Curiosity Pre & Post Sailing Checklists

Curiosity Pre & Post Sailing Checklists

If there were ever a time for using checklists, before taking off on a sailboat would be it.  We’ve never been huge into keeping lists.  Sure, we keep some basic lists like grocery shopping but not much beyond that.  Now that we live on a sailboat, wow has that changed!

the wynns pre and post sail checklist

Sailing is often compared to flying in terms of safety and procedures and I can see why. There are so many tasks to consider it’s impossible to keep it all straight, much less remember to do everything without a list.  Scratch that, its more like several different lists are needed.  Maintenance schedule, supplies, gear wish list, new crew orientation, and the lists go on.

During our sailing school series we were asked about the pre-sail & post-sail checklists we were using and if we would share it.  At the time, it was the very basic checklist provided by the school.  We live on our sailboat full time, we move anchorages often and use the systems on our boat daily or at least weekly.  We’ve tailored the checklists to best suit our live-aboard sailing catamaran Curiosity.

pre and post sail checklist

So, with that in mind here are the lists that help keep us in check.  If you are looking to create your own, maybe this will help get you started.


  • Weather forecast
  • Turn On Garmin InReach & Iridium Go
  • Update Predict Wind Offshore app and weather route
  • Turn off anchor light (turn on nav lights if it’s a night sail)
  • Check battery status
  • Bilge check
  • Engine check – clear strainers, Racor for algae, oil levels
  • Fuel status (including jerry cans)
  • Instruments on
  • Radar on
  • VHF on & tuned to channel 16
  • Navigation – All charts and apps on, start recording track
  • Sunscreen, Sailing gloves & PFD’s
  • Swim ladder stowed
  • Galley – Everything stowed, hatches and portlights closed
  • Cabin – Everything stowed, hatches and portlights closed
  • Knot log clear
  • Dingy secured and pins in place
  • Fishing pole ready
  • Stack pack unzipped and ready (tie zipper pull to boom topping line)
  • Rudder control arm clear


  • All lines coiled and stowed
  • Mainsail and stack pack tidy and zipped (front cover on if staying more than a night)
  • Wheel locked
  • Turn off instruments, radar and VHF
  • Open hatches & close bug screens
  • Battery check
  • Bilge check
  • Stow fishing pole
  • Turn on anchor light
  • Move over boom for solar panels
  • Rinse the deck to remove salt

We’re still new to everything and building these lists as we go and grow. But, we figure if we share what we’ve got going, it might help someone else and vice versa.  If you notice something we should add, leave us a comment and we will keep updating the lists.