Sailboat spring recommissioning
My checklist of things that need to be done in the spring to get our CS34 sailboat ready for the water.
Before stepping mast and on cradle
After stepping mast and boat is in water
- Standing rigging
- Running rigging
Before stepping mast and still on cradle
Check charge and water levels in batteries
This can be done at home before taking the batteries to the boat. Using a voltmeter, check the charge and record the voltage for each battery.
- Safety gear -goggles and gloves, rag close by for spills
- Remove plastic panel from top of battery
- If the battery is fully charged, you can add distilled water to 1/8″ below bottom of vent, if needed.
- Replace plastic panel and wipe up any spills
If the battery is not fully charged, you will need to ensure that there is enough liquid in the battery to cover the plates and then let the batteries charge before going back and filling up to 1/8″ below bottom of vent.
You can take your batteries in to have them tested or you can perform a specific gravity test to give you an estimate of their current state. There’s some good information on the Trojan Battery website for this.
Install and connect batteries
Previous owner would rotate batteries through position 1 (engine), position 2 (house) and position 3 (fridge), new batteries would go into position 1.
Ensure all switches are off on the main breaker as well as switches near the floor on the port side in rear cabin. Connect positive terminals first, making sure to not accidentally allow any of the other wires to come into contact with the negative side of battery.
Turn on main breaker in rear cabin to battery 1. Test the battery using main cabin lights circuit. Go back and turn main breaker to battery 2 and re-test. Battery 3 is for fridge, turn this on to check that fridge compressor starts up.
Fresh water system
Drain all antifreeze from the system and then fill tanks with fresh water and run the following systems.
- kitchen sink taps and drain
- bathroom sink taps and drain
- bathroom shower taps and sump pump
- rear deck shower taps
- bilge pump
Replace joker valve
Some suggesting filling and emptying the head a few times (with fresh water) to ensure it’s working smoothly and no leaks.
Engine and drive train
Rough notes from Universal M4-30 operator manual.
lubrication system, drain oil, install new filter, refill. Transmission, ensure fluid removed to lower level to line on dipstick bolt. Ensure all bolts tight and n o leaks. Se water cooling system. Remove front cover of pump and replace rubber impeller. Exhaust check all hose clamps for serviceability and security and worn hoses or clamps should be replaced. Inspect all electrical wiring, terminals, controls and switches. Fuel lines secure, clamps and nuts tight. Look for leaking. Fuel system may require bleeding before operation. After boat is in water, check freedom of the propeller shaft in the bearings and alignment of the propeller shaft with the engine. alignment should not be .002″ to 0.004″ out at four points in one position. May need to tighten stuffing gland just enough to stop excessive leakage along the shaft. Check fuel filters and second filter behind engine ,whatever that is for.
Note: M4-30 has a Hurth Transmission, model HBW-50 (2:1)
Check v-belt tension. 1/2″ of deflection
Check engine mount bolts. Look for rubber wear or loose bolts.
Check for clean tight engine ground connection to block.
Steering pedestal, check for play. Move runner completely from one side to the other. Should be smooth with a solid stop at each extreme.
Under cockpit, check the steering linkage cable to rudder post bell crank.
Check the rudder for cracks and any unwanted wiggle/play in the shaft.
Propane tanks, gas stove and BBQ. Check lines for brittleness and cracking. Use pressure gauge to pressurize system then turn off valve on BBQ to see if pressure drops over time.
Check the drain in both fridge and ice box.
- Clean with something like Wessex – Teak cleaner and renovator. Gently scrub across the wood grain. Some suggest 3m pad, others Spic n’ Span.
- For rough, damaged teak, it can be lightly sanded after cleaning. Only consider this for solid pieces, not veneered panels. Mask off any adjacent fiberglass to avoid scratches. Don’t sand uncleaned teak.
- Apply teak oil. Saw article saying this lasts 1-3 months. A product called Semco could last 6-8 months.
Open and clean all portlights, consider installing bug screens.
Replace all cushions and bedding.
Replace all books, paperwork and safety gear.
Replenish galley and head.
Sea cocks and thru hulls.
Remove, clean and replace the speed sensor. I know know what that extra black plastic screw cap is for. It’s self sealing, but still some water will leak. This allows you to seal it right off. Silicone grease for the o-rings.
Re-thread lines and pulleys through the davits. Could be done on the water if you have a spot you can reverse into and access the davits from the dock.
- Check for any damage, cracks, nicks and repair.
- Clean deck and sides of the hull with de-waxer.
- Wash again with detergent to remove de-waxer.
- Wait until dry, at this point we may be applying new vinyl decals to our boat.
- Use painter’s tape to protect all rubber/plastic bits to protect during waxing.
- Consider a polish or buffing compound
- Wax and buff
- Replace anchor, chain and rode in front locker
- Replace 110V shore power line in front locker
- Replace water hose in front locker
- Replace bumpers in starboard locker
Mast and Boom
Service wind sensor and re-attach to top of mast.
Check all lines running through mast, all entrances and pulleys (shivs?) at top of the mast. Ensure wrapped securely around base of mast.
Check condition of wiring running through the mast.
Electrical wires could be bunched together, wrapped with rigging tape with a small string to aid in feeding through top deck later.
Insert lazy jack lines through pullies on mast and secure lines to mast
Check all shrouds for split wires.
Use rigging tape to wrap end of spars
After boat is in the water
Re-connect wires to mast. Fortunately I took a picture before they were all removed:
(after wired re-connected to mast) Re-connect sea-talk connectors in NavPod to chart plotter and Garmin displays. Confirm everything working before screwing pod back together.
Check tensions while in dock, further tuning will need to be done under sail.
Complete installation of all running rigging through deck and back into cockpit.
Install main sail
Hoist and wrap the genoa, run the furling line back to cockpit
Install lazy jack lines
Tender and motor
Bimini and Dodger
- Setup dodger cover and straps to hold frame
- Setup bimini cover and straps to hold frame