure, before setting the intruder alarms. Probably just a bad habit.
The wife and I always tell each other that we're going to put together a pre-launch list. We never have any problems until we pass the breakwater and start beating into the six foot swells as we heel over. Then we find all those things that we forgot to secure.
I was weaned on freaking lists! My dad is 83 and every time I visit he has his pad out with a list of things he wants me to do! We had an electrical business together, and pre-made lists for all kinds of jobs, so no one would forget anything. I have a little yellow notebook in my hip pocket as I write this. It is made by Write In The Rain and is waterproof. I make lists continuously at work, and as I work on the boat, and check it off continuously. I don't throw them away, they fill up in about 6 months time and have a drawer full going back about 20 years. Names, numbers you name it, it is all there, in chronological order.
Gary H. Lucas
A check list is always good. But I've got lazy when i just sail in Chesapeake bay, but off shore I systematical check items twice.
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