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Old 10-13-2012, 07:05 PM
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Smile Winterizing A4 and General Boat Preparation

Please....Feel free to add anything you think may be of value guys because I've tried to nail the basics as clearly as I could. I`m adding to this as I remember things and have updated it many times since originally posted.

It's that time of year again and my approach to winterization is intended to help some of the guys who have to go on the hard in colder areas. Also added a spring start-up section as well because some things I personally leave until spring and my tiny little mind's reasoning for same

This rambling of ideas all came from people who I've learned from on this forum. I may have squeezed in a few things that I figured helps. This should help out newer boat owners. As well, a few things "boat" related, away from our beloved A4s are mentioned....just so we don't forget that it has to be done. It's a good day's work to winterize your boat. It will save you a weeks work come spring.

I don't like pink environmentally friendly antifreeze and don't recommend at all for Great Lakes Region, NE (Massachusetts into Canada). I wouldn't put it in my engine. There's been lots of discussion on that....I've never had frost problems and use automotive green antifreeze mixed 50/50 with water.

_________________________________________________

End of Season:

-Write things down in a notebook just for the boat maintenance /repairs so you know what you did and when. It will also help when you are talking to Ken ordering parts...nothing worse than forgetting something.

First off, start your engine while at the mooring or dock and have a good look at it. Check for engine exhaust leaks and water leaks...I always check the raw water pump weep hole, around side plates and head and exhaust. Make a note of what you see / find.

For people that want to catch the antifreeze coming out the exhaust while winterizing.

To catch your antifreeze after it gone through the engine.

-Measure the outer diameter of the exhaust port on the transome while on the hard.
-Go to hardware store and buy some cheap plumbing hose who's inner diameter is the size of the outer on your exhaust port...should be around $1.20 a foot....buy 6 feet of it
-spare water container just for catching the antifreeze...bucket or unused Jerry Can is fine.
-run this hose from you exhaust outlet on the transome to the bucket on the ground.

Winterizing the engine:

-remove the t-stat cover and remove T stat. Put cover back on back together with gasket...or RTV silicone.
-if you have a by-valve open it 1/2.
-if you have not done a muriatic acid flush in a while now (2-3 yrs) it a good time to consider it....if you want to, do that here and then follow along with the rest.
-draw clean freshwater through the system. I run at least 5 gallons once taken out of the salt water...more if I did a muriatic acid flush....If you did the muriatic acid wash clean and rinse out your water exhaust bucket that was catching your exhaust waste. Once diluted with water the acid is not a problem.
-mix your automotive 50/50 and put in a Jerry Can or small bucket....1 gallon total is plenty for this whole operation...so mix 1/2 gallon antifreeze and 1/2 gallon of water.
Options:
-either draw from a T that comes off your intake hose - close intake and open T valve to allow the pump to draw from the container with the antifreeze.
-or close intake valve, remove hose, place end of hose in container with the antifreeze
(My boat has a T installed in the intake line with a garden hose coming off it. I use a Jerry Can to hold my mixed antifreeze, and lay it right in the Stb lazarette on my boat)...allow the pump to draw the green 50/50 mix antifreeze through the system. To do this put the hose into your container and start the engine. It's nice to have a guy on the back end who will yell out stop when the exhaust batches antifreeze a few times. At that point shut the engine down and close the valve. When it batches green out into the bucket 3 or 4 times you are done. It usually takes 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon of 50/50 auto antifreeze to do the job....allot less than one would think...perhaps it's the over-use that has yard owners worried. At this point your engine, manifold and muffler and exhaust are protected from frost. The key is the quality of the automotive antifreeze... it gets in everywhere, doesn't gel, doesn't freeze, doesn't "quasi" freeze. DO NOT put pure (unmixed) auto antifreeze in your engine thinking it is better ...it is not, it has to be mixed with water.
-also turn off fuel valves and[B](optional)[B] remove carb, (disassemble and clean later, then put in plastic bag near engine to install the day I am firing it up in spring).
-put some oil in plug holes and turn it over a few times on the starter. (I do this after carb is off because excess oil will go down into the carb. I place a shop towel beneath the manifold where the carb goes to absorb any oil that may drip down....it`s just a wipe up anyway. If you do not want to remove the carb don't put too much oil in the head through the plug holes. It might be a good idea to use spray lube here....I like the carb removed method because I can put in lots of oil and valves alway continue to work in spring.)
-re install plugs and tighten them up.
-all of the above steps I do with the hose still attached to the transom because it may batch antifreeze while turning it over.
-remove distributor cap, rotor button and bottom plate under there. You will see springs.... spray corrosion inhibitor on those C- advance springs there...re-install plate, rotor button and cap as you took it off. EI ...there is a black grommet / bushing looking piece that has to be lifted up to get the plate off; with points and condenser leave them on the plate, just disconnect the wire and lift up...this way you won't have to readjust the points....good idea to install new ones in spring regardless.
-Lube shifter connections for transmission, throttle and choke...cockpit and engine ends both.
-gas is a touchy subject. I don't have to deal with ethanol so here's what I can get away with
>fill tank
>add stabil
>add gas line antifreeze .... I haven't had water in gas except when I poured it in with a bad batch from service stn.
-I think it is important to do some research on how you will deal with ethanol laden gas.
-batteries stay on my boat disconnected from the boat system but hooked up to two individual trickle chargers that come on as necessary to top them up. They don't freeze here in Hfx and have had no problems with batteries other than wearing them out after 5 yrs of use. [B]Remove batteries[B] from the boat and stow in warm area if you cannot have them plugged in and charging. Note: I put a tie strap around the bundle of wires on the Pos and a tie strap on the bundle of wires of the Neg post from both batteries. This allows you to know where they all go, no fooling around or blowing fuses when putting it all back on in spring.

