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Kudzucraft

Storing a boat for 6 months?

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We are seriously looking at buying a NB in the future. Being from the States we are thinking about living there on the boat cruising the canals for a couple of years.

 

We also thought that we might want cruise for 6 months and 6 months back in the states. Which leads to the question of the best way to 'store' the boat for 6 month unattended with us being thousands of miles away?  Seems to me it would be safer stored out of the water but not sure how practical that is? But a dry stored boat can't sink and no risk of electrolysis damage.  Of course the cost to haul and store? 

 

I know there is no 'correct' answer but just looking for your thoughts?

 

 

Edited by Kudzucraft

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Many people are in a similar situation to yours and keep their boat in a marina while they're abroad. Marinas are staffed and the boats are supervised. They can have work carried out for you during your absence if you so desire. In our nearest marina there's one boat whose owners live in New Zealand.

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Plenty of other posts if you search.

mines a historic boat which i have mothballed  every uk winter for 8 years for up to 11 months whilst working in australia.

thank goodness im now retired.

organisation and cleanliness are the prerequisites. 

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Our boat has been ashore for almost five months now. It was not itnended to be for so long but other commitments have mean't it has not been launched yet.

 

We have done nothing out of the ordinary with it. It has had heaters in it through the winter to keep the temperature above freezing but other then that no other special preparations.

 

It will hopefully be ready to relaunch by the end of the weekend.

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One thing to bear in mind is the possibility of pipes/tanks that are not fully drained freezing is much higher if the boat is out of water

 leaving heaters on is expensive and unreliable (as Naughty Cal will confirm). The water remains just above freezing a few inches below the surface and helps the boat not to cool too much. We always used to just partly drain the system on the higher pipes and water heater but not the tank pump and low down pipes and had no problems  - leaving the boat overwinter in water.

  • Greenie 1

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1 hour ago, Phoenix_V said:

……………….. leaving heaters on is expensive

We have electric greenhouse heaters on 24/7 (several throughout the boat all on timers, take it 'in turns' to be on - with at least 2 on during the midnight to 9am shift)

 

Cost £30 per month which I don't consider expensive.

 

One 'blown' pump or calorifier will be equivalent to a whole Winters 'cost'.

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

Cost £30 per month which I don't consider expensive.

 

 

Fair point nor did we but some might! There is still the problem if the supply fails (unknown to you) and the electric cost will be more expensive if the boat is out of water and the results more catastrophic if the electric supply  does fail.

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We do exactly what you've suggested, we're from Australia. So we do summer in Australia then summer in the UK, in fact I've just got back on the boat now to dewinterise it for the season.

 

So we put the boat on hardstanding for the winter as do a few other Aussies and NZ's here, seems to work fine, has to be properly winterised though. One of the advantages of being on hardstanding is that for the time it's on land you don't need to pay licence fees, and it's a little cheaper as well, though you've got fees for lifting out and in etc.

 

But it works for us, at least it has so far. 6 months is a good amount of time and you can do 6 months on a tourist visa. In our case we wouldn't want to be on the boat in winter anyway.

 

  • Greenie 1

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4 hours ago, Phoenix_V said:

One thing to bear in mind is the possibility of pipes/tanks that are not fully drained freezing is much higher if the boat is out of water

 leaving heaters on is expensive and unreliable (as Naughty Cal will confirm). The water remains just above freezing a few inches below the surface and helps the boat not to cool too much. We always used to just partly drain the system on the higher pipes and water heater but not the tank pump and low down pipes and had no problems  - leaving the boat overwinter in water.

Will she?

 

We have had a large tube heater in the engine bay, a smaller one in the heads and a 600w oil filled radiator in the cabin of the boat all winter. The cost has been zero to us this year as the electric is included in the yard storage fees. But in previous years it has not been expensive at all. We only put two or three £14 electric cards on our bollard all year. So no not expensive.

2 hours ago, Phoenix_V said:

Fair point nor did we but some might! There is still the problem if the supply fails (unknown to you) and the electric cost will be more expensive if the boat is out of water and the results more catastrophic if the electric supply  does fail.

There are systems you can buy that alert you to power supply problems on the boat.

 

We have never bothered as we have a very good and reliable power source at our marina.

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2 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

Will she?

 

 

I seem to remember your thermostat broke one year?

3 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

There are systems you can buy that alert you to power supply problems on the boat.

 

 

Possibly of less use if you are in  America at the time

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10 minutes ago, Phoenix_V said:

I seem to remember your thermostat broke one year?

Possibly of less use if you are in  America at the time

Yes it did and that cost us a water pump. That was in 2009 I believe. Since then we have not used a thermostat and just leave the heaters on 24/7.

