The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Download Cruising Sailboat Rig Checklist

After five in-depth inspection articles, we here’s the rig checklist, which is ready for download (below), to pull it all together.


We tried several options, but an Excel spreadsheet provides the most flexibility, allowing you to modify the list to fit your own needs. For example, columns can be easily added for stuff like notes and the date the check was last performed.

Of course, Excel is anything but inexpensive, but the good news is that you can also upload the checklist to Google Sheets, which is free. There are also other free alternatives.

We are also providing it as a PDF for those of you who just don’t want to mess around with spreadsheets—just print the PDF and use one of those cool high-tech graphite and cellulose-based mark-up devices.

Thank You

A big thank you to those members who filled in blanks in my experience. I have given credit and linked the list item to their comment.


We will update the list and parent articles with the additions and improvements that arise as you use it in the real world.

Please make suggestions for improvement’s or adding items on the parent article linked to that item.


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More Articles From Online Book: Sail Handling and Rigging Made Easy:

  1. Six Reasons To Leave The Cockpit Often
  2. Don’t Forget About The Sails
  3. Your Mainsail Is Your Friend
  4. Hoisting the Mainsail Made Easy—Simplicity in Action
  5. Reefs: How Many and How Deep
  6. Reefing Made Easy
  7. Reefing From The Cockpit 2.0—Thinking Things Through
  8. Reefing Questions and Answers
  9. A Dangerous Myth about Reefing
  10. Mainsail Handling Made Easy with Lazyjacks
  11. Topping Lift Tips and a Hack
  12. 12 Reasons The Cutter Is A Great Offshore Voyaging Rig
  13. Cutter Rig—Should You Buy or Convert?
  14. Cutter Rig—Optimizing and/or Converting
  15. Cruising Rigs—Sloop, Cutter, or Solent?
  16. Sailboat Deck Layouts
  17. The Case For Roller-Furling Headsails
  18. UV Protection For Roller Furling Sails
  19. In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing—Convenience and Reliability
  20. In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing —Performance, Cost and Safety
  21. The Case For Hank On Headsails
  22. Making Life Easier—Roller Reefing/Furling
  23. Making Life Easier—Storm Jib
  24. Gennaker Furlers Come Of Age
  25. Swept-Back Spreaders—We Just Don’t Get It!
  26. Q&A: Staysail Stay: Roller Furling And Fixed Vs Hanks And Removable
  27. Rigid Vangs
  28. Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1
  29. Rigging a Proper Preventer—Part 2
  30. Amidships “Preventers”—A Bad Idea That Can Kill
  31. Keeping The Boom Under Control—Boom Brakes
  32. Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks
  33. Downwind Sailing—Poling Out The Jib
  34. Setting and Striking a Spinnaker Made Easy and Safe
  35. Ten Tips To Fix Weather Helm
  36. Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 1
  37. Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 2
  38. Two Dangerous Rigging Mistakes
  39. Rig Tuning, Part 1—Preparation
  40. Rig Tuning, Part 2—Understanding Rake and Bend
  41. Rig Tuning, Part 3—6 Steps to a Great Tune
  42. Rig Tuning, Part 4—Mast Blocking, Stay Tension, and Spreaders
  43. Rig Tuning, Part 5—Sailing Tune
  44. 12 Great Rigging Hacks
  45. 9 Tips To Make Unstepping a Sailboat Mast Easier
  46. Cruising Sailboat Spar Inspection
  47. Cruising Sailboat Standing Rigging Inspection
  48. Cruising Sailboat Running Rigging Inspection
  49. Cruising Sailboat Rig Wiring and Lighting Inspection
  50. Cruising Sailboat Roller Furler and Track Inspection
  51. Download Cruising Sailboat Rig Checklist
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Rob Gill

Thanks John,

Just uploaded the workbook into Mac Numbers without issue where it will become a checklist in our maintenance log.

This is way more comprehensive than my own general worksheet, so I look forward to adding other worksheets in due course. Really well done.

One thing…in the Leisurefurl section of the worksheet you recommend – “Flush and wash mandrel and coat with MacLube Sailcoat or PTEF lubricant…”.

I can’t see why anyone would coat the mandrel with MacLube. I think you may have misread my comment about regular flushing of the mandrel with fresh water, and coating the luff tape with MacLube. The two tasks should have been in two sentences in my comment, for more clarity.

Mitchell Allen

Thank you John and Phyllis,

This is an incredible resource! This is my first ever comment, I want to say what a help so many of your articles have been. I am preparing our “New to us” boat, Sonata, to head out the Golden Gate to blue water. Hopefully later this year.

This check list is so comprehensive and covers so much more
than I would have thought to look for.

Thank you,
Mitchell Allen
sv Sonata
San Francisco Bay