Departure Checklist

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          We always used a departure checklist, because it's too easy to forget something otherwise. The checklist for an offshore or ocean passage is more comprehensive than for a daysail. What's listed here, is the ocean passage checklist.


  1. Check thru-hulls, hoses and clamps
  2. Check compass
  3. Check rigging and sails
  4. Service winches
  5. Change oil, replace fuel filters and check engine per schedule
  6. Check maintenance schedule and do any other overdue items
  7. Check inventory and buy necessary spare parts, batteries, etc.
  8. Provision for all non-perishable items
  9. Do passage planning
  10. Check electronics
  11. Check all safety equipment
  12. Fill propane tanks
  13. Clean boat bottom
  14. Track weather to identify window
  15. Recharge the spotlight
  16. Refuel
  17. Fill water tanks
  18. Do laundry



  1. Provision for perishables
  2. Clear out of customs and immigration
  3. Take down awnings
  4. Haul and stow the dinghy and outboard motor
  5. Check navigation lights
  6. Charge the handheld VHF
  7. Rig jacklines
  8. Check deck tiedowns
  9. Review weather forecast
  10. Radio checks on VHF and SSB
  11. Top up fuel and water tanks and jerry jugs
  12. Put snap shackles on cockpit locker latches
  13. Send float plan
  14. Make up sea berths with sheets and pillows and rig lee cloths
  15. Stow everything below except what's needed during the passage
  16. Stow the secondary and stern anchors and cover their chain hawses



  1. Unlock the life raft
  2. Put valuables in the Ditch Bag
  3. Review weather forecast
  4. Fill thermoses with hot water
  5. Prepare passage food
  6. Make galley sea-ready
  7. Take meclizine hydrochloride (Bonine) 1-2 hours prior to departing
  8. Bring out PFDs and tethers
  9. Turn on electronics and remove covers
  10. Unlock the steering
  11. Uncover the compass
  12. Check engine oil and coolant
  13. Check bilges
  14. Remove sail covers and stow below
  15. Attach halyards to main and staysail, and sheets to staysail
  16. Close and secure hatches and portholes
  17. Reset GPS Trip Odometer
  18. Check on deck and ensure ends of all lines are secured
  19. Haul down courtesy flag and prepare Q flag and new courtesy flag
  20. Bring out Deck Log, charts, and Navigator s Notebook
  21. Turn on the VHF and put remote in cockpit
  22. Turn on GPS
  23. Make departure entry (all except time) in the Deck Log
  24. Turn on the engine
  25. Up anchor, unmoor, or leave the dock
  26. Stow the primary anchor and cover its hawsepipe and the windlass


©2004 The Trouser Rollers. All rights reserved.
This page was last modified on:
August 9, 2009