Trafalgar Sailing Blog

Own boat tuition & Yacht delivery checklists

Over the years many of our students have gone onto buy boats of their own and it gives us great pleasure to hear about their adventures.  They are scattered all over the planet.  Having done an RYA course,  they are confident sailors but still want the reassurance of one of our Yachtmaster Instructors to help them sail their new yacht for the first passage. Especially as their yacht may handle differently to anything they have sailed before and they are not familiar with that sailing area.  So often a Yachtmaster Instructor will “hold their hand” or “be a back seat driver” while crossing the Bay of Biscay for example.  Sometimes the Instructor leaves the yacht once in the Med and the sailing is easier in non-tidal waters.  Having made the commitment of time and money to buy a yacht, £250 a day for an Instructor to teach you how to sail her and deliver the yacht to your desired location is a good investment.

Whether the yacht is new or old there are always teething problems in the beginning and there is so much to learn. It takes time to understand all systems onboard,  batteries, engine, navigation electronics, the list is endless.  Unlike a car, you cannot call the breakdown services when you have a problem, so you have to learn to be self-sufficient.  A good sailor will have spares onboard and the right tools for the job. Don’t be delusional and think because your yacht is new you don’t need to carry spares. Caring for your yacht will become a passion.

own boat tuition

If you don’t have time to sail her from one location to another we can arrange the yacht delivery for you. Frequently a client is too busy to do the long passages but wants to sail in different countries.  We have been doing yacht deliveries for many years. Here is our Yachtmaster Fast track passage checklist,  you may like to copy this before you set sail on a longer passage:

Make sure you and your crew are well briefed on the following:
Emergency Procedures.
Location & use of Lifejackets (check they have been serviced).
Location of Fire extinguishers (check they have been serviced).
Location & Use of MOB systems (Jonbuoy etc).
Location & use of Flares (check they have not expired you can get a big fine for carrying expired flares in some countries).
Location & function test of seacocks.
Radio inc DSC functions. Mayday, Pan Pan.
Location of First Aid Kits.
Location & use of Liferaft.
EPIRB Function.
Standing Orders List, laminate.
Logbook entries.
Satellite phone use.
Wooden bungs location.
Bilge pumps, electric & manual.
Location & Contents Grab Bag (for contents see below)
Emergency drinking water  – location.
Emergency Radio antenna.
Bleeding fuel system.
Impellor changes.
Drive belt changes.
Shroud tensioning, turnbuckles etc.
Location of manuals.

Yacht Delivery

Admin check:
All ships paperwork inc ships registry & insurance, Radio licences etc.
Copies owners and all crews passports /visas requirements checked.
Skippers & Crews qualifications, licences etc. make copies of these.
Any crew medical conditions to be clarified and discussed in advance.
All shoreside contact details for crew – next of kin.
Check the insurance covers all the areas you will be sailing.
Satellite phone, credit & up & running.
EPIRB registered in yachts name.
MMSI & yacht name correct on DSC Radio.
Electronic chart chips, working & updated on plotter for all areas.
Paper charts and Pilot books for areas to be visited.
All relevant operating manuals.
Relevant laminates ie Mayday. MOB. Emergency Gas Alarm Action plan.
Ships logbook.
Crews passports stamped out of last port of call.
Clearance papers from last Port of Call (Important if leaving Europe).

Safety equipment check:
Lifejackets & Safety lanyards: Sufficient for crew numbers + 2 spares (in date) Inc lights, crotch strap, Fluorescent strip, whistle.
Liferaft, suitable category, in date & contents list. (Hydrostatic release, in date)
Flares, Offshore pack in marked plastic waterproof box.
Min 6 Red Rocket, 6 Red handheld, 2 Orange smoke.
Anti Collision flares 6 x white.
MOB system lifebelts + lights & drogue.
Helicopter lift sling + line.
Fire extinguishers location inc engine bay.
Fire blankets.
2 x fire buckets & lanyards.
First Aid kit Cat C (see list) and Day Box.
Emergency drinking water (clearly marked & securely stowed. (2 Ltrs per person per day)
Bolt cutters, in good nick (greased up and wrapped)
Jackstays checked & secure.
Gas alarm working.
Bilge pumps checked (electric & manual)
Keel bolts checked.
Smoke alarms & batteries.
D Rings in cockpit – attachment points.
Emergency steering tiller, location & use.
Spare cable and bulldog grips for steering cables at quadrant.
Spare emergency shroud wire and bulldog grips X 4.
Radar reflector.
Wooden bungs for seacocks (taped to seacocks)
Long Tow rope 50 metre (Nylon)

