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Thread: New owner - checklist

  1. #1
    Contributing Member II
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    New owner - checklist

    We have recently purchased an 30+ and are working our way through the systems. Any advice on must do's before our first sail?

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    Lots of possible answers. And all likely useable.
    Most similar sized Ericson's will have very similar systems to yours.

    I wonder what prior boating experience you can build on?
    Our first "real" boat was our Ranger 20, and we raced and cruised it for five years. I did rigging upgrades and built lots of interior cruising projects to make it more comfortable for overnighting.
    Leaving the dock only required some occasional cursing at the old two stroke outboard.

    Next was the Niagara 26, for a decade. Again, a lot of projects both inside and outside, and I got to know the boat Very Well. When we found our present boat in 1994, the Olson 34, there were restoration projects to tackle, after if had sat for three years growing mold.

    The short list of what to do to get under way was a bit longer for each boat, due to complexity of systems. For basic day sailing, tho, it was not much.

    When Kathy took our boat out by herself once for a "ladies cruise" overnighter (meeting up with with other ladies with their own sailboats at a nearby island dock), I composed a one page startup list and on the reverse, a shutdown list to deal with the inboard engine and the power & plumbing systems. She said she liked having it and followed it closely.

    Every pilot has a checklist before starting up the engine on their plane.

    Your idea seems well-considered.
    (Even if you are not gonna fall out of the sky because you overlooked the little valve for a wing tank, there are still a few things that can leave a boat drifting and also the crew's minds all equally adrift. )

    First time you get out there and realize that all of the sheets and halyards are coiled and not ready for use.. and all the winch handles are stored Poseidon-knows-where... and as you back out the power cord rips out of the short power connector.... you will start to build that List !!


    It will all work out. Let us know how the sailing goes... and post up some pix.

    PS: Hope to see you and your boat at the Rendezvous in July !!
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 01-08-2019 at 07:38 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #3
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Hi,

    Great question, and should generate some interesting answers and helpful reminders to us all!
    As you know, boats are complex, with so many moving parts, hidden parts, etc. so it's not easy, or even possible to check everything to ensure safe and trouble free cruising. However, there are things one should check or do, in my opinion, which minimize the likelihood of trouble. My list to get you started:

    Change engine oil, filter and check for any leaks at the new filter and under the engine
    Change primary and secondary fuel filters
    Fill fuel tank with good quality fuel (preferably where the commercial tugs and fishermen go, as they know
    Check/replace raw water impeller
    Check/replace engine coolant
    Check/replace transmission fluid
    Check/adjust alternator belt tension
    Fill the grease cup and snug a bit
    Check all hoses for cracks, bulges, softness
    Check/tighten hose clamps (but don't overtighten) and replace any rusty ones
    Check battery voltage, at rest and when charging, and top up with distilled water if it is a wet cell kind
    Run the engine for awhile, watching for smoke, leaks, overheating, shift into gear to test forward/reverse
    Check the head--smooth operation, hose clamps, pumpout
    Lubricate the rudder zerks on the rudder tube
    Check/adjust cable tension on the steering quadrant
    Lubricate the chain in the pedestal top
    Check throttle and gear shift movement for smooth operation, replacing cables if necessary
    Check bilge pump operation
    Check running lights, masthead anchor light (in case you get stuck out there and need to anchor out)
    Check standing rigging for any "fish hooks"/broken wires, bent swages, missing cotter pins at turnbuckles
    Tune rigging to ensure mast is straight and has proper tension
    Check winches for smooth operation or service as necessary
    Check anchor, anchor rode
    Have charts for your area
    Check instruments, especially depth sounder for accuracy/operation
    Take enough dock lines, fenders in case you end up at another marina
    Ensure everything below decks is stowed safely and won't move around under sail
    Check VHF radio operation and familiarize yourself with the channels, squelch, etc.(you need a radio operators license to operate it legally in Canada, though I've never been asked for it; Also a Pleasure Craft Operators License)
    Lifejackets, flares and other safety equipment as required

    Ok, I'm sure I've missed some pretty important items, but this will get you started. I'm sure you and your surveyor have already checked many of these items, so the list may look more daunting than it need be, but it's a start.

    Once you have owned your boat for a while, maybe a year or so, you will discover things that you want to change or replace to suit your style and preferences, but these are less critical at the start.

    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Langer; 01-08-2019 at 08:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Contributing Member II
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    Thanks Loren, ah yes we will need that check list!


    i was thinking more around what are the key items to check when you purchase a new boat. We had a marine and mechanical survey before buying and are working through the recommendations, but are thinking about checks outside of the must dos identified and fluids, filters and belts. We have been advised to look at changing the water tanks and lines and are working through other systems. Definitely learning about all aspect of the boat!

    We previously owned a Matilda 20 and have chartered larger power boats.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Frank. This is helpful.

    I do have to look up what a rudder Zerk is??? Lol I am enjoying relearning sailing terminology

  6. #6
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    A rudder zerk is a small fitting, one each at the top and bottom of the rudder tube, accessible from inside the cockpit locker. It protrudes from the rudder tube about 1/4 inch or so, and is only about 1/8 inch in diameter, so you have to look for it. You will need a grease gun (like mechanics used to use) and it's a tool to buy as it needs doing once or twice a year to keep the rudder operating smoothly. A large tube of marine grease slides into the grease gun, and the hose of the gun is put on the zerk and then the gun is pumped (maybe a dozen or more times) to grease the tube inside. I like to turn the wheel from side to side to distribute the grease. There may be a metal plate at the back of the cockpit above, which can be removed with a different tool and you can look down inside the rudder tube and see the grease if you have put enough in. That opening is also where the emergency steering tiller fits on the E30+, if the previous owner left it for you.

    If you don't grease those zerks the rudder will stiffen, you might start to get water coming up the rudder tube and leaking out of the rudder stuffing box.

    Frank

  7. #7
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    Talking

    So many things to learn. Thanks for this. I am a little boat obsessed right now, trying to understand and learn as much as possible.

    I will compile a list with the recommendations I recieve and post it as a reference for other newbies.
    Last edited by Wannasailsoon; 01-08-2019 at 08:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Contributing Member III
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    how to prioritize

    Hi,

    When you get your list compiled it will be ridiculously long and you will need to figure out some way of prioritizing it.

    Please remember that items related to safety/seaworthiness must get top priority.

    I found myself forgetting this from time to time and gravitating towards projects that were nice/fun instead of necessary.

    Hope that helps,

    Peter
    E29 1976 Atomic 4

  9. #9
    Contributing Member II
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    thanks Peter, good reminders and a great way to prioritize. Our approach has been to tackle the items from the marine and mechanical surveys first and gearing up everything safety related. We are taking our time getting ready (and waiting for parts), which gives us a bit of an opportunity to dig a bit deeper into learning about the boat.

    Shannon aka wannasailsoon

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