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Old 10-06-2016, 06:36   #1
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What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

We are leaving the boat on the hard in long term storage in Florida for 6-7 months.

Still debating if we should leave our full enclosure up or take it down New canvas. New strataglass side panels and new Makrolon in dodger.

Our big concern in FL is mildew in the cabin so I'm reluctant to store the enclosure down below. Should I leave the stern panel off so some air gets in the cockpit? Or just button everything up like I'd do if leaving the boat in the water for a typical summer?

I plan to cover the boat with landscape fabric.

Advice on what has/hasn't worked for you is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:24   #2
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

I am not in Florida however, our boat was south into the Bahamas a few years back. The enclosure was in place for a full year. It started out Jockey red and is now pink, we pray for rain to darken it down. Find a storage locker that is high and dry and store your gear there. The risk of high uv and strong winds while you are far and away are fairly obvious. We pull our canvas down up here in Georgian Bay whenever we are out and winds go above 30kn sustained.
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Old 11-06-2016, 00:39   #3
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

I and PO removed the dodger when not in use and it's lasted for several decades. Would never leave canvas out when not in use in the tropics. Even if you have covers for the windows abrasion from wind rustling the covers will scratch the strata glass. The fabric life will also be shortened unnecessarily. What will happen if a hurricane blows through while you aren't there. A couple of solar vents or good Dorades will go a long way to preventing mildew.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:27   #4
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

speak to the boatyard managers. They might have a storage facility just for cases like this.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:02   #5
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

Is canvas/Sunbrella's shrinking over time, when not under tension, going to be an issue if a dodger's going to be stored for a significant period of time?

I ask as most things which I've owned which were made of Sunbrella, dodgers included, all shrunk over time, even when mounted. To the point that on several items, when it came time to remount an item. It took quite a bit of sweating on my part, in order to get things to where I could re-fasten the snaps that attached it to the boat.
Not that with time, & a few beers, I couldn't reassemble things, but...

Also, in a recent dodger fitting thread, it was stated that when building a dodger, the maker has to allow a tiny percentage for this shrinkage, when they're initially fitting & making it. Which was news to me.

Don't read this wrong. I'm definitely Not advocating leaving up a Conestoga Cockpit Cover in place (as in the ones on Pioneer's Wagons). Especially when a boat's going to be stored long term.
As all that extra windage in a place notorious for daily storms in certain seasons, & that gets named ones, semi-regularly, would surely be "Bad Juju" as Tarzan would say. In addition to flying in the face of common sense.
Not to mention the needless shortening of the dodger's lifespan.

But... I am curious as to other folks experiences regarding shrinkage in the Sunbrella that comprises their dodgers, etc.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:50   #6
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

as a teenager buying denim jeans,we always had to get them a size larger because they shrank. Now they're preshrunk except that now I'm 68, they're all getting too small for me again. I just can't figure it out. BTW try soaking the bimini in cold water with fabric softener before you put it up. The softener allows the threads to move a bit.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:01   #7
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

If we were storing our boat for 7 months the sails and canvas would be removed. We would wash it with a mild soap and when it was properly dried would store it either on board or in a land storage. We would also use a dehumidifier onboard or sunpacks (formaldehyde ) to stop mold and mildew from forming. My wife (note I took out we) rubs the whole interior down with vinegar before leaving and we usually blow off a bug bomb on the way out. A cheaper tarp stretched over the boom tightly keeps the boat cooler and dryer and protects the main hatch. Check your insurance policy as some policies specify that outside canvas is to be removed when the boat is stored. Remember that mold and mildew like to grow where there is a bit of dirt so make sure the interior is clean before leaving the boat.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:12   #8
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

I also meant to add that you should leave all interior cupboards open and all cushions lifted up to ensure you get good air circulation. Running a chaser line to your halyards allows you to run them to the mast head and then bag the lines at the base of the mast in black garbage bags sealed with a zip tie will keep the halyard from turning green. All your sheets should be removed and stored, good time to give them a bath before putting them away. We are in the final stages of getting our boat ready for "leaving" but only for 2 months but we do the same drill. Once your boats has been given a dose of mold you'll never get it all out. If it's a newer design and built with liners it's even worse as it will get inside the liners where you can never get to it. Enjoy!
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:14   #9
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

Take them off and store them. The sun will degrade them and they may be vulnerable to high winds from thunder or tropical storms. Make sure you roll or lay flat the plastic panels. DO NOT FOLD WITH A CREASE. Life long Floridian and boat owner.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:31   #10
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

Remove it. Roll it if possible as best you can rather than fold.
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Old 11-06-2016, 17:21   #11
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
I also meant to add that you should leave all interior cupboards open and all cushions lifted up to ensure you get good air circulation. Running a chaser line to your halyards allows you to run them to the mast head and then bag the lines at the base of the mast in black garbage bags sealed with a zip tie will keep the halyard from turning green. All your sheets should be removed and stored, good time to give them a bath before putting them away. We are in the final stages of getting our boat ready for "leaving" but only for 2 months but we do the same drill. Once your boats has been given a dose of mold you'll never get it all out. If it's a newer design and built with liners it's even worse as it will get inside the liners where you can never get to it. Enjoy!
Great Tips! In this, & your other post in this thread. Albeit, with one caveat.

