What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 75 Old 10-30-2013
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With our previous boat (Grampian 34 centre cockpit) we tarped every year. We get real winters up here on the north shore of Lake Superior, so our tarp had to keep the snow out while standing up to severe winter storms.

After a few versions I settled on making a frame of flexible plastic conduit (1" perhaps 1 1/2"). I tied the arches to a 3/8" line that I used as a ridge pole/backbone. The conduit was secured to the toe rail and tie-wrapped to the spine. The tarp was then draped over and secured down to the cradle.

The benefit of this system is that it flexes with the wind. Using this we never ripped the tarp, and always kept the snows out. It's also easy to set up and store.
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post #22 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

Take a walk through the yard. You are bound to see plenty of them.
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post #23 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

I store mast up. My system consists of using the boom and whisker pole as the centerline supports and them have hoops using 1 inch PVC conduit (like Mike above) that attach to the boom or whisker pole and the toerail. Without the hoops, snow and water will collect. I use two tarps, a bit oversized and slit at necessary points to get around shrouds etc. and reinforced with Gorilla tape. I strongly recommend buying a heavy duty tarp (silver) not the light blue or green ones. MUCH more durable, don't flap nearly as much due to the additional weight, and twice as many grommets that don't pull out. I'm on my fourth season with mine. Buy them online and they are about the same as the cheap blue ones at the local hardware store.

Heavy-Duty Silver Poly Tarps at Tarp & Cover Superstore
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post #24 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

Where I live, boats stay in the water. I've only seen two or three boats that have actually been hauled and shrink wrapped. When my boat was on its trailer, I used tarps to cover most of the deck. I'm looking at making a boat cover someday out of sunbrella hoping that it would last longer than the tarps.

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post #25 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

I never have had the plastic type tarps make it though the winter they always tear apart. The yard this year has banned them from boats due to the damage they do to the boats once they start flapping all over.

So I thinking in spending some cash this year for a good canvas tarp. But just to keep the snow out of the cockpit so I can get onto the boat in early spring.

My boat doesn't leak
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post #26 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

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Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
I never have had the plastic type tarps make it though the winter they always tear apart. The yard this year has banned them from boats due to the damage they do to the boats once they start flapping all over.

So I thinking in spending some cash this year for a good canvas tarp. But just to keep the snow out of the cockpit so I can get onto the boat in early spring.

My boat doesn't leak
You are correct that many yards have banned them because they can and often do damage other boats in the process. A flapping grommet in 25 knots can do a number on a 15K Awlgrip job......

A well done home made tarp can be fine, but they are often not "well made"...


Fail:


Fail:


Fail:


Fail:



The key design criteria up here is PITCH, PITCH, PITCH. These covers MUST be able to SHED snow or they very often fail........



Personally I build my own framing and a buddy with the tools shows up helps me shrink it. I would get my own guns but he is so reasonable it would be too long of a pay back...

Our cover design has never held snow nor does any part of the cover or frame every touch our painted topsides.

Getting ready to frame her up:


Framing in progress:





My latest cross tie design can be removed for winter work and replaced from inside the cover.


Another design I came up with is to build into my winter cover a "vestibule"... No opening a cheesy zip door or fighting to get on-board I simply walk out the barn and up the ladder.... The barn also has its own shore power outlet on the second floor...


Sleek, slippery, easy winter access and does not touch the painted hull. Most importantly it never holds or retains any snow. The minute it gets to 1/4" to 1/2" it avalanches and comes off in sheets...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 10-31-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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post #27 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Old Indian trick

Believe it or not, buffalo hides for tipis did NOT come with grommets. So here is a genuine "old Indian trick".

Place a smooth roundish object, a small marble or smooth pebble, behind the fabric and push it towards you and tie around it so it's in a tight pocket. You should see the shape of the pebble/marble on your side with the tie rope on your side and behind the pebble. This is much stronger than a grommet, and you can do it wherever you need a tie, but where possible do it on the hem or a seam for strength. Be aware that it's heavier than a grommet, it's up to you to make sure it won't flap and flail around. Mine don't sit against the boat.

As Maine Sail says, steep pitch is everything. I also like the ridge high so I can get in there comfortably. And I like some opening at the ends for ventilation.

I have one tarp that's been on continuously for three years (stored), it just split a few days ago at the ridge. It's still dry and pleasant in the boat.
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post #28 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

This isn't quite the right thread for this but what are thoughts about leaving batteries in over winter?

Now that I have a proper solar panel and controller I was considering leaving the batteries on-board over the winter with the panel (on the stern rail) exposed.

I'm guessing that with the silver tarp enough light won't get through for the solar right? I've heard that shrink wrap lets in enough light normally to keep batteries topped off.

This saves me lugging them in and out and gives me lights and power over winter.
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post #29 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

No need to remove the batts. as long as you have a full charge on them and disconnect them. Batts will lose like 2% a month. I would not keep the solar hooked up unless you are going to check water levels. Assuming you have non sealed wet batts.

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post #30 of 75 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: What is the best way to Tarp a sailboat for winter

I'm always impressed by the engineering I see in these tarp threads. But every year I see ripped tarps flapping in the boatyard. Their sound is as much a part of winter as slapping halyards and wind through the rigging.

My boat came with a Fairclough winter cover (thanks to the original owner). It does a good job of protecting the boat and it's held up incredibly well -- it's now 18 years old and is showing no signs of failing.

They're not cheap, but they're a good investment and good quality covers aren't prone to failure. Mine goes on in less than an hour with two people and is fitted to the boat.

Just my 2 cents.

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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