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Old 05-10-2012, 17:12   #1
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Shrink Wrap

I'm thinking of shrink wrapping my FG sailboat for winter storage - snow and below freezing for 4 months or so. However, I've heard it can cause some damage issues - perhaps on awl gripped boats - not sure. any experience out there?
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Old 05-10-2012, 17:15   #2
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Re: shrink wrap

We did a lot of new boats for shipping with no paint issues at all....? You mean from the heat when It's being "shrunk"?
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Old 05-10-2012, 17:48   #3
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Re: shrink wrap

just my five cents: I never shrink wrapped when I had wooden boats - heard to many bad things - I usually just had a Winter Cover to protect from the elements over the mast which was laid on top of the boat. Ensure no chafing where it touches the Hull. And that was back in Switzerland with quit an amount of snow and deep temperatures.

When I was in the market for a "plastic cruising" boat in the US all the boats I checked out which where shrink wrapped have been a disaster. Mold everywhere and usually very smelly. I know you can avoid that when you take care to ensure good ventilation but I never saw it actually working.

I cam to the conclusion that I never would shrink wrap, waste of money, better buy a multi season winter cover. Should pay itself after a while and ventilation is simply better.
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Old 05-10-2012, 18:02   #4
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Re: shrink wrap

Most of the boats at my RI marina are shrink wrapped every year with no problems. It all depends on if it is done correctly. On Awlgrip hulls, the wrap does only to the toe doesn't touch the paint. chafing isn't the problem but contact with the paint trapping moisture. As long as it doesn't touch, no problem.
Ventilation is easy if you install sufficient vents or leave a small opening fore and aft.
As with most things, it all depends on the quality of the work and the knowledge and experience of those doing it.
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Old 05-10-2012, 18:04   #5
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Re: shrink wrap

Yep, a good pro job will have no troubles. You can get nice vents, zipper doors, transparent panels, etc. etc. If you rent a roofers torch you can get everything you need to do the job yourself, but there is definitely a learning curve.
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Old 05-10-2012, 20:07   #6
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I've been looking around on line for some heavy duty rubberized canvas tarps or something along those lines to cover my boat for the winter. Anyone know of a supplier? I think I need about six 25x20 or so.
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Old 05-10-2012, 20:31   #7
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Re: Shrink Wrap

There is a risk of blisters if the shrinkwrap is allowed to tightly cover the topsides. The proper way is to put small blocks of foam between the wrap and the hull to maintain some airspace between the two. Boatyards sometimes neglect to do this. In at least one instance I've seen a really bad case of pox develop on the topsides when this wasn't done.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:21   #8
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Re: Shrink Wrap

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Originally Posted by DSDman View Post
I've been looking around on line for some heavy duty rubberized canvas tarps or something along those lines to cover my boat for the winter. Anyone know of a supplier? I think I need about six 25x20 or so.

We use Max Katz, have for many years. Their plastic is stronger and comes in wider widths than most manufacterers (so you can cover the whole boat in one piece with no seams if you want), it's much better than cheap tarp which loses it's water resistance pretty quick. This stuff is as good as it gets when it comes to covering boats with a non-shrink wrap product. It costs a bit more, but it will actually last all winter unlike tarp or visqueen. Never poke holes in it, use clips or homemade version of same.

MAX KATZ REINFORCED POLY | Brock White Company USA

Max Katz Bag Company, Inc., Construction Products

Reinforced Poly Sheeting, 20' x 100' # RF2020 by Max Katz Bag Co
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Old 12-10-2012, 19:56   #9
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Re: Shrink Wrap

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Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
There is a risk of blisters if the shrinkwrap is allowed to tightly cover the topsides. The proper way is to put small blocks of foam between the wrap and the hull to maintain some airspace between the two. Boatyards sometimes neglect to do this. In at least one instance I've seen a really bad case of pox develop on the topsides when this wasn't done.
This is EXACTLY what happened to a C&C42 at the marina we overwinter in. Major blisters/discoloration all over dark topsides. Yard had to pay for an entire new awlgrip job, and the discussions (!) , and work, took up a good portion of the subsequent season. We use canvas tarps on a electrical conduit/ wood lath frame and figure we've saved about $3000 over the past ten years compared to shrinkwrap.
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Old 12-10-2012, 19:58   #10
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Where did you get the canvas tarps from?
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Old 12-10-2012, 20:07   #11
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Re: Shrink Wrap

Defender Marine. We bought the heaviest stuff they had. Definitely stay away from the blue poly junk that disintegrates in the sun. We use three tarps: bow/midsection/stern, and tie the conduit frames off to our stanchions. 1x2 laths are then taped fore & aft, and the tarps spread over them. We run heavy lines along the toerail and wrap the tarp's loose ends back up around the lines, which we then cinch tight with the jibsheet winches. A few more lines stretched over the top holds everything down nicely. We've gone through seasons of more than 3' of snow and 60 knot winds with this setup, though we have had to replace one tarp in the past 15 years due to chafe.
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