'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

“Storage” – the A to Z Challenge


A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

“Storage”, in the context of cruising, gets divided into two major sub-issues.

First, there’s the issue of owning a boat, and where you’re going to put it when it’s not in the water. The other quandary is what to do with your “stuff” when you move out of your house/apartment/hovel and onto the boat.

For anyone not familiar with boats, the question of where to put it when it’s not in the water might come as a surprise. I mean, it’s a boat, right?  So… it’s meant to be, like, in the water, right?

Well, yes and no.   At the moment, we live in Maine. We have this thing called “winter” up here, and during the winter water does this weird thing where it gets stiff and sharp and unpredictable…  You can leave a boat in the water here, yes, if it’s a sheltered location, but the risk of damage to the boat is significant, so as a general rule no one does – boats are hauled out when it gets too cold to be comfortable on the water (usually sometime in October, depending on the year) and stored ashore, hopefully under some sort of shelter, or at least a tarp to keep the snow and rain off.  The picture above is of Sionna in our greenhouse-style boatshed. (We closed off the end of the shed after putting her inside.)

But we’re leaving this rental house in July this year, taking Sionna down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Florida, and next summer will be leaving her in Florida while we come back to Maine to work for the summer.  Oops, storage again!  Where do you put your boat when you’re going to be 1500 miles away for the 5 months of summer?

And what about your stuff? Furniture and clothing and knick-knacks and tools…

That’s where the storage unit picture comes in.  We don’t have a whole lot of stuff, really, (see “D” – Downsizing) but we have some, and we’re hoping we can wedge it all into a 5′ x 10′ storage unit in town. Except for the tools and boat parts, which will be packed into a 7′ x 8′ utility trailer and parked at a friend’s house.  For free – but he gets to borrow my tools any time he wants.

As for Sionna, she’ll be staying in a boat yard in south-central Florida while we’re gone, out of the water, and we’ll be watching the weather forecasts and praying no hurricanes decide to make a Florida landfall.  Cruising does have its share of worries, just like real life.


Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, we’re back on the boat, with plans to visit the Bahamas later in the winter. Follow our blog here, and follow our progress in map form by joining www.Farkwar.com!

13 thoughts on ““Storage” – the A to Z Challenge

  1. That’s a great picture of Indiantown! I remember last h-season when one of the hurricanes was possibly going to come inland towards us. It was a pretty tense couple of days watching the weather forecasts and getting prepared. Thankfully, it came to nothing. Chances are nothing will happen to Sionna here – it is a pretty decent hurricane hole.


  2. winter water getting stiff and sharp … LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I saw S was for storage, I thought you meant the space you have available aboard to stow things. Lol. I guess our winters aren’t so bad after all . . . just wet!



    • You’re not the only one! But I figured every blogging cruiser in the world writes about storing things aboard the boat, and there are whole books devoted to the subject, so I went for the “other” storage issues: The boat itself and the stuff you leave behind.


  4. Interesting post. I also expected onboard storage but just goes to show having a boat is a complicated thing! Dropping by from the A-Z challenge.


    • Thanks for stopping in, Wendy! In all honesty, I think having a cruising boat (not just a weekender, but a home/second home) may be the most complicated, skill-intensive and varied thing I’ve ever done – and I’ve had an embarrassing number of hobbies and careers in my lifetime! Now, off to check on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love to haul our boat out and store it for the winter in our yard. Alas, it’s a no go with a boat our size, and we would not save all that much, after the haul out costs, storing it in a boat yard up here. Instead, it languishes in its slip all winter and we pay the hefty marina bill, but get no use of the boat except as a sweet little cabin on the water. At that point it’s like having a second house to care for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the many considerations that went into the discussion on “how big is enough” for us was that very question – what major expenses can we avoid with what size boat?
      At 32 feet, and ketch rigged, we could (though we haven’t yet) unstep and step our mast ourselves, and the cost to haul and transport is reasonable, so home storage is an option. While we have a home, of course – we leave this place in May, and the green house boat shed is being donated to a local food-pantry gardening program, so after that, we may be stuck with storing in a yard for a while!


  6. So great that you have a storage place for your boat up in Maine! Being used to sailing in the tropics, we always found it so interesting to see the river full of boats during a summer visit (to Newburyport, MA) and the yards full of boats over the winter! We said to each other “We will never sail in cold weather. Ever!” 🙂

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary


  7. I never thought of boats being anywhere but in the water, well.. at least the larger sized ones. This was a very informative post! Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m currently mentoring a brand new sailor, and it’s a constant reminder to me how very much information sailing requires, how huge the skill set, and how proud the knowledge base is to claim competence. There is ALWAYS something more to learn!

      Liked by 1 person

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