View Poll Results: Do you haul, winterize or continue to use your boat in the winter?
I have my boat hauled for the winter season 15 24.19%
I leave the boat in the water, but winterize and don't use 7 11.29%
I live on my boat but don't do any cruising in the winter 1 1.61%
I live on my boat and use it year round. 5 8.06%
I'm lucky enough to be a year round boater. 34 54.84%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-15-2015, 05:26 PM   #1
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City: Fort Lauderdale. Florida, USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 21,451
Boat year round or put it up for the winter

As many on the forum are having their boats hauled for the winter and others are winterizing theirs, I thought it would be interesting to see how many are year round boaters and how many are seasonal.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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City: Fort Lauderdale. Florida, USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 21,451
We're definitely year round boaters. However, even when we lived in NC and it did get cold over the winter, we left it in the water and still used it.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:10 PM   #3
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City: Vallejo, California
Vessel Name: Mahalo Moi
Vessel Model: 1986 Grand Banks 42 Classic
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,074
Year 'round here in California delta and San Francisco Bay. However, we use our diesel heater in the Saloon/staterooms and keep a passive oil heater in the engine room.
"Mahalo Moi"
1986 GB-42 Classic
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:21 PM   #4
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City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Vessel Name: Xanadu
Vessel Model: Mainship 37 Motor Yacht
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,112
I probably live in a pretty low-cost boating area, but still -- we pay about $2000 to have it hauled, winterized, and stored mid-October through May 1, then another $400 to have it re-launched in the spring. I could reduce that cost a little by winterizing myself, but then if I miss something and lines freeze and crack (or something worse) it's solely my headache if I've done it myself. If we have the marina do it, it's their headache instead, so to some degree I'm buying winterization peace of mind. We have a new (to us), bigger boat this year and so for the first time we're having it shrink-wrapped. We'll probably have a winter cover custom made next season, we just ran out of time this summer. Long term I just don't see how shrink-wrapping makes financial sense, throwing all that money in the dumpster each spring.

My dad lives in Stuart, FL and we've talked about the year-round thing. Of course we don't pay slip rent for the winter up here in SD, so it may be a financial wash overall. Still, it sure would be nice to have a drink on the back deck in January -- instead of shoveling a path through the snow in the storage yard to check the boat.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Vessel Name: DOS PECES
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I winterize the boat in October, and de-winterize it and March.

Seward Alaska has a very mild winter, but the weather is still crappy and rainy, with some snow mixed in.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:24 PM   #6
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City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,946
We use ours all year, but winter storms are well beyond the capabilities of our boat so we stay close to home during calm(ish) periods.
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" MurrayM
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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We use the boat all year as it only rarely gets too cold to do that. In past winters we might get a few occasions when prolonged north winds coming down from the BC interior through the Fraser River canyon have caused the surface of the water in our marina to freeze over. On occasion the ice has gotten as much as an inch thick, but this is rare.

The surface water in our marina is not very salty due to a large stream entering the bay right next to us and the Nooksak River entering the bay a few miles away. So it's more prone to freezing.

But for the most part the temperatures in the winter are not restrictive to boating. The winds can be as we tend to get series of storms marching through with perhaps a day or two of calmer weather between them.

We used to winterize our fresh water system but after a few years of that we realized it wasn't necessary and we didn't like it taking the whole of the summer to get the taste and smell of the "pink stuff" out of the water. So we stopped doing anything to our fresh water system and we've never had a problem.

We keep heat in the boat in the form of a pair of electric oil heaters, the ones that look like a little steam radiator. We keep one in the engine room and one in the aft cabin set to their lowest setting (600w) with the thermostat halfway up.

If it's predicted to go for more than a couple of days with the daytime temperatures not climbing above freezing we turn on the pillbox heater we keep in the lazarette during the winter to make sure the fresh water tanks don't freeze. As long as the daytime temperatures get above freezing we don't worry about going up to turn on the lazarette heater.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:06 PM   #8
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City: Port Ludlow
Vessel Name: Fiddler
Vessel Model: DeFever 46
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 701
We boat year round. During cold snaps I use an engine room heater and drain the water from the pipes. I will also visit every couple of days and warm up the engines and cabin. No problems so far.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:24 PM   #9
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City: Southern California
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San Diego. Year 'round of course. Use a small space heater in the cabin when it gets below 65°. Brrrrr.....
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by drb1025 View Post
During cold snaps I use an engine room heater and drain the water from the pipes.
The thing that clued us in to the fact that we really had to do nothing to our boat during the winter was the experience of good friends who used to live on Sucia Island in the San Juans. For a number of years they owned a 65 foot converted fireboat. The boat, powered by a pair of 8V-71s, was all-steel. They kept it year round on a private mooring buoy in Fossil Bay on Sucia. Needless to say there was no power to the boat out on its mooring.

