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Old 06-11-2015, 14:55   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Chicago Area
Boat: O'Day 30
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Re: To Wrap or not to Wrap

I am leaning toward shrink wrapping. Too many stories about tarps coming undone in the wind... and getting water in cracks is frightening to me, knowing what the freezing temps and snow do to anything left outdoors around here. Since I am not very handy, I will probably fork over the $$ and let the marina do it. Thanks to all for you input!!!

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Old 06-11-2015, 16:07   #17
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Location: Southern Westchester/Northport LI
Boat: Shiva - Contest 36s
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Re: To Wrap or not to Wrap

Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
If you get a lot of snow, or you get freeze/thaw cycles (yes in both counts I suspect) the I would definitely cover the boat. It's virtually impossible that your 30 year old boat doesn't have some deck leaks. Water sitting on deck or in the cockpit can cause damage if it freezes hard. And then there's the snow load. Water is heavy. A loaded deck or cockpit will add significant force to the boat.

Building your own cover is not hard. I made one out of pvc conduit pipe for our 34' ketch. Conduit for the arches, tie-wrapped to the toerail, and tied it all together using a run of 3/8" line for the backbone. This kept the structure solid but flexible. I used cheap blue tarp for the cover, and I usually got three seasons out of each using this set up.

Why go fast, when you can go slow
My boat has no deck leaks and it will be 31 this Feb. I store outside in the water occasionally with a shrink wrap cover which only makes it warmer working on board. Never had snow build up on the decks... but some in the cockpit and so it's important to not let it freeze and block the scuppers. I visit the boat regularly and have had no problems. I don't think shrink wrap is environmentally friendly and it's a waste of money mostly. Fishing boats work all year and don't bother with covering.

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Old 06-11-2015, 17:18   #18
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Re: To Wrap or not to Wrap

Here are a few varieties shown. You will probably see all of these at your marina. The typical cover is over the boom and fitted with cut-outs at each stanchion and stay. They go over the gunwale and tie down drum tight. There will be a zipper door somewhere. This is breathable material and/or does not deal tightly so moisture can get out. The step-up design is also fitted but drapes over the life-lines. You see both in these photos. Freeze-thaw is never good for boat decks. Water has a nasty way of getting into places it shouldn't be. After we button up, I prop the well-shielded hatches just about 1/2 inch to let the vapors out.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:31   #19
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Re: To Wrap or not to Wrap

I live in Nova Scotia. I built a frame out of EMT (the metal pipe that electric wires go thru for protection) had to bend to make it work, a friend had a smaller boat same make, just copied the bends. purchased some nice fittings for the end to tie/bolt into the backbone, zip tie to the toe rail, use a large tarp to go over the whole thing. I also have a large piece of fish net i hang over the tarp-strap to the cradle. this holds the tarp from swinging in the wind, no marks from grommets, i also put 2 X 20 lb bags of charcoal in the boat, open, keeps out moisture and those "over winter" smells that seem to come from no where. No issues, no water, no moisture and we have a lot of freeze thaws here with plenty of snow fall (last year record snow fall). The one big plus is that i have about 3' crawl space to work on the deck and a small electric heater in the cabin will enable me to work without gloves or a jacket during even the coldest days. if you scrounge construction or destruction sites you can prob get the emt for free.
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:48   #20
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Location: Lake Ontario, Canada
Boat: Catalina 34 - "Points North"
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Re: To Wrap or not to Wrap

We've been down the same road and tried a few options. As stated earlier, the snow and freeze cycle issues are for real so we started shrinkwrapping but had two issues with that. We are keel stepped so water, some years a very significant amount (almost to the floor boards), wound up in the bilge. I was uncomfortable with drilling a hole in my hull to let this drain so we began unstepping prior to wrapping but had issues with condensation even when using those little chemical bucket thingies. I had noticed those custom made aluminum frame canvas cover options and ordered one at the boat show. It's amazing. No condensation. You can work aboard in the winter and it's better for the environment. I can't recommend this option highly enough.
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