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Old 03-28-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
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Marina considerations

If we end up buying the DF 44 we have under contract, we'll be keeping it on the upper Chesapeake where most boats seem to be hauled for the winter. Cosmetically, at least, the boat's in very good condition and we'd want to keep it that way. We'd be about 2 hours from any marina we choose, so if something goes very wrong we won't be able to respond immediately.

At least one marina bubbles their docks and claims they've never seen any boat damage. Most haul. I've read some of the archives on this and it seems to be another single vs twins issue.

Please tell me if I have this right. The benefits of hauling for the winter are no worries about the boat sinking or getting damaged by ice. If you shrink wrap it, there's no staining from leaves, filling with snow and minimal cleanup.

The risks are perhaps gel coat crazing from the stress of poor support or blocking and maybe a minuscule risk of falling.

So, if you had the option--hauling vs bubbling--which would you do and why? And please feel free to correct or add to any of my assumptions.

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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If you aren't going to be visiting the boat during the winter, have it hauled. Too many things can go wrong with a boat in the water. Sinking, fire, damage from the dock. When your boat is on the hard, all systems decomissioned, and shrink wrapped, there is very little to worry about. Also, check insurance costs, most carriers will charge more to keep the boat in the water over the winter.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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I'd haul it. It gives the hull a chance to dry out, easier on the below water hardware and less worry, particularly for you, being 2 hours away.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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At least one marina bubbles their docks and claims they've never seen any boat damage. Most haul.

Thanks!
The "most haul" should tell you something. If you are not going to be a frequent visitor to the boat during the winter, it is a no-brainer.

The chances of something happening to the boat in a slip is probably low, but not nearly as low as the chances of something happening when it is on the hard.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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haul...too many positives unless you think the hull is saturated ...then freeze /thaw can cause a lot of damage to hull laminates like it did to my boat.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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Haul, but you may want to look at making up canvas covers for bridge/stern area's, we did this 10 years a go and saved us 1000's in wrapping a plastic boat with plastic/shrink wrap.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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We live 4 hours from our boat, over a mountain pass that can be treacherous in the winter. Even though we're in the NW, this prevents us from using the boat in the winter. The first winter that we owned our boat, we kept it in the water. I paid someone to watch over her, but during a big storm she got ground against a piling. It cut through the rub rail and did some fiberglass damage. Even though the people that were paid to watch over her covered the cost of repairs, I couldn't handle the stress of being that far away when things went wrong.

Since then, she goes on the hard into covered storage for the winter. I never have to worry about the boat in the winter. It costs approximately the same as in the water, and I think there is a lot of reduced maintenance to gelcoat, canvas and fittings because she's out of the big storms and rain from November through March.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Wow, 6 for 6 in favor of hauling. Looks like I was wrong about this being a divided issue.

Do those of you that haul see much gel coat crazing from improper blocking or just sitting on its keel for months? I ask because our sailboat had a fair amount of crazing after it had been hauled for several months.

Thanks for the excellent feedback.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:42 PM   #9
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Wow, 6 for 6 in favor of hauling. Looks like I was wrong about this being a divided issue.

Do those of you that haul see much gel coat crazing from improper blocking or just sitting on its keel for months? I ask because our sailboat had a fair amount of crazing after it had been hauled for several months.

Thanks for the excellent feedback.
Yes.... you have to be careful and check some marina's work...but I would say the opposite...90+% of all sailboats hauled never would if crazing was an issue...I personally have seen a few boats after sitting for a decade unused with blocking problems...but active boats, owners and marinas never seem to be an issue.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:24 PM   #10
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Wow, 6 for 6 in favor of hauling. Looks like I was wrong about this being a divided issue.

Do those of you that haul see much gel coat crazing from improper blocking or just sitting on its keel for months? I ask because our sailboat had a fair amount of crazing after it had been hauled for several months.

Thanks for the excellent feedback.
Well, we'll balance it out.

It's really a matter of whether you intend to use it during the off season. In our case we would. We are year round boaters and would be on the Chesapeake. So we would choose to keep it in the water and make arrangements to protect it there.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:42 PM   #11
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It's really a matter of whether you intend to use it during the off season. In our case we would. We are year round boaters and would be on the Chesapeake.
In our prior boating down South, we'd push the season both early and late and go out as often as we could. After spending last winter near Philadelphia, real winter boating doesn't seem so appealing.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:53 PM   #12
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In our prior boating down South, we'd push the season both early and late and go out as often as we could. After spending last winter near Philadelphia, real winter boating doesn't seem so appealing.
That's very much a personal choice. When you said upper Chesapeake, my guess was Annapolis to Baltimore area. That's still very different from Philadelphia. This November, Annapolis had 18 days over 50 degrees, 7 in December and most days over 40. Next week is all mid to upper 60's. Now I realize there are also marinas in shallow water that freeze over entirely. We use to just enclose the boat over winter in NC, turn the heat on, and enjoy. The sun actually would heat things up often and we'd not even require heat. But then we're boating fanatics and I do understand those who don't like winter boating.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:36 PM   #13
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In our prior boating down South, we'd push the season both early and late and go out as often as we could. After spending last winter near Philadelphia, real winter boating doesn't seem so appealing.
A good question would be 'how much would you really use it" versus the given benefits of dry storage over wet in that region.

