In our opinion, the Pacific Northwest is one of the world’s most beautiful cruising grounds, but the cruising season can be rather short – some say it’s only two months: July and August. Of course when cruising on a trawler with a heater, this window tends to be much longer. This year our season was cut down to just two months not counting a couple of shakedown cruises. Since we purchased Limerick at the beginning of the year, we had some maintenance and modifications to make and didn’t get away from the dock until late May. By the end of July, we had to call it quits because we were offered a great opportunity to work on a NOAA project in support of nautical chart updates near the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana.
After a lot of debate we decided not to go back to the boat after work was over in October, but rather to do some land traveling in the southern latitudes during the cold and wet Washington winter months. So we needed to find a place to store the boat. We considered leaving her in the water in a covered slip but that can be very costly and leaves too many things to worry about. We wanted a worry-free option. So we decided to haul-out and shrink-wrap our boat.
After making a lot of phone calls and talking to other boaters over the summer, we decided on North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes, WA. Anacortes is a historic seafaring town right next to the gorgeous San Juan Islands. In town are boating supply stores, boat yards, repair shops, marinas, boats in and out of the water everywhere, some great restaurants and grocery stores – everything we need. So we’ll be able to get right to work when we arrive back on the boat in the spring.Whenever we haul-out we worry about the slings on the travel lift damaging the gunwale or rail, or crushing a transducer. When we pulled up to North Harbor Diesel we saw what looked like a boat trailer waiting for us. What appeared to be a boat trailer was actually a state of the art Sea-Lift. We stayed on board while being pulled out of the water and then took a ride down a side street of Anacortes to Limerick‘s new home. It was like riding on an air cushion. Zero damage to the boat and much safer and faster than a traditional travel lift.We were able to stay on board while we prepared ourselves and the boat for an extended time away. We lowered the mast, removed the canvas enclosure on the flying bridge and started stringing the lines to hold up the shrink-wrap. North Harbor Diesel’s storage yards are super clean with amazing views of the water and Mount Baker in the distance. We even have a little beach just a few boats away. Bonus: we were able to park the car right next to the boat. No need to haul dock-carts full of gear.
Why we chose to haul-out and shrink-wrap
- About 1/4 of the cost of a covered slip
- No worry of thru-hull failures and sinking
- Boat stays dry inside and out
- No green slime on deck due to rain
- No UV damage (we do get a few sunny days in winter)
- No environmental damage to our copious amounts of wood
- Not using up bottom paint and anodes
- Rain can’t leak into windows
- Canvas is protected
- Boat is safe in a gated and secured yard
- Boat is ready to be worked on when we return
Why we chose North Harbor Diesel
- Excellent reputation in the boating community
- Located right next to one of the world’s best cruising grounds
- Safe and clean storage yards and buildings
- Able to stay aboard
- We can work on the boat ourselves or get help with anything if needed
- Fair prices for storage and work performed (see our cruising expenses)
- Drive on boat-lift rather than travel lift with slings
After we left for our nearly 3,000-mile road-trip to Louisiana, the guys at North Harbor Diesel brought Limerick into their shop to dry out for a night and then wrapped her up, dinghy and all. We cannot wait to unwrap our little present this spring and head north!