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Discussion Starter #1
The cover for our Beneteau 50 is finished. The yearly cost will be $200, instead of the $1500 the marina charges for shrinkwrap. Total cost this year was even less than $1500. Much less. Here is a picture of the frame.



Here's a shot with the cover, before it was really done. (It was dark by the time she was completly covered and everything was tucked in tight.)



The whole thing disassembles into some managable pieces, for easy reassembly next winter. For instance, the 1.5" PVC ridge has a very taught 1/2 inch nylon line running in the center like a "spinal cord". This means by loosening (but not removing) the line, all the pieces at the top come apart, but stay in the same order for next winter. Likewise, the 13 PVC "wings" fold in (or fold up and over) so they can be easily moved. There are a few experimental aspects of the design, like arched ribs (tensioned like a bow-and-arrow's bow), side supports and mid-arch supports. I want to see how they fare over the winter.

The fore section was really the simplest part of the design, since she's less beamy there.



By keeping all the ribs at 10 feet, it worked well with the 20 foot wide tarp. this picture was before I gathered-in all the excess material at the bow. (The same thing that heat guns do to shrink wrap, can be done to tarps with some light line from the inside.) Note also this picture was before finishing-up where the tarps meet.




Each year, we'll need a new 20x30 cheap tarp for the bow, and a tarp for the stern as well. For the stern, I used a 50x30, so what you see is one piece, without any cuts. The tarp actually folds at the topping lift and covers the stern quite well.

I may using a 30x40 in the future for the stern if I change the design a bit or if I take the mast out. (The design does not need the mast and boom in place, the frame is self-supporting.)

If anyone wants more details, please let me know. There are a bunch of things done to make it easily removed, stored and reassembled.

Regards
 
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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter #2
After looking at the pictures just now, I realized that it all looks much better after everything was snugged up tight. I'll have to get some daylight pictures of the completed project. Somehow, these pictures don't quite capture it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's another picture taken from the inside after the tarp was tightened-up and gathered. Note the cardboard box over the BBQ (to protect the tarp from hard edges).



Below the folded, stainless arch is a separate 8'x10' tarp to protect the storage compartment in the transom from water-turned-ice. So everything in the picture is one large tarp, except for right behind the dinghy engine mount.
 

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Siren 17
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Looks like a good design. Wouldn't know myself. Down here we just keep sailing.
 

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Contradulations on getting that done. I was wondering how you were comming along on that.
Now you can start on the real list.:)

How are the ribs connected to the top piece?
 

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Somewhat Senior Member
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Cardboard Box? Barbeque Grill? Can't you remove the bloomin thing and store it proper? Did you put a cardboard box over the anchor too?
 

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I'd like to get a spring report to see how it weathered the winter. Looks good but I've had experience with tarps and pvc. Hope it holds up well for you.
 

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Vikingsailor
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I did something similar for our 30' Sabre. So far, so great! Holding up very well, and we get some crazy winds here in coastal Maine frequently.

Frame (PVC & 2x4s for posts) cost all of about $60-$70, plus a 20'x40' heavy duty green tarp (about $70, which is holding up well, and I hope to use it next year).

I figure, it'll take about an hour in the spring and fall to build and tear down each year...not bad. It's tall enough inside to walk around inside, plus holds some heat when I string up work lights.

Nice thing is, snow slides right off with just a tap from a roof rake. Boat is in our driveway, so it's easy and convenient to check on her, and keep snow off.





 

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Bender of Nails
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Looks pretty sound, guys. One suggestion if I may:
If you use a bungie cord between the line and the grommet on the tarp, it'll have some give when the wind blows. Your tarps will make it through the winter that way without getting pulled and torn.
 

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Vikingsailor
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Looks pretty sound, guys. One suggestion if I may:
If you use a bungie cord between the line and the grommet on the tarp, it'll have some give when the wind blows. Your tarps will make it through the winter that way without getting pulled and torn.
Yeah, those grommets are for show...

I picked up some tarp clips, which actually work very well. They hold and can attach just about anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
c40eb,

Do you find that the tarp rubs against the hulls and ruins the hull in any way? I've been focused on a design that holds the tarp out away from the hull with that concern in mind.

Same type of question for the lines (or are those bungies?) that go under the hull. Any issues with rubbing in the wind?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good concern. I'm using weights mostly, in the form of anti-freeze containers filled with water. They are very easy to get ahold of in the fall. I use many of them. And I'll be adjusting them so I have over a dozen of them and they will be only half full (half empty to you pessimists) to keep the weight on each grommet to a minimum.

Looks pretty sound, guys. One suggestion if I may:
If you use a bungie cord between the line and the grommet on the tarp, it'll have some give when the wind blows. Your tarps will make it through the winter that way without getting pulled and torn.
 

