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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

We are new to sailing having purchased an O'Day 28 this spring. The previous owner installed a boomkicker which seems to function well.

In getting the boat ready for outside winter storage (Michigan) is the boomkicker sufficient by itself to keep the boom up or do I need to install a topping lift for additional support or add some other sort of support at the end of the boom?

At this point our plan is to leave the boat uncovered but may opt for shrink wrap or a winter cover if we find that's a better way to go.

Chris
 

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I would take the boom off completely over the winter. Are you going to shrink wrap the boat? Put a cover on? you don't want snow and moisture getting into crevices and freezing.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I would take the boom off completely over the winter. Are you going to shrink wrap the boat? Put a cover on? you don't want snow and moisture getting into crevices and freezing.
Depends on the boat. Removing the boom on my boat requires a crane. Even in quite cold weathers I haven't had any ice inside the boom - just surface crust.

The benefit of shrink wrap or a cover is keeping snow, ice, and rain off the boat. The downside is the build-up of mold and mildew. Everyone has to make their own choices. If you are living aboard or spend a lot of time on the boat there is merit to a cover.

After many winters living aboard what works best for me is a dodger extension (sort of a removable mini enclosure)



If I have a lot of groceries or other material to move on or off the boat it folds back in just a minute. Otherwise it keeps the cockpit clear of snow and leaves. The cockpit stays pretty warm during the day from the sun and warmth wafting up from inside the boat.

But I digress.

I would not take the boom off unless I was going to pull the mast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These are helpful answers. Thanks to both of you.

The boat will be stored in Muskegon, Michigan on the east shore of Lake Michigan. Our winters can be extreme (last year we had more than 12 feet of snow -- being on the leeward side of the lake insures a great deal of lake effect snow and sustained strong winds are common).

The previous owners, who kept the boat in the Chicago area, were said to have shrink wrapped the boat each year (mast down) and it's in very good shape for a 28 year old O'Day. We would like to maintain it in good condition but have noticed that most of the boats in our marina are stored uncovered. Shrink wrapping is expensive (~$650) and a winter cover is more than $1,600 which seems a lot to put into a $13,000 boat. Obviously the winter cover is more cost effective over time but at a greater initial outlay.

We are learning that sailing is always an opportunity to spend more money. It is satisfying to keep the local economy humming.
 

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If you are going to cover the boat (recommended) and use the boom to support the tarp or cover, I wouldn't rely on the boomkicker. I built a support out of 2X4s to support my boom when I cover my boat and I have a standard topping lift.
 

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I agree with recent posters.
I live in Port Dover.
Canadian winters on the North Shore of Lake Erie are not as rough as Michigan...

Boom off and inside the boat, or in the rafters at home.
Mast down and stored on the boat, on cradles, down the centerline.
Buy a large, heavy duty tarp. (the kind used for hay covers on farms work great)
Drape tarp over boom, and UNDER lifelines. (take stanchions off if possible, or cut tarp to fit.
Hang 4L water jugs around the boat on the tarp to keep it taut.

Light a fire, drink a whiskey, and wait for spring. YouTube has a lot of really good sailing videos to get you through.
 

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I agree with recent posters.
I live in Port Dover.
Canadian winters on the North Shore of Lake Erie are not as rough as Michigan...

Boom off and inside the boat, or in the rafters at home.
Mast down and stored on the boat, on cradles, down the centerline.
Buy a large, heavy duty tarp. (the kind used for hay covers on farms work great)
Drape tarp over boom, and UNDER lifelines. (take stanchions off if possible, or cut tarp to fit.
Hang 4L water jugs around the boat on the tarp to keep it taut.

Light a fire, drink a whiskey, and wait for spring. YouTube has a lot of really good sailing videos to get you through.
What?? If he takes the boom off as you recommend and stores it below why would he put a tarp over the boom? What does that accomplish?
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Why do you need a crane to remove your boom? Topping lift and a halyard should do it.
True enough, but that is a crane. I certainly don't want to do that alone, and getting it below would be a nightmare.

