remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-18-2017 Thread Starter
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remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

Do you think it's necessary to remove the stanchions if you're going to tarp your boat for the winter? Are they likely to shred a good tarp?
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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

I put some foam padding over mine as ripping through was an issue . . . . Sections of pipe insulation or in my case the thick round padding from old exercise equipment , slit and put over the stanchion tops worked great . . .
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-18-2017
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Snow, water & ice collect in places when you have stanchion intact. (Years in Chicago experience) . People put bows port to starboard holding up tarp, or other crazy & good ideas. *BUT, maybe if you take screws out of stanchions ice, water, snow will seep in and Expand & foul up a lot of things. ---You can make a frame to hold up tarp & some people save it year to year.
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The next thing about tarps is making a way to get thru the tarp to get in your boat. Zippers. Zipper doorways are sold at maybe Home depot. Visiting your tarp will become a regular trip. Quality & thickness make a big difference because cheap thin tarps won't last a winter. Tarps are a pain in the arise.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-19-2017
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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

I remove mine as well as the bow and stern rail.
Made up an A frame contraption over the cockpit out of 1.5" ABS pipe.
If you are using tarps you will need to do lots of creative cross tying and what not to make sure the tarps don't billow and flap in the wind.
Done right I find tarps to be a great alternative to a fitted cover. My boat stays bone dry, I use black tarps so solar energy keeps the snow melted. They are tight enough that water runs off, doesn't pool anywhere.
My boat is maybe 40 feet from the shore of Lake Ontario. Never had any wind issues.
On my 3rd season with the current tarps. I use 2, stern one goes on first, bow one next overlapping.
Also make sure my bow faces the prevailing wind.

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Last edited by Tanski; 11-19-2017 at 09:45 AM. Reason: spelling
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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

I remove the stanchions/lifelines on my boat.
Figure it's better than putting the stress on the bases which leads to leaks.

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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

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Originally Posted by Vagab0nd View Post
Do you think it's necessary to remove the stanchions if you're going to tarp your boat for the winter? Are they likely to shred a good tarp?
If the stanchions come in contact with the tarp, it will likely produce chafe which will cause damage. So it depends on how your tarp is fitted.

On my previous boat I removed the stanchions. On my current boat I donít. All depends on how the frame is built.

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post #8 of 13 Old 11-19-2017
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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

My frame is made of 3/4-inch PVC pipe and formed like the frame over a Conestoga wagon. No need to remove the stanchions because there is no pressure on them at all. Also never have any snow accumulation on the plastic tarp with this type of frame. PVC bends quite easily and still retains its strength.


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post #9 of 13 Old 11-19-2017
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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

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Originally Posted by travlin-easy View Post
My frame is made of 3/4-inch PVC pipe and formed like the frame over a Conestoga wagon. No need to remove the stanchions because there is no pressure on them at all. Also never have any snow accumulation on the plastic tarp with this type of frame. PVC bends quite easily and still retains its strength.
+1 on this approach.

To expand on my previous post, I used to remove the stanchions on that boat until I discovered Garyís approach. Using PVC conduit, I was able to build a frame that encompassed my stanchions, ensuring they would never come in contract with the tarp. Even though my boat was stored in a place that got serious snow (north of Lake Superior), I never had any accumulation. As Gary says, the conduit bends and flexes, but remains strong.

My current boat has a custom made canvas tarp and aluminum frame, but if (when) this dies Iíll go back to the conduit approach.

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Re: remove stanchions when winterizing boat (tarp)?

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Originally Posted by Vagab0nd View Post
Do you think it's necessary to remove the stanchions if you're going to tarp your boat for the winter? Are they likely to shred a good tarp?
In any case you get a much better winter cover if the stanchions can be and are removed. The basic reason is that the cover then has a greater pitch/slope and is likely to shed a lot more snow than otherwise. Consider why the classic snow chalet has an A-frame roof...

Covering over the stanchions means your cover will collect more snow, and related weight, so you then need a very robust frame. Even many professional shrinkwrappers dont build a robust frame, instead just wrapping over the stanchions. If you get a really good snowfall, the end result is you run the risk of both bending some stanchions in addition to the cover ripping. At least that is what happened to my boat.

So yes, if you put a cover over the stanchions, in addition to thoroughly padding the stanchions, you need to construct a solid frame for the cover

Removing the stanchions is a best practice. I replaced the OEM fixed-base stanchions on my Pearson for this reason, having someone cut the old stanchions off the original bases so I could re-use the stanchions.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 11-19-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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