It's this time of the year again. The days are getting longer. The weather is getting better.
And the boats are nearly ready to be put in the water again after a long Winter.
Hopefully now you have done all the heavy work: general hull cleaning, antifouling painting, deck varnishing...
But have you done everything you need before going out sailing?
Here is a quick check list of the little bits we tend to forget.
First of all, your lifejacket. Three things you need to do.
- Check your arming system. Is it still in date
- Inspect the bladder. Make sure that there is no sign of wear, pulled thread...
- And finally, blow your jacket manually overnight. If it deflates even by a small bit, it is time to buy a new one.
If you have any doubt about your lifejacket's status, you can always bring it to us and we can advise you.
Apart from your lifejacket, you should also have a look at all the other safety equipment onboard. Is your med kit half empty? Is your lifebuoy still in good condition? Do you have all the flares your boat category requires?
2. YOUR GEAR
Often enough, things are missing after the Winter. Our advice, open your bag, check that everything is here. Then have a look at the condition of your jacket, salopettes, deck shoes, gloves... Does anything need a wash? Now is the right time to do it.
Once the season starts, you won't want to part with your gear for any length of time.
If you need advice on how to clean your waterproof clothes, see our previous blog posts.
3. BATTERY AND FLUIDS
Have a look at your battery. Check its level and top up with distilled water if necessary. You should also inspect the terminals for corrosion.
Make sure you charge your battery fully before refitting.
Check engine and gearbox oil. You should also have a look at the coolant level.
We recommended that you flush your water tank and check your water system and pump for leaks. Winter can be rough on these parts.
If you need advice, please contact our Boats and Outboards division based in Kilcoole.
4. LINES AND SAILS
Finally, inspect your lines and sails.
Top Tip: Wash your rope in warm soapy water to get rid of salt deposits if you didn't do that before winterising.
If you need to replace your ropes, we have an extensive range in store and online. Click the link below or the image above.