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Vikingsailor
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c40eb,

Do you find that the tarp rubs against the hulls and ruins the hull in any way? I've been focused on a design that holds the tarp out away from the hull with that concern in mind.

Same type of question for the lines (or are those bungies?) that go under the hull. Any issues with rubbing in the wind?

Regards
Not so far...I ran line through each (really, every one) grommet to make sure the tarp was snug. The line through each grommet keeps the grommets from touching the hull. The lines are snug enough where they pass under the hull to minimize any chafing. So far so good. I have lots of rags to use between the hull & lines if I see any chafing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How about where the tarp itself comes in contact with the hull. And issues with the constant rubbing the wind must cause?

Not so far...I ran line through each (really, every one) grommet to make sure the tarp was snug. The line through each grommet keeps the grommets from touching the hull. The lines are snug enough where they pass under the hull to minimize any chafing. So far so good. I have lots of rags to use between the hull & lines if I see any chafing.
 

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Vikingsailor
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How about where the tarp itself comes in contact with the hull. And issues with the constant rubbing the wind must cause?
Hmmm...unknown. I'll check tomorrow and let you know. I read about these tarps and they may react/cause issues with dark hulls.

I'll see if I can see any rubbing/chafe from the tarp. I doubt it, as there isn't any single point with a lot of pressure, except for where the line passes through the grommets, and I am hoping those are soft enough not to chafe.

I'll wax and buff the hull in the spring...and am pretty confident that'll take care of any rubbing.
 

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Bene,
Good luck with the cover. From experience I think you have trouble with ice forming between the supports in areas where the tarp is near horizontal. If the pitch is not steep enough to cause the snow to slide off (e.g. at the top of your arches), heavy snow can accumulate and cause the frame and tarp to sag. When it rains on the snow, the weight goes up and the sag increases. Then it freezes and you get a big block of ice. If snow falls are light and wind follows snow it may not be a problem. IMO, as far as pitch is concerned, the more the better. I delt with ice blocks for two years and then switched to DIY shrinkwrap with improved pitch angles. With the shrinkwrap now in it's second year, I don't think I'd go back to the tarps despite the considerably higher cost (I'd estimate my materials bill this year was around $350.) I'd be happy to share my current shrink wrap frame designs, if this one doesn't work out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Contradulations on getting that done. I was wondering how you were comming along on that.
Now you can start on the real list.:) ...
Yes. That list is next. I'll call you, unless you want me to buy you dinner in NY. That would be more fun. Are you coming to MrWuffles' Long Island gathering in Huntington the week of January 26th?

... How are the ribs connected to the top piece?
All are taped with electrical tape stretched tight. That's many layers of tape, wrapped and wrapped. Now that the design is done, I'll go back and reinforce it with more wraps and tape the verticals too. The ones aft of the mast are additionally held in place with tension from the "bow and arrow"-type bow string.

 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thanks Billy. Missed your post before, must have been typing. I can easily raise the center beam by adding a short length of PVC to each vertical. Almost everything else would pivot (on the joint with the main beam) to adjust to the change. I actually lowered it a foot, was concerned about windage. If I add it back in, that would reduce that water-trapping area at the top considerably.

I've been thinking about how these boats really come off their supports in high winds. They must pivot or slide sideways, trampling a support. I don't see a steel support buckling as the starting point for a stand-system failure. By beefing up the stands (perhaps via chains to multiple other supports, or by staking them into the ground) I would feel better about raising the top beam to eliminate the water pocket areas at the top.

What do you think about the windage involved?

Bene,
Good luck with the cover. From experience I think you have trouble with ice forming between the supports in areas where the tarp is near horizontal. If the pitch is not steep enough to cause the snow to slide off (e.g. at the top of your arches), heavy snow can accumulate and cause the frame and tarp to sag. When it rains on the snow, the weight goes up and the sag increases. Then it freezes and you get a big block of ice. If snow falls are light and wind follows snow it may not be a problem. IMO, as far as pitch is concerned, the more the better. I delt with ice blocks for two years and then switched to DIY shrinkwrap with improved pitch angles. With the shrinkwrap now in it's second year, I don't think I'd go back to the tarps despite the considerably higher cost (I'd estimate my materials bill this year was around $350.) I'd be happy to share my current shrink wrap frame designs, if this one doesn't work out for you.
 

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Bene,

I'd second BillyR's concerns. My tarpology has evolved into adding more vertical supports (for me it's cotton clothes line at ~2' on center that I tighten once or twice a winter) at a steeper pitch.

That horizontal line you have near the bottom right in this photo creates a section of tarp that has great "trapping" ability.

I try to get my tarp tight enough to bounce a quarter off of and no place for snow/water/ice to collect.

my 2 cents.
 

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The triangle in the back corner (the one with your pushpit across the bottom) looks like a water catcher, too.
 
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