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

Practical Boat Owner - - Cruising -

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

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