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Why Knot
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how you guys winterize your boat. i shrink seal mine. I am not sure whether it will damage the fiberglass or if this is suitable. It typically gets to be 20 degrees below each winter for a week but rarely gets to be 50 below. Any ideas for next year's winterizing?
 

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Load Bearing Member
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644 Posts
I make a wooden frame with a lot of pitch (steep sides) and throw a couple of tarps over it. Use good quality tarps and tie them snug; flapping in the breeze can damage the boat's finish.

Shrink wrapping is fine, but expensive.

Make sure you have some ventilation. A warm, sunny day in late winter can spike the temperature in a covered boat and turn any water in the bilge into vapor which will condense everywhere and start a 'mold forest'.

Ken
 

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Old enough to know better
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4,354 Posts
Shrink wrap is good, if done correctly. But I have seen improperly installed wrap burn the gel-coat, and bend stanchions. I think the best is to use a custom faircloth (or equivalent) cover, but they are expensive. But you have the least chance of damaging the boat. You also have to find some place to store it and the frame during the season. Tarps work well if done carefully, and not just slapped on.

But the cover is only part of winterizing. Lots of the systems need anti-freeze and or draining. Gasoline and some diesels need to have cylinders fogged, oil changed etc.
 

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25,128 Posts
Fairclough cover. The fabric breaths, unlike shrink wrap. I'm not sure if they cover Wisconsin.

Fairclough Sailmakers | Boat Covers | New England

Cost is approx 3-4 times that of paying the yard to do shrink wrap around here, so it breaks even quickly. However, many pay someone else to install, remove and store. Payback is then 5-6 years, with a lower annual cost going forward. Admittedly, there will be a few stitching repairs along the way to keep the cover in good shape too.

Shrink wrap can be recycled, but I wonder how much DIY shrink wrap ends up in a landfill.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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3,688 Posts
Fairclough cover. The fabric breaths, unlike shrink wrap. I'm not sure if they cover Wisconsin.

Fairclough Sailmakers | Boat Covers | New England

Cost is approx 3-4 times that of paying the yard to do shrink wrap around here, so it breaks even quickly. However, many pay someone else to install, remove and store. Payback is then 5-6 years, with a lower annual cost going forward. Admittedly, there will be a few stitching repairs along the way to keep the cover in good shape too.

Shrink wrap can be recycled, but I wonder how much DIY shrink wrap ends up in a landfill.
I wonder how much gets recycled from any application. My guess is that most of it winds up in the trash, a tremendous waste. At least you can get four or five seasons out of a plastic tarp, cut to fit around stuff. All, however, eventually wind up in the dump. Too bad canvas is so expensive. It always seems like such a waste to see a yard full of boats covered in thousands of yards of white plastic. How many know about whether their boatyards actually recycle the shrinkwrap?
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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3,688 Posts
Mandatory at our boat yard. Huge section in the yard is designated to leave all shrink wrap in the spring. The RIDEM is pretty threatening.
That's good to hear. I wonder what the system is for reusing the stuff. Is it shipped directly back to the folks who manufacture it for reprocessing? What's the RIDEM?

http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/growing-problem-of-shrink-wrap/

In doing a bit of research, it seems most of this recycling is "encouraged" but not mandatory.
 

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Super Moderator
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6,854 Posts
Fairclough cover. The fabric breaths, unlike shrink wrap. I'm not sure if they cover Wisconsin.

Fairclough Sailmakers | Boat Covers | New England

Cost is approx 3-4 times that of paying the yard to do shrink wrap around here, so it breaks even quickly. However, many pay someone else to install, remove and store. Payback is then 5-6 years, with a lower annual cost going forward. Admittedly, there will be a few stitching repairs along the way to keep the cover in good shape too.

Shrink wrap can be recycled, but I wonder how much DIY shrink wrap ends up in a landfill.
If only Fariclough would build me the cover I want, & have already designed, I'd have one in a second. Considering the cost of paint these days NOTHING touches our painted hull, not canvas, not plastic just air & water...:D Sadly Fariclough won't custom build the cover I want that stops at the toe rail...

A customer was here yesterday and thought I had just painted it.... When I told him the age of the paint he almost crapped a brick....;)

Oh and I do recycle the shrink wrap we have some good local options..
 

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Broad Reachin'
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2,038 Posts
I'm in a very similar climate to you (opposite side of Lake Michigan) and have been happy shrink wrapping over the years. I use the boom and the whisker pole (from the mast forward to the bow rail) for the main support structures. A very experienced and reputable contractor does the install and includes vents, supports for the boom/whisker pole and small Styrofoam blocks along the bottom edge to keep the shrink wrap off the gelcoat, which goes just about to the waterline. I add a zippered door myself that I've been reusing for several years now so I can have access for projects/check-ups.

I pay $450 on my 34-footer for the wrap job, which of course would have paid for a custom winter cover years ago.
 

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Beneteau 361
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146 Posts
I did my own shrink wrapping this season. Not very difficult but time consuming, took me about a day and a half. Next year with experience and mast down should be faster. We haven't had any serious snow so far this winter but the cover survived a 60kt wind storm back in November which kicked some of the boats off cradles.

Canvas covers are nice but for a 36 footer the frame can be quite bulky and my car is just not big enough to comfortably move this stuff around.



 

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Another issue. I'm pretty sure that our yard will not allow you to do your own shrinkwrapping. I support that policy, as the fear could be that you light it and all the boats near you on fire. I know some yards do permit it.

You can install your own cover.
 
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