Checklist for Getting Underway in a Sailboat

, Checklist for Getting Underway in a Sailboat

A recent sailing school student came back for a refresher, and needed a quickie checklist for getting underway. I decided I must develop one!

I did publish a Pre-Sail Checklist for Sailing, however, it has an explanation for each item. Once a sailor is familiar with the descriptions; all they really need is the list. So, here goes! Please comment below if I left off something crucial!


  • Anchor windlass and locker
  • Roller furling set to free (right)


  • Electrical panel settings
  • Bilge visual and touch button
  • Batteries
  • Instruments
  • Navigation lights if needed
  • Radios, radio check channel 26
  • PFD’s
  • Signal flares
  • Fire extinguishers


  • Oil 
  • Cooling water
  • Engine visual check
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Fluid and debris


  • Covers off companionway and helm
  • Covers off gauges
  • Wheel extended
  • Cushions out
  • Sound producing device in cup holder at helm
  • Flag tied
  • Boathook out
  • Sunscreen
  • Drinking water
  • Hat
  • Winch handles
  • Ignition key
  • Throwable Type IV
  • Stern check
  • Power cables
  • Fuel
  • Warm up engine
  • Check transmission


  • Wind
  • Wheel
  • People
  • Lines
  • Traffic fore and aft, side to side

What to Read Next:

5 Things to Check Before Backing Your Boat Out of a Slip

How to Pick Up a Mooring Ball

The Power of Checklists

Two Powerful Types Of Checklists You Must Use

, Checklist for Getting Underway in a Sailboat

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without:

  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets.
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
  • BoatUS for your boat towing insurance! Code: “HEWAF88”
  • Thank you Bill for being the Best Sailing Partner EVER!

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