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Old 10-11-2012, 14:11   #1
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Shrink wrap or not

This is our first winter season with our Gemini sailboat. We are in the Northeast- wondering if we should shrink wrap or not. We always did our 30' Catalina, but this is twice as wide and expensive. Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2012, 14:21   #2
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

I think it depends on where you live. If you are in a climate that tend to have higher humidity, you might consider installing a few vents to keep at least some circulation going through the winter. I live at 7500 feet, relatively low humidity but it does go up to 60% occasionally and most of the folks around here shrinkwrap their boats on trailers because of the snow. Many have opted for the vents that install right in the shrinkwrap.
If you aren't planning on being aboard once in a while I would be very leery about any electric heating system you might consider below decks while shrink wrapped. Phil
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Old 10-11-2012, 17:42   #3
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

Of course you should cover your boat in the north east!
If you do not want to pay the expense of shrink wrapping then simply cover with numerous tarps held securely by either bungee cords or gallon jugs filled with water such as old antifreeze jugs.
If you simply tie lines they will stretch with the winter winds and eventually the cover will come off.
Even if it is not 100% it will be much better than doing nothing.
Have done this for years and it works well.
When it rains water permeates tiny spaces and when it freezes it simply expands making the space wider!!! This obviously leads to loose fittings and core saturation etc. etc.
Every year you will learn more on how to perfect your technique.
Just my two cents from a non professional.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:19   #4
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Thanks for your reply, you opened our eyes to the importance of covering our boat, professional or not, your experience goes a long way in helping us make up our minds. We have decided to shrink wrap. Here's to an easy winter.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:00   #5
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

My 24 year old CS36M has never been covered. The winters here are as harsh as yours. Maybe worse, and winter is longer here in Toronto . My boat is no worse for wear than boats that are covered. If you're doing work on the boat in winter it is better to cover the boat but other than that I think it's a waste of money, not to mention all that wrapping that ends up in landfill.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:05   #6
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

I find that absolutely amazing. Those boats must be made very well, unlike anything I have ever owned.
Do you have a cored deck? Have you ever went around your fittings, hand rails, winches, chain plates with a moisture meter?
If you have and you truly have a dry deck then I congratulate you and you are in the minority of boat owners that I know.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:11   #7
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
I find that absolutely amazing. Those boats must be made very well, unlike anything I have ever owned.
Do you have a cored deck? Have you ever went around your fittings, hand rails, winches, chain plates with a moisture meter?
If you have and you truly have a dry deck then I congratulate you and you are in the minority of boat owners that I know.

A well built boat should be able to withstand Canadian winters. The boat was surveyed two years ago for insurance, absolutely no problems!! Cored deck and topsides from waterline up. Solid glass below waterline.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:19   #8
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

I don't shrink wrap. Seems a waste of money unles you have a leaking type boat and it just results in mold. I do cover with tarps etc in the cockpit, but that is mostly so I can get in later before the snon has all thrawed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:37   #9
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

Again.....very amazing.
however beware the level of concern for a "surveyor" documenting "moisture" for insurance and you as a owner looking for "moisture" because of potential fixable intrusions may be the difference.
maybe your deck has not rotted out yet and hopefully one day while trimming your winch it will not end up in your lap
If your philosophy is indeed correct then 80-90% of boat owners here in Connecticut have wasted a lot of money covering their boats in the off season.
I will end my comments on this subject at this point but do wish you the very best.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:42   #10
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

The biggest thing about covering your boat is the freeze/thaw cycles. If snow is on your boat, every time the temp goes above freezing the snow traps a layer of water on the deck. The result is an extended period of time the water has to work thru sealed areas. When water gets in the sealed area, it freezes, expands and causes a bigger leak.


I shrunk wrap boats for several marinas in CT for 15 years. Not once have I shrink wrap one of my own boats. Instead, I just cleaned off all the snow on my deck every time it snowed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:45   #11
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

I didn't shrink wrap this winter--I put the boat in heated indoor storage
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:47   #12
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

Every boat has small crevices, joints, cracks or sealant and it is ridiculous to think water cannot enter one or more and freeze. Not covering a boat in a freeze/thaw climate is a false economy. Properly vented, a covered boat will always survive better and longer requiring less repairs and maintenance.
That some people don't bother is their choice but does a disservice to others for recommending they do the same.
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:36   #13
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
That some people don't bother is their choice but does a disservice to others for recommending they do the same.
The question was to shrink wrap or not. I am not a big fan of shrink wrap, even though I did it for years. I especially do not like the way that most people shrinks the cover down to the life lines. This results in transferring the snow/wind load to the stanchions.

Other covers are such as Fairclough or similar are great. They have a much more robust frame and are reusable.

Winter Boat Covers | Fairclough Sailmakers | New England Marine Canvas | Fairclough
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:03   #14
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

I shrink wrap my boat to mostly protect the wood. winter sun is hard on varnish. never heard of the freeze-thaw thing in cracks being a problem but you can have a major problem with freeze-thaw in cockpit drains
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:41   #15
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Re: Shrink wrap or not

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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
The question was to shrink wrap or not. I am not a big fan of shrink wrap, even though I did it for years. I especially do not like the way that most people shrinks the cover down to the life lines. This results in transferring the snow/wind load to the stanchions.

Other covers are such as Fairclough or similar are great. They have a much more robust frame and are reusable.

Winter Boat Covers | Fairclough Sailmakers | New England Marine Canvas | Fairclough
I too used to cover our boats when we wintered up north with a Fairclough cover but, as you pointed out, that wasn't the question.
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