Equipment check:
Handheld radios, chargers (12v) & spare batteries + waterproof case.
2 x Standby GPS & spare batteries
Torches x 4, Big Lantern x 2 & chargers, spare batteries.
Plug adaptors for all different equipment plugs.
Spare bulbs Nav lights and mast light etc
2 x Portland / Breton Plotters, dividers, ruler & pencils.
Courtesy flags countries visited & Q (customs) flag.
Extra Plastic Water & fuel containers (well marked) & cargo straps for securing.
Ascender for mast.
Spare warps and line, mooring & halyards etc
Boat hooks x 2 (secure location)
Boom Preventer line (long enough to reach cockpit)
Bosuns chair / Climbing harness.
Watermaker spares and running kit.
Greases winches (waterproof)
4 x funnels large (2 water,2 fuel) marked up as such + flexible hose to fit
Fuel Canisters (20 litres) plastic x 10.
Sufficient cooking gas (Butane- Europe, Propane – Caribbean)
Spare gas hose & regulators.
Spare running rigging, halyards, main sheet etc.
Sponges, large x 4.
Dinghy / Tender.
Pump for dinghy, paddles, painter. Anchor & warp. Repair kit.
Outboard engine checked and functioning. Fuel for outboard.
Diving mask & fins.
Diving knife.
Rubbish bags.
Cooking strap galley & full length apron.
Non slip matting – table tops.
6 x strong ratchet straps for securing gear.

Bosuns bag:
Marlinspike, Knife, Sail repair tape, Mousing wire, Needles & palm, Sailmakers twine. Ducktape. Electrical tape. Spare shackles, Swivels, Batten prodder, Carabiners, Gibb clips etc. 3 & 6 mm spectra lashing line. Mouse line for running halyards etc
Engine Spares & Generator spares.
Primary and secondary fuel filters x 2
Spare belts. 3 x spare impellors. Oil filters and engine and gearbox oil.
Funnels for pouring oil.
Spare hoses and jubilee clips.
Assorted stainless nuts, bolts, washers, screws.

Adjustable spanners, combinations spanners, screwdrivers (Phillips & flathead), pliers, Goosenecks & needle nose, Stanley knife, hammer, Socket set. Silicone gel. WD40. Hacksaw. Open ended spanners. Allen key set. Torx head key set. Stilsons plumbers spanner.

Electrical spares box:
Electrical tape, connectors, voltmeter, spare cable / wire, Self amalgamating tape, tiewraps, Crimps,  Small electrical screwdrivers.
Spare battery cable & terminals.

Check sails condition thoroughly.
Mainsail (How many reefs) Genoa and Cruising Chute / Spinnaker.
Storm jib checked and everyone knows how to rig.
Trisail (if you have one) Is there a spare slot in mast for it and sheets.
Associated blocks & shackles + spares

Grab bag Contents, Depending on Liferaft Contents:
First-aid kit including at least 4 tubes of sunscreen F 50. All dressings should be capable of being effectively used in wet conditions. The first-aid kit should be clearly marked and re-sealable.
Signalling mirror (Heliograph)
High-energy food (min 10 000kJ per person recommended for Cat Zero)
Nylon string, polythene bags, seasickness tablets (min 6 per person recommended)
Strobe light & Spare batteries.
Medical supplies including any for pre-existing medical conditions of any crew member.
Folding knife.
Spare unbreakable spectacles for any crew members needing them.
Wet notebook with pencil.
High-powered torch with spare batteries and bulbs.
Hand held GPS & spare batteries.
TPAs (Thermal Protective Aids) if not sufficient in liferaft.
Leatherman or similar.
Wet wipes.
Safety tin openers (if appropriate)

On deck Heavy Weather checklist:

  • Lifejacket and harness on
  • Rig jackstays
  • Clear deck of anything not well secured
  • Blank all dorade vents, drop sprayhood, remove dodgers
  • Reef deep and early
  • Check all rig fittings are secure
  • Lash down anchor, or remove and lash below, and secure anchor locker lid
  • Make sure cockpit drains are working
  • Check cockpit manual bilge pump is working
  • Check liferaft lashings and taffrail safety kit are secure and operational
  • Prepare any drag devices, sea anchor, drogue, warps etc
  • Check cockpit lockers to make sure heavy items are secure, then lock lids

Cat C emergency First Aid Kit

Day Box first aid kit:
Sticky plaster roll x 4, Band aids. Bandages asstd. Gauze. Cotton wool. Antiseptic wipes. Antiseptic hand wash. Ibuprofen. Aspirin. Antiseptic cream. Scissors. Eye wash / drops. Pipette. Steri strips. Dettol. Iodine. Stugeron, sea sickness tabs. Diarrhoea tabs. Thermometer. Finger splint. Tweezers. Aqueos burns cream. Vaseline. Vicks vapour rub. Deep heat muscle rub & condoms!




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