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Old 30-11-2015, 14:36   #1
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To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

This is my first year owning my Catalina 25 (swing keel version) and I'm wondering whether I need to pull my boat for the winter, and if so, when.

From what I've read, conventional wisdom is to pull swing keels yearly to inspect the keel cable (mine was last inspected in February prior to launch). Any additional info on keeping swing keels in the water for an extended time?

What else should I consider? Not sure when water freezes in my part of the Chesapeake (Solomons). But if I'm going to winterize anyways, is this really worth worrying about?
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Old 30-11-2015, 15:12   #2
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

The best information is always local. But...

I'm in Deale. We seldom get enough ice to do any damage. I have not hauled in 20 years. In Solomons you should be pretty safe.

You still need to winterize water systems. That said, there is no reason you can't take her out on a nice light wind 50F January day and have the river to yourself! A big advantage of out board powered boats. I have outboards, will winterize the water system in a few weeks, but will sail straight through.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:50   #3
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
The best information is always local. But...

I'm in Deale. We seldom get enough ice to do any damage. I have not hauled in 20 years. In Solomons you should be pretty safe.

You still need to winterize water systems. That said, there is no reason you can't take her out on a nice light wind 50F January day and have the river to yourself! A big advantage of out board powered boats. I have outboards, will winterize the water system in a few weeks, but will sail straight through.
I like the idea of going out on warmer days if possible, but don't you also need to remove and winterize the outboard for winter storage? What's your process for getting that back to the boat for use on a day you want to sail?
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:00   #4
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

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I like the idea of going out on warmer days if possible, but don't you also need to remove and winterize the outboard for winter storage? What's your process for getting that back to the boat for use on a day you want to sail?
I haven't winterized an outboard in 30 years. The water drains, and if you run the engine every month or so, there is nothing to do on the fuel side (fuel ages far more slowly in the cold).

Make sure the cockpit drains will not freeze.

My process is to take bottled water and to untie the dock lines. Yes, it is that simple. I flush the head with weak AF. Ski goggles help (not for spray, just for cold wind).

Do not go out if there is floating ice. You can damage a prop. Also, if it is sub-freezing (and there are plenty of warm days) icing on line and the deck is a problem.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/20...r-sailing.html
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:22   #5
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

I'm in Cambridge, MD and keep my Pearson 30 in all year round. The ice was somewhat thick in late January. However, by keeping it in I was able to participate in the frostbite runs on 01JAN. It is worth having to bust off the ice for a couple weeks.

ENJOY!!
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:10   #6
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

Boat comes out this week back in the 1st week of April. The ice can get pretty bad up here in the fresh water part of the bay (Havre de Grace).
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:11   #7
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

In St Michaels, I keep my 46 ketch in water most winters, but last winter had trouble closing two thru-hull valves and torquing on one to finally get it closed resulted in a little weeping up around outside of fitting. So I'm in process of hauling this winter and changing them now/ new bottom paint in early Spring. In past years I use it nearly all Winter. Center cockpit and full enclosure allows very comfortable temps if Sunny day above 35 outside. I installed a 16,000 BTU diesel heater abt 6 yrs ago and with the V-birth closed/ sealed (we sleep in aft cabin) so we can anchor out and be comfortable in temps 30ish and above. (V-birth area is abt 1/3 of heat loss). Yes it's a bit chilly getting out of a warm bed in morning, but once (propane) burner on for coffee (8,000 BTU) the main cabin is quickly 70+ degrees. After getting fully dressed w/ layers... long-johns, flannel shirt, sweat shirt... and cooking a breakfast with two burners (8,000 + 5,000 BTU)... it's quickly so warm down below, we open companion slide and excess heat rises and we often eat topside enjoying the full view... sometimes a lite fresh snow! Same on sunny days for lunch... it's 60-65 degrees w/o help from diesel heater/ stove use. At the dock, with diesel heater and maybe some electric heater assist it's perfect for doing all those postponed inside projects. Bed has electric blanket so boat heat can go way down at night.

As grip of winter tightens, we do a phased Wintetization... A/C-heat pumps when water temp drops below 45 degrees and don't produce much heat. Deck wash down pump/ hose/ deck fitting soon afterward. Generator and main engine as night forecast approach mid-30s. Finally heads, sinks, holding tanks, fresh water tanks drained/ water lines blown. All thru-hulls closed. Antifreeze in bilge. So boat use/ project work really restricted between later Dec-mid-Feb. Then we reverse the process. In our marina dock water doesn't usually get turned on until abt April 1 so if we go out for more than a day sail we have to bring gallon jugs of water for cooking/ cleaning/ washing up. By the time good wx really comes we are totally ready and already racked up a lot of pre-season sailing/ 'cruising'.


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Old 01-12-2015, 10:42   #8
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

If you don't get ice, I agree you can leave it in the water. I would not worry about your keel and it can be inspected each time you come out for paint. You will need to winterize or lightly heat it during the winter. Boats in the South to West Coast are in the water all of their lives and hauling and storing is not as trivial as it is on the Great Lakes and upper East Coast.
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Old 01-12-2015, 20:27   #9
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

It depends on how often you might use the boat in the winter. If it will not be used often, and you have a trailer, then you can keep your boat on its trailer, next to your house over the winter. Run a small electric heater inside, and wrap the boat in a large tarp. The mast down makes an excellent ridge pole.

By storing the boat over the winter this way, you avoid stress on the rigging, the gelcoat is protected, and water absorption by the hull that could lead to osmotic blisters is reduced. Also, it is easy to apply fresh bottom paint in the Spring, if needed.

That is what I do with my Catalina 25, here in the Pacific N.W.
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Old 02-12-2015, 00:08   #10
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Re: To Pull the Boat for Winter? If So, When?

Also in the Chesapeake, I keep the boat in the water year round. Last year it froze solid which put a strain on the cleats. But it also cleaned the bottom growth better than any power washer!
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