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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 12-10-2010
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Haulout window missed?

So, I'd planned to haul out this weekend, but the cold snap has me considering if I might have missed the window and should wait for a warm spell or just leave her in the slip and plan for a short haul in the spring. It looks like Saturday will be a decent day to move the boat but deep cold is supposed to move in again early next week. I really feel more comfortable if the boat has a couple of weeks to dry out before the freezing temps hit.

Am I just paranoid? Should I move the boat this weekend or not?
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Old 12-10-2010
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For what it is worth, I am one of those who thinks boats should stay in the water...

If you are going to pull for the season...this weekend would be fine, maybe some rain, but cold will be back and maybe weather on top of it.

Were it me, I would opt for a spring short haul - power wash and check zincs and put her back in the water. We often have great days to sail between Dec and Apr, or at least motor out to the birthday cake and take it all in.

All of life is a risk...and sailing even more so...

YMMV
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Old 12-10-2010
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I leave mine in all winter. Even last winter with all the snow. Keeping the boat in the water will keep it warmer than taking it out since the water here is warmer than the air. As mentioned above there are some great days to sail over the winter months.
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Old 12-10-2010
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Haul-outs are for maintenance, not for storage. Especially for plastic boats. Last winter was brutal for us, but we put a bubbler in the water at our dock, so the water stayed ice-free the whole winter.

I put drop-lights with 100 watt lightbulbs on my seacocks/thru-hulls to prevent any water inside of them from freezing and causing bursting. I didn't even run a space heater (which I consider a little dangerous).

All was well, come Spring.
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Old 12-11-2010
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I leave my boat in the water all winter and have done so for the past 5 winters without problem. I have a bubble at the dock that is only turned on when it gets really cold.

Hey bubbleheadMD: How do you attach those drop lights to the thruhull and are your thruhulls made of maleron? Interesting concept...

Last edited by Gladrags1; 12-11-2010 at 05:59 AM. Reason: fix typo
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Old 12-11-2010
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Thanks. I know I have the option to leave the boat in the slip, but I want to be on an every other year schedule and stayed in the slip last year. I was also 80+ miles further south last year where there isn't as much snow and freezing water in the slip was so rare we never saw it in our 5+ years down there.

If I leave the boat in the slip, I'll be committing to check it at least weekly and having to make a special trip if we get snow which I may not be able to do. I guess I'd also have to buy a bubbler since hard water is a reality at HHS. Last winter we were trapped in our house for 3 days before a heavy duty snow thrower made it down the 1.5 miles of dirt road to our house. By the time I'd shoveled myself out of that, the prospect of shoveling off the boat was not very appealing.

I'm really looking for opinions on the risk of damage hauling when the weather has already turned cold. I'm concerned about the possibility of water in the rudder freezing and delaminating the rudder.

At any rate, the window forecast for today is not materializing so, I'll see what happens next weekend. If I can get a week of above freezing temps, I'll be copacetic.
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 12-11-2010 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 12-11-2010
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I too think a boat should stay in the water as much a possible, pull for maintenance not storage. That said, I was just pulled yesterday for the winter. I have always left the boat in the water but this year I want to tackle some big projects. Removing the engine for one, but more so to be able to drop the rudder and open it up as I am pretty sure there is water in it.

I guess I don't understand what your concern is? The only thing I read is that you are concerned water in the rudder may freeze and cause some delam? Wouldn't pulling it, dropping the ruder and doing a repair be in order? Just say'in

The good thing I would think with regards to keeping a boat in the water at any marina, especially HH, is there should be staff around and keep an eye on the boats?

What is the theory on pulling boats every other year anyway? DO they really "dry out"?
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Old 12-11-2010
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We stay in the water and short hall . If you pull out with the mast still up, there is more strain on the rigging/ boat with it hauled on blocks rather than rolling gently in the slip. I agree if there are major projects otherwise leave her in, bubbler if necessary....

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Old 12-11-2010
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I would think if the water around the thruhull is liquid the water in the valve will be liquid as well. Also, hanging lights in the boat to keep things from freezing works great until the power goes out or a circuit breaker trips. I had two boats sink in my marina last year because of this. The strainer bowls broke when there was no longer any heat and the bilge pumps drained the batteries before they sank.

Also, if you are not able to get to the boat after a heavy snow I think you will have more issues with it on jackstands and the additional weight.

If you are not going to do any major projects which require you to be hauled, then do a short haul in the spring. Just my 2 cents.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 12-11-2010
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Never really heard anyone argue that its "better" to keep a boat in the water year round especially when freezing is a reality. All the arguments, I've heard to this point for water storage are financial.

For me, I live far enough away that getting over to check the boat over the winter would be a once a week thing at best which would bother me in the temps we get. Also, if we have serious snowfall, I could be stuck at home for 2-3 days while I worried about the load on the boat. I try to avoid galvanic corrosion so I don't leave the boat plugged in and many airplanes have been burned up from light bulbs left on under the bonnet as a heat source, so its not something I'd be comfortable with.

Lastly, I do believe plastic boats do "dry out" and are less likely to develop blisters if hauled. At any rate, I get piece of mind from being able to see the bottom and do my winter projects on my own time without being rushed during a short haul in the spring.

The weather did hold up today so we moved up to North, winterized the AC and the engine and will be stacked ashore sometime next week.

Over the winter I have teak to work on, stuffing box, transmission fluid change, some gelcoat work, then compounding, polishing and waxing along with some work on the through hulls.
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