ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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If you are leaving the mast up, my personal opinion for most boats is to just put a tarp over the boom to keep snow and ice from accumulating in the cockpit. This gives you the critical benefits of a full cover without the related cost and risks. Size the tarp to fit from the backstay forward to the mast, and then tie the edges to the toerails, not over the lifelines and stanchions. You can make the fit extra neat by trimming to fit the hull shape and then hemming and grometting the edges. Cut a small hole for the topping lift. Your tarp top should end up steep enough that it will not collect snow and you end up with a cover you can use year after year at a fraction of the cost of annual shrinkwrapping.
A full shrinkwrap like TB's has two issues. The first is that shrinkwrapping is expensive and needs to be repeated annually. We paid around $600+ for our 36. The second is that a full frame running over the stanchions needs to be pretty sturdy, as the top of the cover ends up fairly flat and will need to be able to carry the weight of a heavy snowfall, and transfers a lot of weight onto the stanchions. Most boats don't have the sturdy stanchions/handrail construction that TB's has. The last time I had my boat covered with a full sthrinkwrap, the cover bent four stanchions.
We are now back to storing our boat with the mast out, and made a full length deck tent by trimming a 40' plastic tarp to fit over a light ridgepole frame made out of wood straping. I paid a sailmaker $125 to hem the edges, I installed grommets every 18", and I connect the cover edges to the boat's slotted toerail with plastic cable ties. It atakes aobut two hours to put this cover up, and two to take is down.
Last edited by sailingfool; 10-08-2007 at 12:37 PM.