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:
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.
I'm inclined to make it much simpler than that.
At first glance, is the boat clean, or is it a moss farm? If the boat looks like hell from 50 feet, don't waste your time. Turn around and walk back up the dock.
Boat looks good.. what next?
MOB gear on deck? Last serviced (a la MOM 8 or a life raft)? Safety gear easy to locate? Up to date? Radio check... vhf/ssb work? 2 high capacity manual bilge pumps? One operable from the cockpit? Location of thru hulls... is every nook and cranny in the boat full of crap so you can't even locate them yet alone get to one and close it? Operable? Hoses double clamped? Look under the floor boards... is it a petri dish of horrors, or clean? Visible plumbing look well maintained? Open up electrical panel... is it a rat's nest, or is it done to industry standards? Are the batteries properly strapped down? Are the leads clean? How old? Engine/boat maintenance log... is there one? Is it in order? Maybe a quick wipe with a rag under the engine... smoke when starting? Are basic spares on the boat (impeller, belts, oil filter(s), engine oil)? Is there a good set of tools on the boat including a multi-meter? Running rigging.. new, or old? Even if new, has the owner bothered to whip the ends? (sometimes the small stuff really shows an owner's attitude toward the boat) Are splices clean and the right lengths? Are lines and hardware appropriately sized for the boat? Condition and age of sails... first glance, any mildew? loose threads or threads that break with the pass of a finger nail? (You probably won't get to see them until the shake down) What else is in the inventory? Age? Are there jack lines ready to rig?
In general, a well cared for boat will be pretty easy to see in short order. Trip and maintenance logs exist
, and can be reviewed. A good boat will want the delivery crew to do a shake down before heading out.
If the boat's in good working order, buy charts if they aren't already on the boat, provision, fuel, water up, and go.
I'd bring my own handheld GPS and VHF and batteries for the trip as well.