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"How to Properly Store Your Thistle Outside for the Winter!!"

By casmithlo - Posted on 16 December 2009

Of course, the best way to store your Thistle for the winter is to keep it in a temperature and humidity controled garage.  Unfortunately, most of us do not have the luxury of being able to do that.  So here are some helpful tips on how property store your Thistle outside for the winter.

First, there are 3 enemys to storing your boat outside.  They are: moisture, vegitation and ultraviolet light.  Your goal is to keep them out of your boat.  The best way to do this is to build a 'tent' with a polypropylene tarp.  I use a 10x20 tarp, which is a standard size that you can buy at your local home center for about $20.  The mast is the perfect thing to use to support the tarp over the center of the boat.  The reason it works so well is because the diamonds provide some additional support and a nice slope so puddles don't collect on the tarp.  If you place the mast directly on the bow and stern, the slope will provide the perfect "roof" for rain, snow and ice to slide right off (once the freeze is over).  I also suggest that you put your normal trailering cover UNDER the tarp and above the mast, for additional support and protection.  You should place your mast "track up", in case you get a big snow storm.  The extra weight from the snow could bend the mast slightly (of course you should try to remove the snow immediately if you can!).  If it does bend, a "pre-bend" much better than a reverse bend.

Also, be sure the bailers are open (in case some water does get in), and remove all lines and sails (store them inside).  Finally, try to put the trailer on blocks to save the tires.  You can do this by placing blocks under the back corners of the trailer, then raise the front using the trailer jack.  This will reduce the load on the tires or get them completely off the ground.

Of course, those of you in warm climates don't have to worry about the snow and ice part of the above, but storing your boat this way, during times on inactivity, can make sure your boat stays clean and dry, and is ready to sail when the season starts again. 

 Winter storage - Thistle: front2Winter storage - Thistle: front2


Winter storage - Thistle: sideWinter storage - Thistle: side