Sailboat Spring Preparation Checklist: Go2marine is proud to help you get ready! My general rule of thumb is to plan on spending 10 hours to do everything (for a vessel under 30’), then add 5 more hours for complex systems. You will spend 15 hours readying your 30’ vessel for use over the next season. For a 40’, double the time (30 hours), for a 50’ double the time, again (60 hours).

I also advocate doing those ‘one time’ jobs you have put off for so long, like opening and repacking your sails and labeling all the sailing bags! 

This is a quick, check list (you may copy and paste; then print it out – or just print everything). I kept the text to a minimum and this will print out to six pages. I cannot emphasize how useful it is to look everything over, at the start of the year – on the trailer or tied to a dock. This list covers Sailing vessels, large and small sailboats 

SAILING VESSELS, including trailer

GENERAL: getting the boat ready to inspect

Go2marine helps you get ready

  • Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild , environmental safe detergent
  • Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
  • Put on a good coat of wax in all hull topsides
  • Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
  • Clean teak (and other wood) and oil to reseal
  • Clean windows and hatches, clean screens
  • Clean canvas, bimini and dodger (use same soap)
  • Clean sail covers
  • Clean interior including bilges
  • Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
  • Make sure registration is current and onboard
  • Check and replace wiper blades if necessary


Marine Maintenance & Hardware Supplies

  • Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair
  • Check and replace zincs
  • Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
  • Check rub rails, has anything come loose?
  • Check swim platform and/or ladder
  • Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
  • Check rudder and fittings
  • Touch up or replace antifouling paint


Deck, Cockpit & Hull

  • Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
  • Check ground tackle, anchor, rode and backup anchor / rode, etc
  • Check lines, fenders, etc.
  • Check chainplates, cleats and other deck fittings
  • Check hull/deck joint
  • Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
  • Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
  • Clean and grease winches
  • Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
  • Check dinghy, and life raft


Plumbing Fittings and Valves

  • Check, test and lubricate seacocks
  • Check all thruhull fittings
  • Check condition of hoses and clamps
  • Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
  • Check bilges pumps for automatic and manual operation
  • Check for oil in bilges
  • Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris


Marine Electrical Equipment and Supplies

  • Check battery water level – the single most often ignored task
  • Check/recharge batteries
  • Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
  • Check bonding system
  • Inspect all wiring for wear and chafe
  • Test all gauges for operability
  • Check shore power and charger
  • Check for spare fuses or breakers
  • Check all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs
  • Check all electronics for proper operation
  • Inspect antennas


Safety & Flotation

  • Sound signaling device – spare air can for air horn
  • Check distress signals and expiration date
  • Check PFDs (lifejackets)
  • Inspect life rings and cushions
  • Check fire extinguishers certification and recharge if necessary
  • Check and adjust compass
  • Check navigation lights
  • Check charts and replace as necessary
  • Check radar reflector
  • Check and replace first aid supplies
  • Check bailer and hand pump


Browse Inboard Engine Parts

  • Change oil & filters – have spare oil & filters onboard
  • Check and change fuel filters – have spares onboard
  • Check and change engine zincs
  • Check cooling system change coolant as necessary – have extra onboard
  • Record engine maintenance log, especially date & hours of last oil changes
  • Check belts for tension – carry spare(s)
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
  • Check impeller
  • Check and clean water strainer
  • Check bilge blower
  • Adjust valves, general service engine


Browse Outboard Engine Parts

  • Replace spark plugs
  • Check plug wires for wear
  • Check prop for nicks and bends
  • Change/fill gear lube
  • Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
  • Lubricate and spray moveable parts


Toilets & Sanitary Systems

  • Checked for smooth operation – lubricate and clean as necessary
  • If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
  • Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured


Freshwater Systems

  • Flush water tank
  • Shock the drinking water tank. Spa shock breaks down in a few days and then can be flushed out
  • Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
  • Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
  • Check for tank cap keys on board
  • Check and clean shower sump pump screens



  • Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
  • Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC
  • Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
  • Check microwave, if fitted


Trailering Parts & Accessories

  • Check for current registration
  • Check rollers and pads
  • Check and lubricate wheel bearings
  • Clean and lubricate winch
  • Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
  • Test lights and electrical connections
  • Check tire pressure and condition
  • Check brakes (if equipped)
  • Check safety chains
  • Check tongue lock



  • Check general condition
  • Look for wear and chafing
  • Check battens and batten pockets
  • Check all sail attachments, including grommets, rings, and all reef-points
  • Inspect all of the stitching on the sail edges and all seams. Pay close attention to the leech of the headsail
  • Inspect bolt rope


Rigging Hardware

  • Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
  • Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
  • Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
  • Check reefing points and reefing gear
  • Clean and lube sail track
  • Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
  • Inspect stays for fraying and “fish hooks”
  • Check forestay and backstay connections
  • Check masthead fitting and pulleys
  • Check and lubricate roller furling
  • Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
  • Tape turnbuckles, cotter pins, and spreaders