Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
You have a couple of options.
If you want to get the cover this year but it requires the mast to be up, you may be able to pull the mast either in the fall or spring and restep it shortly afterwards. The trick here is that you need to coordinate with your yard, everyone does things differently.
Another option is to have the boat shrink wrapped as you suggest. Done properly, shrink wrapping provides a very effective cover. The two problems are airflow and cost. Airflow is a matter of making sure that the cover is built properly. The best way in my opinion is to have the frame go slightly below the rail and stand the shrink wrap off by a few inches. Since that requires a very complicated frame, having the shrink wrap end slightly above your rail is another good way to promote airflow. I believe that MaineSail has posted some good pictures of his boat wrapped this way. In terms of cost, doing it for one year is a decent deal because you don't have to come up with a complicated frame and tarps. Doing it yourself once is not cost effective because the guns are very expensive so I would only do it if you plan to pay someone.
Tarps are another option but you need to keep them from flapping. I used to use them quite successfully but it is difficult to keep them from scuffing up the topsides.
Another option if you have a tight deck and not much wood would be to skip the cover for a year. As long as you can come by and clean off the boat regularly, it will probably do just fine. To be honest, I have seen many covers that do a lot more damage than good.