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Old 07-10-2012, 12:23   #1
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Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

I have stored my boat through out the winter in its slip. Recently my marina has offered winter storage on the hard at no extra charge. I'm wondering what the pro and con's are and how would the winterizing change??
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:31   #2
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

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I have stored my boat through out the winter in its slip. Recently my marina has offered winter storage on the hard at no extra charge. I'm wondering what the pro and con's are and how would the winterizing change??
Pros- Can't think of any. Freezing water isn't a concern in your neck of the woods, so I'm not sure there is a compelling reason to haul for the winter.

Cons- Can your anti fouling paint withstand prolonged periods out of the water? Most hard paints cannot.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:44   #3
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

We're just in the process of pulling our boat for the winter. In-water wintering is not an option here, so all boats sit out the long, cold winter on the hard.

Bottom paint deterioration is one concern being on the hard. Others could include stability of cradle/stands, and winterizing of the plumbing and engine. You may not have to worry about the engine over there on the balmy west coast (not sure), but I would assume you'd need to winterize the plumbing systems.

I would love not to have to pull our boat every year. It's a lot of work...
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Old 07-10-2012, 13:02   #4
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

As you are well aware, it does freeze and can get downright nippy for a week or so at a time in the Canadian Banana Belt. You'll have to winterize the boat to protect against freezing weather. Another problem is water getting below from unforeseen sources. In the water, a bilge pump will usually take care of it but won't on land if you disconnect the batteries and/or have the water freeze up in the pump outlet. You'll want to inspect the boat regularly.

Personally, I'd do it just so I could work on it on land. So many things that are difficult to do or impossible with the boat in the water. If the yard will do it for no charge, I'd be out in a flash. Of course, that means no winter sailing which can be a joy as you actually get something called wind over the winter.
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Old 07-10-2012, 15:56   #5
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

I don't do winter so I can't help you there, but boat systems like engines, AC units, gensets really prefer to be run at least periodically. This is a bit more challenging to do on the hard, but you can rig intake water to do it. Had a friend store his systems intensive boat on the hard a few years ago, with no provision for running the systems, and it was not happy after it was splashed. Took about a week to get things happy and humming along again.
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Old 07-10-2012, 16:14   #6
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

It won't sink on the hard.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:46   #7
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

Thank you for the responses. It will give me something to think about.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:58   #8
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

BTW

In Sweden, where my boat comes from, nearly all boats are storwed on dry for the winter. A 10 y.o. boat will then look new and the engine will be in very good condition too (we winterize them).

In the Med a 10 y.o. boat kept in the marina all year round will be already half gone.

So, if I had my way, I would dry my boat when not in use.

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Old 08-10-2012, 13:07   #9
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

I have winter/water stored my boat most winters when we where here in the northeast. This year it will be hauled. There is no one to watch it for us anymore, and we will be in Florida for the winter. I will enjoy not having to worry about it, and make the 1 1/2 hr trip in the dead of winter to check on it, after a storm. Of course it costs twice as much.
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Old 08-10-2012, 14:16   #10
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

It's really not a big deal having your boat on the hard. I can't comment on the desire to run A/C units or gensets periodically, but I wouldn't worry about trying to run the engine. All boats sit on the hard for six months up here, and I've never heard of a problem. Problems do occur when engines and plumbing have not been properly winterized. Things freeze hard and long up here. I've seen cracked engine blocks, split hoses, and destroyed pumps. All this is easily avoided with proper winterizing.

Couple of things I wanted to add is to look after your batteries, and make sure your diesel tanks are full. Full tanks means little or no room for condensation. And there are two ways to go with batteries. Either keep them on a trickle-charge (best option) so they stay topped up, or fully charge and then disconnect. If you can take them home, even better, but I've had no problem with leaving my wet-cells as long as they are completely disconnected from the system. They will self-discharge, but if you get back to as early as possible, they should be fine.
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Old 08-10-2012, 14:28   #11
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

Roverhi covered it nicely. I live in a somewhat similar climate (mid-Chesapeake Bay, some freezing and snow, but the water generally only gets hard for a few weeks and then only 1-inch thick. I generally stay in all year and paint ever 2 years mid-summer when it dries fast.

a. Will they let me haul for only a month or 2? If so, I might have a few things to do without rushing. But many projects--anything involving paint or glue or even requiring plastic to bend--don't really go well in the winter. Rather that do a job badly in the winter, perhaps I am better not to try.

b. Winterizing in the water and out are different. In the water, perhaps nothing can freeze, out it certainly can.

c. I've had damage from stands but never from ice.