Note: This is a good time of year to assess what you might want to do for next year and order parts from MMI if needed.
some ideas: ...write everything down in your notebook so you don't forget things.
-check water pump ensure not leaking....you can order a kit if it leaks and rebuild over the winter.
-plug wires...how old are they and do you think you will need new ones
-spare plugs
-spare points and condensers
-T-stat if you use them (I don`t)
-spare gaskets, carb gaskets, etc.
-spare coil. I don't leave an old / suspect coil on the boat. A good one in the system and a new spare is the way to go.
-spare impeller...a good idea to have it on a shaft and ready to go.
-small tub of multipurpose grease on the boat
-spare oil....I carry a spare gallon of 15W40 on the boat. As an oil change comes due (20 hrs for mine) that "back-up" oil goes in the engine and I put a new spare jug in it's place.

-If you have anything on the engine that requires work, seems old and getting to the end of it`s life span, now is the time to fix it. Order what you need from MMI in the fall and do the repairs over the winter. Get most of repairs and /or upgrades done over the winter months. Rarely have to touch the engine, or the boat for that matter, when the boat is in the water...turn the grease cap on the water pump and check the oil...if I`m at anything else there it`s just because I`m puttering around.


Other areas of the boat to be winterized / lubed:

-I use auto antifreeze in the toilet also...now...there might be a problem catching that. The pink antifreeze could be used but you will have extra from your engine prep.
-I just pump both my forward and stb water tanks dry...no antifreeze of any kind in them and never had a problem. When the pump is sucking air none of the pipes can freeze....do this when the boat is in the cradle. I pump the tanks out when the boat is in the water, however, I check them again once the boat is in her resting spot in case there was some left there that is now pumpable....just precautionary.
-Pump out your holding tank...dry is good...I`ve heard of them breaking but never had the pleasure.
-If you have a bilge that doesn't drain ensure to run antifreeze through the pump AND strainer if it has one.
-Lube all thru hull fittings with your lub spray and work them to ensure they are free.
-Rinse mast, shrouds and stays with freshwater. A shot of rust inhibitor around swages and on turnbuckles is a good idea.
-I don't cover mine in winter. My decks are good, have drain hole in bilge at the lowest part of the boat. The cover is a personal choice and will depend on if the decks leak etc.
-Lube furler bearings.
-If mast is left up loosen the rig a bit and lube turnbuckles on stays and any snap shackles left to the elements...put pins back in the turnbuckles after you loosen it off.
-remove and take home: sails / dodger / spare lines / fenders etc...that all goes to my garage for storage.
-take electronics off the boat and stow in warm dry place.
-take cushions off the boat, all clothing / rain gear etc...everything, all tools etc when done. I Put them in my garage where they stay dry and out of the marine environment. Some people have storage challenges so in that case leave it aboard...try to take the electronics off though.

