“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail…”
― Benjamin Franklin
Looking after your sailing gear, including storing it the right way and finding and fixing issues quickly, can mean the difference between a great day out on the water, and, well, not even making it out at all.
When you get back from a day of sailing, the first thing you probably want to do is pack your gear away and forget about it. After all, you’ve had a big day out on the water in the sun, and you’re probably tired.
However, before you do this, there are a couple of things you should do. Firstly, check the condition of your gear, if you have been out on the water it is more than likely that there will be some wear and tear, so a quick check of all your gear is a good idea, and if there are any issues, attend to them before you head out next. Secondly, clean your gear, even if it doesn’t look dirty. Give it a good rinse, and always store it in a clean dry place.
Here is some more information on things that you may want to consider when on dry land so that you enjoy your time out on the water…
Things To Check:
- Check your boat after each and every time out on the water. It’s pretty annoying for something to break when you are out on the water, especially when it could have been prevented by spending a little time and effort on maintenance. This means a quick check of everything, including the:
- Hull and foils or dents and/or scratches. Also, check for water in the hull
- Mast step for cracks and dirt/mud (dirt in the mast step hole can cause friction between the base of the mast and the hull, which can lead to damage)
- Ropes for signs of wear
- Cleats, blocks, and fittings for damage
- Sail for small tears
- Spars for bending, corrosion, or other damage
- Trailer and dolly for wear or damage
- Fix any problems that you find ASAP… ie. Immediately after returning to shore or soon after you get home. In addition to above, there is not a lot worse than putting your laser back in the garage and then pulling out a month later and ½ way through rigging up you discover that you had forgotten to fix a broken component, which stops you from hitting the water
- If possible, try to wash all your gear in fresh water, and allow it to dry before storing
- You may want to store your gear all in 1 place, so that when you head out next time, you don’t forget anything
- For long-term storage, most people advise storing your Laser dinghy by supporting it under the gunwales. You can even use a hoist system to pull it up to the rafters in your garage while still being supported by the gunwales. Use a cover to keep it clean. Also, check out this article for more information.
Have a look at the following video for some things to consider after each race…