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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-13-2010 08:36 PM
Shortman Very happy with my Fairclough cover. Original came w/boat six years ago. Bought a replacement a couple of years ago. Great cover, great service. On a sunny cold day it is quite warm underneath for projects.
11-10-2010 02:40 PM
jkimberly I have a 26' Seafarer, which is not all that much shorter/smaller than your 303 and I use a 25'x30' tarp over the mast. The mast is supported at the bow pulpit at the mast step and at the crutch which is at the wheel. The tarp cost me $75. I either take down the stantions and lifelines or leave them up (depends on if I plan to work on the foredeck or cabin top during the winter) with empty plastic cups over the tops of the stantions. The fore part of the tarp gets tied shut, the sides get tied together under the hull and the stern gets woven together to allow me to get in/out.

Used this method for 3 years w/o any sign of damage to the mast or other bits of the boat. 3 years is about all I get out of a tarp though due to wind/weather/ice/snow, etc. Without the stantions in there generally is no issue with snow staying on the tarp, too much of an angle and it slides right off.

I've heard many people say that you shouldn't use the mast as the center support for a tarp like this but in my experience, so long as it's properly supported, there's no harm in it. Takes me about an hour to put the tarp on and get it tied down so it stays through the winter. I do have an advantage though in that I keep it in my yard next to the garage
11-09-2010 09:14 PM
Fairclough is the way to go

I started by making frames and covers that never did fit right and cover the boat properly or failed under heavy snow.
Finally purchased a Fairclough, full frame, mast in, 2 piece, full cover - covers entire boat down to the water line. Besides my below deck Autopilot it is the best purchase I've made. Fits perfectly, has a zippered access door and vents. I keep the cabin doors off the entire winter, no snow, no moisture or mold. Cover up in November - no worries the entire winter. Takes four hours to install alone, half that coming off. Purchase off season for a generous discount.
Sabre 30 cover cost was $2800 including delivery.
Go for it - you won't be sorry.

Bob D
11-07-2010 08:42 PM
josrulz We have a full Fairclough cover that we were lucky enough to get with the boat. We've installed it and removed it a couple times ourselves. The canvas was about 12 year old, so we had it restitched last year at Fairclough, and dealing with the company was great. No problems and they were generally helpful.

I highly recommend this type of cover. We worked on the boat during the winter, even on deck, and it wasn't too cold. And when we had so much snow this past year in Maryland (multiple feet, multiple storms), the cover/frame stayed in tact and protected the boat. After going through that, and seeing how so many other boats fared, I can't imagine not having a cover.

11-06-2010 08:28 PM
Plumbean Bought a full Fairclough cover last year. It is very impressive and I think very much worth the cost. They installed it last year, so I haven't done it myself yet, but plan on doing that in a couple of weeks. They were good to work with.

BTW, I think the frame is galvanized. There was no issue last winter with dripping that stained the deck. It's fine with Awlgrip too.

They have a lot of boat designs in their files, so it is quite possible they would not need to come and measure your boat first, so that would speed up the process.
11-04-2010 11:03 PM
WinterRiver Another option is to do your own shrinkwrap. It's not too hard. The first year I did it alone, which was a bit much, but I managed. The following spring I removed it carefully in two pieces, cut at the mast. The next fall I reused the shrinkwrap, adding a small new section by the mast. This season I'll use the bow section for a third time, but the larger section aft of the mast will be new.

Cost: about $250 for the shrinkwrap and tape, enough for at least 3 winters on a 47' boat.

I do it all from the deck using a hand-held heat gun. A bit crazy yes, but with patience it works just fine. It also seems much safer to me than working from a ladder. (Of course if someone would like to share a shrinkwrap gun in RI I'd be happy to help you do your boat too. But then I couldn't shrink it from the deck.) Because our boat's hull is painted, it shouldn't be shrink wrapped. I run a line along the toerail and attach the shrinkwrap around it. Ribs are made of gray pvc? electrical conduit to give us more space to work on deck.

11-04-2010 08:07 PM
GaryHLucas My boat is on the hard with the mast down and has been under cover for two years now, going on three. So the cover has seen two full summers as well. I used PVC pipe for the frame and simply heated and bent it over the top of hte mast and fastened it to the lifelines. I bought two of the heaviest black and silver poly tarps from McMaster Carr. They'll make a special size if you want. However rectangular tarps don't cover tapered hulls very well. So I used a smaller tarp for the bow and simply lapped them over near the middle about 3 feet. The tarps cost me about $150 for my 26 footer. They'll make it through this winter with no problem, and probably another.

Gary H. Lucas
11-04-2010 08:09 AM
MrsDergon For a lower-cost solution, and if you have some basic drafting skills, we recommend Toledo Tarp in Ohio. (Check out Yes, it's far from you, but they ship anywhere. Their main business is canvas covers for 18-wheelers. You do have to design your canvas yourself, but their customer service is awesome, and for $900 they could make a cover for a boat your size that would cover you down to your waterline, and last 15 years or more. The canvas is breathable but extremely (extremely) durable. Wherever you buy, I recommend getting your cover made in even three pieces, so that you don't have to deal with excessively heavy bundles of canvas when it comes time to wrap your baby for the winter.
11-04-2010 07:53 AM
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Your cover provides good UV protection and ventilation but I'd worry about snow and ice reaching the deck and hardware, particularly with the winds and snow that come off Lake Michigan in the winter. Maybe you could have the yard add an extension so goes past your deck joint? It looks like you've got a teak toerail, which might benefit from extra coverage too.
Fortunately, this is the only year that we are going to use the cover (we are heading south soon) and I'm not going to worry much about one year. Just more curious why they would make it like this. The only fear I have is the drain for the deck cracking and filling the boat with water. We will just go out there a few times a month to check on everything.


11-04-2010 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Any good reason why it would have been made this way?
The boom tent covers like yours are commonly sold with or without the toerail flaps. Flaps cost extra of course. The usual recommendation is get flaps if you have teak toerails, and you can skip them if you have an aluminum toerail.
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