When we are gone for a short period (less than a day) we take a few simple precautions to reduce the odds of anything going wrong. First, the pressure water pump is turned off, so a break in the pressure plumbing system won't cause a mess in the boat. Next, the windlass circuit breaker is turned off, so there is no chance for the windlass switch to short and raise the anchor.
Next, we close the seacocks.
Keep in mind that if your cockpit drains empty below the waterline (a bad idea—it is better for them to empty through the transom) you may not want to shut these seacocks if heavy rains are a possibility. Otherwise, the cockpit may fill and flood down below through the washboards or cockpit seat lockers.
If we have any automatic systems aboard, such as an electric head or an inverter, these are turned off. Next, we give the manual override switches on each bilge pump a flip to make sure the pumps are working. The masthead anchor light is turned on if we expect to be returning after dark.
Finally, one of us checks the windlass to make sure the chain stopper is engaged, as well as the gypsy pawl.
This sounds like a long list, but in reality it takes less than five minutes to do everything, and we are much more comfortable while we are away than would otherwise be the case.
Was this article helpful?
Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.