Things to Consider When Planning Your Annual Boat Haul Out
For some yacht owners, an annual haul out marks the end of boating season; for others, it’s a chance to clean and carry out any repairs before putting the boat right back in.
If you dread haul out time you’re not alone – most boat owners feel uncomfortable watching their pride and joy get lifted out of the water. The good news is we have rounded up some of the top tips for a successful haul out which will help make your next experience as stress free as possible.
Why do I need to haul out my boat?
There can be a number of reasons why you need a haul out, and when and how often you need them such as:
- Annual inspections and cleaning
- To move it to another location
- To store it for the winter
- To trailer it on dry land
- Repairs and maintenance
Even if you live in a region which enables you to leave your boat in the water year-round, you should still have regular haul outs as regular maintenance prolongs the life of your vessel.
If you don’t haul, clean and inspect regularly, you may miss damage or buildup of barnacles and other contamination which can cause blockages and damage to mechanisms and instruments. This type of damage can ultimately cause water penetration, poor performance and lower fuel efficiency.
What can I do to prepare for my haul out?
There are lots of things boat owners can do prior to a haul out to save time, stress and reduce the risk of things going wrong.
- The most important is to plan ahead – if you are hauling it out during a busy season you may need to book some time in advance for both the haul out and any maintenance work.
- If you haven’t been out on the water for a while, take your yacht for a mechanical test run. Check how it feels when running at full rpm and make note of anything that may need to be looked at while it is out of the water.
- Get to know where the safe lift points are on your vessel and mark them with bright tape. Doing this will make it easier for the crane operator and ensure your boat is being lifted by its strongest points; minimizing risk of damage. Alternatively, show the operator a photograph of your boat out of water which they can use to decide the best lifting spots.
- The day before your haul out, take the time to work out your approach to the haul out channel – this will help reduce stress on the day.
- Remove anything from the boat that could move around in transit and get damaged.
- If you usually live aboard, consider how long you are going to be off your boat. It could be one day or multiple days depending on what you are having done. Be sure to take everything with you that you will need.
- If you are not familiar with the yard or marina, remember to ask what facilities they have and how you can access them.
- Need some maintenance work? Plan ahead as much as you can. Decide what you can do and what you need contractors to do. Buy parts and supplies ahead of time to prevent unwanted delays.
- Familiarize yourself with the haul out fees at your yard / marina and what they include. If you are going to be storing your yacht on dry land for a while, talk to the marina about which storage options are best for your vessel.
- Pre-drain your water and waste tanks to reduce the weight of the boat.
Should I be on site for my boat haul out?
If at all possible, be on site for the haul out. This is a great opportunity to observe your yacht while it is being lifted:
- How fouled is it?
- Is the paint chipping or peeling?
- Are the anodes worn?
- Any visible damage or erosion on propellers, rudders or transducers?
What maintenance should I do when my boat is hauled out?
Each time you haul out your boat it is a great opportunity to clean and maintain your yacht for the year ahead. Even if there’s no major repairs required, consider these basic tasks:
- Bottom painting: After the hull has been cleaned, prepare it by filling any significant areas of paint loss and sanding. Make sure the part of the boat which was in contact with blocks or jack stands is painted and given time to dry before it is put back into the water.
- Check anodes: and replace if more than 2/3 eroded. While zinc is the traditional material used for anodes for salt water vessels, aluminum is a more environmentally friendly option that is also best for fresh-water boating.
- Corrosion checks: Look over the hull for signs of rust or corrosion, including your anchor and chain.
- If you are hauling out to winterize your boat, make sure you drain your engine, use anti-freeze, add fuel stabilizer and remove any batteries before it is stored. Remove anything that can freeze, rot or attract vermin like food, towels and bedding. Remove and lay out material covers and seat cushions to reduce chances of mould forming while the boat is stored.
Follow these tips to feel confident when it’s time to launch your boat back in the water, leaving you free to enjoy cruising the coast.
Find First Class Haul out and Storage Facilities at Van Isle Marina
If you need a full service haul out facility on Vancouver Island then look no further than Van Isle Marina. Located in Sidney, BC, the marina offers full and half haul service for boats up to 70ft with maintenance and services including:
- Power washing
- Bottom painting
- Anode replacement
- Equipment rental
- Trailer, mast and dinghy storage
- Electrical hook ups
- Rolling scaffolding
With a full haul-out, layday, monthly, or annual dry storage terms are available.
Contact our experienced staff today to discuss your haul-out and maintenance requirements.