It gets darn cold here. It just doesn't stay cold very long.

It got really darn cold in Sweden. I don't take the boom off there either.
 

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It gets darn cold here. It just doesn't stay cold very long.
"Darn cold"? That's cute :)

I just looked up Annapolis on weather.com and it says the record, RECORD, low temperature is -8ºF. In a Minnesota winter it's not uncommon for that to be the high temperature for the day. Last winter Minneapolis (which is in the warmer part of the state) had 53 days below zero.

And the average low temperature for January is 29ºF? Piffle. That's what I call spring!

I don't know enough to know whether the boom should come off or not, I'm just suggesting that the original poster in Michigan might have a different idea of what "cold" means than middle east coasters.
 

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You missed the part about Sweden.
I don't know where you were in Sweden, but I bet it wasn't as cold as the midwest :) I know people in Tromsø Norway, which is north of Sweden and well past the Arctic Circle, and they say their winters are mild compared to ours (even though they don't see the sun for a couple months).

I have often wondered why my ancestors left Norway and settled here, where it's even more miserably cold, and without the benefit of beautiful fjords. Huh.

Anyway.

I wonder if bitter cold is better for storing boats than a mild coastal climate? Here in flyover land we probably don't get as many freeze-thaw cycles as the coasts, because most of the winter we stay in the freeze part of that cycle. And the moisture that comes down from December through March is all going to be snow, which is dry, so no danger of it leaking in anyplace. Just a thought, I'm new to this whole thing.
 

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Hey,

As mentioned, best is mast down. If you can't do that then next best is boom off. You should be able to do that without too much problem. If you can't take the boom off then at least use the main halyard to hold the boom up.

Barry
 

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We are in Northern Lower Michigan, Traverse city. We shrink wrap our boat every winter. It is an expense, aside from it allowing me to work in the boat from time to time over the winter. More importantly to me it keeps the 15 feet of snow we experienced this last winter from accumulating on the boat. I hate to think of how much weight, feet and feet of snow would add. As well as the excellent chance of freezing up the cockpit scuppers and flooding the boat.
Tarpping can work also, but this spring there were quite a few tarp jobs that collapsed under the load. I think the key there is a rather severe pitch to keep the snow off.

Cheers and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sn0wman,

Is the shrink wrap slick enough that snow doesn't adhere to the surface? Although new to sailing I have heard enough stories about tarps (and some older winter covers) that collapsed under the weight of snow to be concerned. The O'Day has small scuppers and that is a concern, too.

Chris
 

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I always tell people, buying the boat is the cheapest part of the experience. Operating expense is the real deal.

If you like the boat, and want to keep it, I'd step the mast and cover the boat. On a boat that is new to you, you'll get a chance to inspect all the stuff that you don't get a chance to see up close on the mast, and some of that stuff will keep it from falling on your head some day. On past boats we've been successful with everything from shrink wrap, plastic tarps, and canvas. You need a good frame if it's going to snow with a big pitch on it so the snow blows off. I've built frames out of wood, and even electrical conduit.

I would not leave a boat uncovered in my neighborhood, and i suspect yours is colder and snowier.

Good luck!
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I don't know where you were in Sweden, but I bet it wasn't as cold as the midwest :) I know people in Tromsø Norway, which is north of Sweden and well past the Arctic Circle, and they say their winters are mild compared to ours (even though they don't see the sun for a couple months).
Kudos for spelling Tromsø. Been there a number of times, and spent four winters on the Barents Sea. Most of my experience in Sweden was further south. Sailboats in Sweden, research vessels in Norway and the Barents. It's cold. Damn cold.

I haven't been to Minnesota, but I spent a lot of wintertime in Chicago working outdoors. That was cold too.

I still don't take rigging down if I don't have to. I don't leave my boat unattended either, so that may make a difference.
 
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