End of Season


Winter Lay-Up 2005-06     In-The-Water Storage  

For the 2005-2006 Winter Lay Up we opted to store the boat in the water, inside heated storage. Our marina, Mac Ray Harbor had extra condo wells available. It is more expensive than the traditional storage we use, but the benefits include not having to winterize the boat, and being able to work (and play) on it during the off season. We also won't have to wait for a launch day appointment in the spring, therefore getting on the water earlier.

Saturday, November 5th we "parked it" in the garage.


The Condo Boat Wells are 70ft. in length and over 20 ft. wide. The gas heater tubes keep the temperature at approximately 55 degrees. We have 50 amp electric service, cable TV, water, and pump out at the inside docks. This year they've also added wireless internet inside the building.

Winter Entrance Doors

Our Summer "street" on Nov 5, 2005


click images to enlarge

Our Winter Slip for 2005-2006              

The Marina security guards walk through the building several times a day to check on things. We share our slip with a 44ft SeaRay with a guy who lives aboard it for the winter. At 47 ft overall, we originally thought no way would both boats fit in the slip.


'Freeze Panels' are installed below the overhead doors and go down into the water a couple of feet. They also run a 3/8" PVC tube along the outside of the doors, with compressed air running thru it as a bubbler to help prevent ice buildup.

also see > 2004-2005 Winter Storage Outside

     Winter Log 2005-2006  (most recent entries at top)
Sat-Sun April 15-16, 2006
Easter Weekend
Came down Saturday, Gina's first time "on" the boat since November. Pulled over to the 50ft. docks on West Spindrift. Gina cleaned the interior while Tim did the "3-step" process on all the vinyl seats in the cockpit (clean, vinyl polish, followed by Yacht-Brite Serious Shine spray-on wax). Loaded a ton of stuff from home back on to the boat. Seth from Sport 'n Life was docked next to us, and enjoyed some cocktails in between more working on the boat. Very nice day out! KCB and Brian came down late afternoon and we did dinner at the Bistro.

Easter Sunday, Mom and Dad Unger along with Wes and Carrie, Dave and Christy, and 'the babies' joined us for an elegant brunch at Mac & Rays. Worked some more in the afternoon before putting the boat "back in the garage". Took the lines home to clean so we can moor at our summer slip next weekend.

click to enlarge

On the 50ft Docks


Tues April 11 MRYC meeting tonight. Had enough time to buff out. polish, and wax the outside radar arch. Also did the radar dome. Brought down more supplies today, including the front berth bedding. About a half dozen boats are in now. The gas dock has price of $2.94 posted for 87 octane. A comparable price on land is about $2.69. Raining late at night and into the morning. Saw Captain Dave from Merryyacht as leaving in the a.m.

Fri-Sat April 7-8  Arrived late afternoon Friday. The water temp is finally up enough so can use the boat's heating system. Warmed up in a hurry, and the heat is a lot better then the space heater which was used all winter. Raining and cold today.

Dumb move #57: I decided to make a pot of coffee before working on the last section of the starboard side for polishing and waxing. When outside finishing it up I thought "wow that fresh coffee smells good" and went below to pour a cup. Problem was that I had forgot to put the pot under the brewer, so there was coffee all over the counter. Fortunately it didn't spill onto the carpet and mostly was sucked up by a roll of paper toweling and the rest went into the cubby hole. Needless to say it was a good time to clean that out.

Seth and Mark from next door on the Sport 'n Life II were down for the weekend. Had cocktails on their boat and checked out the new stereo system they had installed that afternoon. Then went to dinner at the Bistro, before retiring "early". (Martini's and Power Waxing can definitely wear one out).

Saturday got an early start to do the non-skid on the front deck. This turned out to be a 4-Step process. Started by using Buff Magic, polishing and rubbing it out. Followed by washing it with Boat Clean solution. Then while still wet, spraying on the Boat Scrub Solution; rinsing well and drying with chamois. Next applying a product call Aurora Sure-Step (which looks like Ponds Face Cream and smells like a fruity lotion). After letting it dry to a slight haze, it gets buffed out with a soft boat brush, then hand buffed. I had read about this product and procedure on the web. It is supposed to stay shiny, but is supposedly actually activated by water and foot pressure to ensure a non-slip surface. Time will tell how it looks and works.

