I just don't get it. Winter Storage
Folks pay many tens and sometime hundreds of thousands of dollars for their boat, yet can't spend the $500 to 700 to shrinkwrap their boat for the winter or buy a few tarps and cover their boats themselves.
I walked around the boat yard on Saturday and was amazed about how many big money boats had a foot+ of heavy snow on their decks. No covers, no tarps, nor has anyone visited to remove the snow. There is a J105 that has their hull below waterline smoother than a baby's bottom, but is left uncovered and now has 2 feet of snow on it.
I cover my boat each year and after each snow, try to get up and make sure the cover hasn't failed. This year the wife and I invested in custom made canvas cover and that has been great.
I just don't understand how folks spend many thousands on sails, instruments, interior stuff and cheap out when it comes to covering their boat over the winter.
And all of these boats will be advertised as "pristine" when they hit YW.
I get criticized as a live aboard because I pay to have my mast unstepped and stored indoors every winter. I defend myself by saying that it is not that expensive(which it isn't) and it makes covering the boat that much easier.
This year I built a custom frame and shrink wrapped the boat myself. This creates a wonderful sunporch on our deck that we can enjoy on sunny winter days.
I am always amazed by the number of boats I see stored with the mast and sails left as is. Most boat yards in this area that allow mast up storage require you to remove all canvas but if you look around the mid atlantic states and especially the chesapeake you see this all over.
The online stuff is really funny where folks will brag about leaving their boat uncovered and actually post photos of the 3 ft of snow on deck. I know when I am considering a new boat I search hi and low for abuses like this online.
Not Sure I Agree
I think I would rather buy a boat that had not been covered then a boat that had been covered incorrectly.
I have seen a number of boat that have tarps that are placed over the hatch and cockpit that actually could do more damage then the snow.
I looked at my old boat this weekend (sold in October). The new owner placed a tarp over it to "protect" it from the snow. But the way he put it on the boat, the scuppers for the cockpit are covered and when the snow melts or it rains, it will just fill the cockpit.
Another boat (a friend of mine owns this one and I have suggested he change the system) has a wooden stand in the cockpit and then a tarp that goes over the live lines and is tied together under the boat. The snow load is pulling the stanchions in towards the cockpit.
Then when it comes to shrink wrapping, many of the boats I have seen "professionally" done, have the shrink wrap extending down the hull to the water line. If you go up to one of the boats shrink wrapped this way and pull the shrink wrap away from the boat, gallons of water will spill out. That water is trapped between the shrink wrap and the hull and will promote blistering. Then there is the fact that most shrink wrap jobs are completely sealed and that will promote condensation inside leading to mold and mildew.
My new boat came with a canvas cover (and I would have bought one if it didn't) that goes over the boom, around the mast and stays and down to the toe rails without going over the stanchions. (you can see it in the attached photos)
Unless the cover is constructed like this one or with a good frame, it could do more damage then it prevents, IMHO. After all, if you are up-to-date on your other maintenance (i.e. bedding hardware, windows, etc.) what damage will the snow do?
I may know this boat
Has does one cover the scuppers for a cockpit? Aren't they on the cockpit sole? Do you when that he/she wrapped the tarp so far under the boat that the scupper drains are wrapped over?
I'm attaching a carport off the side of my barn to store my boat under. My canvas cover and supports were trashed by the snow, despite my clearing it off much more than I care to!
I don't know why folks find this difficult. Why some of the yard monkeys can get away with this is purely the function of an uneducated or uncaring owner.
It is really not that hard. I did my own cover this year. It has an air gap at the toe rail and I have never seen a drop of condensation. Even when I had appr. 30 people aboard the boat one night.
What kind of damage does the snow do?
Do you cover your boat in the summer to protect it from rain?
That said, I have my mast unstepped and stored indoors for the winter, and I try to store my boat indoors as well, if I can.
I used to pay to have my Newport 28 shrink wrapped. I paid extra for a door and vents. The place did a great job and the boat stayed nice and dry and was better for it. My O'day 35 came with a nice cover. Yeah, no more $$ for shrink wrap.
Unfortunately, the cover was designed to go on with the rig up. There is an opening for the mast, boom, and standing rigging. I have the rig down (required by the yard I use). In past years I just laid the cover over the boat and tied it securely. It worked OK, but I could not easily get on the boat and there was no way to go forward of the cockpit.
So this year I make a nice (or so I thought) frame of 1X2 to get the cover up off the deck and allow me to move around the boat. Well, the record snow we had broke the 'spine' of my frame. The vertical supports are still standing, but now there are sags that allow water and snow to collect. So now I need to visit the boat after each snow and rain to remove everything.
Next year I will be sure to do a better job of construction the frame.
The new owner laid the trap down in the cockpit and covered the influent side of the scuppers. So the tarp made the cockpit into a bathtub.
With that boat, the drains are in the front of the cockpit near the companion way and the boat is designed to be tilted forward when in the water. The first year I owned the boat, the yard placed her with a tilt back because most boats have the scuppers in the back. It rained hard the day after is was full and when I went to the boat the cockpit was half full. On most of the boats out there, the yard would have been right in the way they set the boat. But they never even looked to make sure they were right.
My point is, don't blindly trust your yard with any aspect of your boat. Check it out for yourself.
There is two way to look at this,
1.I cover my sailboat to protected it from the snow, the weight of the snow, the ice and the water that freeze and unfreeze twice a day in spring. It also protect my hull from the sun while I don't use my boat.
2. I don't like to cover my boat because the ropes that attach the tarp on, and the tarp can flutter/Vibrate in hight winds and scratch my nicely polished hull. All the snow will eventually melt and just exit by the drain. And I don't like to have no/reduced ventilation in my boat because it encourage all kind of stuff I really don't want in my boat.
I covered my boat a few years, It really is a pain to always tighten those ropes and make sure no snow builds up on the tarp.... Two years ago I didn't and it was so windy that there was no snow on the boat, not even in the cockpit. So we did the same thing this year, but this year there is way more snow so it did build up in the cockpit, now thats a pain in the *ss to go up there (she is on the hard and a hour and a half from my home) and shovel the snow of her. No snow on deck tho, so i think next year I will cover the cockpit only, I'll build a wooden frame and put a tarp on top.
Both ways have advantage and disadvantage.
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