Spring Commissioning 2015

It’s starting to get to be that time of year again. This past weekend we passed our yearly safety inspection, which is a moorage requirement of our yacht club for liability issues. From the looks of some of the boats at our club, all it entails is to make sure your boat is above the water line! They also check to make sure you have all the coast guard required safety gear and systems and that your fire extinguishers and flares are not expired. It offers a good opportunity to go over everything and get the boat ready for the upcoming season. I’m fairly bad at keeping maintenance logs as the lists tend to be stored in my prefrontal cortex. This works for me but unfortunately Shelley can’t read my mind and so doesn’t know what I want to get done.

Usually, I just try and go over everything twice a season. A spring commissioning before we begin using our boat again and a winterization after our last cruise of the season.

So without further adieu, here is my “mental” spring commissioning list in written form:


I run and warm up the engine every 2-4 weeks during the winter, to keep things lubricated, prevent carburetors from gumming up, protect rubber impellers from embrittlement, etc. But I also do a yearly maintenance during the spring commissioning, which include:

  • Change oil
  • Replace Fuel/Water Filter and Separator
  • Clean Raw Water intake strainer
  • Grease Coolant Pump
  • Replace spark plugs if require (high engine hours)
  • Check/tighten Belts and Hoses
  • Check Coolant level
  • Replace Packing in Stuffing Box if required
  • Check Blower
  • Replace Zincs (one on propeller shaft and one on Heat Exchanger)


  • Check Navigation and cabin Lights
  • Top up Batteries with Water
  • Change battery in CO detector
  • Test Bilge pump
  • Test other electrical instruments


  • Inspect Chainplates, shrouds and turnbuckles
  • Visually inspect mast for straightness and adjust tension on shrouds if required
  • Inspect blocks, lines and Stanchions & lifelines
  • Maintain Winches and Roller Furler
  • Replace sails which were removed and cleaned for the winter


  • Check all throughhulls and work seacocks
  • Inspect Hoses
  • Cycle Head a few times (Holding tanks should still be empty)
  • Disinfect Water Tank
  • Check portholes
  • Clean and test stove

On top of this list we also do an intensive cleaning inside and out before we bring all the cushions and other livables back which we store in our garage during the winter to prevent mildew development.

We haven’t gone through even half the list yet. We still need to bring the boat to the mast tower so I can check the upper mast and connections and to also replace the burnt out spreader light we found. But other than a tiny drip in a porthole, everything else has been checking out okay so far. We are also planning on replacing the interior curtains, as the velcro ones we have right now have lost their stickyness. I’m leaving that one up to Shelley.

We are not due for a haul out this year as the bottom paint should still be okay but we will probably need to have one next year, which definitely adds to the todo list.


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