I ask the question because I was unclear from the answers what you were looking for. The issue of things needing checking periodically seems quite different from the list of what needs to be done prior to casting off in a boat that is ready for sea.
Part of my business is helping customers develop PM (preventive maintenance) checklists. It's simple enough, but takes a little time initially. Thereafter (once a month is good), the skipper
can delegate someone to perform the PM check, needing only an hour to complete. Start by inspecting the engine
, checking fluids, etc. Check the dock
lines, especially the springs. Start the diesel
, put it in gear
forward, then go below to perform the initial checks. Start in the forepeak. Look at everything in that small compartment with a flashlight. Any bad smells, stains, or other disturbing features, write them down and fix them later. Do the same in each compartment, starting in the bilge
and proceeding to the overhead. Open and shut valves, flip switches, open and close ports
, remove drawers and look behind them, pump whatever pumps, you get the picture. Do that from one end of the boat to the other, then proceed on deck
and do the same.
I said it takes an hour to perform. It takes many more to create the checklist. Some of it is research
(what is it, how does it work, do we need it now?) and some of it is expenditure of elbow
to the point of being able to assess conditions.
The first time you perform the full checklist, you can prioritize your responses: Health
and Repair issues, and nice Improvements that make life more pleasant.
The big part is localizing each item. Begin with one compartment, break it down into smaller areas by assigning a name or code to that space. It makes it easier to remember stuff when you name it. Write it down on the word processor. Put a checkmark if things fall into acceptable standards, put a priority if they need further attention: Examples: Health
"A" priority (leaking propane
, loose electrical
wires, etc.), Safety "B" (flares out of date, missing lifejackets, no boarding ladder, etc.), Maintenance
and Repair (stuff that immediately affects the capital investment) "C" (dryrot, leaks
, sail damage, etc.), M&R "D" ( peeling varnish
, chalking paint
, etc., stuff that leads to a "C" priority if not attended to soon), and Improvements "E" (stuff you can do when you can't resist the temptation or you get a few bucks ahead).
It takes a little time to perform initially, but it makes learning
all the systems, and their condition, much easier for the skipper
, and for new crew to gain familiarity with stuff aboard.
It will be lengthy. I just completed one for a 43 foot catamaran
and it ran 36 pages. Show it to anyone and they can go to a named compartment, identify the named component, and confirm or question your evaluation. And you will certainly know what needs to be done right now and what can wait until some available cash comes floating by.
This isn't a unique concept
. The military, airlines, and the service
industry have developed their own PM programs along these lines. You can even get fancy by assigning schedules for replacing fan belts, zincs, or anything that eventually wears out. You fix it BEFORE it breaks if the consequences of failure would ruin your entire day.