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post #1 of 8 Old 09-11-2000 Thread Starter
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Winter Storage

Hi

I recently purchased my first Sailboat a new 1999 Beneteau Oceanis 281 and I live in Kingston New York. I have heard pros and cons from the people at my marina about Shrink Wrapping for the winter versus using tarps, it is my understanding that no one has used Shrink wrap in the marina. Since my marina does not provide Shrink wrapping I would have to bring in an outside party to perform the service. I would appreciate any insight anyone may have concening winter storage. TIA

Ralph
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-15-2000
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Winter Storage

I used a tarp to cover my 20-foot catboat last winter and it was fine, even when the wind was whipping up above 30 knots. The tarp was old and had to be patched several times with duct tape as the winter wore on, but the boat came through fine. The spars were laid down lengthwise on cradles, helping to keep the air circulating between the tarp and boat. Considering the cost of shrinkwrap, I''m not sure why it is so popular at my marina, which charges $7 per foot for boats with 9 feet of beam or less. Add in the cost of hoops ($40) and a zipper door ($45), and the extra fee if the mast is not stepped (another $2/foot), and the shrinkwrap could cost me $265. Compared to $30 or so for a new tarp, shrinkwrap looks like a real luxury. There may be pros and cons I''m unaware of, but I''ll be using a tarp again this winter.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-02-2000
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Winter Storage

Ralph shrink wrapping does have one problem I know of which is it can cause moisture problems. If your mast is down, use it to support a tarp. Support the mast in a couple locations especially if you expect heavy snow. I have an Oday19 and have covered it this way here in New Hampshire and its a lot cheapper than shrink wrap. Don''t let the snow accumulate however.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-03-2000
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Winter Storage

I recently asked my marina manager what the pros and cons are of shrinkwrapping vs tarp and he said it was a matter of convenience--you don''t have to worry about it like you do a tarp, which can require checking for wind damage or an overload of snow or ice. But frankly, I enjoy going out to the marina in the winter to check on the tarp, so that isn''t an issue for me, as it is just 10 minutes away. The main thing is to make sure the shrinkwrap is ventilated, to prevent moisture damage and mildew. According to the Oct. issue of Seaworthy, from BoatUS, inadequately ventilated shrinkwrap can cause blistering on boats refinished with a two-part poly paint such as Imron or Awlgrip.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-22-2000
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Winter Storage

I''d recommend shrink wrap if you store your boat in a windy location. My 34'' sloop is stored on Lake Champlain and it''s common for the tarps to tear during winter. Even when they don''t tear the make a mess of your boat as they break down and wear. I tested shrink wrap last year for $10/ft. I liked the cover but hated throwing that much money away each year.

I purchased my own shrink wrap gun after finding out that the wholesale price of 20''x90'' shrink wrap is about $80 (so the cost of materials is about $50/year). Friends could easily share the cost of the heat gun and pay for itself the first year.

Be sure to ventilate and don''t wrap a painted hull
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-25-2000
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Winter Storage

We thought about shrink wrap when we got our boat, and thought about paying more and more each season as the price of oil (and therefore plastic) rose. We also considered the environmental implications of throwing away that much plastic each year. The setup we use for our J/36 - a wooden frame with canvas tarps- paid for itself (compared to the cost of a single shrink-wrap job) after two seasons . Our canvas does have some worn and torn spots after four years, but not worth taking to the local loft to fix yet. (Winds over 70kts were recorded in storms last winter alone.) We expect another 5-10 years from our tarps. (They''re NOT the blue plastic kind!) Ours is a decidedly low-key setup, but it works for us.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-16-2000
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Winter Storage

Ralph,

I think the overall idea of shrink-wrapping is good while the actual end-result is bad. Here is why:

Shrink-wrapping is an annual event. Every year you get to spend big bucks to make your boat virtually unservicable. Furthermore, these covers are usually too thin to sustain strong winds and/or debris. I''d go with something stronger that will last the years and allow you to work on the boat.

We built a wooden frame on our topsides that support a nearly impermeable cloth cover. This cathedral shaped frame sheds snow and we can remove it in two days every spring. The zippers in it allow easy access to the boat during the winter for maintenance chores, etc. and the cover also provides shade in the summer. If you are planning on keeping the boat for any length of time, this is a much sounder investment.

Check it out at vonwentzel.net. Follow the link to Prout and then on to the Exterior section.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-15-2001
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Winter Storage

Move South where you can use your boat year round. I now have a full canvas cover made by a Connecticut sailmaker for a Tartan 40 that is unused. If interested -RichToba@bellsouth.net
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