Sailing is certainly a pleasure, but if you are reading this article, you do not need to explain that the sea can be very dangerous. A pleasant family cruise and even a day trip to the sea for a fraction of a minute of fun can turn into a serious disaster.
The sole purpose of this article is to prepare for a trip that will help you calmly go out into the sea and be ready to face any test. Frivolous attitude towards safety borders on stupidity.
- Do not rely on the chance.
- Never take anything for granted.
Always consider the worst case scenario.
- Remember: the assumption that “and so will come down” will not come down.
- If you are not sure about something, check it again and again.
- If you do not know something, ask. Ask until you get an intelligible answer.
Before going to sea, you need to find time to check the vessel. Nothing can be more stupid than to arrive on an unfamiliar ship and expect to go out to sea for an hour! For a serious check, it will take almost the whole day. You can make a visit to www.readytoyacht.com for more ideas for the same.
- Below the waterline
If this is your own ship, then you have already checked the anti-fouling paint, electrolytic corrosion protection, echo sounder sensors (they should be clean), kingstones, rudder blade and visible propeller arrangement before launching.
In case this is a new yacht for you and it is afloat, check the hull below the waterline. If you are going on a long trip, check to see if the bottom has been algae, – it may require cleaning or painting the bottom.
- Kingstones and Hoses
Starting from the nose and moving towards the stern, check all the drains and nipples from outside the body. Check the sink drain and the pump in the shower. While in the shower, check and, if necessary, clean the filter. Check the drain of the sink in the galley, the drain of the refrigerator and the freezer and, of course, the sump in the engine cooling system, draining the water from the cockpit. If the ship has air conditioning, check the suction pipe for water. Be sure to find and check all the pipes coming out of the housing.
In case of breakage at hand, there should be a wooden cone-shaped plug to plug the hole.
Make sure that all toilets work, especially if they are complicated electrical or vacuum.
Batteries and electrical equipment
Check the electrolyte level in all elements and make sure that you have a liquid to refuel the batteries. Check all contacts, make sure that they are protected from water ingress and coated with a special water repellent gel. Make sure all batteries are securely fastened.
Switch on the main electrical circuit breakers. They can be in the form of separate switches or a single master switch with off, 1, 2 and 3 make sure you know what it is responsible for. One switch must be for domestic use, one for the engine’s starting battery, and perhaps one for the windlass. Make sure that crew members are familiar with the location and arrangement of the switches.