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  #21  
Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

Adding Kanberra Gel in the boat when you close her up for the winter will make a big difference in the spring whatever cover you use.

I put it out in the v-berth, head and salon and there's virtually no boat smells.

There's a long SailNet thread on the stuff here. I just know it works (and is much cheaper when you buy re-fills).

FWIW.
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2013
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Winter Storage Covers

Made a ridge pole out of 4" PVC that runs the length of my 30 foot boat, about 3 feet above cabin top. Legs and bases made of PVC fittings. 20x40 white poly tarp is spread out evenly. Got it online and still serviceable after 6 years, getting to end of its life though. Along the long edge of tarp I built a bunch of blocks out of plywood with large hole drilled through. Screwed these to a backing block of wood evenly along edge. Then just crisscross under the boat, the blocks let me pull the tarp pretty tight. These are a lot stronger than grommets and have never pulled out even pulling tight.

Has made it through many Maine winter storms and is steep enough it nearly sheds all snow on its own. Also rigged in such a way there are very large openings fore and aft for ventilation and access. Mast is stored on deck in a custom cradle nearly entirely inside cover. Cheap and has worked very well. I have found the ridge pole does not need to be tied down or supported, a tightly pulled cover holds it in place.
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

For years I used tarp over a pvc pipe frame on one of my boats. I quickly learned that you are lucky to get a season without ripping in winter storms in the NE. I switched to the silver tarps, which lasted much longer--enough to justify the added cost. It is essential to make sure the tarp is tightly tied so it doesn't flap--and that means establishing multiple tie points where there are no grommets.

Eventually, we migrated to a fitted cover made by a local canvas shop. It uses electrical conduit for the framework and is held together with KoverKlamps, useing the neoprene protective pads at the hard points. The polyester canvas (sunbrella or equivalent) cover shown is in its 16th year, but it is tired, has a number of minor patches, is threadbare is some places and is no longer fully waterproof. I was told to expect 10 years, so I can't complain.



When I replace it I will use the treated cotton canvas, like Fairclough uses. I have this material on a power boat and it conforms (shrinks) to the frame, whereas the polyester canvas is a looser fit and therefore can work in a breeze, resulting in chafe to the point of wearing the canvas and "sanding" the zinc coating on the conduit. The rusty conduit then acts like sandpaper to hasten the wear on the canvas. You need to stay on top of this.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

The issue with the cloth covers in the North East USA, is that snow can accumulate on them, and lead to other issues. Last year in the North East it would not have been a problem, however this year it would have been.

I reluctantly shelled out the $1250 (this year) to marina, to have it done. Next year, if I can't convince the wife to spend the winter in Florida, I will probably use the silver tarp method described above.

If my boat were anyware south of where more than 6" of snow can fall, I would invest in a Fairclough cover.
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  #25  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
The issue with the cloth covers in the North East USA, is that snow can accumulate on them, and lead to other issues. Last year in the North East it would not have been a problem, however this year it would have been.

If my boat were anyware south of where more than 6" of snow can fall, I would invest in a Fairclough cover.
A heavy, wet snow is a problem for any kind of cover. That said, I have two boats with fitted covers over electrical conduit frames. They were made by a local canvas shop.

The polyester canvas cover is 16 years old and survived the 2' snowfall during the Northeaster blizzard this year. That was the worst snowfall here in southern NE that I've experienced in my long memory with respect to weight and difficulty in removal. My 12-13 yr old cotton canvas (same as used by Fairclough) also survived.

Any replacements will be by--or equivalent to--Fairclough, using the treated cotton canvas. I will make sure the slope on the framework is appropriate to shed most of the precipitation, but you can't prevent the wet snow from accumulating and forming pockets in the canvas, so you need to make sure the framework is up to the task. So far, my conduit frames have held up under some trying circumstances. This system works if executed competently.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

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Originally Posted by fallard View Post
A heavy, wet snow is a problem for any kind of cover. That said, I have two boats with fitted covers over electrical conduit frames. They were made by a local canvas shop.

The polyester canvas cover is 16 years old and survived the 2' snowfall during the Northeaster blizzard this year. That was the worst snowfall here in southern NE that I've experienced in my long memory with respect to weight and difficulty in removal. My 12-13 yr old cotton canvas (same as used by Fairclough) also survived.

Any replacements will be by--or equivalent to--Fairclough, using the treated cotton canvas. I will make sure the slope on the framework is appropriate to shed most of the precipitation, but you can't prevent the wet snow from accumulating and forming pockets in the canvas, so you need to make sure the framework is up to the task. So far, my conduit frames have held up under some trying circumstances. This system works if executed competently.
See this post; Protecting your Awlgrip topsides in the winter
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

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Originally Posted by zeilfanaat View Post
May I ask who made this cover?
I'll have to look it up - it came with the boat that I JUST closed on yesterday (3/23/13)
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
MainSail paid $700/yr in 2008 for a boat in a similar size range to my sailboat. Allowing for inflation, my 1996 canvas cover (including the frame) would have cost $4400 in 2008 dollars. I've had it for 16 years without a collapse--although I'm admittedly not in Maine! Shrink wrap would have cost me over $11K in that time frame if done like MainSail's.

Having a steep enough slope is a key here, as well as some way to offload the lifelines. My frame has arches at close intervals and a stringer halfway from the ridgepole to the lifelines. The ridgepole is supported vertically at close intervals. In a heavy snow load, there is enough sagging that the lifelines will take some of the load, but the stanchions are backed up by the arches. This works in SE Connecticut, where we get wet snows often enough. Not saying this slope or the frame design is suitable for Maine.

I have seen the downside of shrinkwrap on painted hulls in my yard, so canvas makes a lot of sense if you like a bubble-free hull.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

Meant to include this photo of my polyester canvas cover from thee inside.

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  #30  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Winter Storage Covers

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Originally Posted by fallard View Post
Meant to include this photo of my polyester canvas cover from thee inside.

Nice! That is a substantial cover. It looks good. You are correct about the height for shedding snow. The high peak I have with an Amsteel ridge line has done a superb job this year for me. It has been through serious wind loads and near record snow fall here on Mount Desert Island. With 1/4" shock cord laced under the hull and foam pipe T insulation on the tops if the stanchions there was, even and adjustable, tension on the poly tarp. Not too tight! The pitch combined with the wind shed snow well. It was an experiment. It went on quickly. I cover it by myself. I wanted to get rid of all the "stuff" I used to store and manage for covering the boat. The "old" ridge and frame are history. I tied each of the 3 vertical supports to opposite stanchions to prevent them from shifting sideways. We had several storms with gale force winds and hurricane force gusts. I have decided the experiment worked. It was inexpensive, to boot! I can expect at least three years from the tarp @ $50.00. Using shock cord on every grommet preserves them. I do love Amsteel.

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Last edited by downeast450; 03-24-2013 at 05:06 PM.
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