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View Poll Results: Tarp or shrink wrap
tarp 16 51.61%
shrink wrap 9 29.03%
other 6 19.35%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 20-11-2009, 21:20   #16
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When I put my catamaran on the hard, I fabricate a cover using my Sailrite sewing machine and Stamoid Fabric also from Sailrite. The Stamoid is so tough that people make hurricane shutters for their windows on their houses using this fabric. They use a laminated double layer of Stamoid. On Exit Only, we used only a single layer of stamoid. It holds grommets extremely well and is the toughest fabric on the market that I know about.

It took me more than a week to make all my covers, but once they are made, the fabric is good for years in the sun. The sewing thread is the weakest link in the whole operation. UV resistant long life thread is the way to go.

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Old 20-11-2009, 21:25   #17
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During my first years with the Grampians, I used tarps over frames made from 1.5 inch PVC and 2x4s. It flogged itself to death every year, and no matter how tight I lashed it there were always sags in the plastic where ice n water would end up. ( One spring i came down and found the entire cockpit full of water level with the coamings because the tarp held and didn't leak. 2hrs with a garden hose syphon did the trick)

The first year I had Espina, I used a heavy custom tarp, the hay bale type described earlier. Espina has frames made of 3/4 conduit but she's huge so the tarp again flogged. Then some vandal got on board by slashing the thing for about 10 feet and even after I stitched it together, the tarp flogged itself to death again. $365 tarp turned to crap in one season. From inside it looks like a planetarium with millions of pin pricks.

Next time I had Espina shrink wrapped. They recycle around here so thats a plus. We had a fellow come down, did all the boats that wanted it and I ended up paying $450. That shrink wrap was on for 1 and a half years. The boat was bone dry inside. It is possible to remove the shrink wrap so that it can be used again, there by cutting the cost in half or even to 1/3 if you can get it off without too much damage. That tape they use will fix it back in place.

The secret to shrink wrapping is to do it yourself. We were going to do it ourselves this year, and it would have ended up costing about $150. Unfortunately a few people backed out so We had the Boat service do it again. Once more a great job, perfect shelter and absolute dryness. This year I'll be getting the required tools n stuff, Next winter I'll be doing it myself.

I would consider a custom canvas set up if I was going to be keeping the boat up here for a long time but I don't expect to have Espina by the end of next year. Sabre Dance is currently untarped but I'll be building a shelter over the cockpit in the next few days.


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Old 20-11-2009, 22:47   #18
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I don't recommend shrinkwrap......People think it will keep their boat clean....it doesn't.......I have seen some real halfazzed jobs....and I don't go near them when they are doing a Gas Boat........you are supposed to seal the vents....I don't trust that they do
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Old 22-11-2009, 07:23   #19
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My boat came with a canvas cover and this will be my first winter storage of the boat. But I noted when I first looked at it back in March when it had been stored in the Connecticut water all winter; that is was dry, mold free, and didn't smell. So I would support the canvas cover option.
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Old 22-11-2009, 10:24   #20
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Shink wrap

I've covered my boats over the years using everything from pool covers, poly tarps, canvas and finally shink wrap. It all comes down to cost and labor. No matter what system you elect to use, a good sturdy frame is essential.

The poly tarps (tried both cheap blue, and silver/black heavy duty) just don't cut it in Michigan. I even tried to cut and install extra grommets and somewhat fit it. Using this method but I could only get about 2 seasons before I had to replace.

Canvas is probably one of the choice of products but is very expensive. I was using ths method until it was time to replace on our current boat. The bids I got for a custom cover that I expected to last 10 to 15 years was about $3200. I also had the cover cut in half to cut the weight down. Each half weighed about 70lbs and I still needed someone else to help install due to weight. Hint prior to pulling the boat I would put the folded canvas on the deck so I would not have to carry up a ladder later.

I currently shrink wrap because of the cost mentioned above. As stated previous the trick is to get a couple other boaters together and help each other and spread the cost of the equipment between yourselfs. Our original capital cost for the equipment was about $400. This included heat guns, hose, regulator, and propane tank. This was about 4 years ago. I have seen much cheaper units at discount stores like "harbor freight". Note this heat gun and hoses have a differnt thread and do not fit the original set up. Keep in mind this cost does not include shrink wrap, tape, and webbing. For our 37 footer, this will come to about $150. There is several mail order places you can get the wrap from that is much cheeper than your local marine store.

The down side of shrink wrapping. Things go much easier with someone else helping you. When you start shrinking you need dead calm wind with no moisture on plastic. You can install a canvas cover anytime even in the rain if needed. The first time we shink wrapped, we shrunk the plastic to drum tight. Looks great but you will not be able to reuse the next season and we had somone in our group discover his stantions broke at the welds between the tube and the base. If shrunk very tight it will put tremendous strain on anything that is not supported. He now modified his frame to support his stantions. Another issue as stated in a previous post is the possiability of bubbling your finish if you painted the topsides. Note this can happen if you use a canvas cover as well. Most people will put a pool noodle or foam of some sort to hold cover away from the sides. You can also bubble your paint or gelcoat if you put too much heat in the area against the rail and sides. We use a piece of masonnite under these areas while heating the plastic and moving it as we shrink as a pre-caution. Again two person job. Another down side is you are using a propane blast torch to heat the wrap that is similiar to hot air ballons. Some people think you my be crazy to use such a large match to burn your boat up. Which comes up to another issue. I takes some skill to get the hang of using the torch to shrink the wrap without burning a hole through. I would recommend having a bucket of water handy if needed. Fortunately if you do get a hole the wide shrink tape covers all. Just make sure you use the same color otherwise everyone will see all your mistakes. You need to install vents as close to the highest point of the cover. You can work under the cover but will discover in a short amount of time the moisture from your breath will form condensation on the inside of the cover. The more vents the better to circulate the air. Which brings up another safety issue. I have seen people shrinking their plastic from under the cover. As anyone can see this can be a bad thing for the obvious reasons. You use up a tremendous amount of oxygen with the blow torch which will make breathing much harder (pun). The other issue is in case you catch something on fire, including the cover (yes it will burn and probably give off toxic fumes). These seem to be obvious but usally every other year I see someone doing it.

