Hi, I'm Simon from Sailing Britican.
If you don't mind, I'd like to tell you a little story about how checklists have helped to save our boating lifestyle dreams and maybe even our marriage!
If we didn't have them we'd probably be back on land feeling miserable by now.
During the process of getting our sailboat, we were stressed. When we finally got our boat we were even more stressed.
Our generator would run for 1/2 hour and then stop. All sorts of 'experts' would spend hours trying to fix it (and charge us) but we never got it working for long. This went on for a year!
We’d pay for so-called ‘experts’ to fix issues only the find out that the same problem returned - usually after we had sailed several miles away.
Our first reaction in the early years was to put our heads in the sand. It was a sour realization that a great majority of marine technicians were crooks.
After several months we didn’t feel more knowledgable. We felt more hopeless. Our new boat was costing us a fortune and we seemed none the wiser. A heavy pit in my stomach seemed to be growing heavier and heavier.
Our cruising friends would move on and we’d have to stay put for another month waiting for parts and thinking that perhaps we weren’t cut out to manage a boat.
Instead of spending our limited money on seeing the world, we were spending more time seeing marinas and boatyards.
But after spending so much time, effort, and money to get the boat we couldn’t quit. We couldn’t go on either - we were running out of money.
My wife, Kim, started to doubt my abilities to keep the boat running. She was increasingly getting nervous that we’d have some sort of catastrophe and not know how to get out of it.
I was confident about my sailing skills but I underestimated what it took to maintain a large cruising boat.
What I wanted to achieve was a situation where I could troubleshoot and fix most problems with the boat.
I wanted to know what major spares I needed so I could stock them and didn’t have to wait around for parts to be shipped in.
I wanted to know what needed to be done to prevent issues before they happened and how to fix issues when they struck.
Ultimately I wanted to be in control and not beholden to yet another marine expert that actually wasn’t an expert at all.
I wanted to see the world - not another boatyard!
I wanted to be able to look at Kim and say, ‘I know exactly what the problem is and I know how to fix it.’ OR find a way to minimize the problems in the first place.
Looking back over my life I worked hard to become good at my job. There were rare experiences where I felt incompetent or unable to do something. Changing our lifestyle to living on the boat put me in unchartered waters. I felt out of my depth and it wasn’t comfortable.
I had confidence in passage planning, sailing, and getting us safely from one place to another but I underestimated that amount of knowledge a boater needs to know to manage all the systems.
It’s hard to admit this but felt like I was failing in the eyes of my wife and daughter.
Previous to getting on our boat my wife and I took quite a few courses about engine maintenance, motors, pumps, refrigeration, electricity, safety, and First Aid. None of the courses really prepared us to actually fix anything.
And when an ‘expert’ came on board I’d shadow him to learn so I could fix the issue the next time but as I mentioned the ‘expert’ rarely fixed the problem!
We didn't know what we didn't know and relying on previous training or experts didn't work either!
And then we got a lucky break. And when I say ‘break,’ it was a break! While sailing the Ionian Sea I discovered oil below our engine - too much oil. After making a phone call a 6’5” Italian guy came out to our anchored boat.
He wasn’t a guy that I’d want to meet on a dark alley. Let me put it that way. I ran our engine for 3 minutes. We turned it off and the man, Andreas, said “You have four problems.”
And then he listed them. Andreas asked me to move the boat closer to his boat and he said he’d help me out.
Every morning for a few weeks Andreas helped me take apart my Perkins engine, sending some parts off for repair/reconditioning. He taught me how the engine worked, how to service it, and what to do when a variety of things happened. He showed me how to use the multimeter, solder, and troubleshoot on my own engine. In the end, we even repainted the Perkins making her look brand new.
Andreas also helped me once and for all sort out our generator issues. Furthermore, he noticed we weren’t greasing our driveshaft or rudder so he prevented a massive issue had we kept going without doing so. Andreas also had a friend help me fix an ongoing rigging problem.
By the time I was done with Andreas I had the knowledge and more importantly, I had my confidence back.
