We suspect that most people don’t think much about what happens when Maine waterfronts are winterized by a force of talented people and specialized equipment, a process that has been ongoing around here.

First, of course, the boats have to be hauled out of the water, cleaned, and stored. Smaller ones usually are “hardscaped” in sheds; larger ones may be wrapped in protective material and left outside.


Mooring buoys and tackle usually are removed from the water to avoid damage and dislocation from ice that might take the mooring for a ride or damage the buoy. Here we see Vulcan, a local mooring tender, pulling larger moorings from Great Cove recently. Mooring anchors and tackle can be quite heavy. (One published rule of thumb for larger vessels is that the mooring anchor(s) should be 10 times heavier than the length of the boat.)


Moorings for smaller boats often can be pulled up by chain and ratchet on a raft, as we see the WoodenBoat School harbor staff doing recently. (Another rule of thumb is that a 200-pound mooring anchor is adequate for vessels of less than 25 feet.) Mushroom anchors, which bury themselves in the mud, are a favorite here. Mooring gear often is left outside during the winter, although some buoys may be put under cover.

Pier floats and their gangways can suffer serious damage from ice and winter winds; they are removed from all non-commercial piers here, as far as we can tell. Below, we see A.H. Marine’s unique unnamed workboat approaching our neighbors’ pier in Great Cove yesterday morning at high tide. This Brooklin vessel is there to remove the pier float and gangway, after shooing away the daily coffee klatch of Herring Gulls on the float.


The crew of this highly modified, no-name barge first unfastens the gangway and places it on the pier. Crew members then untie the float and push it to shore, where it is tied onto a wooden runway there. (If it is not high enough on the runway, our neighbor will pull it to higher ground with a tractor.) Then, no-name departs for her next job.


(Brooklin, Maine)