Q&A: Winter Boat Storage In The North

Question: We are thinking of buying a 70′, 55 ton, steel motorsailer which we want to fix up and cruise on for 4 months of the year. We would be starting out on the east coast of the US and are contemplating going via Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Greenland to Northern Europe. We would have to leave the boat in dry storage for the winters. Do you know if any of these northern areas could accommodate this?

Answer: Most yards that can handle a boat the size of yours in the north will be fishing boat yards and will not be used to dealing with sailboats—with all that entails! As for Northern Europe, boats are generally smaller in size and so most facilities don’t cater to larger boats (we even had difficulty finding facilities in North Norway to haul Morgan’s Cloud at 56’ and 52,000lbs), though I’m sure there are exceptions around the major northern population centres of Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, where we have not been.

We have a few ideas for winter storage in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland but can’t say for sure, without doing further research, if they would be able to handle your size of boat. We don’t have any further contact information on any of these places nor have we been hauled at any of these yards:

  • Nova Scotia—Lunenburg Foundry in Lunenburg and Sampsons Boatyard in Isle Madame, Cape Breton are two places that might have large enough lifts.
  • Newfoundland—there are a number of Marine Service Centers throughout Newfoundland that have travel lifts to deal with large fishing vessels. Fermeuse and Fortune are two places where we are pretty sure the lifts are large enough for your boat.

As for Norway, we have a section on ‘Leaving Your Boat in Norway Over the Winter’ in the Norwegian Cruising Guide; however, I do know that there are very few, if any, places that can handle a boat your size outside of the Oslo and West Coast of Sweden area.

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Meet the Author

Phyllis

Phyllis has sailed over 40,000 offshore miles with John on their McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, most of it in the high latitudes, and has crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to cruising, which has helped her communicate what they do in an approachable way, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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