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Thought for the Day - Checklists

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

I watch a lot of astronaut movies....Mostly Star Wars. And even Han and Chewie use a checklist - Jon Stewart


What you need to know

Checklists are essential if you want a consistent setup and don't want to leave anything behind, traveling some distance to a meeting at another club.

The details

My Dad was an airline pilot and he could not fly a plane without running through several checklists. I started using them in my dinghy days, mainly to check I had all my equipment before setting off for an open meeting with a thumping hangover. That way I never forgot anything. Those were the days.

Now I use them for a variety of reasons.

1 To check I have all my equipment before leaving home

2 Check everything is in the campervan

3 A record of my boat setup, e.g. mast rake, back stay tension, sheet settings etc etc.

There are many variables sailing a model yacht and when I first started sailing my boat, I used to wing it. I would turn up, set the boat up so it looked right and go sailing. However on some days things were not quite right and I could not put my finger on what was wrong. One schoolboy error was to hook the no 2 jib boom on the no1 hook.

On good days I started recording my settings and gradually structured my checklist. If you take this to the extreme, there are about 24 data points for each rig. Of course you do not need to go into this level of detail but the more you measure the more you will be confident in the setup of your boat.

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