Today was it. That unfortunate day in October for sailors and power boaters alike…the day when the boat has to be pulled out of the water. And of course, it was the perfect day for it, 65 and a downpour all morning, thanks to remnants of a tropical storm which have headed north.
We live in a town on Lake Ontario where the docks leave the water in October. We don’t have year-round liveaboards here, like in Toronto. All boats have to be out of the water by October 15th, and then somewhere around the 1st of April, it can go back in (I think that depends on the ice and when the docks get put in). J and I lived aboard in Washington state before we had kids. We had a lot less snow there, but we had icy docks several times, and so with kids I’m not sure how keen I am to liveaboard up here where we average 12ft of snow in the winter. Well, with the right gear, anything is possible!
What did we do this summer?
Due to the wet weather through most of this summer, and funny (or not funny) work schedules, we have not been out on the boat as much as I had hoped. Sailing with a one year old has not been my favorite thing ever, but we have all learned a bunch, and we look forward to next year…with a 2 year old. It’s hard to get a one year old to understand the reasons why she absolutely needs to wear a life jacket, and why she can’t climb around on board like her brothers. 2 year olds are slightly more able to understand reasoning….slightly.
Most of our sails this summer were day sails. We did not anchor out overnight, which we had talked about, again due to schedules and weather we did not actually accomplish. They boys did sleep on the boat at the dock several times, which they always love, and Baby Girl and I joined them one night, too. 5 is workable on the small 23ft boat, but it is definitely cozy.
We did a ton of anchoring and swimming off the boat. It was definitely our preferred summer activity.
Winterizing our Sailboat for Winter
Today, J got up early, hauled the empty boat trailer to the marina, then came home to wake up Newton and get themselves outfitted in foul weather gear to move the boat from one marina to the one which will actually pull the mast off and pull the boat out of the water and set the boat on its cradle (boat trailer) so we can store it for winter.
We are currently sailing as Paceship 23, which has an outboard motor. For prepping for winter, we will:
- Pull the engine off and winterize it. This consists of changing the oil and filter (basic tune-up), and storing somewhere dry for winter.
- Pull off the boat cushions and sails and store them in our basement. This is to prevent any mold or mildew from growing on the fabric during the winter.
- Pull off any personal belongings: toys, blankets, sweaters, life jackets.
It’s a pretty simple boat, and therefore easy to prep for winter. We did not install a head this spring as we originally planned. So we don’t have to bother with cleaning out tanks and winterizing the head (toilet).
Well, we’re in full fall mode here: hiking and biking to see fall foliage, kid soccer games, and we just finished another (and final) weekend of SCUBA diving on the St. Lawrence River. We’ll be spending more time reading books and watching videos, like those of SV Delos, and planning and dreaming of future travels and sails.
A Word on Foul Weather Gear
So, my 7 year old was outfitted in my Gill foul weather bottoms today. I love my Gill foul weather gear. I snagged them on eBay back when we lived aboard. I love that the bottoms are bibs that zip up. And while gigantic on him, they kept him dry. And it’s true, there is no bad weather, just unsuitable clothes. That being said, while the kids have snow suits, it has not really occurred to me to get them rain gear until this year. For smaller kids, one piece rain suits make sense. For 5 and up, I’d go with a separate jacket and ” locale=”US” tag=”lovlif0fe-20″ cart=”n” popups=”n”]rain pants.