You may have noticed that winter arrived in Zurich with a vengeance this last weekend.

Thankfully – having seen the forecast – I went down to the Horn on Friday afternoon to put the dinghy to bed for the winter. I thought I’d have the place to myself, but evidently I was not the only one to have seen the forecast….

There was almost a production line of boats being hauled for the winter, with lines of trailers awaiting their contents.




Here are the two nearest the slipway.




Hauling a yacht is quite an undertaking, definitely not a manual job, hence the crane




First the mast needs to be unstepped…




And then slings need to be positioned carefully underneath the boat and attached to the lifting frame…




And then you cross your fingers that the positioning is correct and the crane driver is good…




As the boat is carefully manoeuvred onto the cradle or trailer. In this case, it’s a cradle on large castors so the boat can be wheeled a hundred yards into the boatshed for the winter.


Compared to a yacht, preparing my dinghy for the winter is a slightly easier task. Firstly remove all the lines, remove the sails from the spars (I leave them on during the summer to speed up launching) and fold them up ready to take home for a wash and winter storage



Then unstep the mast, lay all the spars along the length of the boat and secure the cover as tightly as possible.




While the ship’s dog looks on 🙂



So that’s farewell to the 2012 season. I’ll be back on the water as soon as the weather allows in 2013. If you’d like to sail with us in 2013, it’s never too early to pencil in a session. And if Lake Zurich is just that bit too cold for you until mid-summer, why not join us in Greece in May? Our skippered charters are now booking!