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  #1  
Old 11-09-2006
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Shrink Wrapping...or Not

What have been your experiences using shrink wrapping.

I have heard in some cases the heat gun used for the shrinking (if not used properly) can cause the gel coat to be damaged.

Can this be done on a boat left in the water?

Thanks,
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Old 11-09-2006
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I know people who live aboard in Connecticut and shrink wrap a house over the boat in the winter, using a conduit frame. Used with care shrink wrap won't generally damage gel coat, but it can easily damage paint. Makes a nice enclosure.
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Old 11-09-2006
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I designed and fabricated an EMT metal frame to ultimately take a custom fabric cover last year, but decided to shrinkwrap for the first season. My plan was to make the cover before this winter, but will shrinkwrap again, since I did not have the time (or initiative ).

My experience with the shrinkwrap last year were very positive, no damage to anything, great protection from the elements and ample ventilation with the use of several vents. My frame was designed to allow full walking height, fore to aft and accommodates the ketch rig without unstepping. I only needed to remove the mizzen boom.

Here's a link to a photo album of True Blue last year, published by the framing connector inventor:

http://www.framemakerclamps.com/example3.htm
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Old 11-09-2006
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Thanks,

Can anyone suggest a company in the Baltimore/Annapolis area?
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Old 11-09-2006
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BTW, if you've used AwlGrip or another LPU paint, be careful if you shrink wrap, as it can damage the paint job.
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Old 11-09-2006
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A boat in the yard we use in Connecticut had shrink-wrap left in contact with the topsides over the winter. MAJOR cosmetic damage was the result - the entire hull had to be awlgripped. We've found canvas tarps to be much more cost-effective over the long run. We bought 3 heavy-duty tarps for our 36' boat in 1997, and are planning to replace one of them this year because it is now chafed and torn in a couple of spots. Shrink wrap may look nicer, but it's still several hundred dollars each season, (we broke even after the second season of using tarps) plus the ecological burden of all that plastic.
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Old 11-09-2006
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True Blue, that looks great! I am think of doing something similar this year; I was thinking of using PVC/Sch40, I would be interested in learning more of your design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
I designed and fabricated an EMT metal frame to ultimately take a custom fabric cover last year, but decided to shrinkwrap for the first season. My plan was to make the cover before this winter, but will shrinkwrap again, since I did not have the time (or initiative ).

My experience with the shrinkwrap last year were very positive, no damage to anything, great protection from the elements and ample ventilation with the use of several vents. My frame was designed to allow full walking height, fore to aft and accommodates the ketch rig without unstepping. I only needed to remove the mizzen boom.

Here's a link to a photo album of True Blue last year, published by the framing connector inventor:

http://www.framemakerclamps.com/example3.htm
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Old 11-09-2006
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TrueBlue...that is awesome. Would you mind sharing about how much you spent in materials for it?
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Old 11-10-2006
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Max-on-

I don't think that PVC S40 is going to be strong enough, but it depends on the boat and the expected loads.

TB-

I'd be interested in hearing how much it cost to make the frame as well.
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Old 11-10-2006
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The 3/4" EMT is available from HD for about $5.50/10 ft. I used 20 lengths total, since I attached one bent 10 ft rib/per stanchion to each side of the continuous ridge pole. Cut-off scraps were used for the three vertical posts. The ridge consists of three sections with 2 in-line conduit connectors @ .80 ea. The total cost for the tubing materials was about $112.00.

The framing connectors are from www.framemakerclamps.com - great quality and designs - bolts/nuts included. It was actually fun to design and build this - took me back to my childhood Erector Set days. I don't have the invoice here at the office, but believe I paid just over $100.00 for three different types of connectors. Cut strips of bicycle inner tubing was used to protect the SS rail stanchions from abrasion and I utilizied stand-off connectors to hold the vertical EMT away from my teak cap rails and toe rails. The only tool needed for fabrication I didn't have was a conduit pipe bender - which I borrowed from a friend. You'll also need a 7/8" OD pipe cutter, socket set, box wrenches, measuring tape and screwdriver(s).

Crutch tips are used for the post bases to protect the deck and tape/markers for labeling. I used permanent marker over red (port) and green (starboard) electrical tape to identify each piece - simplifying assembly each winter. The total cost of the entire frame was under $225.00 - but could have been less if I reduced the number of ribs. I could probably walk accross this frame without deflection, it's so strong. I considered using PVC pipe, but would need at least 1-1/2" - 2" ID to be strong enough. Still, it wouldn't be as strong as galv EMT, would be too bulky to store each season and would cost more. Additionally, the galvanized metal can be clamped tighter and shouldn't rust within 10 years - if so, simply spray paint. I checked out my frame last weekend (stored in my garage rafters) and couldn't find any corrosion or rust.

I drew up the design before ordering materials and knew ahead of time exactly how I was to build it. Once all materials were assembled at the boat, I measured, cut and bent the frame, then assembled everything within one weekend day. I paid $330.00 to "The Boat Guys" last season to shrinkwrap the boat. The cost should be about the same this year - re-using the zippered door. I don't anticipate reassembling the frame will take more than a couple hours.

Hopefully, I've given you enough information to decide if this is right for your boat - but I'd be happy to answer any other questions, if needed.

Best, Steve
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 11-10-2006 at 07:47 AM.
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