Beginning of Season Checklist

Engines – Fluid levels – Oil, coolant, battery drive belt(s) – raw water filters, impellers. Put engine(s) in and out of gear to check linkage and gearbox engagement.

Stern Glands – Greased if appropriate and not leaking. 

Bilge Pumps – Check operation of electric and manual pumps.

Navigation Lights (Including Anchor Light) – Working correctly and spare bulbs available.

Anchor – Check windlass is working and that chain is marked. Anchor secure and anchor ball available.

Steering Gear – Turn lock to lock to ensure free movement. Check fluid if a hydraulic system.

Horn – Working correctly.

Seacocks – Check turning freely but if seized do not force. Tapered wooden bungs of various sizes available.

Electrical Instruments – Check windscreen wipers and other electrical instruments and appliances are working.

Electronics – Check echo sounder, VHF, radar, plotter and navigational instruments are working.

VHF Distress Card – Check it is displayed at all helming positions with call sign, MMSI and phonetic alphabet.

Dinghy – Check secure and that the painter is sound and oars available.  Check working of outboard and renew spent fuel.

Life raft – Check service date and ready for use including any grab bag. Check HRU if fitted is in date.

First Aid Kit – Correctly stocked and medicines are in date.

Flares – Sufficient and in date.

Fire Extinguishers – Serviceable and gauge if fitted in green sector.

Lifejackets – Enough for all on board and in serviceable condition.  Any lights and firing mechanism cartridge are in date. Consider professional service.

Torch – Are they working and are there spare batteries available.

Documentation – River licence, insurance etc. – Club members handbook.

Useful Information – Useful telephone numbers to hand. Logbook, Thames information book. Download PLA guide to phone or tablet.

Spares – Suitable stock of engine and other appropriate spares.

Additional Check List before Down River Cruise

All of the above…..

Essential Personal Documentation – Passports, insurance for the cruising area and other required travel documentation if going foreign.

Navigational Publications – Sufficient charts, tide tables, tidal atlases, pilotage books, Notices to Mariners etc. corrected and up to date and that you have a CURRENT passage plan. (A set of waypoints is a route not a passage plan). Don’t forget the yellow “Q” flag and a courtesy flag for any country you may visit.

Re check – Anchor, echo sounder, vhf and Lifejackets, engine spares.

Safety Information – Keep someone informed of your intentions and whereabouts.  Use/download RYA “Safetrax” app.

Fuel – Sufficient fuel and spare.

Water – Fill tanks and renew any in cans.

Gas – Check sufficient and that you have a spare cylinder.

Weather Forecast – Current forecast which must be updated regularly.

Useful Items – Have to hand items likely to be needed including ,charged hand held VHF with charger, binoculars, lifejackets, seasickness pills, additional warm and waterproof clothing, prepared food, chargers for phones and tablets etc

Loose Items – Make sure there are none.  Secure everything.

Liferaft (unlocked and ready to go)

Last but not least. Money

Produced by Ian Weston and Phil Onslow.  No responsibility will be taken for any errors or omissions.