Sailing Repair

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Clean & Polish

Cleaning and polishing your dinghy or smaller yacht is an essential part of boat maintenance to not only keep it looking great but to also protect its surfaces from the harsh marine and UV environment. It is a great idea to set up a routine of regularly washing, cutting and polishing surfaces, hardware and equipment.


Sail Repair

Repairing sails is an essential skill when sailing, as sails can get damaged due to various factors like wear and tear, strong winds, or accidents.  Remember to regularly inspect and if repairs are required then clean prepare, apply, stitch ‘n seal, trim, and then test.

Sailboat and yacht care and repair are essential aspects of boat ownership to ensure the safety, longevity, and optimal performance of your vessel. Proper maintenance can also help prevent costly repairs in the future.

Here’s a guide to dinghy and smaller yacht care and repair:

Regular Cleaning and Washing

  • Rinse the boat with freshwater after every use to remove salt and dirt.
  • Periodically clean the hull, deck, and all components to prevent corrosion and maintain aesthetics.

Engine and Mechanical Systems

  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for the engine and other mechanical systems.
  • Change oil, filters, and impellers as recommended.
  • Keep the engine compartment clean and well-ventilated. This includes battery checking on instruments and electric outboards.

Sails and Rigging

  • Inspect sails for wear and tear and repair or replace as needed.
  • Check and tighten rigging regularly to ensure it’s in good condition.
  • Lubricate moving parts in the rigging to prevent corrosion.

Hull Maintenance

  • Inspect the hull for cracks, blisters, and damage.
  • Repair any damages promptly to prevent water intrusion.
  • Apply antifouling paint to prevent marine growth and maintain hull performance if your smaller yacht is planning for a stay in the water.

Electrical Systems

  • Check and clean electrical connections.
  • Test and replace batteries as needed.
  • Keep electrical components dry and protected from saltwater.


  • Inspect and lubricate seacocks to prevent corrosion.
  • Check bungs for fitting and ensure you have a spare.
  • Check hoses and fittings for leaks and replace them as necessary.
  • Clean freshwater tanks and maintain the plumbing system.

Safety Equipment

  • Ensure all safety equipment, including life jackets, flares, and fire extinguishers, is in good condition and to compliance standards.
  • Test and service safety equipment as per manufacturer guidelines.

Interior Maintenance

  • Inspect and repair cabin components, including plumbing, electrical, and appliances.
  • Clean and ventilate the interior to prevent mildew and odors.
  • Maintain upholstery and woodwork.

Winterising and Seasonal Care

  • If you live in an area with cold winters, winterize your boat to protect it from freezing temperatures.
  • Seasonal care may involve hauling the boat, checking the hull, and servicing systems before launching in the spring.

Professional Inspections

  • Consider getting a professional marine surveyor to inspect your boat periodically, especially if it’s an older vessel.

Emergency Repairs

  • Equip your boat with basic tools, spare parts, and emergency repair materials to address minor issues while sailing.
  • Know how to perform basic repairs for critical systems like the sail repair, fibreglass repair, rigging, and plumbing.

DIY Repairs

Most repairs and maintenance on your dinghy or smaller yacht can all be carried out by yourself. Spend time researching the type of job required, the skills you need to acquire and ensure you invest in the best products for your investment of effort. The reward will be extremely satisfying knowing you achieved everything yourself.


Remember that proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your sailboat or yacht and enhance your overall boating experience. Regular inspections and preventative measures can save you time and money in the long run while ensuring safety on the water.

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