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Old 28-11-2010, 20:25   #1
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Cover Up ?

I found a deal at the boat show and purchased a nice new cover. Last year I did shrink wrap and the cover will pay for that in 3 years.

I had been taught that he true purpose of a winter cover is to prevent water around fittings, which then expands as it freezes and over time damages most deck fittings.

However, an inquisitive 9 year old, and the admiral asked the obvious as we were driving though a large marina "why are we even covering the boat?". The logic was persuasive:
1. The boat is uncovered 9 months of the year
2. Most of the boats are not covered at all (many are shrink wrapped)

So...is there sense in a cover (besides the fact I own it now)? Am I really preventing damage, or is it the equivalent of a car cover or avoiding pizza - "it may add a few years to it's life but it is minor by comparison.
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Old 28-11-2010, 21:34   #2
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Really like mine.

My boat came with a full cover made in 3 sections, covers the boat completely.

Good points:

1. Shields UV (for the winter months anyway, small but every little bit counts when you have exterior teak.

2. Keeps things dry so that annoying green junk that likes to grow on everything as soon as the days grow short is held at bay.

3. Because it's dry and covered I can leave the hatches open for ventilation and get no mold or mildew all winter.

4. Allows some of the exerior maintinence, and other projects to be done in the winter months. Last winter I repowered with a new diesel and was ready to rock come spring.

Bad points:

1. Makes the boat dark as a pocket, but I can roll up the sides of my cover to let more light in when we are there.

2. If you do decide to go for a winter cruise there is an added 40 minutes to remove the cover, and the same to put it back on.

3. One more item to keep maintained.

I had another boat in the past that didn't have a cover, and this one that does, and I much prefer to have a cover. It's a little melancholy puting the cover on for the winter, (just did that today) but it does make life much easier.

My .02
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Old 28-11-2010, 22:32   #3
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Maybe if I had a powerboat. But doesn't really help for me. In June I still have to climb the mast and clean the moss of the spreaders and halyards. The rest of the boat I wash down once a month. If you have leaks then they need to be dealt with, not covered up. Sailboats are meant to be wet.

I would be more likely to cover in the sunny climates then in the cooler due to the UV's.

Marksman, Good list! But costly for full canvas covers.
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Old 28-11-2010, 23:06   #4
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In an area where water could freeze, I think it certainly makes sense to have it covered. It simply keeps the water out. The other benefits such as UV etc.. are nice too.
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Old 29-11-2010, 17:59   #5
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$$$$

Hi Del, your right about the cost, I was fortunate as my boat came with one when I bought it, but I think it was close to 10K new from Artfull Dodger up in PT. I may not have put out that much coin for a cover before owning one, but after enjoying the benefits I'm pretty sure I will replace it when the time comes. It alows us to strip most of the teak off season and then sand and finish when it warms up enough, plus a host of other external projects that require a dry, protected climate.

Cheers!
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Old 29-11-2010, 18:30   #6
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I always keep covers on my catamaran when it is in dry storage. It protects the hatches from sun exposure and windows from leaking if the caulking should dry out or develop a leak. My covers go over the door of the salon as well so that it is a little harder to break into the yacht. You could slit the cover with a knife to get into the salon, but that would take more time and effort on the part of a thief, and it probably dissuades most people who might be grazing for yacht gear in the boat yard. Since the advent of Craig's list, anything you lift off a yacht can be disposed of quickly and easily.
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Old 29-11-2010, 18:34   #7
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Check out this links for pictures of the covers on Exit Only.

Hurricane Storage - Exit Only

It took about two weeks to construct all the covers from 5 year warrantied Stamoid using my Sailrite sewing machine.
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Old 29-11-2010, 19:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marksman View Post
Hi Del, your right about the cost, I was fortunate as my boat came with one when I bought it, but I think it was close to 10K new from Artfull Dodger up in PT. I may not have put out that much coin for a cover before owning one, but after enjoying the benefits I'm pretty sure I will replace it when the time comes. It alows us to strip most of the teak off season and then sand and finish when it warms up enough, plus a host of other external projects that require a dry, protected climate.

Cheers!
Yeah! If it came with the boat that's good. I'd surely use it then. Sunbrella lasts for quite a long time (if it's dark) so you should get your monies worth.

BTW do you keep your boat in the Skagit Bay by Utsalady?
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Old 29-11-2010, 20:28   #9
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Kingston is King

Maelstrom resides over in Kingston, been there since 1974, was Earl Millers boat for her first few years with the raceing crowd. It's a long way to go from Stanwood, but the marina is pretty choice and the rates are more than reasonable. I'm in the middle of D dock so a 30 yd. putt gets me sailing. When/if I get to retire the plan is to move to the peninsula and be closer.

My sunbrella is the usuall blue and is still in pretty good shape. I'm haveing to restitch a few things from time to time but nothing too bad.
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Old 29-11-2010, 22:33   #10
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I personally think that a cover that allows free air movement, some level of moisture protection but good solar UV protection is a must. A boathouse would be ideal but I haven't seen one built for a sailboat yet. I question the use of shrinkwrap for anything other than shipping boats.

Ventilation is the key to a healthy mold free boat here in the Pacific Northwest. There is one huge advantage to a cover over an uninsulated deck or hatch and this is the prevention of moisture forming on the underside of decks due to overnight radiational cooling. For those not familiar with radiational cooling, this occurs when a surface is exposed to a clear night sky. Heat energy radiates from the object to the cold of space till energy is depleted from the surface to the point that the surface cools to the dew point of the humidity in the air. This stimulated condensation all over (dew) or on the underside of the object and if this is the inside of the cabin that moisture drips and accumulates over time creating a great climate for mold and mildew formation. The canvas cover would take the radiational cooling so the boat deck never gets cooled to the dew point so should never have moisture condensation problems.

BB
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Old 30-11-2010, 21:03   #11
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Originally Posted by Bruce Bevan View Post
I personally think that a cover that allows free air movement, some level of moisture protection but good solar UV protection is a must. A boathouse would be ideal but I haven't seen one built for a sailboat yet. I question the use of shrinkwrap for anything other than shipping boats.

Ventilation is the key to a healthy mold free boat here in the Pacific Northwest. There is one huge advantage to a cover over an uninsulated deck or hatch and this is the prevention of moisture forming on the underside of decks due to overnight radiational cooling. For those not familiar with radiational cooling, this occurs when a surface is exposed to a clear night sky. Heat energy radiates from the object to the cold of space till energy is depleted from the surface to the point that the surface cools to the dew point of the humidity in the air. This stimulated condensation all over (dew) or on the underside of the object and if this is the inside of the cabin that moisture drips and accumulates over time creating a great climate for mold and mildew formation. The canvas cover would take the radiational cooling so the boat deck never gets cooled to the dew point so should never have moisture condensation problems.

BB
While I don't live in an area where it rains hourly like Bruce, moisture can be a problem here as well. I use moisture absorbing products in each cabin as well as leaving a light bulb on in each and have never had a mold problem under full cover. I also use cheap vodka for fresh water anti freeze so my methods are somewhat unconventional.
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