Your sails are one of the most important components to a successful sailing season, so making sure that they are ready to go before your first outing is paramount. Start by spreading your sail out completely, either on grass on a dry day or at your sailmaker's shop (most will let you come in for free). First check the corners where the sails rub against anything such as spreaders, pulpits, or stanchions. Next check all of the edges for wear and damage
After the cover is off but before the boat is washed is a great time to clean and re-lube the deck winches and windlass, why clean up twice?
If you have to sand the bottom, tyvak suits are a lot more comfortable to wear while its still cool then when it starts to warm up.
If your rig was down for the winter now is good time to thoroughly go over it from masthead to heel. Look for bubbled paint, rust in stays, hairline cracks in any swagged ends, and the heal for corrosion. Check all the halyards for hardening, mildew in splices, chafe along length, these are all signs that they might need replacing. Lubricate all the sheaves, clean and grease the mast winches. While winch manufactures greases are very good, Practical Sailor tests indicated that commercially available greases were just as good at half the price.
Check condition of stored fuel before starting engines. Fuel should have been stabilized in fall, but even stabilized fuel breaks down sometimes. Damaged fuel will foul your fuel lines and filters, and could cause damage to the engine.
If you used regular glycol anti freeze to winterize your engine remember to pump it out before putting the boat into the water.
Before removing winter covers, make sure all drains are clear of leaves and debris, make sure seacocks are open, and all hose clamps have been retightened. Heavy spring rains can cause severe damage if cockpit or fish wells overflow into interior spaces.
Corrosion, bubbling paint, and aluminum oxide deposits around holes and fittings are all signs of damage to or issues with your mast that need to be corrected. Be sure to check for these signs prior to launch and throughout the season.
It is no secret that proper maintenance and inspection is paramount to a properly functioning boat, but did you know that it is recommended that every mast should be removed at least every three years for a through inspection of the rigging? If you do not bring your mast down every year, be sure to do so at regular intervals to ensure that the rigging is properly maintained.
Boats built in the early 80's may feature a gate valve. These should be replaced with proper seacock before you launch this spring to avoid issues caused by failing rubber on gate valves.
Before you launch, make to sure check all through hauls that are below or just above the waterline to make sure hoses are properly attached with clamps tight and in proper working order. This will prevent water from entering the hull.