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Old 13-08-2008, 10:00   #1
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Storage of a Sailboat

Would appreciate views... i have a glass 34ft sailboat that i need to 'store' for 4-5 years as i don't have the time / money to use it and will be travelling. I was thinking of taking it out of the water and dry docking it, but heard from some people this can warp the boat. Problem with leaving it in the water is over the winter months, it can get damaged / broken lines etc... (it has a teak deck).

What is the best course of action?

many thanks for any thoughts.
James.
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Old 13-08-2008, 10:03   #2
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Put it on the hard.

Properly winterize it.

Shrink wrap it.

Store cushions, sails and other items that can mold up somewhere else.

Should be just fine when you return, although she'll need a good waxing!
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Old 13-08-2008, 10:37   #3
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Don't forget to plug all the thru hulls or you'll have all sorts of critters in those holes.
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Old 13-08-2008, 10:41   #4
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And you'll need someone to inspect it from time to time, to make sure water isn't getting into it (even with the best of roofs and tarps) and critters aren't nesting in it. For long term storage, mothballing it (literally, camphor blocks or naphthalene blocks) are the way to prevent critters and rust. Just ventilate well before entry. And throw out the batteries now--they won't last five years in storage.

Frankly, with 4-5 years of storage? Unless there was something very very special about the boat, I'd make arrangements to leave it with a broker, sell it, and buy a "new" one five years down the line. No worries about fire, theft, water damage, critters, maintenance, insurance, storage fees...etc. Invest the proceeds, they'll grow.
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Old 13-08-2008, 10:46   #5
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AArrrggg!! I never heard the one about plugging thru hulls. Are you serious? My boat has been on the hard in La Paz since Feb.
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Old 13-08-2008, 10:56   #6
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Yes, I'm serious about plugging the thru hulls. You get wasps, birds, and some more unsavoury critters all looking for a nice home. Don't forget the exhaust too, swallows love to nest in there, also in the boom so if the stick's up plug the end of your boom. As for La Paz, you'll probably have a few colonies of tarantulas!!
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Old 13-08-2008, 11:13   #7
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After cruising for 7 years, I stored my 35' FG sailboat on the hard behind my house. First time was for 4 years, then 4 years, and now it's been there for 6 years.
The first time I put it there, it was to repaint, etc. Planned to keep it out for 6 months. 4 years later.....
When your not paying per day or week, and there is no rush, other interests pop up!
Be sure to have some ventilation, to prevent mildew.
If not leaving a battery for bilge pump, be sure to make sure water is kept out. Many a boat has sunk while on the hard.
Depending on the boat, value, etc, if you have to pay for the storage, it could get expensive.
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Old 13-08-2008, 11:47   #8
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Thanks. At least I have a warning and won't be too surprised. Just discusted. I left canned food aboard thinking I would have been back already. I've been worried about them leaking. If that happened, I suppose my house guest are multiplying quickly. I was suppose to be back in March, but got another overseas job that I wish I had passed on. I'm in Saudi. Blowing sand and all.
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:28   #9
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Canned food should be ok but I've had soda cans pop open from the heat or whatever. I got a case of Goombay Punch soft drinks once and stowed it in the bilge. At night we'd sometimes hear these funny snapping sounds but didn't find the cause till I went to get a can of pop. Half the cans had their tops popped. I think they were defective to begin with.

When we store our boat in the summer we leave about 10 packets of Sun Pac hanging up. This stuff will kill anything. Only for empty boats and make sure you air it well when you return. No mildew no wildlife! Super Slick Stuff Lubricant, Cleaner and Protectant
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:40   #10
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How about leasing it out?
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Canned food should be ok but I've had soda cans pop open from the heat or whatever. I got a case of Goombay Punch soft drinks once and stowed it in the bilge. At night we'd sometimes hear these funny snapping sounds but didn't find the cause till I went to get a can of pop. Half the cans had their tops popped...
That would be a very nasty surprise!
Bahamas Goombay Punch soda is made and canned in the Bahamas. It is a very sweet soda, that has the flavor of pineapple with a hint of lemon.
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:45   #12
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Excellent with a dark rum.
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:56   #13
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Once in a long while, canned food explodes. Takes a long time to swell up and build that kind of pressure, but out of sight, more than two years old...You may find a surprise. Soap and water will solve that, unless the critters and the mold get a good hold first.

James, fwiw properly blocked and supported and tied down for storms on the hard is less risky than sitting untended in the water for five years, collecting water, getting eaten by galvanic problems, waiting for a through-hull to burst and sink it while three feet of barnacles and grass attach to the hull. A boat in the water needs constant attention, way more than on the hard.
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Old 13-08-2008, 17:04   #14
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I used to store a previous boat on the hard for close to a year regularly. Personally I felt much better about this than having it in the water. My experince was that moisture or water was the worst problem.

As far as through hulls, I actually think it's useful to diconnect the lowest one and leave it open, so if water somehow gets in your boat it will drain. Maybe put some mesh across to prevent bird nests and other critters. I know some people use a small trickle charge battery and keep their bilge pump on set to automatic

Shrink wrapping is probably a good idea if you can get all the cushions, etc off the boat and make sure it's very dry before doing that.

I've used tarps with mixed results - mostly bad. They tend to get shredded in high winds. The one problem I have with completley sealing a boat is that mildew can be a big problem when there is no ventilation.

In the end, I ended up just covering the companionway hatch and installing a couple solar vents so the boat could breathe. My guess is however, these wouldn't make it 5 years.

The place I've seen get more fouled with nests, leaves, etc, than the through-hulls are the cockpit drains.

One fellow in our yard, had serious damage because the cockpit drains clogged, then the cockpit filled and flowed throught the companionway hatches and inside where the bilge pump soon gave out and then flooded the boat. (This is where opening a seacock might have saved him. It's also a good case for shrink wrap)

Another way to make sure the boat drains is to take out the prop shaft.
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Old 13-08-2008, 17:32   #15
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Last summer was a bit rainy in Florida. One of the boats in the yard where I store got its scuppers plugged and the water rose on deck to the tops of the bulwarks. It also then got in through some leaky port and flooded the boat. The engine was completely flooded (Corbin 39 which I think has fairly low engine mounts) and all the inside wood was shot. The boat was a write-off but all's not lost. The owner bought it back from the insurance company and is getting everything rebuilt. Of course he had to miss a winter in the Bahamas. It's wise to have a garboard strake plug or make sure the boat can drain as nautical 62 said.
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