The season is kicking off, and as ever, it’s essential to spend some time rigging up your boats and sailing it before your customers and students arrive at your Sailing Club or Training Centre. Take the time to blow out all the cobwebs from last season and pick up on any niggles that could stop your team or volunteers from maximising their session time on the water this summer.
Here are our top 10 things to check before getting out on the water this season!
Most damage on a sailing boat results from poor maintenance of its trolley. Check that all the cushioning and rubber is in place, so your boat isn’t grinding on the trolley.
- Trolley wheels
Give these a good look over. Pushing a boat with flat tyres is far from ideal. Make sure they’re in good condition ahead of getting out on the water so you can order spare parts in time.
This is often the main control in small sailing dinghies. These ropes and blocks will take a lot of wear and tear. Give them a good check to make sure there is no fraying, make sure the blocks are in working order so that the kicker has a full range of motion and replace the rope if you need to.
The unsung hero of spars – so often we forget these little pieces of metal doing all the work to keep our spars in working order. But it’s time you gave them a little bit of love to make sure that everything is well maintained. Over time, water can corrode your mast/boom, leaving it weak and vulnerable to breakages. It’s best to find these before it you end up with a boom in two sections!
- Key cleats
Check your main and jib halyard and sheet cleats for fraying. Similar to the kicker, they undergo lots of wear and tear, so it’s important to keep an eye on them!
- Reefing systems
Nothing says ‘get out of jail free card’ like a reefing system. An essential training system on any boat, it’s definitely worth making sure that this is running smooth and free of any snags. On a windy day, when the chips are down, you’ll thank yourself.
- Jib furling line
Being able to furl your jib is essential to teaching people to sail in a controlled environment. More importantly, communicating in a quiet environment without the jib flapping helps your sailors concentrate and achieve.
- Tiller universal joint
This might look like it’s only wearing slightly, but it can snap off suddenly. It’s best to check and repair a tiller extension joint as soon as it starts to show signs of wear and tear so that you don’t end up with it breaking whilst you are sailing.
Avoid embarrassing moments, always check your bung!
- Clean your boats
With the obvious benefits of your boats looking good, avoid any foreign species from invading any water sources you are sailing in by keeping your boats squeaky clean. Most of all, the dirt and the grime can hide areas of your boat that could be damaged. Keeping your boats clean will allow you to see if something is breaking and ensure that your customers or students have the best experience.
The Customers Care Team at RS Sailing are always on hand to help with any advice or replacement parts, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We hope you have a fantastic summer on the water at your sailing club or training centre!