Before we parted ways Andreas told me that both our engines were in a terrible state when he met us. They hadn’t been serviced in years (contrary to what the past owner told us) and we didn’t do them any good by not taking care of them as we should have. He basically yelled at us (in a friendly way) saying that we had to create better systems to look after our boat.
Both Kim and I decided to create a checklist on what we had to do when we had to do it - the first one we made was how to check our engine before we went on a voyage.
The next was how to service our engine and what to do after 300 hours, 500 hours, 1000 hours, and so forth. We looked through every service manual to every system we had on the boat to find out if there was a checklist to help us prevent issues rather than wait until something broke.
Most, if not all, of the information we needed to properly care for the boat we had on board in the form of a manual or 'how-to' book. But there were too many to read! When we realized we could cheat and just find the service checklist it became easier to create systems of success.
We pulled our heads out of the sand and created ways to be proactive.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, we took back control. Before you knew it we had checklists for passage planning, pre-passage checks, post-passage jobs, boat briefing lists, cleaning checklists, safety lists and on they went.
The more we used our checklists the easier life got.
Over the last seven years we’ve created and updated our checklists and now consider them blueprints for success. Instead of trying to commit things to memory or ‘wing it’ we continuously get favorable results because we have a plan and follow the plan. Furthermore, the plan or checklist gets updated if and when we determine something else can be added to make the result even better.
- When we take our boat out of the water, we have a list of what to do before and after the boat is out.
- When we are going to have a long-term stay in a marina, we have a list of what questions to ask to determine which marina will suit us best.
- Before we renew our marine insurance we have a checklist on how to pick the best policy for us.
- And we have a variety of lists to ensure that our cleaning and maintenance are performed at set times so we never get mold or mildew damage.
- When we are doing a BBQ Pot Luck at the beach, we even have a checklist for that! Forgetting the forks or a garbage bag always results in an unnecessary trip back to the boat.
The result of our checklists is that we’re proactive rather than reactive and we have far fewer breakages or disasters.
Due to the systems, we’ve set up we catch things way before they’re a problem. We also know when certain things are going to break, such as our generator impeller, so we swap it out before it becomes an issue.
To say that our boating life has changed from good to great is an understatement.
These checklists haven’t helped just us out, we’ve been selling our checklists to other sailors for years and they’ve had similar results.
In many cases, the people that get our checklists didn’t know half of the things that they should have been doing but are now doing. Heck - we had no idea that there was a greaser system under a closet floorboard that we should have been turning every 24 engine hours until Andreas showed it to us!
Our checklists help people to know what they don’t yet know but need to know.
When we set out on our sailing lifestyle journey we envisioned having excellent sailing conditions, being anchored in picturesque bays, meeting new like-minded people, exploring different lands, learning about new cultures, and feeling what true freedom was like.
Now that things aren’t breaking all the time and we’re on top of our sailing maintenance schedules I can say that we truly are living-the-life.
I’m confident in my abilities and so is Kim.
And throughout the process, I’ve learned something important. I learned that with a little help from a guide or teacher or friend that you can take back control. You really can have your cake and eat it too!
So now, allow me and my wife to be your guide. Take what we've spent perfecting for seven years and hit the ground running...
Checklists For Sailors - Fully Customizable! Get Your Copy Now!
On offer now: “Checklists for Sailors – Passage Planning, Sailboat Maintenance, Cleaning, Medical, and more”
Not only can you get a guide with most of our routine checklists but can you imagine how quickly you’ll get set procedures in place with an editable MS Word version of the checklists?
Once you have the checklists you will effectively have blueprints of success for engine maintenance, cleaning schedules, passage planning, and more!
100% Money-Back Guarantee. If at any point you’re not satisfied with the guide you can return it for a full refund. Checklists For Sailors is worth $1,000s but we're currently selling it at the low price of $24.97. How much would you pay for something that can potentially help you avoid disasters and breakages?
Here are just some of the checklists included...
The start to finish of a sailing voyage
What do you do before, during, and after a passage? This list will walk you through the whole journey.
Things to cover with new guests and crew. All about the important boat operational and safety systems. General rules and how to get around the boat.
