Inspect for Success: A College Sailing Checklist

Use this checklist to look your boat over from bow to stern before you leave the dock. You’ll ensure the boat’s set up right for the conditions and prevent breakdowns in your next set.
Sailing World

College Sailing Checklist

Rob Migliaccio

Halyards: Are they twisted? Make sure the halyards are cleated correctly, and coil the extra halyard lines and tuck them under themselves. In a 420, put the coils below the partners so they won’t catch the jib sheets. Make sure the mainsail is up all the way.

Sidestays: Make sure you have all the ringdings and that they are secured with electrical tape.

Jib Sheets: Do they cross over or twist? Is there a good stopper knot in the end? Note whether your jib sheets are especially long or short.


Jib Blocks: In a Club Junior, double check where your blocks are set for the breeze conditions. Make sure there is a ringding attaching the block and a spring under the block.

Centerboard: Make sure the bungee actually holds the centerboard down; you may need to loop it around a few more times. In a 420, use your weight to pull back on the centerboard-downhaul to make sure it doesn’t slip up that extra quarter of an inch.

Cunningham: Is it actually running through the grommet in the sail? Is it adjusted correctly for the conditions?


Vang: Are the shackles tightened all the way? Tie the extra tail up so it won’t get in your way.

Outhaul: Generally, keep it tight all the time. Make sure there is a stopper knot in the end, and loop the tail back on itself aft of the cleat to keep it out of the way.

Hiking Straps: Make sure they are tied in with good knots. Check the length and see if you need to adjust them. Is the bungee cord about to break? In a 420, reach under to where the hiking straps are screwed in: Are the nuts there?


By the Skipper: Is the rudder down all the way? Are the plugs in? Inspect the tiller universal to make sure it’s not about to fall off.

Keep it Dry: Bail and start your new set with a dry boat.