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Old 09-01-2020, 12:14   #1
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Overwintering in Nova Scotia

We are cruising from Florida to Nova Scotia in the Summer. We are considering leaving the boat (47ft sailboat) in the Halifax area over winter so we can continue cruising the area in 2021. All advice is welcome on need for full boat cover for snow, better left in water or haul out, availability of help to winterize the boat, security etc.
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Old 09-01-2020, 14:55   #2
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

For that size boat, In the Halifax area you have three main choices:
Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS)
Armdale Yacht Club (AYC)
Dartmouth Yacht Club (DYC).

AYC and RNSYS use a marine railway and either a hydraulic trailer or cradles and skidder (tractor) to move boats on the hard. DYC has a 30t wheeled lift (travel-lift- a bit more flexible for visiting yachts). All three have in water or dry storage capacity. In terms of cost, RNSYS is the fancy place around here- swimming pool, restaurant, bar, country-club style atmosphere (but still very accessible - this is Nova Scotia after all, not NYC or Antibes!).

AYC is probably least expensive, but has least amount of capacity and space- especially for a bigger boat like that. It has a good restaurant tho, nice clubhouse, and is very well protected from weather. They are the only club to allow liveaboards in the winter too. Bubbler for one water storage.

DYC is the biggest club by membership and real estate. Excellent (mostly new) facilities, capable yard staff, good space. Itís 45 mins further in the harbour, at the bottom of the biggest industrial park in the region- great for doing maintenance and getting stuff done, but not as nice an ambiance as the other two. Pricing is in between AYC AND RNSYS- look them up online.

Out on the hard or in the water, most folks cover their boats for the winter. The freeze-thaw cycle here is quite brutal, and can mess with hatches, seals, fittings, drains, port lights, etc. With a steel boat, I leave her in the water (at DYC) and just cover the cockpit and overhead hatches, leaving the rest exposed, and have had no problems- but I definitely see the effects of weathering on some boats. Itís a long, tough winter some years. Since Iím here and look in on the boat every few days, I keep background heat on all winter (hatches covered with hand made hot-glued 2Ērigid styrofoam covers); keep sails bent on and ready; and itís only a 20 minute job to uncover her and get some sails in during the nice days in feb & March. Believe it or not- there are some amazing sailing days in those months. December too. Itís all about the clothing tho!

Iíd recommend either a full cover or a temporary wrap over at least the cockpit. Lots of contractors who can do a full or partial wrap.

There are also several other yards within an hour of Halifax, in St Margaretís bay (Shining Waters Marine), Mahone Bay (South Shore Marine, East River Marine, Gold River Marine) and Lunenburg (lunenburg Industrial Foundry (LIFE)). All have good facilities and staff.
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Old 09-01-2020, 16:54   #3
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Thank you NSBoatman. Very helpful. Can you advise further on the covering in terms of whether we need to bring the cover with us or if a local business can provide the service. If the latter, can you suggest local businesses so I can contact them?
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Old 09-01-2020, 18:41   #4
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

One other thing you didn't ask about--and you might well be aware of--is the customs paperwork needed to keep a foreign boat in Canada over the winter, including paying import duty.

Don't short cut it! The Canadian Customs staff is unfailingly polite and helpful, until you violate the rules.
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Old 09-01-2020, 19:11   #5
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

information is your friend here... no duty or taxes payable for up to 12 months for most visits, up to an additional 18 months if you're getting work done. and, it's pretty easy to nip over to Maine or St. Pierre (France) to reset things too. check out:



https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-v.../menu-eng.html
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Old 09-01-2020, 19:20   #6
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillierj View Post
Thank you NSBoatman. Very helpful. Can you advise further on the covering in terms of whether we need to bring the cover with us or if a local business can provide the service. If the latter, can you suggest local businesses so I can contact them?

if you have a fitted cover, then I'd recommend bringing it, or shipping it up here for the winter. otherwise sure, there are several contractors who can build a temporary heat-shrink cocoon for you.



