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Old 10-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #1
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Newbie/Wintering in Baltimore

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and getting close to purchasing our first trawler, hopefully in the next 6-9 months, after a number of years of chartering. Have our eyes on a couple of mid-80s 40-45' semi-displacement trawlers with relatively low HP as we like cruising at displacement speeds. Currently I'm trying to get my arms around wintering options. We will most likely be renting a slip in the Baltimore area during the season (i.e. Anchorage Marina) and would like to know the pros/cons/costs associated with wintering her in the slip vs. on the hard. Thanks in advance for your advice and I look forward to being an active participant on the forum.

Brewster
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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Welcome, Brewster. Can't help you with wintering over. I stayed at Fairview Marina about 6 miles down river of the Anchorage until Dec. 10th one year. That was cold enough for me. Headed South.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard

An important item you didn't mention is how far your winter home is from Baltimore. If you are keeping a boat in the water over the winter you will need to frequently check on the boat. If it is on the hard you can store and ignore with perhaps monthly checks.

Another advantage of storing on the hard is that from Baltimore you have access to yards such as Harrington Harbor north which have all sorts of experts on site so that you can get your work done while in storage.

When we stored in Maryland one winter we winterized the boat and were glad we did. Don't know how the winters would affect a boat in the water.

Marty
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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Moonstruck, wish I could head south for the winter but unfortunately I won't have the ability to do that for another 10-15 years (unless I win the lottery). BP, we live an hour outside of Baltimore so checking on the boat frequently wouldn't be hard at all. Thanks for your responses.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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We winter in the water in Woodbridge, VA, about 20 miles south of DC. We winterize all the systems in December, and usually winterize the main engine around the end of Dec/first of Jan. We also keep two bilge heaters on board. The heaters are probably all we need (also have a block heater on the main engine), but we worry about loosing power during an ice storm. Only difference from putting on the hard is that we try to check on the boat every week or two. It is always a nice excuse to head to the marina in the winter, where we pretty much have the place to ourselves. You will need to shovel the boat if there is any significant snow. Never had any issues with ice on the water. Do make sure you insurance policy covers ice damage to the hull - better safe than sorry. I think most cover it as far north as MD and VA. We dewinterize around the first week of March, depending on weather forecasts. It is nice to be able to wake her up and go for a ride without having to wait to be splashed by the yard. Winter is another reason we love having a pilot house.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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BTW, another owner at our marina gave us a great idea for using the head in the winter. Keep a jug of the pink antifreeze in the head and use it to flush in case of emergencies. We do stay on the boat now and again during the winter months, just run a small electric heater to keep it comfy while we are on board (only the bilge heaters run when we are not actually on the boat).
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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We have left our boat in the water in Annapolis. Stuffed pillows covered with plastic bags in the ER vents after making sure the bilges were absolutely dry. One small electric "pump house" heater in engine room and one in cabin. The pump house heaters have thermostats that can be set down to just above freezing. Had no issues. This year it is on the hard in Wisconsin. Covered with tarps over frames. Big job and several hundred $ in materials and several days hard work.

I have the feeling that getting the bottom out of the water for a few months each year to dry should be a good thing.....
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:17 PM   #8
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Good point about blocking off the engine room vents - we do the same. No point in running heaters if the winter wind is just going to blow through the ER. Our block heater is on a thermostat installed in the opposite side of the block, and the bilge heaters have built in thermostats. Still, our electric bill runs higher in the winter than it does running the two AC units in the summer.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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I kept my Independence 50 at Baltimore Marine Center, by West Marine. I really felt that I got a lot for my dollar.Much better then Anchorage. The new Dock Master, Wes. is a good guy with nice people working their help you. Underground parking. Lots of goodies come with good slips. You can put your vessel deep in the marina close to shore. Give them a good look. Happy to answer any question you may have. wturnow@hotmail.com.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Brewster, we winter in the water 3 out of every 4 years. No disadvantages that I can think of if you're close enough to check occasionally and the marina is on their toes in case something strange happens (weather related).

There's a regime to follow for winterization, of course, and then it's usually appropriate to do a short-haul in the Spring or early Summer to inspect, replace zinc anodes, refresh bottom paint if necessary, etc.

-Chris
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:40 PM   #11
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Brewster,
We live aboard at Baltimore Marine Center (the marina east of Anchorage). We have spent the last 5 winters here. One thing we really like is that the marina loads fresh water aboard ever Friday.
As far as winterizing on the hard or in water really depends on if you plan to use the boat at all from Nov 1-April 1. If the answer is no - I would have it hauled, blocked and shrink wrapped. You are going to winterize the engines, genset, freshwater systems, dink, etc anyway. There are a lot of boats at BMC and Anchorage that winter in the water. Some use bubblers, most do not. We have had hard ice form around us some and have had to shovel two 2' snows a few years ago.

- Henry
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