The 10" orbital buffer ($29 special) started slowing down and emitting smoke and an electrical smell, so Seth "gave me" his older one which is on it's last legs but it worked just fine.

Opened up the garage door around 3:30. Sunny out today but a brisk wind and 40 some degrees out.

Sunday April 2 Weather is sunny and in the high 50's, so pulled the boat out and docked at the 50 ft. docks just around the corner from the condo wells. This allowed easy access to polish and wax the sides and gunwale areas. Was nice to be able to sit on the dock while working away. Did the port side first, then backed the boat in, so as to do the starboard side.

I forgot that the 50ft. dock used 50 amp service, and I still have the splitter hooked up in the condo well. I used the portable inverter to power the orbital buffer and it worked fine. I still do most of the buffing by hand on the final passes.

Fired up the generator for the first time this season. Started on the second try and sounded good.

The 44ft. boat that we shared the winter well with left and headed to his summer slip in the marina. Now have the entire 70ft. well inside to ourselves.

Thur-Fri Mar. 30-31

"Day One 2006" 
 Tick Tock Too! leaves the 'garage' for 1st time this season.

Went to summer slip for the afternoon to do some polishing and waxing.

Friday not as nice so, so worked inside. Am preparing outside of boat, doing the '3 step' process this year. First buffing out with Yacht Brite Buff Magic. Then polishing out with Yacht Brite Pro Polish. Final coat is pure Carnauba Wax.

Fri-Sun Mar. 24-26 Staying at boat for a weekend of work. "Typical" Friday night started with a martini and a cheeseburger at the Bistro. Talked to Captain Dave from the Merryyacht at the bar. He's heading to Harsens's Island on Saturday to check on his boat that is stored there. Dan & Robin stopped by for dinner so joined them for a while, before returning to the boat. Fired up the hot water heater for the first time all season. Washed out the head, then applied a coat of wax to all walls, ceiling, and floor. Buffed out with the orbital, and finished by hand. Looks Good! Watched TV and organized plan of attack for the next day.

Got an early start at 9:00a.m. Saturday. Goal was to polish and wax entire cockpit area, using a '3-step' process. This entailed using YachtBrite Buff Magic to prepare the gelcoat areas, followed by YachtBrite ProPolish to polish it up. And then finish it off with a coat of Meguirs Wax. All three steos required me to apply by hand, then used the orbital buffer on most areas, tweaking by clean rags by hand. Needless to say, I used up an entire bag of rags.

Took a break around 2:30 and went up to the Bistro Grille for a bowl of soup and a Rueben sandwich. Sunny but cold today outside. ALL the buoys are in now for MacRay channel. The power is on at the slips, and they will turn the water on as soon as it looks like freezing is done. What is really nice is that they have power-washed all the docks, and they look clean, new, and fantastic.

Sunday I did a pump-out at the dock as I had noticed for the first time all winter season that the holding tank gauge moved off of empty. Today I finished the '3rd Step' of waxing the cockpit area. Also did the radar arch.

Friday Mar. 17 Stopped at boat in late afternoon. It is St. Patrick's Day so after working on boat stopped up to the Bistro Grille for a drink and a salad. Starting to feel like a 'regular' there (oh, oh). Brought the new Garmin 2010c Chart Plotter unit and bracket to install.

They have removed the bubbler from the dock and the connected pvc pipe from outside. Sunny outside but moderate biting cold wind. Saw Seth from Sport 'n Life II and used his hose with water filter attachment of fill up the water tank.

Friday Mar. 10 Stayed overnight to work on boat. Removed old GPS unit and wiring. Was a little trickier than thought. Ended up cutting the old antenna at the radar arch, then attached the new antenna wire to it in order to pull it thru. By taking off the access plates on the arch, the side rail, and one by the seat, I was able to snake it through up to the dash. Took the instrument panel off and pulled it back out of the way.

