Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Water in the boat is the ruin of the boat, but water under the boat is its support. - Rumi
What you need to know
Protect your fin bulb and rudder with insulation foam
Carry your sails in a rig box
Check lines for fraying or wear
Fit a breathing tub if your hull is sealed
Dry your boat after sailing inside and out
Leave a deck patch off to ventilate
Rinse the inside of your boat if salt water has got inside
Clean the hull with mild soapy water
Keeping your boat shiny and new, requires care and attention when you store, transport and race your boat. Here are some ideas that will help you protect your investment.
Protect your fin bulb and rudder with pipe insulation foam which can be bought cheaply from any hardware store. Put it on the leading and trailing edges of the fin and rudder and around the bulb. That way you avoid accidentally chipping the delicate edges.
If you have one always carry your sails in a rig box on any lengthy journey and after racing wipe your sails with a towel to remove water and marks and make sure they are dry before storing in the box for more than a day. Remember to release all tensioning devices. If you don't have a rig box consider a rig bag. I made a very light strong rig box from Correx and strip wood and velcro for £25. See HERE for details.
Check all the lines and replace any that are showing signs of wear. Also look at each radio wire connector to make sure that they are clean and coat in Vaseline or similar to keep the water out. Not sure which lines to use, check HERE.
If your boat is sealed, fit a breathing tube in one of the patches which will prevent the air from expanding and contracting, sucking in water when you go sailing. If you have sheets that pass through the deck this will not be a problem.
Always remove a deck patch or two after racing to allow hull to ventilate and avoid any condensation or water to remain.
If you sail on salt water, rinse the inside of your boat with half a cup of water to remove any salt which is a killer for your electrics. I once had an electric raiser soak in the bottom of a boat on an offshore race. When we finished the race, all the electric connectors had disappeared. Nasty stuff seawater when it comes to electronics. Try and tape your wires and connectors to the underside of the deck to keep dry.
Finally, if you sail on dirty water give the hull a wash with mild soapy water.
Links to relevant sites
Maintenance, leaky boat, breather tube, build foam plug