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... a logical conclusion
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Discussion Starter #1
We've been enjoying the benefits of Global Warming here along the British Columbia coast for the past few weeks. :D Where normally this time of year people are bragging to their friends back east about their afternoon sailing or round of golf, this year it has been consistently below freezing nearly the entire month of December. We have had several daily low records and a new all-time low record set. It started snowing early last week, and has continued with little interruption ever since.

This morning the temperature nudged above freezing for the first time in weeks, and the falling snow became wetter as it tried to turn to rain. A snow sample and some quick calculations told me I would by now have just over two tons of snow on Sequitur. The forecast is for the precipitation to turn to rain and and for temperatures to rise to 3 on Christmas Day and to 5 on Boxing Day, with dips to just below freezing both nights. This would add considerably to the load on Sequitur. Time for snow removal.

Around noon I drove down to Granville Island through nearly deserted streets that should have been bustling with Christmas Eve shoppers. I grabbed the Bowen Island water taxi to Snug Cove and waddled through knee-deep snow along the floats my slip and shot the following 'before' photo:



Forty-five minutes of shovelling lifted Sequitur about 5cm out of the water, and the rains over the next few days should wash the rest of the snow off her. Here's a shot after shovelling about half a metre of snow off Sequitur:



I grabbed the water taxi back to Vancouver, and as we came into False Creek, I saw most of the boats in the marinas still had full snow loads. Several of them were well below their lines, and some of the smaller boats in the Burrard Civic Marina were dangerously low. We are not accustomed to snow like this on this coast, and few people know the risks of allowing heavy accumulations of snow on their boats.

After I returned home, I did a quick Google search and found the following link about a boat sinking from its snow load:

Snow: Boats sink in La Conner, Blaine
 

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Is the water around your boat actually frozen? Looks that way, but hard to tell as it might be the snow you tossed overboard.

I had 6" or so on my boat last sunday afternoon, checked her tonight, and she was pretty snow free. A bit of rain earlier today, along with it being 33-36 most of the daylight hrs the last two days in Edmonds probably helped.

Marty
 

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Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo. It's Christmas Eve here in Corpus Christi and it's a balmy 75 degrees - quite different than Vancouver
 

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Telstar 28
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Yup... snow can sink boats pretty well...since it can lead to clogged cockpit drains, which can lead to the cockpit filling, then the boat fills with water....then blub...blub... blub... :)

Rain, if it is warm enough, and if the air temps are high enough can lead to the snow melting... but if it the air isn't warm enough, it just makes the snow denser and usually turns it to ice. :)
 

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... a logical conclusion
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Is the water around your boat actually frozen? Looks that way, but hard to tell as it might be the snow you tossed overboard.

I had 6" or so on my boat last sunday afternoon, checked her tonight, and she was pretty snow free. A bit of rain earlier today, along with it being 33-36 most of the daylight hrs the last two days in Edmonds probably helped.

Marty
Marty,

There are paddies of ice, a cm or two thick from the minus 8 to minus 14 temps we've been having. I haven't seen the salt chuck freeze here in over 25 years. I remember ice in False Creek in the early '80s, when I kept my ketch at Pelican Bay.

Forecast here is for temperatures to remain above freezing after Friday, and to work their way back up to more normal levels. That and the forecast rain should make it worse for some boats, before it gets better.

This deep freeze and snow sure are cramping my sailing style.
 

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I'm currently in the baltic/ North sea so i think i know how you are feeling its minus 10 and steel tends to be slippery when frozen the Cheif officer has already fallen over several times (this could be due to the large amount of Port she drinks, but lets pretend it,s the ice ) and i'm not doing much better
 

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99% landlubber, 1% sailor
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Don't forget that when water freezes, it EXPANDS.
So its important to get ALL the water off the boat. ice forming in your drains and other crevices can create force enough to crack things you dont want cracked.
you have a nice boat. worth spending 40 or so bucks on a tarp for. If you do cover it, be careful that you don't leave any place for snow/ice to collect, or the weight can pull the stanchions in.
the best solution of course to all of this is to spend some quality time in the tropics.
:D
 

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We've shovelled our boat off twice already this week.. and will need to do so again Boxing day by the look of it.

Many believe that the snow acts as insulation, but I'm far more concerned about loads, and plugged/frozen cockpit drains.

Michael, how were the outflow winds crossing over to Bowen?
 

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when you can ice skate around your boat, it's a good indicator that you need a latitude-ectomy. Got any friends in California with a dock?
 

