Re: Winter storage on Great Lakes
I've used both stands and a cradle on my boat and much prefer the jackstands.
Cradle thoughts: The cradle for my boat is supposedly "custom made", but I have to rely on the yard to set the boat on the cradle properly. Also, I need to store and/or transport the cradle somewhere between uses.
Jackstand thoughts: Winter storage at my local yard includes the use of their jackstands, so cost isn't an issue. When setting the boat, the yard rests the keel on a keel pad (2x8 or similar) and then adjusts the stands under the boat while it's still in the slings. I get a precise fit and can have whatever angle on the boat I want for drainage and ground slope. I make sure my stands are chained together so they can't slip. Some yards will also chain the stands to the ground for further protection, but I haven't seen many around here that do that.
Don't forget that indoor storage typically requires you to unstep the mast, which has extra cost/effort associated with it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since you can do a rig inspection at the same time, but it is something to be aware of when deciding where to store. I do my own winterizing when I store outdoors, which forces me to do a thorough systems/engine check and tune-up every year, another good thing.
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