The up side of things. Usally our group (3 to 4 boats) will install the plastic in a day on all the boats and will shrink on the next avalilable calm day. You can reuse the plastic cover for several seasons, 3rd for us this year. This has taken our cost for material to under $100 each year. The best way to do this is to plan ahead when you install the plastic the first time. We will use 3 pieces to cover ours. 1st to cover from the mast, including overlap, up to the bow including the anchor platform. 2nd to cover from the mast, including overlap, to the stern pulput and 3rd to cover from the stern pulpit over the steren. The overlap should be about 2 ft because when the plastic is shrunk down you will loose about a foot in lengh when you reuse the plastic the next winter. Tape sections together. If you plan to reuse over several seasons, don't shrink down drum tight as many of us have seen. I have found if you spot heat several areas down and tighten up the cover, it will be fine as long as there is enough slope to shed rain and snow off. Keep in mind the plastic is very slippery. I have not seen any accumulation of snow over 1/2 inch on ours. Each year I just tighten it back up by heating areas again. Other items to consider is the color of the plastic. Clear is not good since it is intended for hot houses you may find at a nursery. Blue is a popular color and usally a little cheaper but if you plan to do any work under it you will find your eyes will be fooled by the color change and everything will look weird. I have found white to be the best. It will let light through and doesn"t get too warm underneath.

Again no matter what you type of cover you use a good frame is essential. Then it comes to what you want to spend and the amount of time to spend. By the way local charges to shrink wrap our boat would be about $1200 each season in our area for labor and material. If you do use plastic it is recycleable.
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Old 22-11-2009, 11:02   #21
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Nothing! Good Canadian built boats can take the snow, sleet , freezing rain, acid rain (whatever happened to acid rain?) and anything the Great White North has to offer!
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Old 25-11-2009, 12:51   #22
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I also do nothing (where I winter in-water, tarps and wrap are prohibited). I sail into mid December, and pick up again in late March. For Jan and Feb, I sweep the snow off the deck, keep the solar-fans running, and hope for the best.

Hasn't been a problem yet.
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Old 25-11-2009, 13:39   #23
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How long? Where? Cost?
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Old 30-11-2009, 00:22   #24
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We shrink wrapped one of the yachts we worked on - a 66' Oyster. SHe was put on Dockwise and sent from NZ to France. Being that she was going to be right up against an exhaust stack, we definitely wanted her protected. Hard work to do and it didn't stick to teak decks or toe rail, but man, what a difference it made in the clean up afterwards.

Someone posted earlier that it would depend on what you're doing. In our case, it was the right choice.
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Old 30-11-2009, 05:20   #25
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Originally Posted by michaelmrc View Post
i use tarps have them setup like a boom tent with 1.5in pex pcv piping. works great for me.
Ditto. 40 X 60 silver poly tarp from Harbor Freight under $150 and lasts from fall to mid summer. This year I'm going to increase the diameter of the ridge pipe...too much sagging last year. Hope this helps...
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Old 01-12-2009, 16:46   #26
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Due to a change of circumstances I'm keeping my Ericson 27 in the water this winter. Previous years storage was on-the-hard, with a variety of tarps (but no framework). What is the purpose of all this work covering the boat? The only aspect of in-water storage that concerns me is the possibility of rainwater seeping into cracks and freezing causing expansion cracks. It seems I'm missing a lot, but what is it? Why go through all this if, (as I've been told), in-water storage with only minimal covering is not a problem.
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Old 01-12-2009, 17:03   #27
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dont know about others by i spend a lot of time on my boat in the winter. nice to be able to quickly setup a boom tent out of a tarp keep the companionway and most of the cockpit dry. also helps to shed the snow in the winter months.
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Old 01-12-2009, 17:17   #28
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Due to a change of circumstances I'm keeping my Ericson 27 in the water this winter. Previous years storage was on-the-hard, with a variety of tarps (but no framework). What is the purpose of all this work covering the boat? The only aspect of in-water storage that concerns me is the possibility of rainwater seeping into cracks and freezing causing expansion cracks. It seems I'm missing a lot, but what is it? Why go through all this if, (as I've been told), in-water storage with only minimal covering is not a problem.
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Old 01-12-2009, 17:33   #29
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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
Due to a change of circumstances I'm keeping my Ericson 27 in the water this winter. Previous years storage was on-the-hard, with a variety of tarps (but no framework). What is the purpose of all this work covering the boat? The only aspect of in-water storage that concerns me is the possibility of rainwater seeping into cracks and freezing causing expansion cracks. It seems I'm missing a lot, but what is it? Why go through all this if, (as I've been told), in-water storage with only minimal covering is not a problem.
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I hear you, for the cost of a trolling motor you could keep your boat in the water all year round. It surprises me more people don't do it.
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Old 29-12-2009, 17:03   #30
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Fish Net

We have found that if you use tarp to wrap the boat, following up with fish net over the tarp holds the tarp in place with virtually to tearing of the tarp because of wind. Fish net is light and easily placed and tied down.
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