westsail iced in

  • March 16, 2014 6:07 PM
    Message # 1518854
    This winter I read a number of books and articles about people sailing and overwintering in the Arctic and Antarctic. Does anyone know of any Westsails that have done this or something similar? I kept my boat in the water this winter without a bubbler in nyc. The water froze and thawed a few times, as it's been a pretty cold winter. But there appears to be no damage. I'm in a very protected spot, which from what I've read is one of the crucial aspects to overwintering. Mainly I'm wondering how a fiberglass boat might compare with steel in relation to icing in for the winter in someplace chilly. I realize most people prefer tropical islands, so you might think I'm crazy, but I've really enjoyed the nights spent aboard my cozy boat, looking out the portholes at falling snow.
  • March 17, 2014 6:09 AM
    Reply # 1519101 on 1518854

    The only overwintering I've done is on the hard here on Prince Edward Island.  The sea is covered in pack ice and the winds they do howl.  Not to hijack your thread but I'm looking for a pattern for a canvas cover for the boat for next winter.  Have used a large tarp this time round but a tarp lasts only one season around here---tends to self destruct in the wind.  Any input appreciated.


    Last modified: March 17, 2014 6:09 AM | Anonymous member
  • March 30, 2014 5:49 AM
    Reply # 1527806 on 1518854
    Deleted user
    I am a year round livaboard on the Hudson in NY on our W32. Was one of the worst winters I have ever seen here from the aspect of the long duration of freezing temperatures. It was so cold that the marina I am in had to put a second bubbler in our slip. The main issue is our extexternal hung rudders that can become locked in the ice while the rest of the hull is free floating, and then you have 10 tons of boat leveraging against the rudder's pintales and gudgeons with the very real chance of doing some significant damage.
  • March 30, 2014 6:03 AM
    Reply # 1527814 on 1518854
    Deleted user

    I too live on board full time on the Hudson River, Haverstraw NY. This is one of the worst winters I can remember in this area due to the long duration of deep freezing temperatures. As I am writing this the forcast is for freezing sleet tonight and the date is March 30th and stil running heaters. I appreciate your writings about the snow and looking out the portholes and the charm of it all, and if you are going to lead this type of lifestyle here you have to appreciate the beauty of the natural world or you will crack up.

    The temps were so cold that my marina had to put a second bubbler in my slip to keep me completely ice free. If you allow your boat with its external hung rudder to get completely ice locked you risk doing damage to the pintals and gudgeons as the ice melts and the boat hull moves and leverages against the rudder.

    As far as fiberglass in ice vs. steel, the steel hull is much stronger than even our very tough Westsails, I would never want to completely ice my hull in.

  • August 05, 2015 5:30 PM
    Reply # 3467259 on 1518854
    Deleted user

    Here in the Pacific NW it does not ice up more that 1/2 inch, So the thick ice problems are not of real concerns, but a through hull could bust with the ice. I was two winters at the outfall of the local sewer treatment plant, with the effluent being odorless, as there are also next to it restaurants. Then I parked my W32 in front of my house, with floes drifting down from the tidal flats, but the movement on ebb was so gentle, it did not  scrape the paint. The only problem is the hull tends to sweat from your exhalation.


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