Just another thing I do: I have installed a drain plug in the lowest part of the boat. After everything is removed from the boat I take a pressure washer aboard and spray under the cockpit, under floor boards etc. It drains the mess out the drain hole. Leave the boat open for a day and then close it up. Never have any mold smell in the spring. The musty smell only tries to come back after she's been back in the water for a while. That's because there's always water coming down my keel stepped mast and the pumps don't clear all of it. When on the hard, with plug out, even condensation drains out of the boat. If you don`t have a drain some people put absorbent kitty litter in a couple of areas of the boat...people say it works well.

Spring time:

- change your fuel filters now in spring. (I don't do them in the fall of the year.)
- put your carb back on and open the fuel shut off valves that you closed last spring. Ensure all fittings /clamps tight. Some may have to prime the fuel pump. I don't have to do that with that - electric fuel pump.
- reinstall your batteries or hook them back up. Have a good look around at electrical connections throughout the boat, engine grounds etc and address any problems you see or anticipate.
- install new points and condenser if you use them or may use a cigarette package to wipe the contacts of the points...sometimes a tad corrosion develops there and needs to be brushed off. The cigarette package paper is about the right thickness to drag through it.
- put your hose and bucket on the transom /exhaust of the boat as soon as you go to turn over the engine...if you turn it over it might batch out green so if the bucket is hooked up no one will give you grief. Briefly start engine and run 30 seconds with freshwater...it will be cleared of antifreeze by then and you can remove transom hose and bucket
- Start and run engine. I like to run it for about 10 minutes on the hard with a hose feeding my Jerry can (in lazarette) on the water intake ...works fine. For this portion the bucket and hose from the exhaust is no longer necessary.
-ensure good water flow out exhaust /batching properly; Impellar change every 2-3 years is a good thing to get into a habit of doing.
-engine will blow blue smoke when initially started due to the oil that was placed in the top end last fall. It will burn off. After I`ve run the engine for 10 minutes I pull the plugs and clean them again after the start up....thats just me. Don't rev the engine up and down just let it run. We are not at the Indy here.
-check for water leaks inside the boat while engine running from any source....I always check the pump weep hole on water pump for sure, around side plates and head.
-put grease in the raw water pump and snug it so that the pump is greased. I give it a turn every 2-3 hrs of running throughout the year.
Note: OIL ... 6th season finished using 15w40 now without a hint of trouble I change my engine oil by the hour use (every 20 or so)...]it may or may not be close to due at haul-out. In any case...if due, I always change it in the spring AFTER the engine has been fired up and runs. Gives a chance for:
-ensure all is well and no water in oil due to frost damage.
-dirt to debris to go to base pan,
-oil is warm and easy to remove.
-starting off with nice clean oil


Other boat related things to do in spring:

-check swages and stays, then tighten up your rig ....center the mast first then tune it as if on dock....rest will be done under sail.
-ALWAYS put pins in stay turnbuckles, even after your initial tuning. We get at least one boat a year where an owner tightens up the mast and leaves the boat and forgets about it. Seem to be always the guys on the moorings. We get a mast in the drink once a year...wind vibrates and wave action on the boats work them loose. Guys on the docks will notice someones rig loose and let the owner know or tighten it. ALWAYS pin the rig. It's not a good thing to leave a stick unsafe so turnbuckles need to be secured.
-check your running rigging for chaffed halyards etc. With masts that are down these are easy to check. With the mast up, tie a long line to the shackle and pull halyards as if raising a sail...look for chaffing...sometimes occurs high on the pulleys at the top of the mast over the winter months as wind moves the halyards.
-check toilet operation on the hard....never know with those things.
-there is a grease cap on your rudder post, usually under the cockpit....fill it and snug it up. It is the same idea as the grease cap on your raw water pump.
-check all steering cables for chaffing and do so once a month if the boat is used allot; spray some lube on them to prevent rust....and after a sail in heavy seas.
-check all navigation lights, cabin lights etc....if the mast is down check them while it is down using a 12 volt battery.
-do a good cleaning. Take covers of water tanks if you have them and clean with Javex. I usually add a capfull to every tank of water and there is never any gunge on my tank walls....has to be checked anyway. I fill water tanks before launch ... but I can do that with the trailer.
-if you want to paint inside wooden cupboards or behind sliders here's a hint. I use white MELAMINE paint. It goes on easy, washes easily and mold doesn't grow on it.
-put your electronics etc back on and test.
-put your gear back aboard, safety gear etc
-sails, safety gear check...back to coast guard regs for your neck of the woods.
-spin your winches and grease them if necessary...normally won't have to do this every year.
-new anode
-bottom paint
-put plug in bilge area if you had taken it out.
-check cutlass bearing
-check cotter pin in prop...sometimes they need replacing and there is no need to loose a prop during the summer.
-shine; polyglow or what ever you like, and wash your deck.
-splash the boat and go sailing.

So that's what I do and I haven't had any trouble to speak of.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 11-10-2012 at 06:00 PM. Reason: updating and cleaning it up.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:04 PM
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Great list.

I was wondering what miracle chemical Mo had identified in "Javex," but it turns out that Javex is Canadian Clorox.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:13 PM
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Smile

Tenders, I'm laughing....we have "clorox" as well....but I thought everyone had Javex!
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:31 PM
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To me, "Javex" sounds like something you'd find in Starbucks!
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:06 AM
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"Javex" is the byproduct produced about an hour after Starbucks.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:45 AM
Jesse Delanoy Jesse Delanoy is offline
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Years ago, I invested in a coffee company penny stock called "Javo". It went bankrupt, became worthless, and now it's "Javex".
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:53 PM
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Smile It is Clorox

I knew Javex and Clorox were the same but I didn't know they were the SAME....I guess I should have read the label....only took 50 years ....
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:06 PM
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Might explain why the coffee company failed.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:41 AM
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Pulling Plugs

Hi In reading through your winterizing steps, i don't see that you pull plugs in block to drain water first. Do you think this step may not be required even though in Don's winterizing list?

I now have myself in a bind. i pulled the brass plug in the manifold, and seems i messed up the threads because i cant re-install now. Do i try a tap with same size or i have to go oversized now? PB weld is siting there as a plan B or C.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:49 PM
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It's quite common that the old brass plug wont re-engage. just go to the hardware store and get the same size that you just took out. it'll go in.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:29 PM
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Hi Whippet.

I don't drain my block...it stays filled with antifreeze. It was another guy that drains his block. I draw about 5 gallons of freshwater through first then the antifreeze. If you use auto antifreeze just run it through the engine following the no 1 post and it will be fine. I also leave the by valve open and by the time the antifreeze is shooting out the exhaust a few times everything is protected.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:32 PM
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Brilliant

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Might explain why the coffee company failed.
Neil, Your comment saved the day for me. Picked me right out of the blues. You are an MVP.
Thanks, Howard
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:29 PM
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Glad someone besides me enjoyed it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:02 PM
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Thanks for the writeup

