Coach Tip of the Week: Managing Pre-Season Maintenance

This week we have been working on our clubs Tackers boats making sure they are ready to use come the September School Holidays. Equipment based sports are always time heavy on preparation and all our club boats require constant attention.

Just like a Tackers Boat the key maintenance issues are similar on most yachts. Ben Ainslie in his new British Americas Cup Challenge will have a daily check list, make sure the highly loaded areas are checked, Vangs, Mast Steps, Bungs, etc .

Part of maintaining your general running gear is also to manage all your relevant safety gear, I have witnessed over the years boats that have not serviced life jackets in a long time and don’t inflate when required.

So, let’s think about the key areas to check before summer racing starts. Boats and teams that have had a rest over winter need to be vigilant and test all areas.

Let’s start with the moving parts and high loaded areas.

  • Life Lines and all the parts, bases, end attachment points, stanchions
  • Vang attachment both on the mast and boom
  • Outhaul sheave in the boom outboard end
  • Reefing system
  • Tiller universal joint or steering wheel mechanics
  • Rudder bearings
  • Hull plugs with strings attached
  • All gear clearly named with yachts relevant information, Yacht Name, Number Home Port etc.
  •  Service winches investigate making sure they have enough grease in them
  • Give snap shackles and spin pole ends a spray with silicon spray

Our Key Safety areas also need attention and make sure you have filled out all the relevant safety Audit forms before racing this year at RBYC.

  1. Life Jacket cannisters checked and replaced, make sure your name and the yachts name are written on your lifejacket.
  2. Check radios are working.
  3. Are navigation lights all working.
  4. Have you practiced man overboard with the club rescue dummy (Duncan)?
  5. Have your storm sails been checked over the winter.