Saturday was spent cleaning out the cockpit area to get ready to clean it.

Friday Mar. 3 MacRay Harbor had a great Open House tonight, featuring a couple dozen vendors from the marine business. A lot of appetizers, a cash bar, as well as a live band. The place was packed with an estimate of over 600 people attending. Gina was out of town, so I brought her mom who enjoyed herself. Saw lots of fellow boaters. Stopped by the boat and saw neighbor Seth waxing his boat.

Thursday Feb 16 MRYC Meeting tonight. Stayed after at the bar for a drink; nice knowing I only have to walk a couple hundred yards to the boat and don't have to drive.

Tuesday Jan. 24
Another MRYC meeting tonight. Very windy today, and gale force winds expected. The standard 44 degrees inside the well today, and cool and chilly outside. Drove out to the lake front and there is no ice at all. This may not bode well for water levels this upcoming season. There are a few small ice chunks floating in the marina.

Spent the night after the meeting. Finally had enough trash to empty. Restocked with the staples of orange juice, coffee, and cream to last a few weeks. The small space heater is working well! Always have to shut it off in the middle in the night as it gets close to 80 degrees inside.

What a difference a month makes. These pics are from Belle Maer Marina next door looking out the channel to the lake. (click to enlarge).

Tuesday Jan. 17 Tim had Yacht Club meeting at the marina, so stayed the night. Arrived around 5:30 and turned heat on. Drove around the marina and noticed that much of the ice is gone. The channel entrance to the lake is clear now, and the ice only starts to thicken right at our slip. It has been raining most of the day.

Temperature Readings:
Outside: 40 early evening  ~  Inside Building: 44
Water: 36.1 (up from 2 weeks ago)

Bubblers still running full time. It appears that the rain (and there was a lot of it tonight) drains back into the wells through some large pipes, so had to get used to the echoing sound. I originally thought it was some boats' bilge pump working overtime.

Got out the manual and figured out how to adjust the depth sounder dash panel lights to work before turning in early.

Awoke to a couple of inches of wet snow on the car in the morning. Better the car than the boat. It is expected to stay below thirty degrees on Wednesday, but warm up over forty on Thursday. 

Friday Jan. 6 We had a  dinner /  cruise planning meeting with members of the MRYC in the area, so I decided to stay at the boat for the night. Stopped by around 5:00 to turn heat on. Just jumped on board from dock instead of using ladder. The water level seems up about a foot from a couple weeks ago.  Brought the new GPS Chartplotter and checked to see how it will fit at the helm. Need to remove the old one and install the new antenna as well. A good project for later this winter. Left for dinner around 6:00.

Temperature Readings at 5:00 pm:
Outside: 26  ~  Inside Building: 44

Arrived back at the boat at 11:45 p.m. The little ceramic heater really warms the cabin up good. The dinner was great and initial planning looks like we have several boat headed up to the North Channel the first of July.

Was awaken @ 8:00a.m. by a call from work, then went back to sleep until 11:00a.m.

After a glass of OJ and a cup of coffee, walked out on the back deck, and noticed that the stern light was turned on at the neighbors boat Sport 'n Life. Wondered how I didn't notice that last night, but then saw Seth and turned out he and Mark had stayed on their boat last night as well. Talked to him for a while before leaving at noon.

Tuesday Dec. 27, 2005 Had a family function nearby this evening, so decided to spend night at the boat to save a trip home. Stopped by earlier in day to turn heater on. 

Temperature Readings at 12:00 noon:
Outside: 34
Inside Building: 45
Inside Boat Cabin: 41
Water: 34.8 

Looks like marina is pretty much iced over, but the Lake is fairly open except by shore. There is also open water approximately 8-10 ft in back of the overhead garage doors where the boat is parked. I could see the small PVC pipe of the bubbler system, and it is doing the job.

Got back to the boat at 11:30 p.m. While parking car outside, I heard what appeared to be two small 'explosions' about a minute apart. Sounded like either a small firecracker or  backfire from some type of machinery coming from inside one of the garages or the roof area?? Walked around a little but couldn't figure it out. A little weird.

