Catalina 250 Winter haul out

The Catalina 250 is a water ballast trailer-able boat.  That means she can’t stay in the water all winter because of the danger of freezing the ballast and breaking the boat.  I’ve been waiting for a good weekend to pull her out, and it happened this past Sunday.

One hazard of waiting too long to pull the boat is that you can wind up spending a miserable winter day on the water.  I had planned to pull it the weekend before Thanksgiving, but the wind was blowing way too hard for me to feel comfortable sailing from the boat slip out further towards the bay and then to the ramp on the other side of the river.

I was really quite nervous.  This whole boat owner thing can be pretty nerve wracking.  I read the owner’s manual to get a sense of what to do, but thankfully the previous owner agreed to go with me.  Yay Pete!

The weather was Sunny, about 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a light breeze rippling the water.  The motor has conked out when shifting gears during docking maneuvers in the past but this time fired up and ran like a champ.

We attempted to sail, but the breeze was so light that we were running out of daylight.  I fired up the motor and we headed into the ramp.

First I backed into a slip next to the dock and then we spent some time taking down the mast. It was pretty easy!

After that we pushed it over to the ramp, I got the truck backed up and then we eased the boat on the trailer.

2015-12-06 17.06.23

Boat going on trailer

Once it was mostly out of the water the plug was undone and the ballast water started gurgling out. It took 10 minutes for Pete to realize that we needed to also unplug the air hole. After that it poured out pretty quickly.

2015-12-06 17.08.30

Water ballast being dumped

Final step was to remove the rudder.   I drove over to Pete’s house where he was kind enough to use his pressure washer to spray all the muck of the bottom. By the time I headed home it was full dark. The boat is now sitting in my driveway patiently waiting for spring.

If I put the boat back in the water first weekend in April it’s only 16 weeks away. There may be a few cold sailing days before it warms up though! I think I need some advice on warm weather sailing clothes.

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2 thoughts on “Catalina 250 Winter haul out

  1. I’ve been following the Goat Island Skiff group on Facebook where there are a few folks from Norway and Sweden. One of the guys was out sailing near Oslo in December. If they can do that way up north I should certainly be sailing year round here in NC. I’ve sailed my old DS1 down to about 40F before. Time to invest in a dry suit for some real winter sailing.

    • Hi John! I’m thinking the same thing. The catamaran racers at my sailing club are a hardy bunch and sail well into the cold season. I think I’m going to start hanging around them this spring and wear what they wear. Most of them have dry suits, wet suits and other cold weather gear.

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