Question: one of the bolts for the thermostat cover seems to be a head bolt. Anything worth mentioning here? Torque spec or anything? Sorry if it's a stupid question but you know, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people
This will be my first time winterizing my A4.
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Last edited by smp; 10-18-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:33 PM
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From the Moyer manual, page P1-3, Step 11
Quote:
[torquing head nuts of which the thermostat housing studs/nuts are two] The nuts should be torqued in at least 3 steps . . . . using 25, 30, and finally 35 foot pounds. If you are concerned over the condition of the threads in the block in terms of corrosion, you can safely reduce this torque value to 30 foot pounds.
Bold type is as it appears in the manual
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:06 PM
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Smile impeller

I had forgotten to mention the impeller in my checklist....saw it in another thread so I added it in post 1
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:42 AM
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This is a great post Mo!

Thank you! As I am coming close to pulling my boat out of the water, I need to go over how to winterize the A4 as I am doing it for the first time...

Thanks again!
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:57 AM
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I'll add my procedure -
Clamp a hose on the exhaust outlet.
Run it into a bucket.
Run the water intake hose into the same bucket.
Fill with antifreeze.
Run engine until hot.

IMHO constantly circulating the antifreeze makes sure it gets everywhere.

*optional step
Do all the above with vinegar to clear out deposits.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:46 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the input Joe....much appreciated.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:11 PM
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:15 PM
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Revised Torque

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
From the Moyer manual, page P1-3, Step 11
Bold type is as it appears in the manual
Although the manual states 35 FP of torque, Moyer Marine recommends 25 FP of torque.

I believe he made that statement somewhere in this forum.

Maybe this needs a conformation from MM..........

Regards

Bill
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:30 AM
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Smile Winterization partially complete.

Pulled my boat yesterday. Engine is winterized,
-ran the freshwater and
-antifreeze through yesterday.
-shut off fuel valves
-removed carb,
-removed plugs,
-vacuumed around plug area to keep dirt out.
-Put oil in plug holes,
-rag in carb opening where I removed it.
-put plugs back in
-turned engine over on starter.
-sprayed choke cable ends and worked it
-sprayed shifter cable ends and worked it
-sprayed throttle cable ends and worked it.
-removed distributer cap, EI, rotor button and plate and sprayed the centrifugal advance springs in the distrib.
-light spray of rust control around the engine.
-carb is in garage and I will give it a cleaning in the next few weeks and place it back on the boat next to the engine.
-stabil and gas line antifreeze in gas tank...ensured cap was tight and seal in good shape.

That will do it for the engine. Took about an hour. I have also drained water tanks, and taken the plug out of my bilge drain plug....the remainder of winterization is what takes time. I have to make room in my garage. My truck cap is in there, my inflatable is there blown up....those two items take up so much space. Once I get that sorted out I'll take everything off the boat and bring it to the garage and stow it....I hate this part.

Edit: Re: the blue patchwork bottom paint. Had the boat out on labor day weekend and sprayed with power washer. Some of my bottom paint washed off so I touched it up with blue as I'd run out of black Might even put blue on next year.
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 11-04-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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  #22   IP: 184.147.46.63
Old 10-29-2012, 03:42 PM
Bingy Bingy is offline
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Mo

I noticed sails still attached.
Do you leave on for the winter.
Last spring we had 3 boats topple and they had left sails on.
Just left club and it is blowing a stink and the boats with roller furling sails still on are really shaking.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:48 PM
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HI Bingy,
I don't leave the sails on, nor the cockpit curtains, dodger etc. I hauled the boat yesterday evening and it's blowing 30kts out there now. We too will have about 4 days of poor weather so I'll have to wait to get them off. Right now she is protected by the building...pretty much protected on 3 sides right there....not a bad spot.
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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  #24   IP: 184.147.46.63
Old 10-29-2012, 03:57 PM
Bingy Bingy is offline
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I assumed you did but asked anyway.
Conversation piece.
5 Lake frieghters at anchor western Lake Erie waiting for water levels to increase.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:57 PM
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I think your water is on the way if that low stays in the area
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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