When I lived aboard in Annapolis 97-99...sure there were some days that were pleasurable in Jan-Mar....but this December 12th I lost bottom paint from breaking ice out of Baltimore Harbor...and from what my friends in Baltimore said...it wasn't always cold...but it was cold enough with enough snow on docks to make it a real adventure if you really wanted to boat.

So yes...either way has it's benefits...just which ones do you prefer.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #14
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If we end up buying the DF 44 we have under contract, we'll be keeping it on the upper Chesapeake where most boats seem to be hauled for the winter. Cosmetically, at least, the boat's in very good condition and we'd want to keep it that way. We'd be about 2 hours from any marina we choose, so if something goes very wrong we won't be able to respond immediately.

At least one marina bubbles their docks and claims they've never seen any boat damage. Most haul. I've read some of the archives on this and it seems to be another single vs twins issue.

Please tell me if I have this right. The benefits of hauling for the winter are no worries about the boat sinking or getting damaged by ice. If you shrink wrap it, there's no staining from leaves, filling with snow and minimal cleanup.

The risks are perhaps gel coat crazing from the stress of poor support or blocking and maybe a minuscule risk of falling.

So, if you had the option--hauling vs bubbling--which would you do and why? And please feel free to correct or add to any of my assumptions.

Thanks!
Virtually all pleasure boats on the northern Great Lakes are hauled every year. I've never heard of issues with gel coat. On the other hand the crews who haul them know their business. Our boat goes into a heated storage building. Some go into unheated inside storage, and a few shrink wrap, although given the heavy snow in some climes, shrink wrap is not all that common for larger boats. Our insurance takes the time on the hard into account, although insurance is still required by the storage facilities.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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A good question would be 'how much would you really use it" versus the given benefits of dry storage over wet in that region.
Bingo! Short days, a 2-hour drive each way, a more-than-full-time job, and the need to break a boat out of ice in the area we like all add up to less winter use for us.

I'm Canadian by birth and no stranger to cold temps. When I retire, we'll probably start pushing the season again . . . as long as I don't need a Russian ice-breaker to get out of the harbor.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:36 PM   #16
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Bingo! Short days, a 2-hour drive each way, a more-than-full-time job, and the need to break a boat out of ice in the area we like all add up to less winter use for us.

I'm Canadian by birth and no stranger to cold temps. When I retire, we'll probably start pushing the season again . . . as long as I don't need a Russian ice-breaker to get out of the harbor.
Nah...just a second layer of bottom paint....

The 2 hr drive is what would would lill it for most people...it seems the vast majority of boats are owned by people about 2 hrs away in Pennsylvania and by Jan-Mar...it's the rare one you even see visiting their multi-million dollar homes let alone their boat.

Most look at it as the opportunity to get stuff done on them...and have them 100% for the fast and furious 4 month season.

As others agree...if blocked properly you shouldn't have issues...

The most damage I have seen on winter dry land boats is usually from tarps and shrink wrap....with the exception if cockpit drains freeze and then stay frozen till the boat takes on enough water weight (rain/ice/snow) to buckle stands, etc.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:01 PM   #17
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We leave our boat in the water year round in Alaska.

The power stays hooked up, and we winterized the boat. I'd say 90% of the boats our size do the same.

Our harbor gets some ice but not enough to hurt a boat. The ice comes and goes with the weather.

We have a boat watch for something like 100 a month that checks on the boat weekly. Mine even goes inside and makes an interior inspection.

We also have an alarm system on board at alerts us to shore power interruptions, charger malfunctions, bilge water, etc...
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:07 PM   #18
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Here in California, I don't see owners hauling their boats in the winter. I could be wrong, but it seems boats are in the water all year long. I never see the slips empty in the winter. I'm not even sure yards have places to store all the boats in the winter.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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Here in California, I don't see owners hauling their boats in the winter. I could be wrong, but it seems boats are in the water all year long. I never see the slips empty in the winter. I'm not even sure yards have places to store all the boats in the winter.
I got a good chuckle from this!..some of the best boating in cal is in winter..we always spent new years out at the islands for the eight years we had a boat in Santa Barbara. No fog like in the summer and still was shorts weather! As a west coast boater the winter haul out pretty much a east coast/middle US thing. With that new NT and California you have yourself a all season combo.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:14 PM   #20
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we live in Philadelphia also and pull the boat every year. if this was your first winter here however, it was by far an unusual one for cold and snow. We keep our on the Delaware instead of the Chesapeake because of that 2 hour run. I'm only 20 minutes away from the boat when i want to be on the water and a few times a season we run through the canal to the northern bay for long weekends and 8-9 day vacations. A lot of Phila guys that keep their boats on the bay bring them back up to the Delaware for winter storage so they're close by.
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