supports from under the boats. Finally, make sure the cover is supported adequately. Poorly supported covers accumulate snow and
water, which add considerable weight to the boat. Scuppers and
drains should also be left open for the same reason — to channel
water from the decks and cockpit.
Storage Racks And Trailers
An increasing number of boats are being stored ashore on dry
storage racks. These racks are designed to support “typical” boat
hulls, but can’t always be adjusted to support unusual or atypical designs. If you have doubts about the support provided by a
rack, consult a marine surveyor or consider an alternative winter
location such as a trailer, which has adjustable rollers and pads
to support critical areas. Deep-draft sailboats are an exception.
Trailers are designed to support these boats when the wind is on
the bow but are rarely wide enough to provide adequate protection
for deep-draft boats (typically, racing sailboats) when strong winds
are on the beam. To provide additional lateral support, use extra
jackstands along the hull and unstep the mast to reduce windage.
Centerboard boats probably will be OK on a trailer, especially if
they are secured to the trailer’s frame and the mast is unstepped.
Bob Adriance has written more than 500 articles
for Seaworthy, the quarterly BoatU.S. Marine
Insurance damage-avoidance e-newsletter, educating boaters to avoid accidents. Seaworthy
is sent free to BoatU.S. insurance policyholders; paper subscriptions are $10 a year.
The boat’s cover filled with water and the added weight drove the keel-support block into the ground. The block was being supported with a tiny piece of plywood, barely as large as the block. There were too few supports along the chine.
The photo of this boat was taken after it had fallen over and been reblocked. It
isn’t too difficult to guess why it fell over. Placing the stands close together at
the center of the hull won’t provide adequate support. Note also that the stands
are not resting on plywood. According to the surveyor’s report, the jackstands
were not chained together prior to the fall.