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Sailboat Offshore Damage Control Check-list

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In addition to being an industry supporter of the Newport-to-Bermuda Race, McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers is a sponsor of the upcoming Storm Trysail Hands-on Safety-at-Seminar that provides a range of safety tips and guidelines for sailors of any level. Here is what STC prescribes for damage control equipment for boats going offshore. Even coastal cruisers should have most of these tools.

Damage Control tools and supplies should be stowed in containers so they are available at short notice. Location should be noted on the posted Emergency Chart. Larger items such as timber, spare shroud, drogue, and emergency tiller should also be noted. In the corner photo is a charged power pack drill, rolled lead sheet with pre-drilled perimeter, self- tapping screws with matching nut-driver, and rubber mallet. This hull patching package is stowed together since in an emergency it would be used together, along with Lifecaulk.


  • Marine hose clamps: various sizes up to 7 inch
  • Tape: duct, self vulcanizing, Teflon
  • Seizing wire: big roll
  • Plastic wire ties: largest size
  • Bag of self-tapping screws (1-2 inches)
  • Bag of nails (1-3 inches)
  • Assorted SS or exterior Square or Torx Drive
  • Deck Screws 1.25”–3.5”
  • Bag of bolts (incl.4 inch carriage bolts with washers/wing nuts)
  • Caulking gun and minimum 4×10 oz tubes
  • Lifecaulk & 5200
  • Waterproof putty (West Stay Afloat): 2 pints
  • 1 quart can of lacquer thinner
  • Spectra rope- 100’ x 4 mm
  • Supply of disposable examination gloves


  • 3 identical Lithium batteries & charger good for all power tools; spare inverter
  • Cordless drill with bits and nut/screw drivers
  • Cordless angle grinder with 6 blades including metal cut-off wheels
  • Cordless sawzall–metal and demolition blades
  • Juice pack–miniature charger
  • Brace and bits; egg beater drill
  • Heavy rubber or welder’s gloves
  • Crowbar, hatchet, baby sledge (to tear down interior to access damage)
  • 2 Hacksaws and 10 blades
  • Keyhole saw, wood saw
  • Big hammer, rubber mallet (for the lead, not wood!)
  • 2 large drift pins (to knock out rig clevis pins)
  • Spanner wrench (for stuffing box)
  • Knife (sheet rock with extra blades)
  • Strap wrench (for large fittings)
  • Vise grips, pliers, wire cutters
  • Screwdrivers, crescent wrenches, Socket sets: metric, English (useful sizes, including for engine repairs)
  • Allen wrenches: metric, English


  • Wooden plugs at each thru-hull
  • Bag of extra wood plugs
  • Foam plug (Forespar Staplug)
  • Shower pan liner
  • Rubber sheet, inner tube rubber
  • Tyvek home barrier paper
  • Dry suit neoprene
  • Dacron sailcloth (10 sq ft)
  • 2×4 – two 6 foot sections
  • Wood block: 12x12x1 inch
  • Wedges: 3 pair various sizes
  • Plywood patches (can use storage covers)
  • Sheet lead: 15×15 inch rolled and pre-drilled perimeter
  • Hose: various sizes to match boat systems, extra long

Spare shroud: 7×19 galvanized plow steel (5/16 inch 9000 lb. test for 35-40 footer); 10’ longer than mast height, spliced loop at one end;
10 wire rope clamps, thimble and shackle for other end OR 12 mm Dyneema (such as Samson Amsteel) also 10’ longer with eye splice in one end.
Galerider Drogue with 10 feet heavy chain and two shackles (see pix to right). Collision Mat: use storm jib or trysail

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