I think it boils down to whether you get cabin fever and the urge to sail in the winter. In fact, one of life's finest joys can be turning on the heater and spend a quiet night alone at the marina in January, light snow falling. It can rank up there with the finest fall sail (which BTW, was yesterday).
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Old 08-10-2012, 15:19   #12
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

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...I can't comment on the desire to run A/C units or gensets periodically, but I wouldn't worry about trying to run the engine. All boats sit on the hard for six months up here, and I've never heard of a problem. Problems do occur when engines and plumbing have not been properly winterized. Things freeze hard and long up here. I've seen cracked engine blocks, split hoses, and destroyed pumps. All this is easily avoided with proper winterizing....
I suspect if a boat is properly winterized, or well prepared for longer term storage, then the issues with running equipment will be less. In the case I mentioned above, this was a boat here in the tropics and it was essentially just hauled, blocked, and left longer than originally planned.
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Old 08-10-2012, 15:32   #13
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

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I suspect if a boat is properly winterized, or well prepared for longer term storage, then the issues with running equipment will be less. In the case I mentioned above, this was a boat here in the tropics and it was essentially just hauled, blocked, and left longer than originally planned.
Absolutely agree belizesailor. The boat must be properly prepared for long-term storage. If not, then I'm sure all manner of bad things can happen.
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Old 08-10-2012, 15:46   #14
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Re: Pro's and Con's of storage on the hard

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Roverhi covered it nicely. I live in a somewhat similar climate (mid-Chesapeake Bay, some freezing and snow, but the water generally only gets hard for a few weeks and then only 1-inch thick. I generally stay in all year and paint ever 2 years mid-summer when it dries fast.

a. Will they let me haul for only a month or 2? If so, I might have a few things to do without rushing. But many projects--anything involving paint or glue or even requiring plastic to bend--don't really go well in the winter. Rather that do a job badly in the winter, perhaps I am better not to try.

b. Winterizing in the water and out are different. In the water, perhaps nothing can freeze, out it certainly can.

c. I've had damage from stands but never from ice.

I think it boils down to whether you get cabin fever and the urge to sail in the winter. In fact, one of life's finest joys can be turning on the heater and spend a quiet night alone at the marina in January, light snow falling. It can rank up there with the finest fall sail (which BTW, was yesterday).
I left our boat in the slip one winter in Deale and a different experience. I could walk across the ice to our boat in the slip. If you are going to leave your boat in the water over the winter:
a. make sure you get antifreeze down into your sea-cocks.
b. have a plan to keep your batteries charged (bilge pumps). They will self dicsharge quicker in the winter
c. if you do not have a floating dock, make sure that you can keep you boat in the centre of the slip during all of the tidal range. The boat will move around in the slip and will probably keep an inch or two of water all around it. If you are not centred you risk having the ice push you against a piling and you could get some rub damage.
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Old 08-10-2012, 16:50   #15
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I've kept my boat in the water about 1/3 of the 26 years of ownership here in the NY metro area. The water is brackish where I am and a healthy tide and current helps keep the freeze down to very minimal. That said, if I had a fresh awlgrip job on the topsides, I'd probably be hauling this year.

Every other year for bottom paint has worked well for me (Petitt Trinidad always until the day I can't buy it anymore!). The added cost and time for hauling & launching, bottom paint and outfitting each year is hard to take.

As for not being able to "sink on the hard", the worse disaster I had was when a yard in MA removed my cover, didn't replace it, pine needles filled the scuppers and lots of rain water flooded below and was above the teak & holly cabin sole when discovered. Heartbreaking! I later read in the Boat US newsletter just how common "sinking" on the hard is! Live and learn!

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