How we lay up boats

Boat Recovery

I have been asked how the Sailing club manage the recovery & storage of boats for the winter season. Hopefully the following explanation & pictures will give enough information for anyone considering bringing their boat to the stone moorings.

First, we will deal with bilge keel cruisers as these are the easiest.

The owner arranges a suitable date with the harbour master. This is usually one where high tide is in the first part of the day & when the weather is such that it is not too rough. Winds of 15 kts are not a problem, provided they are offshore. That means in the southern half, rather than north.

The owner brings the boat to the hard in front of the yacht club & gently beaches it.

When the tide has receded enough the gantry is maneuvered into position behind the boat. The owner needs to release the backstay to allow the gantry access. On some boats this is not possible & we can remove the beam on the gantry but this is time consuming.

Sometimes the owner will want to drop the mast. The gantry is fitted with a crane. At this stage we bring the gantry alongside & lower the mast. It can be seen in the next picture

Once the gantry has been positioned the craft is raised using strops & chain blocks. The owner is asked if he is happy and on his confirmation the boat is taken to the storage area.

The boat is chocked under the keels on the hard.

Second we have boats with fin keels

This is dealt with differently. It means that the owner has to invest in a purpose made trailer. These are available from various sources both second hand & newly made by local fabricators. Although the initial cost may seem high, the cost is soon recovered in a couple of seasons, in the savings of marina fees & the cheap costs of our moorings.

With this system we place the trailer on the beach at low tide. Once the water is at a suitable height the craft is bought onto the trailer and secured. We then winch the trailer clear of the water with our purpose winch on one of our club tractors. The trailer is the positioned as required. The mast can be lowered as with bilge keel yachts.

Finally, we have small fin keeled craft such as Squibs.

These have their own launching trailers, but we do have a number of these that owners can borrow. The trailer is pushed into the water, as for larger boats. The boat is bought over the trailer & then bought ashore.

Many owners take these boats home for the winter or attend open meetings throughout the year so the boat is transferred to a road trailer. We can do this using our special small boat gantry.

Boats on their road trailers ready to be taken home.

There is a charge for winter storage levied by the sailing club & this varies from year to year. To find this cost please visit the club website at :-Stone Sailing Club

Some owners do take their boats to marinas & places nearer home for convenience. The nearest marina to Stone is Bradwell marina & they can discuss winter storage rates for boats of all types.