Winter under a canvas cover vs shrink wrap - SailNet Community

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Old 12-07-2011
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Winter under a canvas cover vs shrink wrap

In past years, I had my boat shrink wrapped over the winter, and of course that did a great job keeping the boat dry. I suspect it did this not just because it was great at keeping precipitation out, but it also acted a bit like a green house, even though it had vents. Best of all, sunlight would come through and charge the batteries on the Nicro solar vents, and they would turn all winter.

Anyhow, I was at a boat show over Columbus Day weekend and there was a vendor offering a killer deal on custom made canvas covers. It should be paid for after just under 4 years of shrink wrapping. Its warrantied for 10 years and should last even longer.

Now that I have it, I am having second thoughts, although I am stuck with it. The cover seems like it will work reasonably well, but here are my concerns. Comments are greatly appreciated, thank you!

- It only comes down to the toe rail because my topsides are AWL Grip painted. So there is a small, about an inch, of space between the toe rail and the cover.

- It is dark, so no joy on the solar vents. Without air flow in the cabin, will condensation and therefore mold develop? Should I leave the companion way and front hatch open? There is no power available, so I can not heat the cabin even a small bit.

- The stansion bases are left exposed. So, I am worried water will seep in, freeze and do damage. Although they are bedded.

Pictures are here:

Great progress with the cover | Jim's Scampi 30 MK-IV Site - Helios
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Old 12-07-2011
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I would like the cover better if it went over the stanchions as it does not have much pitch for the snow towards the bow
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Old 12-07-2011
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Had custom cover made about 6 years ago, although not without issues of its own
over long run makes sense.
My cover fully cover stanchions and tropsides right down to water line.
I support with homemade pvc frame that works very well. (pictures and info on frame
on sailnet and cruisers forum if any interest)

Cover is darker than shrink but some light and heat comes through..can work in shirt
in temps as low 30's as long as sun is out.
Full cover deflects wind fully/short cover not so much.
Cover has 4 large overlapping vents that allow air to circulate.
Covers should have vents.

I see some very nice covers designed similiar to yours...
It seems it would be a little more work and money and a great improvement if...
**They were designed to overlap the rubrail by a inch or 2, as now all water/snow
lands inside toe rail.
**Would have to make cut outs for stanchions.
**The tie downs to secure cover would have to be on re enforced tabs just
under/inside the cover.
This would really work for the boat owner...but then the deals on a cover may not be as attractive.
take my 2 cents worth...well for what it's worth!
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Old 12-07-2011
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Looks OK to me.
The boat will be dry.
Keep some air-flow through it and you will be fine.
Cut a hole in it, cut the bottom out of an old bucket, and stuff it in there and you will have some ventilation.
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Old 12-07-2011
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Some comments.

Sounds like what you have is what's referred to as a boom tent cover. There is a option for those for "flaps" that extend over the toerail. Pricey though (approx $1000 extra) because of all the work put in slots, snaps, etc. to get around stanchions and pulpits.

Many in my club have boom tent covers and they work just fine. Ventilation doesn't seem to be a problem. Seems to more of an issue with shrink wrap. You could always put a solar panel outside the cover to charge a small battery if you feel you need to power some fans.
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I have a Fairclough canvas cover, which breaths well, as opposed to shrink wrap. I also have it extended down to the waterline, even though my topsides are awlgrip (Alexseal). Fairclough insists it isn't a problem over LP paint and they have been right.

I can't speak for the OP's brand, but having a gap near the toe rail should allow ventilation, particularly if you have vents near the ridge to allow rising heat to escape.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
Looks OK to me.
The boat will be dry.
Keep some air-flow through it and you will be fine.
Cut a hole in it, cut the bottom out of an old bucket, and stuff it in there and you will have some ventilation.
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Did you suggest I cut a hole in the cover?
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Old 12-08-2011
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Thanks very much for the comments everyone. It does seem that the cover coming down to the toe rail but not past it should allow for some ventilation, which I guess is the plus side. The down side may be that some snow will probably blow in. However, if the sun comes out and it gets warm inside the tent I guess it will melt.

There are openings at the top of the tent where the mast and topping lift would normally go, although I should tie those closed. I forgot to do that the other night, now its pouring rain out. That's okay, it pours rain int he summer sometimes. Heck, other times, water even splashes on to the foredeck. Its way too warm for anything to freeze yet.

I'll ask the guy who made it if he can add some vents. They always get added to shrink wrap. I'll see what he thinks about that.

What about the boat itself? Should I crack open the foredeck hatch and open the companion way?

I like the idea of a small solar powered battery to drive a fan. I probably only need to move a little air through there.
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Mold should be a minor concern in freezing temps, unless you had a problem to begin with. The two shoulder season keep my attention. I would worry more in the spring, if you should leave her covered too long. I go aboard every 4 to 6 weeks to check on things, otherwise all hatches are closed.

I crack open every drawer, door and locker. There are 8 damp rid containers spread about, but I'm never sure how effective they really are.

This is the first year we began to use Kanberra gel. We noticed a difference during the season, so we loaded up for the winter. It's pricey, but it is specifically intended to fight mold and bacteria.
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After reading Minniwaska endorsement of the Kannebrra gel we also started using it in the beginning of the season this year and noticed a huge improement in mustiness smell. It worked for us and I am a beleiver in it now.

Dave
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