Guests and or crew duties and responsibilities
Not sure what to do with guests? Give them jobs to do! This checklist outlines all the different roles people can play.
Ensure a good night sleeping by knowing the steps to anchor - preventing dragging!
Packing and preparing for a sailing holiday
Send your friends and crew a list of what to bring and what NOT to bring on your boat. Includes details about what luggage is appropriate and what is not.
Maintenance and service checks
Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly checklists for the engine and ancillary servicing tasks.
Wintering a boat
Here's all the tasks you need to complete to ensure your boat is safely on the hard for the winter or hurricane season.
Every time your boat is out of the water
There are some tasks that can only be done when your boat is out of the water. Make sure to do this when you haul out.
Spare parts checklist
Use our spare part list as a starter for yours. Every boat is unique but each one had mission-critical spare parts that must be on board at all times!
Cleaning and maintenance checklists
Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning tasks. If you don't stay on top of these tasks you're going to have a dirty and stinky boat.
Provisioning for a long trip? This list will provide you with the meal groupings you'll need to buy from.
Choosing a marina
Staying in a marina for the long-term? Make sure to follow these steps so you know before you go.
Now is the time to hit the sea sailing so click on the button and grab your fully customizable set of boat checklists now. If you’re still trying to decide if this is right for you or not, scroll to the bottom to read some of our reviews.
Buy Both Of Our Best-Selling Guides And Save!
We also have a guide offering VHF Radio Checklists & Templates. This guide was created to help new boaters to get familiar with what to say, how to say it, and what to do if an emergency does occur.
Filled with examples, checklists, and fill in the blank templates, this guide can be given to any crew member for general help on how to make a ship-to-ship call or how to handle an emergency or safety broadcast. This publication can also be offered in MS Word so it can be fully customized with your Boat Name, MMSI and Call Sign.
The cost is normally $15.97 but if purchased right now with Checklists For Sailors, you'll get a $5 savings. This offer cannot be found elsewhere.
BEST VALUE! Both Guides and One-Off Answer-All-Questions Coaching Call
When we started out we just wanted to talk to someone that has done it, been there, bought the t-shirt.
Someone that could look over whether we were choosing the right boat or help with reading the weather forecast and designing a passage plan. My wife wanted to have a chat about having children on board. I wanted to know what certain sailing areas where like.
In some cases we had very simple yet specific questions that if answered would help reduce the stress and help us move forward with more confidence.
If you're new to the boating lifestyle and have questions or concerns about buying the right boat, refitting your boat, planning passages, weather forecasting, preparing the boat for long passages, what kit to spend money on (what to avoid), or any question about boat ownership, the management or handling...purchase this special one-time only one-off phone coaching session.
Gather all your questions and I'll arrange a time to answer them. This is a one-time offer and can't be purchased anywhere else.
Between the guides and our call if you don't save $1,000's I'll happily refund your money - no questions asked!
Limited Time Only Special Offers
Diana McDade - 2019
Simon and Kim on Britican were such a big help to me when I was preparing for our crossing from San Diego to Honolulu. My coaching talks I subscribed for were such a reassurance to me, and I incorporated all of the advice that was given as far as provisioning and tips for handling trash, spare parts, and just having someone to bounce thoughts off of...
We started off buying Kim's Sailboat Buying Guide which got us off to a great start. After narrowing down a few boats we asked Simon to look through the specifications and then we had a chat about the pros and cons of each boat. The call was one of the largest learning curves we went through - we had so many ah-ha moments and really started to learn how to look at the experience in a different way. My wife and I can't say enough. The guide and the call not only saved us money but it saved us so much time going in the wrong direction. Before you buy a boat, talk to Simon and Kim.
My wife and I purchased all of Kim's guides, we did the coaching calls, went on the Britican Experience (a week with Simon and Kim in the Caribbean) and we worked with Simon and Kim's recommended broker. We now have our boat! Soon we'll be heading out to live the life.
Simon saved me tens of thousands of dollars. He also prevented me from buying the wrong boat for what I wanted to do. It should be law that everyone has a chat with him before buying a boat.