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Old 15-02-2015, 10:19   #1
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What condition after the thaw?

I have been boat shopping, one is in RI, another in NJ. They are on the hard and shrink wrapped but not indoors. I am concerned with how they will weather the below freezing temps (RI hasn't been about freezing for weeks) and what I might need to add to my list of things to look for whenever I can get up there. The only experience I have is with one that was stored indoors with heat. This has got to be hard on them. I will have the appropriate surveys before writting the check but any guidiance would be greatly appreciated. As always, thanks.
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:27   #2
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

While boats stored in heated buildings certainly fare better over the years, there's no shortage of boats stored outdoors in cold climates that aren't seriously affected.

If the boat is well sealed (shrinkwrapped, etc) spring cleaning won't be a big deal. If not, you'll just have a bit more cosmetic work to do. As long as the boat was properly winterized, I wouldn't be concerned.

Many prefer northern climate boats because they are only sailed about half the time and aren't subjected to harsh sub tropical climates year around.
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:36   #3
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

In general it's not a problem. Issues with outdoor storage in freezing conditions would be around proper winterization of engine and plumbing. Then consider water intrusion during winter. Even the best covers can let in water, which will find its way onto the decks and into the bilge. Finally, if there is any water intrusion into cored decks or rudders then the freeze-thaw cycle can cause additional damage.

All these things should be considered when looking at boats stored in freezing climates. But there are 10s of thousands stored outside each winter. Most of them will not suffer any special damage, and as Julie says, they will tend to be more lightly used since then only see water 1/2 the year (or less).


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Old 15-02-2015, 10:38   #4
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

Depends on the owner I suppose. Many boats in the northeast seem to get winterized every year as a matter of course... with anti freeze in the water tanks etc. I would assume most owners over there do that, but be sure to ask what they do before going to look! Water pumps and head hoses etc might be at risk I suppose as well as waste tanks. Any water in fiberglass layup could be a problem from freezing and expanding, keel and rudder should be looked at closely. I have seen keel and skeg issues from this even over here int eh PNW where it's milder.
Hopefully they leave the cockpit drains open even though on the hard as a few feet of snow could collapse the shrink wrap I suppose and the melt could be a lot.
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:51   #5
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

Take a look at the shrink wrap itself. We looked at a boat that had been shrink wrapped either improperly or the material had somehow stretched because the FG was lightly "sanded" in many places the wrap touched it as the winter storms blew. Don't know how common this is, just a heads up.
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Old 15-02-2015, 11:19   #6
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

I agree with what Mike Oreilly has stated. As long as the owner understands what winter can do to any boat sitting exposed, and has prepared it for the local worst case of snow, ice temperature, it should be just fine. Our 38 year old ship is currently sitting on the hard with an outside temperature of negative 24 degrees centigrade. The wind chill is closer to negative 36 however that only makes me feel colder.
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Old 15-02-2015, 11:44   #7
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

I've read somewhere that more problems develop in milder, borderline areas such as Virginia, Carolinas, etc as people there tend to be more nonchalant toward winterizing (including often not covering them at all) but they still get decent cold spells for which many boats there are not ready. I'd take a properly winterized boat from ME or MI anytime before a so-so winterized mid-Atlantic one.
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Old 15-02-2015, 13:58   #8
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

I would check the bilges and see how much water/ice is in them, if they are quite full, there is a possibility of damage there or in any of the fresh water tanks. Most of us winter types put antifreeze in the bilges, fresh water tanks and sea strainers. Check any jabsco pumps and make sure the backs have been either removed or loosened to allow the water to run out. Best approach on the jabscos is to remove the back and the impeller to allow drainage. Any kind of water filtration that could possibly hold water is in danger of being compromised over the winter.
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Old 16-02-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

I have been wintering over in CT (on the hard) with Catalina and now Bristol for the last 8 yrs. Don't shrink wrap, but do cover with tarp supported by wooden structure with all ends taped with indoor carpet. Requires periodic tightening but no other issues. You can inspect boats during the winter, brokers typically sit in their cars w/ heater going, but when sounding decks, etc. be aware that frozen water sounds solid, so would wait to re-sound (ie hammering w/ rubber mallet) a few wks after the thaw..as noted earlier, appropriate winterization of systems is key..good luck in your hunt, Dave
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Old 17-02-2015, 17:19   #10
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

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Old 17-02-2015, 18:10   #11
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

If shrink wrap is allowed to tightly adhere to the topsides without ventilation, then blisters could form. I've seen one boat literally covered with blisters just inside the shrink wrap edge. The proper procedure is to insert foam blocks between the wrap and the topsides to ensure ventilation, but sometimes the boatyard crews neglect it.

Also, I'd be weary of any boats stored with the mast up. Leads to potential problems with the rigging and possibly the hull.

The other comments about checking for proper winterization were also right on.
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Old 17-02-2015, 18:30   #12
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

If a boat can not handle some snow, you should pass on it.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:33   #13
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

Thanks. Electronics left on board and gel/fiberglass conditions I think are my main concern. I'm in Tennessee and when a boat comes out of the water first thing is to open up any blisters so they can dry out before we get any freeze.

I would just change directions in search to the south but both of these boats I would like to see are in perfect location to do this season's cruising.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:55   #14
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

My boats on the hard. It's -25 here right now. I put anti freeze in the head, fresh water system and engine cooling system, disconnected the batteries and put a tarp over my wheel and main hatch. Sails are in my forward cabin. No shrink wrap.

In April I expect to put her in the water, charge my batteries, bend on my sails, turn the key and go boating. The boats 36 years old and in pretty good condition. My last boat was 41 years old and got the same treatment. Snow and ice really shouldn't be that hard on a well built, well maintained boat.

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Old 18-02-2015, 12:25   #15
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Re: What condition after the thaw?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsearite View Post
Thanks. Electronics left on board and gel/fiberglass conditions I think are my main concern. I'm in Tennessee and when a boat comes out of the water first thing is to open up any blisters so they can dry out before we get any freeze.

I would just change directions in search to the south but both of these boats I would like to see are in perfect location to do this season's cruising.
Going "South" is the wrong thing to do. In the South boats are in the water all year and exposed to higher levels of sun and higher salinity water. You are better looking "North" where boats have lived in lower sun, lower salinity, and been stored on land and not used 1/2 the year.
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