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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had the cover for 4 winters and this year, although not a ton of snow, 3 out of the 6 pairs of frame legs collapsed under the weight of snow. Frustrating because the guy next to me has a one and his held up.
 

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You mean the metal tubing? That's surprising, I would think I could park a car on ours. Did it bend or break at a connection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Metal tubing

Where the bendis from the upper section to the side section. All 6 kinked at the bend. My guess is the once one went, the rest went
 

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That really stinks, have you called them? I've always found them to be very helpful, so I'll be curious what they do about it? In theory, the pitch of the side should not hold enough snow to weigh that much. I guess there is heavy snow and light snow. Sorry for your trouble.
 

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MS, what do you mean by snow struts? The 1x2 longitudinal fir strips?

There should be two rows of them. I had an installer use only one row a couple of years back and made them do it over.
 

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MS, what do you mean by snow struts? The 1x2 longitudinal fir strips?

There should be two rows of them. I had an installer use only one row a couple of years back and made them do it over.
No they are additional braces for heavy snow load areas... If you are not busting snow off a Fairclough after each storm then you really better have the snow struts... Even then these covers need to have the snow removed so the don't collapse..

I have some pics somewhere I can upload..

Not my pic but it shows the struts..

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No snow struts.

I follow the video on how to install and instructions booklet that came with kit. My boat is in MA and when I bought the cover that is where the boat was located and cover delivered. If I needed a snow strut, they should have advised.
 

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Re: No snow struts.

I follow the video on how to install and instructions booklet that came with kit. My boat is in MA and when I bought the cover that is where the boat was located and cover delivered. If I needed a snow strut, they should have advised.
They are an option..
 

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Interesting. I've never heard of them, nor did the sales folks at Fairclough ever mention them.
Up here I hardly see a Fairclough covered boat without them. Still even with the struts the covers are not intended to have snow sit on them... If you can't get to the boat to bust snow off them, then a shrink cover is often a better fit because, when well designed, snow simply won't stay on them..

Great covers but they are not intended to support snow loads long term especially when or if it gets wet or heavy... I have seen a fair number of Fairclough's collapse but it's rarely the fault of the cover.....

Here's a better picture of one of my customers boats:


Despite having the snow struts he also busts snow off after each storm.... This is very typical protocol for a Fairclough cover up here, but we get lots of snow and lots of wet heavy snow....

If you live in the snow belt...

*Buy & use the snow struts (they can certainly help)

*Bust the snow off after each storm

*Put the cover away bone dry and store it dry

Then, it will last 15-20+ years.....
 

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I just received my new Faircough cover this winter. I mentioned to them that I planned to move to Maine and that I wanted to be sure the cover would be OK for a Maine winter. They didn't mention snow struts and they assured me it would be fine. They did say that I MUST knock the snow off after a big dump because while it might be OK after one dump, it can't necessarily handle multiple big snow dumps.

I think my cover is higher in the middle that the one in Maine Sail's picture. Perhaps the increased pitch means I don't need braces.
 

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I just received my new Faircough cover this winter. I mentioned to them that I planned to move to Maine and that I wanted to be sure the cover would be OK for a Maine winter. They didn't mention snow struts and they assured me it would be fine. They did say that I MUST knock the snow off after a big dump because while it might be OK after one dump, it can't necessarily handle multiple big snow dumps.

I think my cover is higher in the middle that the one in Maine Sail's picture. Perhaps the increased pitch means I don't need braces.
I would not be without the snow struts in the North East... They can buy you time between snow storms and really help stiffen up the cover... Hell over the last three weeks we've had about 3' of the white stuff fall here... Tough to keep up with when it gets like this.

Snow struts can EASILY be made from EMT and some rubber feet for crutches etc... All you need is a pipe cutter and some clamps, measure, cut install... Will cost you all of $30.00 and an hours time to measure and cut...
 

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I guess in coastal RI, it's somewhat uncommon for snow load to remain long enough for the next big dump. Most often, it will even rain in between, let alone will the sun come out and start melting it off.

But, it's got me thinking. This winter has been a ***** and I haven't seen my cover in going on 2 months.

Another thought. I've yet to install my Fairclough without the mast in place, which is firm attached to the ridge. The one year on rotation, since I bought her and where I dropped the mast, she went inside for a paint job. I wonder if securing the ridge to the mast adds marginal stability. Otherwise, I can see how the entire structure could theoretically rock back and forth.
 

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Our homemade conduit supports also gave way because of the snowload. Bent like pretzels. Rain absorbed by the snow was simply too heavy. We're re-engineering our supprt system this weekend. (It's a lot warmer!)
 

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Our homemade conduit supports also gave way because of the snowload. Bent like pretzels. Rain absorbed by the snow was simply too heavy. We're re-engineering our supprt system this weekend. (It's a lot warmer!)
The 3 easiest solutions....;)

#1 Pitch
#2 Pitch
#3 Pitch

Our cover has yet to retain more than .5" of snow before self removal ensues... Even though it is next to the house I hate having to "bust snow"... With this design I never need to....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Snow Load

This year hasn't really been any different than the other years as far as snow. We generally go to the boat every few weeks and drain the bilge of rain water when the day is warm. So far we have visited the boat twice previous to me going yesterday, and each time we remove any snow, which generally isn't a lot.

I think this year the kicker was the last two weeks where we got snow, then rain, then snow, then rain. Although the snow wasn't a lot (8 and 6 inches), my guess is the rain was the factor. Also it has been much colder this year than previous and my guess is there hasn't been much natural melting that normally would occur. The frustrating thing is that the neighbor to my left has the same cover system and did not have a failure, nor did anyone around the yard with Fairclough covers.

I plan to call them on Tuesday as I will be out of town tomorrow.

Thanks all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: Reply from Fairclough

So I emailed Fairclough and got a quick response from Eric. The gist of the response is the following:

  • They have heard of lot of other folks having issues due to the brutal weather
  • They can ship replacement legs. The offered a slight discount to me because of the number I need.
  • They have redesigned the legs to have the bend (weak point) be stronger by putting in an additional reinforcing tube insert in the bend.
  • The provided me some info if I wanted to try and salvage portions of the tube and McGuyver something together.

All-in-all, I thought they were pretty good about it. The legs aren't outrageously expensive, but they are some $. I will need to explore which way I want to "fix".
 

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Reading this tread, I was wondering why this 'Fairclough' cover is being used at all. Here in the Netherlands you don't see structures like this at all. I can see the logic if you're a liveaboard, but in all other situations it seems somewhat superfluous to me because a sailboat is usually quite watertight in itself for rain and snow. Could you explain to me why this type of cover is apparently so popular in the US?
 
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