I drive past 2 of the YC's several times a day, and will be at DYC on the weekend, so I'll snap a couple 'winter scene' pics for you to get an idea of the setups here. fairly typical winter scenes. we got our first real snowfall yesterday too (12"-14"), so it's all pretty and white. supposed to rain hard and melt on Saturday though, so can't say the pics will be very enticing then!


any other q's about visiting NS, feel free to contact me by pm at any time. Used to be a couple of Stevens 47's around here too, but they're gone now. great boat.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:04   #7
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Thank you for all this information. I am in contact with Canadian customs to clarify their position on tariffs and also the 12 month stay. So if we arrive Canada June and then continue into 2021 I believe we can ask for an extension so we do not have to leave by June 2021. Anyone with experience of this?
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:42   #8
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Seems to me that you can have the clock on your cruising permit stopped when you are on the hard. It can be based on the fact that you are getting work done. Canada Customs should be able to explain the process.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:36   #9
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

I agree with NSBOATMAN. That's good, and accurate info. At 47 feet, you'll be limited in your choices.

I would personally choose storage on the hard. There's just so much less to go wrong.

I've hauled boats at South shore Marine, and Gold river. Both places should be able to accomodate your boat, but they both only have winter storage on the hard.

I had good service at both yards.

We're presently in the water at RNSYS, and have been treated very well.


Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 10-01-2020, 13:33   #10
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

south of Liverpool you don't need to worry about ice very much, and you don't really need bubblers if you are in a sheltered place with no tidal stream, Halifax or anywhere south of it. You do need to be mindful of the wind. You can guarantee at least one storm per winter will reach winds of 70 knots and 90 knots is not unknown. Sometimes there is more than one powerful storm, and they last for days. If you're having a cover made , be aware of this when making covers and don't leave any canvas up. I lost an expensive cover the first week I had it on the boat. Two years ago, in Shelburne, every boat hauled up on the hard lost their covers and shrink wraps, two fell over and became total losses. I used to leave my boat in the water but its always a concern, if you are not near the boat ( i.e less than an hour away) don't do it.
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Old 10-01-2020, 14:35   #11
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

We're Yanks who own a home in Mahone Bay. We've used Gold River for storage for our 31-footer and were pleased. Shrink wrap is reasonable and highly recomended. You can get most yacht services locally. Ken Knickle is a great local mechanic.

Nice area, Nova Scotia, you'll like it. PM if you need local knowledge.

Jenn and Terry McAdams
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Old 10-01-2020, 15:09   #12
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

A little background on Peter Loveridge, might help you take his comments, about the Nova Scotia coast, in context...

https://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guid.../dp/0070388083

Thanks for helping the cruising community "discover" our beautiful coastline. Any chance of another book, to include PEI, and the Northumberland straight?

Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 10-01-2020, 15:11   #13
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

All good info but I'd second the shrink wrap idea and storage on the hard.

Make sure you've fixed all your leaks (if any) prior to leaving the boat over winter. Water in fiberglass and between caulking and between anything freezes and will make a crack or gap bigger. This is why shrink wrap is a good idea as well.
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Old 10-01-2020, 15:21   #14
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Re: Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Spended lots of time in DYC last summer, enjoyed it, was pondering leaving boat for winter there or gold river, ended up in Bridgewater, there is a little marina there, great folks and very helpful, the price for winter parking was so amazing, I could not go elsewhere.
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Old 11-01-2020, 08:22   #15
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Overwintering in Nova Scotia

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter loveridge View Post
south of Liverpool you don't need to worry about ice very much, and you don't really need bubblers if you are in a sheltered place with no tidal stream, Halifax or anywhere south of it. You do need to be mindful of the wind. You can guarantee at least one storm per winter will reach winds of 70 knots and 90 knots is not unknown. Sometimes there is more than one powerful storm, and they last for days. If you're having a cover made , be aware of this when making covers and don't leave any canvas up. I lost an expensive cover the first week I had it on the boat. Two years ago, in Shelburne, every boat hauled up on the hard lost their covers and shrink wraps, two fell over and became total losses. I used to leave my boat in the water but its always a concern, if you are not near the boat ( i.e less than an hour away) don't do it.


Hey peter! Great to see you're still on the forum here. I still thank you multiple times a year for your excellent and enjoyable cruising guide.

And excellent point on the wind. It is absolutely true; although all of the clubs here in Halifax have pretty good shelter. One or two covers do still get shredded a year. The thing is, you can usually tell which ones they will be well in advance!

Well built covers typically survive. And while toppled boats used to be fairly common; most yard staff around here are much better trained and have established rules to prevent this now. It used to be common to see 45 gal. Drums and any manner of other things used to support boats, as well as rough & muddy yards with covers tied to stands under the boat... but this is very rare now. At least in the major yards.

In some ways I miss the old, 'anything goes' yard scenes. The boats and characters were fantastic fun, and one found real gems occasionally. But there certainly was carnage... things are much more controlled and by and large- better; but certainly less accessible.
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