• Boat Safety/Maintenance Items to a New Owner

    Posted on April 3, 2017 by Paul Foer in Boat buying, Captain Paul Foer, Marine Surveys.

    Sail Training, powerboat trainingThis is Captain Paul Foer from The FOERFRONT (www.foerfront.com) with another posting about how to enhance your boating enjoyment and safety. As one of the many services offered to every client when I perform a delivery or on-board training, I provide a follow-up list of boat safety and maintenance items of what is normally but not always for a newly acquired boat. Below is a sample of one such letter which will give you an idea of some of the concerns and issues I concentrate on, and how I try to assist my clients. This is a followup of items that were discussed when I was with the client, so if it appears that some remarks are either incomplete or somewhat unclear, it is because the full context is not provided here.

    As discussed in other posts, this is different from a condition or pre-purchase survey most often used to secure financingor insurance. While I do provide pre-purchase evaluations for prospective owners, they are usually done to either advise a client to proceed to purchase or not (thus saving them the much higher survey costs which may also entail a haul and/or launch or travel expenses) or to provide advice tailored to their specific needs and goals, instead of attending solely to technical and condition concerns, for example, will the boat blow up or sink?

    The below is an example of a report provided after a full day of training and inspection aboard a recently purchased boat for its new owners. There is no extra fee for this service and I do it regularly. In this case, the clients are a middle-aged couple with a cruising sailboat. As such, it is edited slightly for the audience here:

    Dear   #######   and ######,
    I hope you both are recovered after your busy weekend.  I enjoyed meeting you and know that you will get many great days of fun on your boat.
    A couple reminders of what I think are the top priority items etc:
    Make sure all 120VAC sockets have GFCI protection (Critical!)
    New paper charts–I recommend the Willians and Heintz MD Cruising Guide  http://www.whchartbook.com/
    New anchor line (chain is adequate, anchor could be heavier; install strap to secure anchor better in roller). A second anchor is recommended. Remove existing line and use to run between dock pilings as discussed to aid in docking.
    Covers for fenders, better lines to hang fenders; or replace all fenders with new and slightly smaller fenders
    Consider windlass–many options as dicussed while onboard. Anchor locker cover may be wet and could use reinforcement, and/or replacement of coring
    Place a “Turks Head” knot or tape on wheel when rudder is centered (sometimes referred to as king post)
    Install dodger–I recommend  stainless and not aluminum piping, and also handholds/grips on each side
    Replace dock lines with twisted nylon; 3/8 or 1/2″ or whatever is recommended; use existing docklines when cruising
    Add non skid tape on deck where appropriate
    Set up vhf radio to be used/heard at helm station
    Complete rigging check–esp. the different ways the lower shrouds are rigged as mentioned; new spreader tips–probably a good idea to consider within a few year, pulling mast, rewiring, rebedding etc…also–be sure to check position of airex windvane, upgrade anchor light to LED
    Engine..???  continue to investigate possible causes of noise/vibration; have a diver check prop–based on our discussions, there are many possible reasons–weakened or degraded motor mounts, a bent prop, possibly an internal engine problem
    Clean bilge; scrub with bilge cleaner, place oil absorbent pads in bilge; regularly vacuum and sweep cabin to keep bilges clean
    Non-skid on steps in companionway; consider more handholds in companionway
    Light sanding (220#) and oiling of cabin sole
    Hose and scrub and clean exterior teak; bleach and oil
    Clean and grease steering system
    Continue to lubricate all rigging, winches, sail track etc
    Consider a strong track: 
    Gently wash all canvas and then spray with 3m or similar fabric guard product; consider a leather or other guard to cover portion of bimini where boom may abrade
    Rig a preventer for downwind sailing as discussed
    We located one discharged fire extinguisher, but you have three more that are properly charged and mounted. They are adequate, but do check the dates on the bottom and replace if more than ten years old. Also, they should be turned and gently tapped twice a year.
    For  rewiring, installations, general systems, plumbing, electronics etc., please let me know if you wish for my colleague to assist you. His rates are less than the boatyards charge. He can completely check all electrical systems, gauges, determine loads, capacity of circuits, check for GFCI and grounding…
    My goal is to help you maximize your time, enjoyment and pleasure on your boat while minimizing costs. There are really only two ways to properly do that, to actually invest in a boat. One is to learn from the experience of another person or persons who can help you save time, money and hassle and help you make sailing easier, more efficient and more enjoyable.  Two is to properly maintain and keep up regularly with tasks that will ensure the boat is always ready to safely be sailed.
    I am certain that a full day with me focusing on docking, lines, deck management, reefing, person-overboard, anchoring etc will greatly benefit both of you and enhance your sailing enjoyment.  Please feel free to call me and we can discuss how to make this happen.
    Thank you!

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