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Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

We live just east of you. We have never done shrink wrap. Have done tarps the last 17 years.

And yes - we build a good sturdy frame and are able to go on board any time we like. Our boat is 34 feet long and we keep it at our boat yard. About 15 minute drive from our home.

I have pics if you need them.

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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

This year I'm trying a slightly new system that I thought I'd share. So in years past I've relied primarily on weights but have also put one or two lines wrapped under the keel of the boat. However these lines never remain in tension.

So this year I'm trying a weight and a pulley to keep those lines under tension. I used 4 of them. The lines in the bow and stern are nice because they pull in all the excess tarp and leave less of a wind target.

All the anchor points are golf balls with slipped bowlines constricting around them. I'm a bit concerned about chafe on the lines running under the boat, I've seen it in the past, so I added a back-up line for the weight on the pulley line in-case it fails.

My frame is just two sawhorses (one tall one over the cockpit and another on the deck) with strapping boards running between them. I did a better job anchoring the sawhorses because last year they toppled in a wind storm (although the tarp remained intact).

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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I'm a little (all right, a lot) late to this thread. But I do have a lot of experience with both tarps and shrink wrap, so I'll share some lessons learned:

Shrink wrap is a great idea, but I've never seen a yard that didn't cause some damage while putting up the frame and shrink wrap. And very few come out 100% perfect. There are always a few casualties during every wind or snow storm. So the whole "Set it and forget it" strategy really doesn't apply if you care about your boat. Unless maybe you did the shrink wrapping yourself.

There are two things you need to do right if you want your tarp to last the season:

1) Have a sharp pitch. As someone mentioned, snow doesn't slide off a tarp as well as shrink wrap. The only workable solution is a tall "A" frame that goes right up to the gunwale or rail.

2) Keep it tight. I've tried using bottles as weights, and it works. But lately I've changed to using shock cord pulled tight. If it flaps anywhere, or the wind can get under it anywhere, you've lost.

Probably the two biggest mistakes I see are allowing it to get loose somewhere, and allow water or snow to "pool" instead of slide off.

Using a spider web of small stuff (dollar store clothes line works great) can help avoid pooling, but ultimately the design of your "A" is more important. I've seen pooling where the tarp turns just a little over a rail. Once it starts to pool, you have to keep pulling it tight after each rain or snow because the pool will grow, ripping the tarp and supports. Then re-engineer that location next year.

I can walk through a boat yard this time of year and pretty accurately predict whose tarps will last, and whose won't. Those who put in a serious effort to keep them tight are almost always OK. Those who ignored even one slack area will lave lost the tarp by spring.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: Winter under a tarp

I help my Boat Buddy tarp his 34 foot sport cruiser each year. He uses some verticals bottom-blocked and padded to the deck and tie-braced to the rails. Then a wide, yellow shipping ratchet strap, fore to aft goes across and gets screwed to the tops of the studs, over the "spoiler" and down to a smaller, regular ratchet strap, going to each stern corner a split-stay.
We add a few pc of lath, screwed to the sides of the vert. members to add strength and pad all the critical areas like the radome, ant. mounts and the entire length of the shipping strap and lath.
Then a huge, heavy-duty 30'X40' (?) silver poly tarp gets pulled over the whole thing; wrapping corners like a Christmas present. The edges are secured with those funky yellow snap-ring dealies and lines are secured to each side, passed under the keel. Some are tied off to the cleats, stern rails or prop shafts.

He figgers a tarp gets replaced every three to four years (blue poly only lasted two!) and most of the wood (well labeled and saved) will last nearer ten. Local costs for a shrinky-dink job have priced out to near $1500 , vs. a hundred or so amortized over three+ years!!!! All fits on top of and in the cargo area of the Explorer... along with tols and spares! Batteries consumables and the inflatable ride along on the trip home.

It took the two of us almost three lazy hours to wrap it up. A late b-fast, a couple cups o'coffee and a later stop for sammitches on the way home make a fall chore into fellowship and fun.

I suspect the "new" boat will have a similar tarp job soon. A couple of 2x? props fore and aft bungee'd to the mast; some soft strap collars around same and a couple of ratchet straps from pulpit-to-mast-to-stern will support it. The folded "flap" astern will make a nifty boarding spot and ventilator. A 28X16 footer should make it stem ta stern with the snap toggles tied to the toe rail, tho I figger two separate sections might be better than a taped slit up the lee side!

AFA wrap?? Some use it again. If ya have the $$ and the inclination; go ahead w/wrap. The prop shop has been under renovation for a few years. He has wrapped the new section with recycled shrink-um. Sure do make it windproof !


Last edited by deltaten; 12-09-2012 at 11:54 PM.
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