#WinterBerths - The winter mooring period for 2015-16 is coming up fast, and Ireland's boat owners will undoubtedly be looking for the best deals available.
As previously reported, Howth Yacht Club got a head start on the competition with their comprehensive winter package, which includes access to the club's full range of facilities and marine services. A few kilometres north, Malahide Marina also offers special rates for winter berthage.
On the south side of Dublin Bay, winter boat storage is always at a premium. But Dun Laoghaire Marina presently has two deals on offer, with winter berthing on the marina for €135/m, as well as a combined package with MGM Boatyard for discounted marina berthing plus lift-out and anti-foul (call 01 202 0040 for details).
The 5 Gold Anchor marina also hosts a full calendar of winter racing with the Dublin Bay Sailing Club for those who may not want to hang up their sailing gear just yet.
It also emphasises that its staff check the marina's moored boats daily to avoid such catastrophes as the grounded yacht off Hook Head last week, which is thought to have slipped free of its moorings.
At the Royal St George, winter lift-out comes early – on Saturday 10 October, just over a week from now – with winter parking allocated on a first come, first served basis. In addition, the club reminds that the usual members rate is not available this season. More details can be found HERE.
Nearby, Western Marine at Dalkey's Bullock Harbour has had a number of upgrades for its latest winter storage season, with its crane once again fully operational (€50 per standard lift-out of 3.5 tonnes and under).
Mains power is available, with no additional cost for use of light power tools, and water can be sourced from a public tap outside the entrance. More details of their services and rates, including special offer discounts, are available HERE.
Further down the coast, Greystones Harbour Marina is providing winter berthing from October to March for €185 per metres. And in the city centre, Poolbeg Marina in Ringsend sees its winter berthing season begin this Thursday 1 October, with rates from €100 per metre.
It's a similar story around the country, with the venerable Royal Cork, for example, offering a rate €25 per foot for winter storage from 1 November.
On the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway, the winter mooring period for public harbours begins on 1 November, running till 31 March 2016.
Masters are requested to pay the winter mooring fee of €63.50 before 1 November, and are reminded that the 'five-day rule' still applies for those not wishing to avail of winter mooring.
Those looking for some more security for their vessels will want to go private. Butlers Marina in Carrick-on-Shannon offers indoor winter berthage in its secured marina, while Manor Marine on Lough Erne offers both hard stand storage and winter berthing.
And it's not just boats that need berthing or storage or winterising over the coming months.
Rather than leave your lifejackets on board to risk getting damp and attracting mildew while you're not using them, why not have them stored safety by professionals?
Boaters in the UK at least can benefit from SeaSafe's offer of winter lifejacket servicing from over 50 centres around Britain. Servicing starts at £9.95 and SeaSafe will store your PFD till you need it when the 2016 season arrives - or any time in between.
If there are any Irish operations that offer a similar service, we'd love to hear from you.
And if you're a harbour or marina operator with winter berths to offer this season, please leave your details with us (below in comments) or email to [email protected] so they can be added here.