Preparing Your Trip

4.3 Hull and Equipment Checklist


  • Check bottom for damage.
  • Check hull for needed repair, paint and / or wax.
  • Check shafts and props or outdrives and props; nuts and pins.
  • Check rudder.
  • Check cutlass bearings.
  • Check the outdrive boot for wear, check cables for wear and check cable ends for lubrication.
  • Check zincs, replace as necessary.
  • Check deck fittings for integrity … rails, cleats, handholds, ladders, lifelines. Clean, polish and replace as needed.
  • Check standing and running rigging. Reverse as needed. Inspect / replace turnbuckles.
  • Check hatches, ports and port lights for leaks and integrity.
  • Check all lines and fenders. Reverse anchor rode yearly.
  • Check and service anchor windlass.
  • Check all blocks on a sailboat.
  • Check and clean mast, fittings and equipment.
  • Check windshield wipers.
  • Clear cockpit drains.
  • Check dinghy / life raft.


  • Check hoses to through-hull fittings.
  • Check all sea-cocks and gate-valves. Consider replacing gate-valves with seacocks.
  • Inspect hose clamps. Hoses below the waterline should be double-clamped.
  • Inspect packing in stuffing boxes. Replace if necessary.
  • Check tanks for leaks and check tank fittings.
  • Check bilge for unusual stains or fluids. Find source and repair.
  • On a sailboat, inspect keel bolts for tightness and attachment area for separation.
  • Ensure hull drain plugs are installed.
  • Check and charge batteries.
  • Install and check all electronics.
  • Check and adjust compass.
  • Inspect radar reflector.
  • Inspect exposed wiring for wear.
  • Inspect and / or test breakers and fuses.
  • Rinse water tank.
  • Check manual and pressure pumps.
  • Check all mandatory safety equipment.
  • Check bilge pump, strainers and switches.
  • Check and update spare parts.
  • Check and update charts and publications.
  • Check emergency kit.
  • Check distress signalling devices for date and compliance.
  • Check fire extinguishers.
  • Check ship's sound signalling devices.
  • Test navigation lights. Operate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Check steering assembly for wear and lubrication.
  • Check hydraulic systems for fluid levels, leaks and abrasion.
  • Lubricate cables as necessary.
  • Check limber holes in bilge and ensure bilge is clean.
  • On sailboats, check all sails.


  • Replace ignition parts. Follow manufacturers recommendations.
  • Clean engine surface and touch up as needed.
  • Check engine oil and change oil and filter if not done in the fall. (This should be done at lay up)
  • Check transmission lubricant or outdrive lubricant.
  • Clean and replace air and fuel filters.
  • Inspect all electrical connections for corrosion.
  • Re-tension belts.
  • Check cooling water intake and impellers.
  • Check thermostat for clean flow and operation.
  • Reconnect all hoses and / or check clamps.
  • Check engine zincs.
  • Check and re-connect all fuel lines and fittings for cracks and leaks.
  • Fill fuel tank if not done in the fall.
  • Once running, check operation of all gauges.
  • Check alternator for charging capacity.


  • Check rollers and bolsters.
  • Check wheel bearings.
  • Check, clean and oil winch.
  • Check cable.
  • Check and lubricate tongue jack handle and wheel.
  • Check lights, electrical connections.
  • Check tire pressure.
  • Check brakes - hydraulic levels.

Other Equipment:

  • Check optional equipment such as fridges, air conditioning units, stoves and water heaters according to manufacturers' recommendations.
Next Page: 4.4 Trip Plan