Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
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Re: Winter under a tarp
We've used heavy canvas tarps for the past 15 years, trying a variety of different support systems on our J/36. The most durable setup, we find, is galvanized electrical conduit bent into frames. We made short sets of bent legs all the same, and then fitted the upper arches. They are joined by the standard conduit joints, so the pieces all fit into the trunk of my car. We connect the pieces on the ground, so that each frame is straight. We then strap the leg sections to stanchions with nylon ties. 1x4 wood stringers are then taped fore & aft to hold everything upright & parallel. They're longer, so they go on the roof rack of the car, unless I leave the hatchback open. The tarps (three) go over the frame. One covers the bow forward of the mast, one aft of the mast, and one closes off the stern. We've had to relpace one tarp so far. Though the initial cost is a bit more than a shrink-wrap job, we laugh each year when we save$500 by using the same tarps as last year. We experimented with an all-wood frame and also with PCV pipe, but the conduit holds up better, is easier to assemble, dismantle, transport and store.
Two years ago we had about five feet of snow, all told, and it held up. We've also had major windstorms. Periodic checks are a good idea, but a boat needs patting from time to time anyway. Use heavy, waterproof canvas --NOT the blue poly junk that disintegrates in the sun.
Last edited by paulk; 08-26-2012 at 09:44 PM.