If you're looking forward to the start of the season, it's time to get busy getting your boat ready. In the spring, the top priority is to determine the date the yacht will be launched. Planning helps you set a timeline to complete all work on the yacht at the desired date.
Preparing the yacht for launching
The real pre-season preparation of the yacht begins, if possible, at the end of the previous season. First, clean the inside of the boat. Take out anything not locked and place in clear plastic boxes. Clean the entire interior of the boat, including all cabinets, drawers, and the hold. Starting literally with a clean slate will start the season in the right direction.
If you took everything off the yacht last season, go through each box. If not, unload all your gear and take a thorough inventory. Consider putting in or throwing away anything you haven't used since last year. Things like old sheets, triple gears, etc. take up valuable storage space. If you are prone to stockpiling, ask a friend for help and get an independent opinion on the importance of questionable items.
Prepare the bottom of your boat by making it as smooth as possible. Mask the waterline and tie the sides of the hull to make sure you don't go over the edges. Apply a new coat of paint, then wash and wipe off the edges. If you do your own maintenance on the winches and running rigging, keep the deck free of grease. Clean and treat the deck as needed. Once the boat is clean inside and out and the hull is ready for the season, it's time to launch. However, check your equipment before sailing.
Preparing the yacht for launching
Make sure your rig is adjusted for maximum boat stability. To adjust the sail rig, attach the scale to the main halyard karabiner (or to any halyard centered on the mast). With the scale attached to the carabiner, pull the halyard to one of the cable-stayed mountings with a force of about 15 pounds on the scale. Then measure your sail rig setup. Take it to the other side in the same place and see if it is in the same position. If not, you will need to center the installation.
Once the sail structure is centered and set up correctly, attach new or refurbished sails. Travel in light / medium weather conditions, and take pictures of your sails looking down at the head of the sail. With the help of photographs, you can keep a record of the condition of your sails. In the future, if the staysail or genoa begins to twist around the luff, or if the thrust position is too far aft, photographs can help sailing experts determine the best solution.
With this simple checklist, you can get your yacht out on the water faster and make the most of the sailing season!
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