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post #21 of 21 Old 04-06-2016
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Re: A Mystery

Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Around the shores of Lake Champlain, I've seen a lot of different solutions to snow and ice build-up. Some build elaborate, STEEP framework, others go with no cover. I have always used a regular blue/brown type cheap tarp but have also put wood supports under the mast every 5' or so. It's really important to make sure that water cannot form huge pools where the tarp is tied off underneath. I've seen at least 100 gallon bags, frozen solid, at times on poorly thought out tarp jobs. I go over after every significant snowfall and shovel her off. Ice will accumulate in sagging spots. During thaws, I remove any ice that has accumulated. I don't think there is any way to avoid some winter maintenance. Hope that helps.
Many years ago, I used plastic conduit for framing and tarps, but when I got my big boat, I switched to a fitted canvas cover. I pretty much wore out the first one after 18 years and now have a Fairclough treated cotton duck cover, with a framework made by Fairclough, which is similar in function to my earlier cover system but substantially stronger.

In any case, I have never had a problem with snow or wind damage over the past 20 years here in CT.

What seems to work is having a high ridge pole for a steeper "roof" to shed snow, along with arches from the ridge pole and furring strips to provide further support halfway down from the ridge pole and also along the lifelines. This system minimizes the size and depth of pockets that can form and trap ice and snow. Keep in mind that reinforcing the lifelines is important where there are significant snow loads, lest your stanchions act like a church key on your deck.

Realize that the full cover is a lot more elaborate than the OPs cover, but it does provide better protection (mine goes down to the waterline)--but obviously at a cost that may not be cost-effective for all. My 26 yr old boat has benefited from a cover that has cost about $200 per year--a lot less than shrink wrap, but a lot more than tarps.
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