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jhgreen 10-02-2012 11:53 AM

Shrink Wrap and mast removal

I have been thinking abiut the annual haul out and have some questions

When I bought the boat bsck in May the surveyor said i should remive my mast(keel steped) and repiaint the base but this got me to thinking as i thought abiut protecting my boat from the elements here in CT
I was going to shrink wrap this year to save money and buy a nice cover next year saw some nice ones in Newport.
So the question is do i need to build a frame for the shrink wrap without my boom being up or is tht part of the processes?

Thank You
Pearsom 10m

chef2sail 10-02-2012 12:28 PM

re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
I thought shrink wrapping was fairly expnsive and its money thrown away. I am not a big fan of it because it seals in heat when the sun beats on it and doesnt let the air flow as well as canvas. Sure way to prevent mold growth. Why not put the money for the shrink wrap towards buying a cheaper canvas now. Replace in a few years with a Faircloth canvas


CalebD 10-02-2012 03:05 PM

re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
I'm with Dave in that shrink wrapping = wasteful and expensive. Why not pull the mast, build some crutches for it that will support it over the cabin and drape tarps over that? Simple and reusable if it survives the winter.

It sounds to me as though you are thinking of shrink wrapping your own boat?

Typically the "pros" will make a frame from 1"x 3" which bends nicely without cracking. One arc goes from the bow to the mast and another arc reaches the mast from the stern with both tied off at the mast (if it is up). Some support legs are set up and the rest is shaped by using straps tied off. Carpet remnants secured with duct tape serve to protect the boat from the frame elements and the shrink wrap from pointy objects on the boat (life line stanchions). You could make the frame without the mast in place; it will just need more supporting members. Then you heat shrink the plastic over the frame and throw it all away in the spring.

klem 10-02-2012 06:07 PM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
You have a couple of options.

If you want to get the cover this year but it requires the mast to be up, you may be able to pull the mast either in the fall or spring and restep it shortly afterwards. The trick here is that you need to coordinate with your yard, everyone does things differently.

Another option is to have the boat shrink wrapped as you suggest. Done properly, shrink wrapping provides a very effective cover. The two problems are airflow and cost. Airflow is a matter of making sure that the cover is built properly. The best way in my opinion is to have the frame go slightly below the rail and stand the shrink wrap off by a few inches. Since that requires a very complicated frame, having the shrink wrap end slightly above your rail is another good way to promote airflow. I believe that MaineSail has posted some good pictures of his boat wrapped this way. In terms of cost, doing it for one year is a decent deal because you don't have to come up with a complicated frame and tarps. Doing it yourself once is not cost effective because the guns are very expensive so I would only do it if you plan to pay someone.

Tarps are another option but you need to keep them from flapping. I used to use them quite successfully but it is difficult to keep them from scuffing up the topsides.

Another option if you have a tight deck and not much wood would be to skip the cover for a year. As long as you can come by and clean off the boat regularly, it will probably do just fine. To be honest, I have seen many covers that do a lot more damage than good.

Rockter 10-02-2012 07:42 PM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
Shrink warap a boat in hot climates, and when the sun comes up you will fry it.

Minnewaska 10-02-2012 08:25 PM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
I'm a big fan of Fairclough covers and they can be made to fit around your mast and shrouds, so you aren't required to remove it. If you are in CT, they aren't too far from you in New Haven. If I recall correctly, they install it for you the year you buy it.

If you do the installs and removal yourself, the break even is about 3 years. Very worth it, despite simply being better for your boat.

JimsCAL 10-03-2012 07:50 AM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
Probably too late to get a custom cover in time for this fall. I've gone without covering when I had boats without much exterior wood (and not varnished). On my current boat I built a frame using PVC conduit and use heavy tarps (the silver ones, not the blue ones) with good results. Cost for the PVC conduit frame and tarps was less than half what a shrink wrap job would have cost for one season, and I am now on my third year of using them.

rbrake 10-03-2012 10:16 AM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
You can build a decent re-usable frame with cheap electrical conduit, a cheap pipe bender and a box of couplings. I'm in snow country and like to have a cover high enough to work under come spring for varnish and general deck work out of the wind and elements.

Minnewaska 10-03-2012 08:09 PM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal

Originally Posted by JimsCAL (Post 929143)
Probably too late to get a custom cover in time for this fall.....

I'm certain that Fairclough was selling covers at the Newport boat show a couple of weeks back with Fall installation. I'm sure you would be pushing it now, but probably fine if we don't get a very early snow.

DonScribner 10-05-2012 12:47 PM

Re: Shrink Wrap and mast removal
I built a frame out of PVC. 24" high ladder sections tie to the toe rail around the entire perimeter. Then I have PVC lengths with u-clips on then ends that bend over the stored mast and clip to the ladder sections. There's uplift now, that's why the ladders are tied down. I cover the whole thing with a tailored tarp. I bought a huge blue tarp, measured the boat at 4'-0 intervals and cut the tarp to fit on the back lawn. A couple of hours on mama's Singer and Voila! Boat cover. I secure it with bungies so it's pulled tight. It has taken 24" of snow without failure. Someday I'll use the cover as a template and make a real one out of Sunbrella.

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