Before having the boat:
Do sail as much as you can and on as different type of boat you can.
Do read as much as you can.
Do take course on renown sail schools.
Do take course for license
when or where necessary.
Do find what is the material you are the more familiar with (in term of using this material for construction / repair / maintenance).
Do decide what will be your sailing program in the future.
Once you have the boat and before going at sea:
Do check everything from top of the mast
to the bottom of the keel
once a year.
Do check functions (switch on everything or make it running...).
Do check the engine
and also the transmission
back anf forward.
Do check the levels of fluids, all.
Do check your equipement to ensure nothing is missing.
Do prepare and gear
everything you can before leaving the harbour (sails, ropes...navigation plan, and also food
and drinks...), to avoid unecessary activities at sea that waste your time and energy when you need it the most for important action.
Do prepare your navigation
for the first day at least, meaning review your routes and charts
, set your GPS
Do check the weather forecast
Do sort and clean the boat (personnal belongings...).
Do set the life lines and harness for everybody.
If you plan to sail at night, do prepare alreday all the "night sailing" gear
as projectors, floodlights...
Do check, and replace if necessary, the batteries in the various equipement, clocks, GPS
Do check the boat's batteries and charge them if not yet done.
Do a safety
induction to your guest on safety
equipement location and how to use them before departure.
Do a quick induction for VHF
and other man over board porcedure for those not familiar with your equipement.
Do remind the safety rules to the crew (harness...).
Do check the boat documentation
(the mandatory one and the one you'll specifically need for the cruise).
Do check validity dates for the equipements that have one (flares...).
Do choose an easy start for your cruise
, nice weather
Once you are ready to leave the harbour:
Do check that everybody is ready, available and aware.
Do ensure that the way to leave the dock
and untie is weel understood by the crew.
Do start the engine
before releasing the lines...
Do check around that the way is free.
Do ask everybody to look around.
Do choose a place with room enough to haul the sails
, off the traffic.
Do sort the mooring
lines and fenders before setting the sails
Set the sails with all the reefing lines on if you are not doing regatta
and on a cruise
Once under sail keep the boat tidy before enjoying and relaxing.
update your logbook.
Check the navigation.
Sorry I have to go, but I'll carry on in a next post.