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post #11 of 34 Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

We've used heavy canvas tarps for the past 15 years, trying a variety of different support systems on our J/36. The most durable setup, we find, is galvanized electrical conduit bent into frames. We made short sets of bent legs all the same, and then fitted the upper arches. They are joined by the standard conduit joints, so the pieces all fit into the trunk of my car. We connect the pieces on the ground, so that each frame is straight. We then strap the leg sections to stanchions with nylon ties. 1x4 wood stringers are then taped fore & aft to hold everything upright & parallel. They're longer, so they go on the roof rack of the car, unless I leave the hatchback open. The tarps (three) go over the frame. One covers the bow forward of the mast, one aft of the mast, and one closes off the stern. We've had to relpace one tarp so far. Though the initial cost is a bit more than a shrink-wrap job, we laugh each year when we save$500 by using the same tarps as last year. We experimented with an all-wood frame and also with PCV pipe, but the conduit holds up better, is easier to assemble, dismantle, transport and store.
Two years ago we had about five feet of snow, all told, and it held up. We've also had major windstorms. Periodic checks are a good idea, but a boat needs patting from time to time anyway. Use heavy, waterproof canvas --NOT the blue poly junk that disintegrates in the sun.

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post #12 of 34 Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I've tarped for several years now and am very satisfied. Tarped in October . . . Didn't see the boat again till June. Looked just like when I left it.

The secret:
1) Use the heavier (more expensive) silver tarps rather than the blue ones.
2) I use my bimini frame, boom, and whisker pole (from forward part of mast to bow) as main supports.
3) I make spiderweb of cheap rope from these structures directly to my (slotted) toerail (not over the stanchions) to support the tarp.
4) I attach the long edge of the tarps to the toerail with cable ties and go up and over the center using tarps that go just past the center peak (boom or whisker pole) and then bungee that edge to the toerail on the other side. I repeat the process with another overlapping tarp from the other side cable tied to the toerail and tenting over the middle then bungied to the opposite toerail.
5) Use the bimini frame to continue from what is essentially a boom tent to a cockpit enclosure with a long tarp centered lengthwise.
6) Throw another spiderweb of cheap rope and bungees over the top to keep the tarp from blowing (very important)

90%+ of my materials are reusable for at least several seasons

Holds up to snowloads and winter winds on the waterfront in Duluth/Superior harbor basin.

Good protection but isn't sealed so tight the boat can't breathe. No odors, no mold.

Bungees give the whole setup some needed "give".

I can access almost all parts of my deck and all of my cockpit if I want or need to. I can even open all my hatches for ventilation if working on the boat in the spring.

Actually looks halfway decent when finished.

Takes a long afternoon to rig and a short afternoon to undo. Will never do shrinkwrap. Might go for a custom canvas cover someday.

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Last edited by Mobnets; 08-26-2012 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Spelling
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post #13 of 34 Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I use two tarps. One over the boom with gallon jugs hanging from the tarp grommets to keep it on. The other goes from the mast to the bow over a simple frame I made of PVC pipe. Again, held on by gallon water jugs hanging from the tarp grommets. I check the boat once a month or after it snows. So far, no problems, and it is dirt cheap.
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post #14 of 34 Old 08-29-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I am in Vermont, we get 10' of snow a year. Most people have tarps.

The basic difference is that that shrinkwrap is better. Its so slippery that the snow slides off. Tarps need a much stepper pitch.

Seems round here, all the boats 32' + have shrinkwrap, those smaller have tarps. There might be a moolah connection

Having said all that, tarps are fine IF you frame it well. Its very easy to have the tarp "puddle", end up with a 400 lb block of ice that buggers your deck hardware.

Make a ridge with timber (~ 6' high for snow pitch), then make a frame from 1" black water pipe to make a series of "ribs" down the boat. Water/milk jugs are best, and the golfball trick (I use tennis balls).


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post #15 of 34 Old 08-29-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

boat cover, winterizing, tarp, blue cover

The bugger is the shrouds. I hate those things.


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post #16 of 34 Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

Been there done that mostly with tarps and no issues BUT on a larger Sailboat it becomes very hard to keep a tarp from damaging the topside finish in a windy area



My J24 pretty easy



My Cal 29 not so much



The white shrinkwarp allows huge amounts of light to work on the boat VS the tarp which turns it into a black hole as there objective is to BLOCK light



And there was no frreaking way after all that work i was gonna mar the topsides

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post #17 of 34 Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

Hi:

I too live in Southern Maine and have never shrinkwrapped. Waste of money! Tarp has always worked well and lasts about three years before it needs to be replaced. I then cut it up and use it for ground cover when bottom painting or to wrap the mast. Buy a heavy duty one. Hamilton sells them. The frame I built is similar to one I read about in Good Old Boat magazine about 5 years ago. I like it because when finished, it forms the shape of the boat so the tarp covers it exceptionally well. If I can find the issue, I'll let you know.

Good luck!

Will

P.S. Where do you keep your boat when in the water? I keep mine in Falmouth Harbor.
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post #18 of 34 Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I hate that I am reading this thread out of recognition that all too soon I will have to employ some of these wonderful tarping suggestions.
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post #19 of 34 Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

The thing that makes me cringe every year when I see all the shrink wrapped boats is knowing that in the spring all that plastic is going to be heaved into the dumpster! It just seems to be a colossal waste, and flies in the face of the relatively low environmental impact that makes sailboats great. Kudos to those of you who go for the re-usable option!

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post #20 of 34 Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

We recycle the shrinkwarp here ?

Its NOT like my tarps could be recycled

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