The list of things to do on a ship is frankly endless, as is the list of tips and suggestions that any navigator colleague can offer. But the important thing to keep in mind is what should be avoided on board, either for safety or to extend the life of the boat and its equipment.
Putting the Diesel in The Water Tank
It may sound crazy, but it happens more times than many sailors would like to admit. With so many things to watch out for, the line to supply fuel, the rush to leave the marina; it’s easy to get confused especially if the boat is rented. It does happen, some people forget or get confuse and put water in the diesel tank, as well. It usually happens when a proactive crew member takes care of this but is clueless or inexpert. It’s wise to mark the tanks well and their accesses.
Leave the Outboard Motor Without Maintenance
It’s not uncommon to forget the engine, is mandatory to periodically make revisions, either by an expert mechanic or by yourself, if you’re handy. Also, is crucial to prevent seawater from remaining inside the cooling circuit to prevent corrosion.
Sail Yards Without Covers
Rolling sails need solar protection, and the mainsail must have its cover. It’s even convenient to dismount and store them if they aren’t going to be used for months, the salt and the sun can make real havoc on sailcloth.
Basically, all the electronic and electrical components of the boat need to be protected from the sun and the elements during the time they aren’t in use. Otherwise, you’re on the risk of having to replace them sooner than it should be.
Leaving Nearly Empty Fuel Tanks
It must be filled to the maximum at the end of the season. This prevents condensation and accumulation of water inside it. Also, it’s common the accumulation of dirt at the bottom of the tank, very problematic thing when the tank is nearly emptied.
Use Moorings with Sheets and Halyards
It’s a common mistake of sailors. The ropes that are used in the maneuver with the sails don’t stretch, and that isn’t good for mooring in winter. It’s necessary to use mooring lines made specifically for such use, so it works as should be once the ship is moored, especially in bad weather.
If the gas will not be used during the winter it’s convenient to remove the cylinder from its stowage, because it will oxidize, deteriorating its receptacle. It’s convenient to store it in a ventilated place with its lid properly placed.
The Bilge Filled with Water or Oil
At the end of the season, it should be cleaned and emptied. If there are any traces of oil or fuel, it should not be spilled into the sea although, it needs to be carefully removed and properly disposed of in the dock facilities. A clean and dry bilge will tell us in future revisions if water penetrates or there is a leak in the engine, fuel tanks or even on the freshwater tanks.
Leave an Open Hatch
It’s something that happens more often than it should. With so many things to do before disembarking, among other things like closing the gas, check the moorings and the stowage, cover everything, take out the luggage… It’s common to forget about a hatch. So, when the guests get off the boat, is good to check carefully that all the hatches and gates are properly closed.