High and dry
David Parker explores a few tips and tricks for storing trailable boats at home to keep them protected during the winter lay-up
When you start looking at cranes on ebay to help you store more boats on your property, it might be time to get help. Or maybe that’s not such a bad idea at all… perhaps we could get it in the garden… do we really need a front door?
You probably shouldn’t say these things out loud while you’re pacing around to see just how far an oversize hull would protrude into the house. But wouldn’t it be a great idea to have the boat on the drive? Think of all the jobs you could get done.
Positive thinking, however, can only get you so far. You might be envious of those who boast of bringing their cruiser ‘back home for the winter’ but with larger craft it’s often a case of you’ve either got the space or you haven’t.
But with trailer-sailers, dayboats and dinghies it’s a different story. When a craft is about the same length as an estate car the possibilities really open up if you’ve got a drive or can find a bit of outdoor space. You might also be surprised what you can corral into a usable space.
Once I had a 15ft patio area tucked away and only accessed by a narrow stone-walled passageway. To get the 14ft clinker boat in there I had to up end it on it’s transom to get it down the side of the cottage. But with the help of a few mates and temporarily taking down the porch I got it in.
Another time I built a boat in an enclosed garden and needed to get it over two walls and down an alleyway to escape. Where’s there’s a will there’s a way.
For boat aficionados there is one more thing to be aware of. The more space you have, the more boats you seem to collect… or that’s certainly the case with some of us.
However there are some relatively straightforward ways to maximise the space available and a few of these are shown here.
In addition to storing boats efficiently, their trailers also need to be protected, of course. None of the set-ups shown here cost a great deal of money but they do ensure that when your craft and/or trailer are in hibernation they’re well looked after.
A yacht well protected against the ravages of winter