Just got back from Portugal. Spent 7 days at Tagus Yacht Center preparing Bella for the new season. Great feeling to get back on the boat.
It has been a rainy and wet winter in Lisbon. But Bella was bone dry inside. No problems with condensation. Removed the bilge plug before we left her for the winter. I´m sure that is a good idea as any water can drain out. A dry bilge is important as the boat and laminate will dry out much faster.
Always remove the bilge plug if you leave your boat on the hard. If a leak develop over winter you can be sure not coming back to a boat full with water as rain water can drain out.
Always carry a spare bilge plug on board.
If you do not have a bilge plug you can remove a hose from one of the lower thru hulls.
Lifting the boat in the wrong position can cause big damages to your boat. Unfortunately it it is not unusual that boats are damaged when lifted out of the water due to lack of information.
Lifting over a hull intake can cause leaks. Lifting the boat with the sling over the propeller will not only damage propeller, propeller shaft. It can easily destroy the propeller tube and the hull with complicated and expensive repairs.
Make sure you know how the straps should be placed before lifting the boat.
If you have not done it already use your camera and take some pictures next time you launch your boat. Print out the pictures and have them in your boat folder until it is time to lift the boat.
As you can see from the pictures it might be quite narrow. Off course you should pull in transducers etc. before lifting.
I did improve the marking on the inside of the toe rail. Instead of one marker that is put on by the yard, I marked it with two arrows. No doubts were the sling should be positioned!
Markers can be bought from Hallberg-Rassy Parts. (Same markers that you might have already, but pointing horizontal instead of vertical.)
When working I often got the question, “What do you think about storing the boat in the water over the winter”. This question was asked by, Scandinavians that were thinking about storing the boat in the water in freezing temperatures.
My answer was always “No problem if you are going to use the boat. But if that is not the case I recommend to store it on the hard.”
I think that answer is also valid for boats in warmer climates.
A cover or even better storing the boat inside stops the UV-radiation and the aging process.
Boats in Scandinavia are normally stored on the hard between 6-9 month/year.
If the boat is under a cover or in a shed 6 month of the year the aging process of the surfaces will slow down to drastically.
We have got quite a lot of credit from other cruisers for how good Bella Luna looks. Many think she is only 3-4 years. One of the explanations is that Bella Luna has been under cover for about 5 years out of the 10 years.