Completed - Inexpensive PVC Frame and Cover - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-11-2009
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Completed - Inexpensive PVC Frame and Cover

The cover for our Beneteau 50 is finished. The yearly cost will be $200, instead of the $1500 the marina charges for shrinkwrap. Total cost this year was even less than $1500. Much less. Here is a picture of the frame.



Here's a shot with the cover, before it was really done. (It was dark by the time she was completly covered and everything was tucked in tight.)



The whole thing disassembles into some managable pieces, for easy reassembly next winter. For instance, the 1.5" PVC ridge has a very taught 1/2 inch nylon line running in the center like a "spinal cord". This means by loosening (but not removing) the line, all the pieces at the top come apart, but stay in the same order for next winter. Likewise, the 13 PVC "wings" fold in (or fold up and over) so they can be easily moved. There are a few experimental aspects of the design, like arched ribs (tensioned like a bow-and-arrow's bow), side supports and mid-arch supports. I want to see how they fare over the winter.

The fore section was really the simplest part of the design, since she's less beamy there.



By keeping all the ribs at 10 feet, it worked well with the 20 foot wide tarp. this picture was before I gathered-in all the excess material at the bow. (The same thing that heat guns do to shrink wrap, can be done to tarps with some light line from the inside.) Note also this picture was before finishing-up where the tarps meet.




Each year, we'll need a new 20x30 cheap tarp for the bow, and a tarp for the stern as well. For the stern, I used a 50x30, so what you see is one piece, without any cuts. The tarp actually folds at the topping lift and covers the stern quite well.

I may using a 30x40 in the future for the stern if I change the design a bit or if I take the mast out. (The design does not need the mast and boom in place, the frame is self-supporting.)

If anyone wants more details, please let me know. There are a bunch of things done to make it easily removed, stored and reassembled.

Regards
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Old 01-11-2009
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After looking at the pictures just now, I realized that it all looks much better after everything was snugged up tight. I'll have to get some daylight pictures of the completed project. Somehow, these pictures don't quite capture it.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Here's another picture taken from the inside after the tarp was tightened-up and gathered. Note the cardboard box over the BBQ (to protect the tarp from hard edges).



Below the folded, stainless arch is a separate 8'x10' tarp to protect the storage compartment in the transom from water-turned-ice. So everything in the picture is one large tarp, except for right behind the dinghy engine mount.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Looks like a good design. Wouldn't know myself. Down here we just keep sailing.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Contradulations on getting that done. I was wondering how you were comming along on that.
Now you can start on the real list.

How are the ribs connected to the top piece?
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Old 01-11-2009
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Cardboard Box? Barbeque Grill? Can't you remove the bloomin thing and store it proper? Did you put a cardboard box over the anchor too?
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Old 01-11-2009
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I'd like to get a spring report to see how it weathered the winter. Looks good but I've had experience with tarps and pvc. Hope it holds up well for you.
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Old 01-11-2009
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I did something similar for our 30' Sabre. So far, so great! Holding up very well, and we get some crazy winds here in coastal Maine frequently.

Frame (PVC & 2x4s for posts) cost all of about $60-$70, plus a 20'x40' heavy duty green tarp (about $70, which is holding up well, and I hope to use it next year).

I figure, it'll take about an hour in the spring and fall to build and tear down each year...not bad. It's tall enough inside to walk around inside, plus holds some heat when I string up work lights.

Nice thing is, snow slides right off with just a tap from a roof rake. Boat is in our driveway, so it's easy and convenient to check on her, and keep snow off.





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Old 01-11-2009
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Looks pretty sound, guys. One suggestion if I may:
If you use a bungie cord between the line and the grommet on the tarp, it'll have some give when the wind blows. Your tarps will make it through the winter that way without getting pulled and torn.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
Looks pretty sound, guys. One suggestion if I may:
If you use a bungie cord between the line and the grommet on the tarp, it'll have some give when the wind blows. Your tarps will make it through the winter that way without getting pulled and torn.
Yeah, those grommets are for show...

I picked up some tarp clips, which actually work very well. They hold and can attach just about anywhere.
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