Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Most people don''t worry too much about a boat cover in the summer, unless you''re talking about a dinghy with lots of varnish and they''re really finicky. Sails that are left rigged on board should have sailcovers because the material (even dacron) will degrade in the sunlight, and it makes sense to protect them when they''re not being used so they''ll last longer when you are using them. Winter covers are important wherever it freezes. Water will get into even tiny cracks on a boat, such as the place where the shrouds go through the deck, or where bolts fasten cleats or other fittings. If this water freezes, the expanding ice makes the hole bigger, like a pothole in a Vermont road. The bigger the hole, the more water gets in, and pretty soon you have a problem. We are also careful to make sure our boat is stored for the winter so that the cockpit drains completely. Water trapped in the cockpit might crack it apart if it were to freeze -- quite expensive to fix. The more water you can keep off the boat, the better. We use heavy duty tarps over a pvc pipeframe; a system that has held up for five years so far. The nicest covers I''ve seen are made by Fairclough, but they''re likely to be quite expensive. An awning or canvas company, or sailmaker would be good places to ask for ideas or quotes. Shrinkwrapping with plastic is another option, but it ends up being more expensive in the long run besides being ecologically unsound.