April 25, 2017 How to, Maintenance, Rates, Reviews, Sailing, Trip Advisor

Shipshape Sailboat

Shipshape sailboat

The list is seemingly endless for keeping a shipshape sailboat. It breaks out into several lists of discrete responsibilities. That way, things proceed in an organized way that stops short of overwhelming the skipper. Or as one woman told me in the context of her RV, “The biggest pain is keeping it clean.” Here is a starter kit for the novice sailboat owner. 


  • Shipshape sailboatWarm up the engine to heat the oil and make it start easier
  • Check the levels of oil and fuel and refill if needed
  • Clean the head and check the linens as fresh and folded
  • Wash off pollen and bird droppings
  • Refill cooler with bottled wagter and ice
  • Unfurl the American flag at the aft rail


  • Wax Fiberglas in cockpit to restore after daily wear
  • Treat the non-skid with special liquid wax, hose off residue
  • Check two catbird seats for nicked varnish on slats
  • Seal blocks and spars with liquid wax
  • Test all five dock lines for tight and evenly spaced
  • Check electrical shore cord connections for corrosion, loose


  • Shipshape SailboatCheck bilge and other places for any leaking water, oil, etc.
  • Examine two electrical harnesses and batteries for corrosion
  • Review First-of-Month sheet for 16 specified actions
  • Test both batteries for full charged at 12.7 volts
  • Check running rigging for frayed and twisted
  • Probe standing rigging for snares, twist and rust
  • Check furling for free turning, and grease if needed


  • Check oil level weekly, every other day in summer
  • Observe coolant level monthly and fill spill jar halfway
  • Examine both raw water thru-hulls daily for jellyfish
  • Check water pump impeller daily for continuous flow
  • Tighten hose fittings occasionally as warranted
  • Refer to multi-task ENGINE sheet for maintenance


  • Shipshape sailboatVerify seasick wristbands, Dramamine, ginger mints
  • Check first aid supplies to be current and fully stocked
  • Review meds such as Alleve and aspirin as current
  • Inventory bottled water for rapid refill during summer
  • Check MOB items: 25-foot bag, 50-foot Lifeline, cushions
  • Recharge vacuum cleaner and portable marine radio monthly


  • Shipshape sailboatWork through 10-page list starting Nov. 1 to finish Dec. 31
  • Order two fuel filters, O-rings and oil filter for the engine
  • Remove spinnaker, mainsail and genoa sail for cleaning and repairs
  • Take cushions and all movable stuff off the boat
  • Dismount and repair both winches using Harken kit
  • Sand and paint appropriate wood and Fiberglas surfaces
  • Clean, sand and stain appropriate teak surfaces
  • Haul the boat for repainting bottom and waxing hull

Let’s go sail

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. See reviews on Trip Advisor from sailors like you. 

Shipshape sailboat


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