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1 hour ago, Naughty Cal said:

Yes it did and that cost us a water pump. That was in 2009 I believe. Since then we have not used a thermostat and just leave the heaters on 24/7.

2009, strange to remember that yet often forget what happened yesterday, I think it was because I suspected/knew you were using the same one as us, shortly after one of ours failed. After that we switched to a mechanical one.

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21 hours ago, Phoenix_V said:

One thing to bear in mind is the possibility of pipes/tanks that are not fully drained freezing is much higher if the boat is out of water

 leaving heaters on is expensive and unreliable (as Naughty Cal will confirm). The water remains just above freezing a few inches below the surface and helps the boat not to cool too much. We always used to just partly drain the system on the higher pipes and water heater but not the tank pump and low down pipes and had no problems  - leaving the boat overwinter in water.

I completely drain my boat and put antifreeze in the engine and central heating system. I run a dehumidifier and a trickle-charger, both on a timer - and leave a couple of lights on ( a 'lived-in' look to tow path users).  l have an EOG mooring so electric power failure would not go unnoticed.

A marina could provide this for the OP.

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Circumstances meant we left our boat unattended from last November until Easter. We had two oil filled radiators with thermostatic controls which fortunately I had switched on when we left the boat and I had left taps open but no other winterising. When we got back on the boat I dropped a couple of purification tablets in the half filled water tank and off we went.

We used less than £10 of electric and the marina keep an eye on the meter to make sure it is on and has credit.

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Our boat,  commisioned May 2006, spent 6 1/2 months a year each winter  afloat on a canal society mooring without any power supply from late 2006 and minimal supervision, until  early 2017 whilst it's owners, it's first owners, and then us, the second owners, escaped to New Zealand. The downsides were that the leisure battery life was reduced to 2 to 3 years only per set, and I suspect that the freeze of 2011? killed a Domestic toilet bowl, a calorifier, and a ceramic water filter cartridge! No winterising problems under our ownership 2013-2016. We would be ready to cruise only 4 days after leaving NZ, and more then 28hrs of that was spent on the 12000  mile plane journey!

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Horace42 said:

A marina could provide this for the OP.

 

Could they?

 

A problem I've found with with relying on marina electricity is it tends to trip and go off when you need it most. All is fine until the first night when 100 boats all dip to zub-zero temperatures inside, and their electric heaters turn on and the marine supply overloads and trips out. Staff re-set it in the morning and no-one realises they had no frost protection that particularly cold night.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Could they?

 

A problem I've found with with relying on marina electricity is it tends to trip and go off when you need it most. All is fine until the first night when 100 boats all dip to zub-zero temperatures inside, and their electric heaters turn on and the marine supply overloads and trips out. Staff re-set it in the morning and no-one realises they had no frost protection that particularly cold night.

 

 

From what you say I am inclined to agree....perhaps not. Probably a logistics problem the marina could not cope with...but I was thinking along the lines of a special arrangement.

Alternatively, in this mobile phone control age, consider some sort of remote sensor, camera and switching device....backed up by someone local able to visit the boat if called in to deal with emergencies.

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On 14/05/2019 at 10:15, Phoenix_V said:

Fair point nor did we but some might! There is still the problem if the supply fails (unknown to you) and the electric cost will be more expensive if the boat is out of water and the results more catastrophic if the electric supply  does fail.

I leave a 2kW oil filled electric radiator set on 6C if I'm away in winter. The ones with manual settings will come back on as soon as the electricity supply is restored (unlike the heaters with digital interfaces). 

 

If a marina's electricity supply fails it normally comes back on straight away or it's only a few hours until someone comes to fix it. In my experience anyway.

Edited by blackrose

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20 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Could they?

 

A problem I've found with with relying on marina electricity is it tends to trip and go off when you need it most. All is fine until the first night when 100 boats all dip to zub-zero temperatures inside, and their electric heaters turn on and the marine supply overloads and trips out. Staff re-set it in the morning and no-one realises they had no frost protection that particularly cold night.

 

 

We have never had this problem despite there being over 250 boats in our marina plus 200 odd houses each with their own mooring.

53 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I leave a 2kW oil filled electric radiator set on 6C if I'm away in winter. The ones with manual settings will come back on as soon as the electricity supply is restored (unlike the heaters with digital interfaces). 

 

If a marina's electricity supply fails it normally comes back on straight away or it's only a few hours until someone comes to fix it. In my experience anyway.

We did have a complete power outage at our marina quite a few winters ago now. Some idiot killed themselves trying to steal some cabling down the road. The marina were very quick at getting some large back up generators in which powered the marina for a couple of days while the incident was investigated and power was restored.

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