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Old 11-26-2001
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Boat Covers

I have a Catalina 36. What kind of boat covering would you recommend for the winter in Long Island, NY, and where would you suggest it be purchased.

Sue & Larry respond:
When choosing a boat cover for the winter you have several choices. What you choose in the end will depend upon how much you wish to spend and how long you want your cover to last. The cheap and nasty solution is to go to your local hardware store and buy one of those blue polyethylene tarps. The trick to making these last the winter is in how well you support the tarp with some sort of frame in addition to your boom to make sure all water and debris falls off the boat. The tie-down job must be such that there are no low spots that water or snow can collect in and the tarp must be pulled tightly enough and have enough line on it to ensure that the wind will not rip it. Donít expect more than one season out of this kind of cover.

If you want a cover that will last many seasons and be the exact right size for your boat, your best bet is to talk to your local canvas shop and have them custom make one for you. They will likely suggest using a fabric that will allow breathing to prevent condensation, has little stretch and is highly UV, water and mildew resistant. Sunbrella would be a good choice here. There are other 100-percent polyester fabrics they might suggest also.

Many boats in your area receive an annual shrink wrapping at haul-out. This is where plastic is draped over the entire boat, then heated with a large torch to shrink it and draw it tight. A special access door can be added to allow mid-winter visits to your boat.

Why not give the folks at SailNet's Custom Canvas Shop a call and seek their advice on the matter as well. You can get a hold of them toll free at 800-234-3220 ext. 1239. Good luck.

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