Take a look at our checklist of essential fitting-out tips

Below deck

Bilge pumps

Check bilge pump impellers and gaskets and smear on silicone grease, replace if necessary. There’s no harm in having a few spare impellers onboard. If you have an automatic bilge pump, check the float switches work and that the strumbox is clear.

Clear last season’s debris from the bilge to keep strumboxes clear.

Dry the bilge thoroughly, then if water appears after relaunch, you’ll know you’ve got a problem.


If the pump on the heads is stiff, run washing- up liquid into the bowl and pump out.

Water tanks

Flush and fill water tank, then add purifier such as Puriclean or Milton, following the instructions.

Fuel tank

You should have filled your fuel tank brim-full before laying up, to prevent condensation contaminating the diesel. If not, open the drain tap under the tank to drain off all the water, then treat the fuel with a diesel biocide to prevent diesel bug.

Log impeller

Remove the paddle wheel, look for cracks at blade bases, smear silicone grease on the blades, reinstall and check it spins freely.


All hoses should be double- clipped. Check the clips for rust and nip them up tight. If you have Blakes seacocks, make sure they operate smoothly and grease the nipples. If it leaks or is seized, dismantle before launch, regrind the conical plug, grease and reassemble. Here we see corrosion, single hose clips, no earthing and no bung – not ideal.

Click ‘next page’ for our mechanical fitting-out tips.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. On deck
  3. 3. Below deck
  4. 4. Mechanical
  5. 5. Below the waterline
  6. 6. Safety
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