Boat Sharing Essentials - Lists

A few months ago we had the great pleasure of talking to David Canning, from the Little Ship Club and his extensive and successful experiences in boat sharing spanning 19 years.

Last week, during a catch up with David, he mentioned something that wanted to pass on to anybody who may be in the stages of dipping their toes into Boat Sharing. The importance of check lists.

“As we are just getting the boat ready for launching for the new season I was reminded about the importance of our check lists and I’d like to pass on as a best practice some tips that have worked out very well for us.

As well as the to do and wish lists, we have very detailed lists for:

  • Leaving the berth
  • Stopping overnight whilst on board.
  • Start up next day, if on board and leaving temporary berth, mooring or anchorage
  • Leaving the boat on our home mooring
  • Safety list, making sure Fire Extinguishers are in date etc

We find these essential whether we are sailing together or not; and they are a major aid when sharing. Communication is so important in a syndicate and these lists mean everybody knows what is expected when they board or leave the boat.

When we forget it can lead to problems, e.g. a couple of times we have run the engine with the seawater intake closed - although the tone of the exhaust quickly alerted us.

And on another occasion we hit a lumpy sea off Ile de Brehat, North Brittany, when somebody had forgotten to lock the main cabin deck hatch. As we hit a wave the hatch bounced open and took quite a weight of water into the main cabin – not very popular – particularly with the two guys whose kit was soaked!

We leave the lists on the chart table as we depart so that the next person on board sees it immediately and can begin his check off process. If there’s one mantra we stick to, it’s always go back to the list’. We’ve refined it over many years of trial and error and everyone now knows what is expected when they take the boat out.”

We have attached downloads of the checklists that David uses. These were constructed by one of his Boat Share partners Ron Walker. We thank them both for kindly allowing us to pass these on to fellow Sharers. They will be included as part of our ‘Boat Sharers Best Practice Pack’ coming soon.