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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of a website of all the things I need to do to launch from the hard to the water? I'd hate to schedule it and arrive unprepared because there is something I am supposed to know or have done.

I'm trying to take care of making the boat nice, and I assume it's a simple process where they dump me in and say hope your engine starts.
 

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It's pretty simple. They dump you in, you hope that nothing leaks and that your engine starts.

Before going in I would:
* Test and lube all through hulls. Replace bad ones.
* Change oil and gear oil on your outboard. This is a lot easier on the hard.
* Update bottom paint (I'm assuming it hasn't been done in the last 2 years).
* Make sure there isn't an open garboard plug (or whatever those keel plugs are called).
* Check rudder. It shouldn't have any play, the bushings should be in good condition, etc.

That's the stuff that is really hard to do once you are in the water.

When they drop you in the water inspect all through hull hoses to make sure they don't leak. Make sure nothing else is leaking. Start engine and go away.

If the boat wasn't used in 2013 then make sure it has a current registration sticker. You'll need a new 2014 one before June 30th.
 

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Make sure ALL seacocks are shut before splashing. Then go around and check & open what's required after splashing. Don't start engine till raw CW intake seacock is opened.
Its always good to learn from mistake ....of others. :)
 

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You got a centerboard in that Bristol? If so, you should inspect the cable pendent (connection at the centerboard) and signs of cable wear. Also, check the cable tube for cracks.
 

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Inboard or outboard? If inboard, check and/or repack the stuffing box. If you don't know when it was last repacked, it's due now. If you have a prop seal and don't when it was last replaced, it's due now.
 
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If the engine was winterized, ensure that all cooling water hoses and clamps have been reattached and securely tightened.

When AlexW says "all through-hulls", don't forget depth and speed transducers.

Inspect and replace zincs before splashing as well, to save yourself the cost of a diver later.

It sounds like you were hauled with the mast up, so I guess you don't have any standing rigging work to do.

Otherwise, Launching Day is a very exciting day to watch your sleeping beauty awaken after a long winter's slumber.
 

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Simple rule, if it's below the water line, take care of it before you splash. Great list in all the posts. After you splash, travel lift or trailer, you probably have to go someplace to get out of the way, so run the motor with a hose to cool it on the ground and make sure it's ready to go.

When we kept our boat on a mooring, we also considered that we didn't have AC power out there, and it was hard to lug stuff out by dingy. We'd do any power tool work on hard, and also load on all the big stuff because it was easier. If on a dock, it can be easier to load up there, and you presumably have AC, so this stuff could wait.
 

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You have received some good advice already. But to answer your question, the BoatUS safety publication, Seaworthy, publishes Spring and Autumn checklists. Here is the recently published Spring Safety Checklist.

Satisfying that list should keep your boat from sinking, but add to it all the maintenance and improvements you need to perform, such as bottom paint and compounding, polishing, and waxing the fiberglass.

Don't expect to arrive at the marina a few hours before launch and take care of everything. Typically, I spend 4 weekends getting my boat ready to splash.
 

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Biting my tongue, crossing my fingers, salt over the shoulder.

I don't think I've seen a single season go by without one boat at the bottom of it's slip. The yard does a good job of insuring you aren't taking on water, before taking you out of the slings. Still, it seems things let go.

We splashed last week and all my thru-hulls are closed right now. I will not leave them open for any length of time, unless I am aboard. In season, there are a few exceptions, such as the air conditioning intakes, which are necessary to run the dehumidifier. Otherwise, everything is left closed.
 

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Biting my tongue, crossing my fingers, salt over the shoulder.

I don't think I've seen a single season go by without one boat at the bottom of it's slip. The yard does a good job of insuring you aren't taking on water, before taking you out of the slings. Still, it seems things let go.

We splashed last week and all my thru-hulls are closed right now. I will not leave them open for any length of time, unless I am aboard. In season, there are a few exceptions, such as the air conditioning intakes, which are necessary to run the dehumidifier. Otherwise, everything is left closed.
Another 'spring chicken' here, doing research. Is it correct to assume the reason most of the boats sink are open seacocks?
 

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Another 'spring chicken' here, doing research. Is it correct to assume the reason most of the boats sink are open seacocks?
The more natural answer would be that most are the result of some hull penetration. Obvious, I'm sure.

It can also be the shaft penetration or saildrive or depthsounder or speed wheel.

I suppose the one I've heard the most is a hose separation or split, but they would be prevented by a closed thru hull.
 