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... a logical conclusion
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Discussion Starter #11
Michael, how were the outflow winds crossing over to Bowen?
Visibility was down to less than 10 metres in misty snow; the worse the taxi skipper had ever seen, and I hadn't seen it that bad around here in years. The radar and chart plotter said we passed about 50 metres off Point Atkinson, but there was no way to tell. We bucked into a heavy short chop from Point Atkinson to Snug; the Squamish Winds were probably 30 to 35. We couldn't see the cliffs as we entered the Cove. On the way back an hour later, visibility had improved to half a mile or so, and we ran with the wind and seas; much smoother ride.

Merry Christmas
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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Where we keep our boat, Shelter Bay, there is enough fresh water on top of the salt water that it freezes over in these cold spells. I agree totally on the need for a latitude adjustment. Just a few more years.

 

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the pointy end is the bow
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Michael,

Are you the fellow who posted a youtube video of 50 knot winds at the dock where you keep you boat? I saw one posted earlier in the month and it was impressive.
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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A 45 footer sunk in Shelter Bay on Tuesday. There is some first hand information available on this forum:

(edit: after reading some of the discussion on the forum, there is speculation by one fellow that the sea strainer froze and broke or some other below water fitting. So freeze damage instead of snow load.)

Marina freezing over - Page 3 - BAYLINER® OWNERS' CLUB

 

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... a logical conclusion
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Discussion Starter #15
... worth spending 40 or so bucks on a tarp for. If you do cover it, be careful that you don't leave any place for snow/ice to collect, or the weight can pull the stanchions in.
Snow at sea level has not been a regular feature around here; we generally store the snow up in the mountains for the skiers. When we do get a snow fall, it has in the past usually melted the following day or two, spawning the joke: What do Vancouverites do after a snowfall? ... They watch it melt. :D A snow tarp would find very little use around here. I do a lot of winter sailing, and the bother of setting and striking a tarp would prevent a lot of spontaneous sails.
the best solution of course to all of this is to spend some quality time in the tropics.
:D
Very much in the plans... This time next year we'll be somewhere in Central America or on our way to the Galapagos.
 

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You try getting snow & Ice off of your vessel when out at sea when the deck is moving under your feet... Talk about FUN & GAMES.
 

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So here it is Boxing Day, and with no intention to "line up to get into a shopping mall" we checked the boat once again after a couple of days of snow, and more falling as we got there.

We've not gotten near as much as our friends a few miles south, but for this area this is a significant coverage, over 2 feet on the ground. Tomorrow is calling for 7deg C and up to nearly 3 inches of rain... there's gonna be some flooding and heavy snow loads here and there.





What's really rare is the ice... softer now that it's warming up, but the river outside our home is choked with it.. so much that commuter ferries are not running anymore.

 

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You guys are really getting hammered. Hang in there.

When we purchased our current boat, we had to shovel about four inches of snow off deck, launch her, then break ice to get to a free channel in order to complete the seatrial. Not unheard of in January in Chesapeake country, but not the norm either.

We got permission from the owners to leave the boat in the water at a slip after the seatrial, rather than return it to the yard. We wanted to sail the boat out of Annapolis at the end of winter and deliver it to our homeport.

A few days after seatrial, but before we had exchanged papers, Annapolis was hit with about 2 feet of snow -- very rare for these parts. Around here, that much snow leaves roads impassable for days, so I wasn't able to get out there to check the boat. Before I could, we then got a heavy downpour of rain.

When I finally arrived at the boat, it looked to be sitting very low in the water. I shoveled the companionway clear and opened the hatch to discover an inch of water above the floorboards. :eek:

The weight of the snow, made heavier by the soaking rain, had pushed the stern low enough that water had begun seeping in through the rudderpost packing gland, which is normally well above the waterline. The bilge pump had stopped running when the batteries eventually gave out.

So you folks are smart to keep close tabs on the boats with this unusual weather. Problems can arise that you would not normally expect.:eek:

Stay warm!:)
 

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Good cautionary tale, John. Looking down the docks it's easy to see who checks their boat and who doesn't. We knocked the heavy snow off a few neighbouring dodgers, walking in 2 feet of undisturbed snow on their fingers, you know no one's been around.

Considering the investment involved, it's a bit tough to understand. Even if events take you out of town one would expect that arrangements could be made to have things looked after for you.

With tomorrow's rain, the most likely victims will be the lightly built "boathouses/shelters" than usually collapse or flip under the high centered snow loads.
 
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