Winter Storage Standard 14 Laser

Thread starter #1

I am new to this Forum, but not new to Laser sailing. I have searched the Laser Forum and find little direct information about my question.

I need some expert help from Laser folks about winter storage of a Laser.

I have a standard Laser 14. I live in Kansas where the winters are VERY cold at times.

I plan on winter storing my Laser is a heated garage. In order to save floor space, I will store the Laser from the garage rafters (not on the rafters, rather hopefully hanging the boat from a set of multiple rafters)

I have never done this before, so I need help understanding the best and safest way to do this and not compromise the integrity of the hull.

My questions are:

Do I rafter hang the Laser right side up? Or, deck facing down?

Either way, how to I support the Laser as to not damage the hull or the deck?

And last, either way, how many support straps or other options do I use, and the spacing of support straps?

Thanks in advance,

Hutchinson, KS


The gunwale is the strongest part of a Laser. Ideally, you would suspend it right side up with the supports under the rim of the gunwale, with nothing touching the bottom of the hull. If this is not possible, next best is to store the boat on its side, resting either on a port or starboard gunwale, or even on the transom ( pointy side aimed at ceiling). If none of these options can be achieved, then store it deck down, maybe over a piece of plywood so there are no big pressure points from the rafters.

I think that you can buy a rafter hanging system from one of the Laser boat suppliers, but my recollection is that this uses straps under the hull. Not good for long term storage.
When buying my new laser I was warned by the local dealer that storing the boat on the dolly gunwhale supports over the winter (as i do) has on occasion damaged the gunwhale and top deck. Has anyone else heard of or expierenced this? I've lost sleep over this just to find it's okay when I check in the spring.


Active Member
Never heard of a Laser being damaged simply by being left on the trolley. The again the winters here in the UK whilst cold are times are by no means severe. My boat stays on the trolley all year round and in fact gets used all year round.

I would say leaving the boat on the gunwhale hung trolley then fashioing some kind of hoist to get it up to the rafters would work pretty well.
Here's a $30 solution that works like a charm. It involves 60-100' of 3/8" line (depending on the height of your ceiling, two self-locking pulleys (Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes carry these for about $10.50 ea with a 250 lb rating), 4 good sized eyebolts, and 2 pieces of foam pipe insulation (also from Home Depot).

I've attached photos - its so simple, I won't bore you with the details on what to do once you have the materials - the photos speak for themselves. Basically, I flip the boat over, put the line loops under it, and then pull one line or the the other as I cinch the boat up to its winter storage height.

If some of this still doesn't make sense, let me know. Good luck.


When buying my new laser I was warned by the local dealer that storing the boat on the dolly gunwhale supports over the winter (as i do) has on occasion damaged the gunwhale and top deck. Has anyone else heard of or expierenced this? I've lost sleep over this just to find it's okay when I check in the spring.

The gunwhales get worn from regular dolly use. I have a 2001 that I store on a dolly with the supports up and use it quite frequently. I am just beginning to think about a minor gelcoat repair to the underside of the gunwhales.. Much easier to fix and cheaper than worrying about damage to the hull
I store mine upside down from the rafters in my garage too--boat upside down. But I built a rack that hangs from them with 2 X 3's. It is six feet wide with plenty of room for the spars as well. Very easy to lift it in with thee guys. The one thing missing from those pics is a port cut in the hull. If you don't have a port cut in, do that before you hang it--a one hour job start to finish, max. The boat dries out so much more it is not even funny. This is a must have in my experience. I can send pics in a day or two if requested.

Final small detail, in the setup with the boat hanging from the long are the screw ends of those eye bolts? I through bolted my rack to the rafters. Hate to see one of those eyes pull out and wreck the boat on the floor below...particularly if it whacks you in the head on the way down.
My current boat, 90759, was made in the early 80s and when I bought it had been hanging for 20 years in the guy's garage upside down suspended by a couple of straps like the setup in one of the posts above. The boat is still very tight, deck perfect and solid, same with hull. So it seems that the upside down strap method worked in this case.
Thread starter #15

Sounds like VERY good information. The one I purchased had been sitting / stored on a dolly for about 10 years with little to no damage that I can see.

Thanks for the post

Hi, If you leave the boat on the dolly (on the gunwale) could the weight of snow be a problem ? I have a big wood patio I was thinking of using it to maybe store the boat on the side. I'm really not sure what to do ...
Hi Kris
you find an idea to store Lasers "here (scroll down there a bit)" .
the link at my quote now seems to be "offline". However, I remember to this:
the owner of that website did show 2 photos and has given small descriptions:

One with the Laser hull stored under the roof of his garage, like some other photos (f.e. ~ like those of 'mw1670') also did show at that thread. He did use 2 selfmade wodden beams that hold the hull upside-down (1 beam at the rear deck and 1 beam at the deck ~ at the mast tube). Ropes at the end of the beams went to the floor of the roof, where blocks were fixed as turning points for the ropes. Somewhere at the garage wall, the ropes come together and are fixed. The wodden beams are padded with old carpet.

At another photo, he stored the hull of a Laser to the side to a ~2 meters high solid wodden gardenfence like this -> "ID". The Laser was wrapped into a cheap plastic-cloth and the deck was to the side of the fence. A line/rope (perhaps an old mainsheet) was wrapped around the hull to fix the hull to the fence. Note: If I remember correct, the lowest point of the lower gunwhale is about 50 cm distance to the ground. I don't know, how he lifted up the hull....

Happy Halloween

@ Levent:
I did store my old laser outside at our terrace for 2 winters. I took 2 garden bench's and did put some foam-padds between the deck and the deck of the hull. Worked very well. Sometimes there was much snow over the bow (about 1 meter), no problem fro that storage. Inside of the hull (she had inspection ports) I fixed 3 "drybag's". I put the covers over the hull, additional also a cheap plastic cloth and wrapped a rope arround it and fixed it to the bench's. So, the hull was no "Hotel Waldorf-Astoria" for "squirrels &friends" and also hurricane "Kyrill" didn't damage the hull.


My friend and I own three boats (two for him and one for me), and there is not enough room in the small building we have to store them deck-down. But according to some of the older Laser books, it is acceptable to store them on their sides. This is because the gunwales are argueably the strongest part of the boat. We rig up a system of old tires to keep them off the floor and at different heights, and old life jackets to keep them separated. These are all old boats and there appears to be no adverse affect to storing this way. Also, remember to remove the inspection port cover(s) which will let the inside dry out over the winter.

As an aside, yesterday, 1 November, it was a beautiful day here in Portland with a shifty 10k breeze out of the north. This was supposed to be our day to put the boats away, but, well, you know..... :D
I can tell you that if we had an efficient way to store them flat (deck down), we would do it. However, I will say that my friend stored his two boats on their sides for over 8 years in his garage (moving them around from time to time) while he was in the "lets make babies" mode - with no adverse affects.