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Old 11-25-2009
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To cover or not to cover

So it seems like a good idea to cover the boat for winter, although I see a bunch of sailboats without covers. Being the thrifty dude that I am, I wince a paying for shrink wrap. Mast is up boom is on. I guess I was gonna throw up a tarp over the boom and at least cover the companionway and deck. hatch. The tarp would drape over the lifelines and stanchions and be held down with sand filled jugs. Maybe do the same thing forward of the mast using a 2x4 to span the gap between the bow pulpit and mast. But then I wondered if its a good idea to put weight on the lifelines and stanchions. Do you think i need a frame so as not to put any weight on the stanchions?

Thanks. Had a wonderful first season with our boat and got some good advice from y'all and even made some friends. Thanks for that too.
-Shawn
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Old 11-25-2009
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Shawn,
We did what you are suggesting a few days ago to our Tartan 27'. We raised the boom up about a foot higher then usual and used our spinnaker pole as the beam over the foredeck. I unclipped the pelican hooks on the life lines so they were limp and would not interfere with the 2 large tarps we draped over the spars and tied off below.
When we arrived at our 'marina' there were 2 guys on a 30 footer who were setting up a frame made from PVC plastic. By the time we were getting into our cars to leave for the winter those 2 guys were still working on their frame.
Shrink wrapping is a waste of money and resources, IMHO.
Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2009
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There are any number of valid reasons to cover the boat and only one, albeit not so valid, for not covering it.
How you choose to do it is the better question - tarps are the cheapest and most prone to coming loose with sometimes consequential damage resulting. It's not a good idea to attach anything to the lifelines as they are not designed nor intended to carry the substantial snow load which could result. A frame may be more work but as is usually the case, anything worth doing is worth doing "right".
You can have a custom made cover done although too late for this season for far less than you might think and particularly so if it is only a boom tent cover.
My theory is the extent to which one goes in covering his boat is directly related to how much he likes it.
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Old 11-25-2009
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I expect it gets pretty snowy where you are. I made the mistake of not covering last year, and every time I went down to do any work or check on the boat, there were several inches of snow in the footwell and on the deck making it challenging to move in the cockpit and open the companionway (some digging was required). When I finally did dig the hatch out and got it open, all the snow that wasn't brushed away, and a lot that was, spilled into the cabin.

Year before I kept a tarp over the boom tied down to secure points on deck. No frame, but the tarp didn't go over the lifelines. Planning on doing the same this weekend. It's quick enough to remove if you want to go sailing.

I like Caleb's idea of making another tent over the spinnaker pole. I'll probably do that as well, and point the bow into the prevailing winter winds to keep as much rain and snow as possible off the deck.
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Old 11-25-2009
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El nino winter coming, Adam... maybe we don't have to worry about snow so much.. last year was exceptional (if you are a skier! )

We have used the tarp in the past but it can be difficult to set up so that there's no chafe on the cabintop/coamings or to the tarp itself when the wind gets up. This year we're going without - also makes it easier to pop out for a quick jaunt when the weather opens up a bit.

Obviously if you're still fighting leaky ports and chainplates you need to do whatever you can to minimize the water intrusion...
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Old 11-25-2009
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I don't cover. The way I see it, boats are built to be outside. I will note that snow and ice aren't usually too bad where I am (Chesapeake Bay) and I do get out to the boat at least twice a month to check on her.
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Old 11-25-2009
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We've learned for you that using bungee cords to secure the tarp can cause problems on the painted surface of freeboard. The constant close contact of the tarp causes spots on the paint to bubble and eventually chip off.

Which is really a pity, since whatever PO who did the paint job on our boat did a really nice job.

However we also found that taping foam pipe insulation on areas that can potentially poke through (like stanchions) works pretty well.

All that being said, we are still looking for the perfect technique.
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Old 11-25-2009
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I'm a tarp guy, over the boom and the jib pole for the foredeck. Tried jugs filled with water two years ago, didn't work. Now I tie lines completely under the hull, one side to the other and make sure the knots are all below the water line, that seems to be satisfactory. My tarps come over the lifelines and two years ago I used pipe insulation to prevent chafe and wear on the tarp. That didn't work so last year I used tennis balls. Just cut a slice in them so they fit over the stanchion and hold them in place with duct tape. Gotta love duct tape. When tieing the tarps I don't pull them overly taut, a little slack in the material keeps snow/ice from building up. Not that we have that much in Rock Hall.

All the best... and COME ON MARCH.
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Old 11-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
El nino winter coming, Adam... maybe we don't have to worry about snow so much..
Maybe, maybe, but we might also have Madden-Julian to contend with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOAA
THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION (MJO) HAS BEEN QUITE ACTIVE IN THE PAST FEW
WEEKS. THE MJO IS EXPECTED TO COMPLICATE THE ATMOSPHERIC EL NINO
TELECONNECTIONS DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. SPECIFICALLY, THE CHANCE OF
ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS IS ELEVATED ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE
CONUS AS A RESULT OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE MJO EXPECTED IN THE EARLY PART OF
DECEMBER.
(here)
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Old 11-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
I expect it gets pretty snowy where you are.
...
I like Caleb's idea of making another tent over the spinnaker pole. I'll probably do that as well, and point the bow into the prevailing winter winds to keep as much rain and snow as possible off the deck.
Thanks Adam.
Where inthesprings/Shawn is located is surrounded by sea water that rarely gets below the salt water freezing point so the climate can actually be somewhat moderated by the ocean and much milder then inland areas of NY State. That does not mean that East Hampton, NY wont get a deep freeze at some point this winter. I have seen the salt water harbors on Long Island freeze over after a week or two of 20 degree weather at least twice in my nearly 50 years of monitoring it.
What we are all trying to minimize is the repeated freeze/thaw cycles that can occur if any standing water remains on the decks. Those of us with older boats like mine are also worried about water intrusion into any of the cored decks and chain plates so the set of the hull in it's cradle or jack stands is more important then most yards seem to care about.
Once your boat is secure on the hard it is not a bad idea to pour some fresh water out on the decks to see if the deck drains will remove most or all of the water. Areas of standing water are not good where freezing temps can be expected.
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