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January 12, 2024 3 min read

The Pre Season Boat Bible.

What to check before you hit the water this season.

Ropes and Lines

The first thing I always recommend are your ropes. The ropes are what you grab first when you are in the boat and is also the part that connects you and your hull fittings to your sail.

Whilst you are looking over your ropes you will likely notice other things like a loose cleat or sharp edge, you might want to make a note of any wear or anything that needs attention.

-Check Knots are tight and splice where possible.

-Check Spliced lines are free from wear and are still tight.

-Look our for excessive wear on you lines and see if you can fix this with tape or by smoothing off any fittings or eyelets. 

One Control line people forget about is your painter. Always check your painter! This is what connects you boat to your trolley and if this breaks while you are taking you boat up the slip way you could cause lots of damage to your boat or other people.

Hull Fixtures and Fittings

If you don't check your fittings are tight and secure you could cause more damage than just fixing them, when you start to see them coming lose take the time to adjust them.

Key Hull fitting I look at first, I start working from the back,

-Rudder Bolt, pintails and Gudgeons.

-Tiller Fittings

-Traveller Line and Fittings

-Hiking strap for wear and the fittings.

-Centreboard pivot bolt and Daggerboard case wear.

-Main cleats grip and release and is secure to the deck.

-Control Line Cleats and fairleads. make sure tight to the deck.

-Vang/ Kicker Line and Kicker unit is free from debris and the line moves freely.

-Mast and Boom Fittings are solid and secure. Look for cracks and corrosion.

-Mast step, Shroud and Forestay fittings.

-Halyards are not showing excessive wear.

-Bow Fittings 

Blocks and Cleats

-Blocks

Make sure all blocks run freely and the sheaves are not to worn causing more resistance and causing more wear on your lines. Keep the blocks clean form salt and dirt by rinsing after use.

-Cleats

Have a look at the cleat teeth, are they still gripping the rope and not slipping. Ensure cleat springs are still snapping shut.

Sails

Check the high traffic areas like bolt rope and Luff tube. If you find it tough getting the sail up try washing the mast track and bolt rope with a small amount of washing liquid. Look at your outhaul fitting slug or eye and make sure they have a solid and secure fit to the sail.

Hull Under Side

Check for osmosis where you boat has sat on the trolley cradle or cups. Osmosis if caught early is a simple fix but long term damage can occur if identified quickly. Whilst under the boat check your trolley and trailer wheels are inflated.

Foils

If you store your foils in the garage or shed over winter then try to ensure you lay them flat, standing them up on their ends will create rough edges and can cause potential breaks.