Storing your boat ashore
Now that the summer sailing season is behind us, it's time to think about whether you want to store your boat ashore over the winter months or leave it on the pontoons. You may be a committed frostbite sailor or you may not!

At Hafan Pwllheli we have limited space to accommodate berth holders wanting to keep their vessel out of the water, whether to protect it from the elements or to carry out essential maintenance work. However, please bear in mind that this space is allocated on a first come first served basis. 

Here are a few other things you need to consider. 

Before lifting out 
It's a good idea to empty your water tanks to avoid any risk of frost damage, not to mention stale water. Conversely it's best to top up your fuel tank. Full fuel tanks leave no room for the condensation that promotes the growth of diesel bug. You could also consider adding a fuel additive.  If your boat is fitted with a holding tank, then you should get this emptied before you lift the boat out of the water.

If you are leaving your mast up, check it over before lifting out. It's safer to go up the mast on the water.  It's also a good idea to remove masthead instruments and lights, aerials and wind indicators. This will avoid damage over the winter and ensure they last longer.  If you want to take your mast down or require any mast work, you can arrange this with one of the local boatyards.

It is essential to cut down any windage when a boat is on the hard standing to reduce the risk of it being toppled over in very strong winds. So please remove all sails, spray hoods and dodgers and put any lifebuoys in a locker as soon as the boat is ashore.

At Hafan Pwllheli we always advise laying up in a cradle. It is more secure and indeed mandatory for some insurance companies. Many berth holders have their own cradles but we do have a small selection available for hire on a first come, first served, basis.

Cockpit drains 
Make sure these are left open and clear. Check them periodically over the winter to make sure they remain free of leaves and debris. Ending up with a cockpit full of water is not a good idea, especially when the temperature drops below freezing.

When your boat is on the hard standing you should flush the engine’s raw water cooling system if it has one. Salty water could slowly corrode it over winter. It's also a good idea to add antifreeze. If you need help with winterizing your engine contact one of our local marine services companies.

Pontoon mooring tips 
If you are planning on staying afloat over the winter make sure your boat is secured properly on its pontoon berth. Fore and aft mooring lines and spring lines are best secured tight to prevent snatching. Additional long lines can be used to keep the boat off the pontoon. Use a good quality rope for your warps and check regularly for signs of chafing. Use plenty of good-sized fenders to protect against rubbing and attach them to a strong point like the toe rail or a stanchion base.

During the winter you should also consider lowering your spray hood and lashing it down. Halliards should be well secured and not allowed to slap against the mast. Sails also need to be lashed to prevent them working loose and flogging, especially roller reefing systems.   

If you have any questions regarding storage ashore or securing your boat on the pontoons, please get in touch.