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My list was minimalist and made sure that the through hulls worked, because then hoses can safely be replaced after he is in the water. His boat has an outboard, so no through hulls are necessary for the engine to work.

With more time I would inspect all through hole hoses and make sure that everything has double hose clamps as well. It sounded like he wanted the shortest possible safe list, and you can do the inspection after launching if you make sure all valves work and that through hull valves are closed.
 

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Make a check list of things to do. You will be easily distracted and could forget something.

Lift the floorboard that allows access to your bilge at the lowest point and have a torch handy to check for leaks on launch.

If you have a dripless seal you may need to 'burp' it.

When you start the engine make certain that your exhaust is pushing water out BEFORE you leave the dock.

With a center boarder you want to arrange with the yard to let you drop the board so you can check the cable, connections and put a coat of antifoul on the board before you splash. Some yards will leave you in slings over lunch/night with out an extra charge.

My board is fully swung past the point I use when sailing to allow access to the linkage.

It helps to have a machete to hand to clean the growth out of the centerboard trunk.

 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will have to go pretty minimalist since the boat is 360 miles from me. I'll have to go a day or two early is all to get things ready.

I'll have to learn about through hulls. I was told mine were all replaced but my last boat had one and I left it permanently open. (I was always aboard) I don't know what kind I have. I know I have sonar and a depth sounder. So there's definitely more than one.

Paint. One year old. I was going to put on another coat since it is already hauled out but they don't let you paint in the yard I'm in. I would have to be moved to the work yard so I am scrapping that plan.

Rudder. Check. Good idea.

No centerboard. Outboard engine I'm a little concerned about the fuel that's in the tank. I hope he put stabil in it. I will change the oil.
 

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"the boat is 360 miles from me. I'll have to go a day or two early is all to get things ready. "
In case you need a new battery, or find anything else that might slow you down. Yes. If nothing needs attention, that extra day can always be put to good use, cleaning up or something that would normally follow the launch in any case.

And of course, unless the yard is crazy busy, you might tip the guys and ask them to just let it hang in the water for an extra five minutes before they pull the slings, just in case you find water coming in someplace.
 

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......And of course, unless the yard is crazy busy, you might tip the guys and ask them to just let it hang in the water for an extra five minutes before they pull the slings, just in case you find water coming in someplace.
Isn't that standard operating procedure? It is at our yard. Someone is down below, checking for ingress before she floats out of the lift bay.

Unfortunately, its seems Murphy only works overnight. As the hoses, etc, seems to let go after everyone has left for the day. I find it astonishing, but I am told that most boats in the marina leave their thru hulls open 24/7.
 

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Minne-
It should be SOP but "shoulda woulda coulda" and you know, when there's 100 owners who all want to launch on the same Saturday morning....this is how boats get dropped, propshafts get bent, corners get cut....
Never hurts to let someone know that you appreciate a good job.
 

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northoceanbeach is somewhere in Western WA (his "California or Bust" is based on where he is going). Almost all boats stay in year round here, there is rarely a queue for Travel Lift time. I don't think he'll have to worry too much about them rushing the job.
 

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All good advice, I would add(in case it hasn't been mentioned already) Take your time when the boat is in but still in it's slings. Meaning don't rush as you check for leaks and ensure the engine is running and spitting water before you give the ok to remove the slings. If your drop in day is like mine there will be plenty of people watching including the guy next after you, ignore them all. It's a good idea to let the supervisor know it is your first time. They usually want it to go as well as you and rushing never helps speed things up. People who operate cranes/lifts for a living know that better than most.

Edit: one more point, stay out of the way. Not sure how it works at your marina but at mine I don't get involved while the boat is being slinged up and dropped. I watch yes, call out if I see something that I don't like but I don't help. I only board the boat after the supervisor gives me the go ahead to to so. For two reasons;
1) The people doing this should know what they are doing, let them do it, they generally don't like or want help.
2) Liability. The odds of something going wrong are slim if it it does I don't want my proverbial finger prints on it.


John
 

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Although speaking of slings...when the lift picks it up from the hard, they can see clearly where the lifting slings have to be, to stay clear of the propshaft, etc.

So this is a good time to get some strips of reflective tape, or some PTouch labels, four of them each about 6" wide and mark the boat with "PLACE SLING HERE" or as you please, so that when it is time to remove the boat from the water, and they can't see where the propshaft is...Right, makes it much harder to have an accident when the boat is hauled next time.

Of course if you're a traditionalist, you'll have four bronze rub strakes installed instead.(G)
 
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