Illustrated guide to fitting out
Do not neglect your boat’s engine at this time of year. One of the most complicated systems on a boat, it’s also one of the most expensive to repair and one of the most inconvenient to live without. A DIY-friendly illustrated guide to diesel engine maintenance can be found in Technique on page 48.
Top up spares
You don’t have to carry a ship’s chandlery on board, but it makes sense to have a few spares onboard for systems and hardware. It’s almost impossible to have too many batteries in all the sizes needed for flashlights, handheld electronics, emergency navigation lights and more, so stock up.
You should also carry a selection of cotter pins, rings and stainless steels screws, nuts and bolts. An epoxy repair kit, sail glue, nylon and dacron sail tape, oil, oil filter and impeller round out a basic list of spares.
Although it doesn’t qualify as spares, a good boat sewing kit should also be on board. Make sure you have plenty of thread, a palm, a variety of needles and a fid or two, which will allow you to make small canvas and sail repairs as well as splicing and whipping.