- Leaving s Spectra/Dyneema cored halyard (or line in general), inside of a black plastic bag, out in the Sun, isn't real healthy for them. As you're essentially putting them inside of black "green house", where temps can reach well over 200 deg. And such heat levels cause Spectra/Dyneema (& some other fibers) to lose some of their physical properties.
With the general rule of thumb being that if where you're storing it would be too hot for you to reside in for any length of time. Then it's wise to find a better locale to keep said items. And this latter caveat applies to laminated sails as well.

So, as an alternative. You can just pick up a spool of 4mm-5mm cordage, & tie a piece that's a bit longer than each halyard, through the reeving splice in the halyard's tail. And then pull the halyards completely out of the mast for storage.

After, that is, giving them a Gentle washing in the washing machine, using a Mild detergent. One which has Zero fabric softeners in it. This will get much of the embedded dirt & salt out of them, & restore some of their suppleness by doing so.

I prefer to use a washing machine in good condition. And I coil the lines in a circular fashion, around the machine's spindle. Then, from time to time, while they're being washed, I'll reach in & ensure that no lines have gotten wedged underneath of the machine's spindle. And be sure to check the lines for any internal hockling, once you're done washing them.


Washing your running rigging removes the embedded, abrasive, gritty particles in the halyards, thus lengthening their lifespan by a fair bit. Via removing one of the main causes of internal chafe in them.
Plus, it's also a good thing to do for your other running rigging from time to time as well. Though not so frequently that you wash out the rope fiber's protective coatings. Both the internal & external ones.
And such washings will sometimes even soften up old anchor rodes which are starting to stiffen & harden, with age & use.

BTW, Do Not put your lines into the Dryer!!! That's definitely Bad Juju. Just let'em hang dry, after putting them through the washer's spin cycle a couple of times.
Also, personally, I stay away from doing this to any lines which have a core made up of parallel fibers. As by my way of thinking, you don't want to risk kinking, or twisting said type of core inside. Particularly, inside of their specially taped internal cover material, as well as inside of their outer jackets. Since this could substantially weaken them.

PS: It's rarely essential, but if you like, you can pad the shackles attached on the halyards, by tying a doubled up old sock over them.
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Old 11-06-2016, 17:44   #12
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Great Tips! In this, & your other post in this thread. Albeit, with one caveat.

- Leaving s Spectra/Dyneema cored halyard (or line in general), inside of a black plastic bag, out in the Sun, isn't real healthy for them. As you're essentially putting them inside of black "green house", where temps can reach well over 200 deg. And such heat levels cause Spectra/Dyneema (& some other fibers) to lose some of their physical properties.
With the general rule of thumb being that if where you're storing it would be too hot for you to reside in for any length of time. Then it's wise to find a better locale to keep said items. And this latter caveat applies to laminated sails as well.

So, as an alternative. You can just pick up a spool of 4mm-5mm cordage, & tie a piece that's a bit longer than each halyard, through the reeving splice in the halyard's tail. And then pull the halyards completely out of the mast for storage.

After, that is, giving them a Gentle washing in the washing machine, using a Mild detergent. One which has Zero fabric softeners in it. This will get much of the embedded dirt & salt out of them, & restore some of their suppleness by doing so.

I prefer to use a washing machine in good condition. And I coil the lines in a circular fashion, around the machine's spindle. Then, from time to time, while they're being washed, I'll reach in & ensure that no lines have gotten wedged underneath of the machine's spindle. And be sure to check the lines for any internal hockling, once you're done washing them.


Washing your running rigging removes the embedded, abrasive, gritty particles in the halyards, thus lengthening their lifespan by a fair bit. Via removing one of the main causes of internal chafe in them.
Plus, it's also a good thing to do for your other running rigging from time to time as well. Though not so frequently that you wash out the rope fiber's protective coatings. Both the internal & external ones.
And such washings will sometimes even soften up old anchor rodes which are starting to stiffen & harden, with age & use.

BTW, Do Not put your lines into the Dryer!!! That's definitely Bad Juju. Just let'em hang dry, after putting them through the washer's spin cycle a couple of times.
Also, personally, I stay away from doing this to any lines which have a core made up of parallel fibers. As by my way of thinking, you don't want to risk kinking, or twisting said type of core inside. Particularly, inside of their specially taped internal cover material, as well as inside of their outer jackets. Since this could substantially weaken them.

PS: It's rarely essential, but if you like, you can pad the shackles attached on the halyards, by tying a doubled up old sock over them.
Thanks for the correction, I have never used Spectra lines but stand corrected.
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Old 11-06-2016, 18:11   #13
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

I should have said I have used Spectra for years when racing but have never used it a cruising boat and have never had to store it for months. Actually black garbage bags should only be used in the higher latitudes like our home in Vancouver, we don't have to worry about the sun over heating lines in the winter. Clear bags should be used in high heat areas, actually like the one we are in now, lol. Thanks again for picking that mistake out.
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Old 11-06-2016, 20:28   #14
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Re: What about Bimini/Dodger in long term storage?

UNCIVILIZED:

FWIW, we have never had Sunbrella nor any other acrylic fabric shrink. You can machine wash and dry it. However, the PVC based marine "hooding" (think like a convertible top fabric) does shrink considerably over its lifetime, noticeably within 5 yrs., and even when treated regularly with the recommended conditioner.

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