Prepare Your Sailboat For an Around the World Trip

Before you take off on your journey, you will need to ensure your sailboat is in order. The wood needs to be treated using deck stain, your mast needs to be secured and your mood needs to be great! So let’s get ready to sail the world with the following tips! 

The mast

Your rig is one of the important parts of your boat, as you will not make it without one. Have a complete survey done when it comes to standing and running the rig before you leave. Anything that happens to be old or weak will need to get replaced like turnbuckles, sheaves, halyards, shrouds, sheets and blocks. Getting the services of a professional rigger is a must.

Make sure you have a halyard on board, ensure that you have a plan for getting them up and rigged. It is hard going aloft off the shore. If you only have one spinnaker halyard and just the one halyard you need to find a way to rig up a spare. You need two methods for climbing up the mast; a harness for the rough times and a bosun’s chair for the calmer conditions. Both of them should have pockets and attachment points for gear and tools. A helmet is a must for rough weather.

Before you leave, you need to tape up chafing points, as you are going to have the sails up for a long time.

On the deck

The deck should be surveyed; this will include shackles, winches, sheaves, turning blocks, stanchions and lifelines. Consider buying a couple of light spare winch handles. There won’t be any chandleries that are nearby to purchase the replacements you need and trimming your sails without a handle won’t work too well.

Down below

You need to have jacklines that are rigged between the bow and stern pulpits. Shrouded wire jack lines resemble lifelines, but flat webbing is good as it won’t be rolled underfoot. Ensure your jacklines are taut and can easily be adjusted if you need to tighten them while you are offshore. You need to tape your lifeline entry point shackled shut to make sure they don’t open while the sheets are whipping them. It is a good idea to simply tape everything.

Even Further Down Below

Below the deck will feel safer than the top, but it is near as treacherous. Ensure that you have handholds that are within grasp from any point below. Everything will need to be stowed securely. Batteries and floorboards will need to be firmly secured just in case the boat broaches (and you need to polish the floor to preserve the wood. This is best done with a gloss finish furniture). You need to have access to all of the boat through-hull fittings. 

Make a list of where the food, gear and emergency supplies are located. If the worst shall happen, you want to be able to get to your safety gear fast.

You will also need a fully stocked first-aid kit, augmented by prescribed drugs for pain and seasickness. Ensure if you have others on board that someone is trained in first aid and CPR.

Boats often use laptops and small computers now for communication and navigation. The computers need to be protected from water and easy to get to. Always carry a few GPS systems onboard with you.

Make sure everything is working properly before you leave and even go to the extremes of triple checking all your safety and communication gear.