Monday, September 29, 2014

That Time, Once Again

In some parts of North America, yachts get hauled out of the water for the winter... because the water freezes.  And in other places the temperature is just now coming down enough to make being on the water a pleasant experience.  The Pacific Northwest is in between those two extremes.

But we were surprised in Anacortes this spring when we saw large amounts of seaside land devoted to hauled out, shrink-wrapped boats.  And these were not small boats - the large majority were over 40 feet.  The water does not freeze here...  and it is not significantly colder in Anacortes than Seattle (where the practice does not exist).  Further, prepping a boat for a winter haulout is a much larger job than keeping it from freezing at the dock in 50° water.  It is a mystery.

As in all past years, we will not do a winter haulout.  But getting ready for winter storms does take a little preparation.  First, we hang another four fenders on the boat, to better cushion it against the dock when the big winds blow.  Next, we double all the dock lines.  This is a precaution - the extra lines are secondaries, there in case one of the primaries chafes thru when we are asleep or away.

And this year we have a special treat that we have never had before.  Like in Seattle, in Anacortes the winter storms come from the south.  When we came to Anacortes, we had the good fortune to be able to choose a south-facing slip, which means that for the first time, Eolian will be facing into the storm winds.  We could have had this in Seattle by backing into our slip for the winter (which we did, a few times), but the bigger problem in storm winds is that it is not really possible to keep the boat from surging back against the dock when you only have tie points on one side of the boat.

Because we will face into the wind in Anacortes, we get to use another cleat to tie off the bow.  (Tho our slips in Seattle were also equipped with this cleat, it was useless to us because it was downwind of the boat in every case.)  With this second cleat, the boat will essentially "hang" downwind from the two bow cleats, rather than swinging back against the dock.


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