Anyone use a checklist - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Anyone use a checklist

I developed one we use to go out after years of watching people leave the dock with powercords plugged in, water hoses still connected, and one time leaving their 15 year old at the dock (takes all kinds). We were lucky and had not done anything that caused damage to that point but after using the checklist and sticking with it felt a lot more confident as we pulled away from the dock.

I had a friend pull away from his slip with the powercord still connect, ripped his plug out of the side of the boat and damaged the dock plug. The dock plug didn't cost him much, but repairing the fiberglass damage and replacing the plug on the boat wound up costing him several hundred dollars. Plus the stress of explaining to the admiral, who was not aboard, what happened and how.

I'm sure we all have different methods for doing things but I have found the written checklist is a plus. When you see all the boxes checked off you definitely feel better pulling away from the dock.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Do you have a copy you could share? There are lots of us novices that might benefit. :-)

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post #3 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

I do:
Leaving at dock

Getting underway
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

I used to have a list when we had our little racing sailboat. Many of the items were for things like bringing the pfds which are already on our MacGregor. In tend not to use a list now since I seem to have a good rhythm going, but I do still tend to forget at least one thing each time. Half of the time, I start motoring out of my slip with my pfd on the seat, or forgetting my wind meter and having to reach down to get it while still holding onto the tiller.

A good list would be a good idea regardless of the level of experience. Singlehanding has helped me since I know I can't depend on anyone else and I've become better about getting things right as a result.

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post #5 of 21 Old 08-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

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Originally Posted by leogallant View Post
Do you have a copy you could share? There are lots of us novices that might benefit. :-)
I have it in softcopy send me a PM and I'll email it to you.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

I just look at the boat. Bow to stern. Port and starboard. Up the mast and down. My wife thinks that I'm ogling her namesake and I am, but with a purpose.

We have a detailed pre-sail brief for guests but that's something different.

I almost left the dock once with the power cord attached, but a more careful look around the boat would have take care of that. I make a point of looking around the boat's edges now. I've also learned to not to rush departure because that's when mistakes happen.

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I had a friend pull away from his slip with the powercord still connect, ripped his plug out of the side of the boat and damaged the dock plug.
How fast was he pulling away? We briefly engage the motor (~5 sec) to get the boat moving then put it in neutral to glide out of the slip. A 10 year old could stop the boat, we're going so slow.

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Re: Anyone use a checklist

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I just look at the boat. Bow to stern. Port and starboard. Up the mast and down. My wife thinks that I'm ogling her namesake and I am, but with a purpose.

We have a detailed pre-sail brief for guests but that's something different.

I almost left the dock once with the power cord attached, but a more careful look around the boat would have take care of that. I make a point of looking around the boat's edges now. I've also learned to not to rush departure because that's when mistakes happen.


How fast was he pulling away? We briefly engage the motor (~5 sec) to get the boat moving then put it in neutral to glide out of the slip. A 10 year old could stop the boat, we're going so slow.
He has a 42 foot power boat with twin screws and always uses way too much power to pull away from the dock. I imagine he still does it to this day.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

Boats and airplanes....same thing....do a complete walk around and follow a checklist....written or memorized. Makes for a safe beginning and end to the journey.
We also,have a crew briefing notebook that all passengers and crew must read....it details where all the safety equipment is at and how systems like the head are to be operated.
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

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Boats and airplanes....same thing....do a complete walk around and follow a checklist....written or memorized. Makes for a safe beginning and end to the journey.
We also,have a crew briefing notebook that all passengers and crew must read....it details where all the safety equipment is at and how systems like the head are to be operated.
Exactly what we do, in effect.

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post #10 of 21 Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Anyone use a checklist

My list starts at the raw water intake, oil level, water/fuel separator (the engine first) then to the electrical panel (AC off, VHF on and working, nav lights on to check operation), store anything that can fly around (loose items), to the dock water line and AC power, the mast, shrouds, cotter pins, boom, hatches, deck clear of all items, genoa lines, mainsail lines, outhaul and mainsheet ready. To the cockpit items (maps, binoculars, handheld GPS and VHF ready, water bottles stored, winch handles stored), pdf's on, engine and transmission controls free, cat on board, engine start sequence. Engine start, water out exhaust, oil pressure, RPMs. Dock lines off. Fenders up. Squeak horn, clear the slip and out we go.

That is the quick list I use. I do have a paper checklist, but it is the same.

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