Setting sail on our first sailing flotilla holiday caused a few mishaps as our vessel was not totally ship-shape and Bristol fashion. This was because we didn't check anything on board. Well, we didn't know any better at the time.
However we saw the light when we joined our friends on their yacht Selkie Dancer for a few days. Andy introduced us to the Setting Sail Checklist. The genuine original can be seen on their entertaining web site. You may even see some pictures of us there too.
Well we took Andy's brilliant idea and (with his permission) modified it to create a check list suitable for flotilla type sailing, where the yachts are not as well equipped as a touring one.
Our inspection checklist was fine tuned on a Beneteau 361 during our next flotilla and it enabled us to be confident that we were as prepared as we ever would be before setting sail.
Anyway this is it:
|Going To Sea|
|Forward Cabin||Hatches||Secure||You don't want any sea to come in during your extreme sailing|
|Retaining Bars||In Place||To hold in any books etc. that are lying about on the shelves|
|Navigation Station||GPS||Switched On||Of Course the yacht may not have this.|
|Trip Switches||As required||Usually this means all the navigation type ones (VHF, GPS etc.) Leave fridge on until you cut the engine later|
|VHF||On||And adjusted to the correct channel according to your flotilla|
|Chart||Out||This will probably be required on deck later unless there is a keen navigator on board|
|Pilot||Available||This is the book that tells you all about the sea channels and harbours you will encounter|
|Instruments||Plotter, dividers, biro, rubber||Probably just for show but could be useful|
|Ships Log||Opened||To read any notes from the morning briefing and record engine hours and anything of interest on the way|
|Intentions||Passed||This is to ensure that all the crew know and agree where they are going|
|Washboards||Secure||Usually in flotillas in the Greek Islands, they can remain in the locker, but early and late season sailing may need them to be in place.|
|Binoculars, compass||Available||They are used quite a lot|
|Engine Battery||Breakers in correct position||The flotilla engineer explains all this. It needs checking to ensure that you don't flatten the main starting battery.|
|Galley||Ports||Secure||You don't want a wet kitchen|
|Bilge||Check||Make sure no water has made its way in|
|Sea cocks||Check||They should all be closed|
|Lockers, Table||Secure||To stop any random banging about|
|Food||Stowed away||So it doesn't fly about all over the cabin|
|Cooking Utensils||Stowed away||Ditto|
|Oven||Free to Gimbal||If can be locked down that is|
|Aft Cabins||Hatches||Secure||I expect you know by now|
|Cockpit||Safety Lines||Positioned||You may not be in a dangerous situation but it is reassuring to have them to hand|
|Instruments Covers||Off and stowed||You need to see what is going on|
|Winch Handles||Available||They usually have little pockets to live in|
|VHF Microphone||Available||If you are lucky to have one which will reach to the cockpit|
|Helm brake||Off||So you can steer. A tiller helm just needs untying|
|Pump Handle||Test||For emergency bailing at sea ??|
|Life Jackets||Available||Make sure all the crew knows where theirs is|
|Drinking Water||Available||It can be thirsty work up on deck and a quick swig is always welcome|
|Glasses Strings||Attached||For those of us with spectacles this is an essential. It is not easy to attach them while you are busy sailing.|
|Fore deck||Anchor||Pinned or stowed||Obviously you can only do this if you not at anchor, in which case it should be done after weighing it.|
|Tender||Secure||On larger yachts it is possible to secure a fully inflated dinghy on deck. This saves all the effort in re-inflating each time you use it. Make sure it doesn't get in the way of anything vital though.|
|Foresail||Ready||Can it be unfurled easily?|
|Brush||Secure||Although it may be needed to help get the anchor in!|
|Mainsail||Ready||All covers off or ready to unfurl|
|Aft Deck||Lazaret and lockers||Secure|
|Kedge Anchor||Stowed and secure||Again may need to be done once off the mooring|
|Helm Seat||Positioned||When there is a walk through push pit to allow swimming, the seat is removable|
|Guard Rail||Attached||May need to be done after the kedge anchor is stowed|
|Outboard Motor||Secure||If you have one|
Its a bit long but only takes a minute or two to run through and is well worth it before setting sail.
You can download this list either for printing or modifying according to your individual needs and trip.
Back to Travel Checklist Page from Setting Sail CheckList
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