Regular Checks

I’ve just had a great trip out in some lumpy weather in which Merlin acquitted herself beautifully. On my return, I went through the obvious checks, but wonder if there are other checks or inspections that I should be doing on a regular basis?

From: Nigel Normington – Merlin

Angus answers: Yes, there are some essential checks prior to departure and some to do when you return.

The first are done as you walk down the pontoon. Does she look as she should? Are the covers in place? Are the warps and fenders in place and in good condition?

Once on board, pop up the engine covers and do a quick visual inspection of the bilges and the engines. You are looking for liquids, leaks, seawater etc, plus any unusual smells (especially gas or petrol if you carry any). Next, turn on batteries and the breakers for the electrics and instruments that you need for the trip.

More detailed engine checks:

WOBBLE is a pretty good reminder for these:

  • Water – Check water and coolant
  • Oil – Engines and Gearboxes, Don’t forget the Generator…
  • Belts
  • Batteries
  • Look around
  • Electrics – Connections, Condition, Voltages

Now switch on and check the electronics

Start and warm the engines, and check the exhausts for water.

Shutdown checks are pretty much the reverse.

I’ve put together some extra detail for boat checks, which you can read here

And here is checklist for on-going maintenance for you to download

Got a question?