They did nothing to heat the boat during the winter, nor did they drain or treat the boat's fresh water system. And in all the years they had this boat, they never once had a problem with the fresh water system freezing.

They eventually sold the fireboat and acquired a surplus LCM-6 landing craft which they used to start a barge business in the islands. Same deal. For several years until they moved from Sucia to Orcas, the LCM sat on the same buoy in Fossil Bay with no power to it. No on-board heat, no doing anything to the boat's admittedly simple fresh water system. And no problems. The temperature of the salt water the boat was sitting in kept the inside of the boat from freezing even on the coldest days out in the islands.

So while we do keep heat on our boat--- not a lot but enough to keep the moisture and harsh cold at bay and allow the engines to start right now even in the middle of winter--- we probably could keep no heat on the boat and our fresh water system would not be in jeopardy. But we're in the better-safe-than-sorry camp so we don't want to see if my assumption is correct.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:39 PM   #11
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City: Gibsons, B.C., Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: Palmer 32'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,032
We USED to winter boat.
Had some great times but it did help it was in a shed those days so was weather protected and getting out was easy.

No more, once we started snow birding to Az.
The boat is now fully winterized with a cover.
If we have to stop snow birding we may reconsider burying the boat but would have to figure out some easily removable covers.
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:10 AM   #12
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City: Duvall, Wa. USA
Vessel Name: Beach Music II
Vessel Model: 2003 Mainship 430 Trawler
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 917
Seattle. We boat year round. Our previous boat had diesel heat and we've been known to spend New Year's Eve anchored out. Current boat doesn't have diesel heat, yet. Planning an expensive trip to Sure Marine soon. We also enjoy decorating for lighted boat parades during Christmas. However I do drain the lines to the anchor washdown and the cockpit shower just in case it drops below freezing.
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:27 AM   #13
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City: Adelaide
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,215
Year round. Although it does et down to about 5 deg C (40F) on a cold winter night in Adelaide, we still use our boat regularly. The seas get a little wild at times, so it's a bit challenging to pick a weather window for an extended trip. We still have plenty of day outings, and the fishing is better than in summer.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:47 AM   #14
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WINTER , is the sailing season in SW Florida.

Boats get put to bed for the summer, to hide from Hurricanes.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
WINTER , is the sailing season in SW Florida.

Boats get put to bed for the summer, to hide from Hurricanes.
Same for Eastern Caribbean although the full time liveaboards migrate to Grenada and Trinidad to wait out the season.
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Old 10-16-2015, 07:41 AM   #16
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City: Maine Coast
Vessel Name: Tortuga
Vessel Model: Nunes Brothers Raised Deck Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 889
I hauled out yesterday. I will finish winterizing systems this afternoon since we have a freeze forecast for the weekend. The harbor normally stays ice free (last year was unusual), but we have our worst storms in the winter. At least once each winter we have a real nor'easter that can last up to a week. Last winter we had a several week period when it wasn't safe to go onto the docks at the marina. That said, there are boats that stay in for the winter. They are almost all lobster boats and other fish boats. The few pleasure boats that stay in for the winter aren't used.
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Old 10-16-2015, 07:42 AM   #17
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City: Annapolis
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,348
We're seasonal, so far. Usually leave the boat in the water, although once every 4 years we haul and block for the winter (that would be coming up this year).

Planning to start moving the boat southward for winters, though, hopefully as early as next year... and that would give us more of a year-round schedule.

Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:05 AM   #18
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City: Gulf Shores, Ala.
Vessel Name: Ulysses
Vessel Model: Romsdal 1963
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 878
Interesting thread. Contrary to all of the above- I use my boat to winterize me. It takes me as far south as necessary to keep my pipes from freezing.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:09 AM   #19
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City: Wilmington, NC
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,194
Year round here in NC. We get cold snaps down to 10F, and creek will get thin ice that I go bust up. Drain water system and run engine just for the cold snaps, which usually only last for a day or three.

I love winter running. Got a bus heater in pilot house running off main engine coolant, can have it 75F inside while 35F outside. Nobody else is out there, peaceful, beautiful.
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:53 AM   #20
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City: Lafayette, LA
Vessel Name: presently boatless
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Posts: 348
Use it year round. In fact I enjoy the weather down here during our winter season. Only a few nights of 30 degree temps. Wind is more of a factor down here in winter than cold.
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