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Marinas are keen to attract new business and will offer attractive rates to get new clients. Most marinas will aim to entice you with a short term deal in the hope that if you enjoy the experience they might turn a short-term berth into a 12 month contract. And why not? One of the advantages of a boat over a holiday home is you can move around and enjoy plenty of other spots round our coast and inland waters.

In Dun Laoghaire marina, the country’s largest with 800 berths is advertising attractive deals for stand alone berths this winter and being in the water also means there’s the chance of using the boat in Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s winter series.

Across the country, at Kilrush marina on the Shannon Estuary there are special winter berth rates from October to the end of March.

On inland waters, it is ‘out with the old and in with the new move’ at Athlone Lakeside marina. A considerable investment in new berths is being made for next season. Old wooden jetties are being replaced.

The boating centre with club house, run by Michael Barrett, will by next May have facilities for 150 boats. It has indoor winter storage for 50 boats and a lift out facility for up to 50 ton vessels. There is a club house and full mechanical and technical back up.

Regardless of location, however, all moorings are susceptible to a change in wind direction. If you’re leaving the boat in the water, it’s astonishing how much wear there can be over a winter period. A boat might look snug on a marina in a south-westerly but prolonged north-easterlies will push the boat in a totally different location, hard to remove fender marks being one likely result. Don’t just say good-bye boat see you in the summer, do check lines and fenders regularly.

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