Pre-Launch Checklist

Pre-Launch Checklist

Spring is in the air! Working your way through our checklist will help make sure your boat's ready to go when you are.

Bottom & Hull

  • Clean and inspect for any abrasions or blisters on hull and bottom surface. Look for cracks or points of impact. Repair as needed.
  • Apply fresh coat of wax to hull.
  • Inspect bottom paint:
    • Repaint or touch-up if needed.
    • Burnish or wet-sand for smooth finish.
  • Inspect prop shaft, cutlass bearing and sacrificial zincs for wear and damage. Replace or repair if needed.
  • Inspect keel seam for cracking or signs or movement. Tighten keel bolts only if necessary.
  • Check rudder and fittings for proper operation. Repair as needed.


  • Clean all surfaces and inspect interior for signs of leaking. Repair or re-caulk as needed.
  • Clean and treat exterior woodwork.
  • Inspect all fittings for looseness (ie: toe rails, handrails, cleats, turning blocks, winches, etc.). Tighten and re-caulk as needed.
  • Inspect mast-step for signs of cracking or compression.
  • Inspect stanchions, pulpits and lifelines for integrity. Repair as needed.
  • Inspect and re-caulk chainplates.
  • Inspect running lights for proper operation.
  • Apply fresh coat of wax, excluding non-skid surfaces.

Mast & Rigging

  • Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage.
  • Clean spreaders and re-tape potential chafing points.
  • Inspect all mast and boom fittings looking for loose screws, rivets and signs of corrosion. Tighten and replace as needed.
  • Inspect mast wiring and test navigational lighting.
  • Clean mast and boom, including sail track. Apply fresh coat of wax.
  • Inspect standing rigging:
    • Look for kinks or broken strands of wiring at terminal ends. Replace immediately if found.
    • Check backstay and forestay connections.
    • Clean and lubricate all turnbuckles. Replace any galled threads if found.
    • Inspect clevis pins for uneven wear and properly sized cotter pins. Replace if needed.
    • Inspect and re-caulk chainplates.
    • Check and lubricate roller furling system.
  • Inspect running rigging:
    • Check halyards for fraying and excessive wear. Replace or swap ends if needed.
    • Clean and lubricate blocks and shackles and inspect for wear.
    • Inspect winches for proper operation. Clean and grease if necessary.
  • Once properly rigged, tape turnbuckles, cotter pins and other chafing points.


  • Inspect for small rips and tears. Look for wear and chafing.
  • Inspect headboard and clew/tack patches.
  • Inspect luff and leech tapes
  • Inspect battens and batten pockets.


  • Clean interior and bilge. Look for signs of water intrusion and oil in the bilge.
  • Inspect bulkheads and compression post for integrity.
  • Inspect all hoses and seacocks for proper condition and operation. Ensure double hose clamps are on all below waterline fittings. Tighten and repair as needed.
  • Check bilge pumps for proper operation
  • Ensure proper operation of all interior systems (ie: water, electrical, head, etc.).
  • Air-out and/or clean bunk cushions.
  • Discard any unnecessary equipment.

Mechanical & Electrical

  • Inspect engine fluid levels (oil, coolant, etc.). Top off or change as needed. Oil should be changed at least once a season.
  • Inspect fuel filter. Ensure there is a spare on board.
  • Inspect water pump impeller. Ensure there is a spare on board.
  • Inspect exhaust system for soundness.
  • Inspect shaft and packing gland.
  • Inspect belts for tightness and signs of wear. Replace or adjust tension as needed.
  • Inspect battery condition. Charge, test and replace as needed. Clean and tighten terminal connections if needed.
  • Ensure tool kit and spare parts on board are replenished.

Contact Sailing Inc. if you require professional assistance with any of your checklist items. You can reach us at (800) 450-7245 or