Unhooked the cable TV from the neighbor and plugged ours in (only one input on the power pole). The cable TV working fine, and watched a rebroadcast of the Pistons beating the Raptors. Turned the heater off before going to sleep as it was 71 degrees inside.

Was woke up in the middle of the night by the sound of something crashing on the deck of the boat. Scared me a bit, but thought that it must of been the ladder used to get on the boat from the dock had fallen. Walked out on the back deck and then out to the front deck searching for the cause. Ladders was secure, so all I could figure is that something "fell" from the roof, hit the boat, and then went in the water. Went back to bed perplexed. In the morning I would discover that the toothbrush holder with all the contents had fallen off the wall in the head. That would explain the "big" crash.

Got up in morning at 6:45 a.m. with the help of the alarm clock. 10 minutes the galley clock/alarm went off and I couldn't figure out how to reset it, so I ended up taking the batteries out of it. I wonder how many days in a row that alarm had been going off every day at 7:00 a.m.?

Showered at Bathhouse 2, and the sign indicates it will be closed for maintenance for the week of January 2nd.

Tuesday Dec. 2nd Tim had a MacRay Yacht Club Meeting at the marina, so decided to spend the night. Outside temp in the high teens, and inside the building the thermometer read 44 degrees. Tried the boat HVAC system; it blew out warm air for a minute, then control panel started blinking, so shut it down. Set up two space heaters, but blew the circuit, so resorted to just one. Did not take too long to bring the inside temp up. Went to the meeting for a few hours and upon return it was toasting to 70 degrees.

Wireless internet service worked good inside the boat. Still a boat or two without shrink-wrap outside. Trees are decorated with Christmas lights all around. More ice in the canals than before.

Thursday Nov. 24th
Gina's family had ordered Thanksgiving dinner from MacRay's restaurant, so Tim volunteered to pick it up and stop by boat for a short time. Outside weather was sunny, but temps in the teens and a very brisk wind. The water level looks way down, so much that the large rock in the Lake out front of Mac Ray's is very visible now. Some ice has formed in the marina and the Lake near shore. Surprised that there are still very many boats that haven't been shrink wrapped yet.

The temperature inside the building was around 38-39 degrees, a little colder than I would of thought. The heater tubes were on. The compressor that runs the bubbler was plugged in and running. It is now enclosed inside a dock box that was put on the end of the dock.

Saturday Nov. 19th Stopped by mid afternoon, no one around. The water level seemed up since last visit. The thermometer on the inside wall said 47 degrees. Don't think the heat tubes are on yet. There is now a small compressor on the dock hooked up to a couple rubber tubes that run underneath the overhead doors. Must be the compressed air bubbler system set up. The electric cord runs down the dock and must be plugged in manually when needed.

Hooked up the cable TV and watched part of the Michigan football game and made a couple phone calls. Turned on the A/C heating system for about 15 minutes, it warmed up the cabin from 45 to 50 degrees. There was still one boat in the water outside on Amber. About a 32 ft., and the canvas is taking a beating.

Thursday Nov. 10th Scored a 50 amp splitter on e-Bay and stopped at the well on lunch hour to hook it up so we'd have electric. It had been very very windy the last few days and the boats had been rockin' a little according to Mike. I adjusted the bumper on the port bow and re-tied a couple of lines. He had taken the ladder off the bow for us. Also adjusted the flat bumper on the Sport-N-Life II boat next door.

Saturday Nov. 5th Caught up with Mike who we are sharing the well with for the winter. Helped him get tied up and then we brought the Tick Tock Too in bow first. Thought for sure that both boats wouldn't fit, but a couple feet to spare. Washed the boat and hooked up electric and cable to the dock. Forgot that it was 50 amp service only, so will have to get the correct converter/splitter for it to work.

Nice day of 60 degrees, so sat on the swim platform with the overhead door open for a beer and a cigar. A large Viking a few slips down from us left for Windsor for the night.