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Covering boat for winter

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by NYSail, Nov 12, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,257 posts, 423 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I assume everyone knows this but if your boom is open ended birds will nest in it by mid-March, around here. So while you're using those dish scrubbers, plug the end(s) of the boom. I've even had birds try to nest in the flakes of the main sail in the early season. They weren't too happy about Wed PM sailing!

    Parsons likes this.
  2. Rick486


    Joined Oct 1, 2007
    869 posts, 124 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Pt. Judith
    Great cover Tom but that picture with all the snow on the ground is really depressing. :(

  3. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    1,770 posts, 582 likes
    Sabre 362
    US Fair Haven, NY
    A few weeks ago I was helping out at my marina when we unstepped a mast. When the mast came up, all kinds of straw and debris fell out, obviously a bird a built a nest in the mast. Then the dead bird fell out. A full grown bird of undetermined species. :(

    Closing up the end of the mast and/or boom is a good idea.

  4. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,064 posts, 519 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    It is, Rick,...but it's even more depressing when the snow, which turns to ice, stays on your cover. :)
    Cover failed frame polyE3 2.jpg Cover colapsed shrinkE22.jpg

    NYSail likes this.
  5. dziedzicmj


    Joined Aug 13, 2012
    411 posts, 62 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Ottawa
    That snow turning to ice can weigh a lot. 500 -1000 kg (double that in lb). It is really worth its while to visit your boat after any major snow fall. This applies regardless if you cover or not. probably even more so, if you don't. You can easily accumulate a ton of ice in the cockpit.

  6. Rick486


    Joined Oct 1, 2007
    869 posts, 124 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Pt. Judith
    My shrink job recently. Hence the descriptor, "shrink".

    Attached Files:

  7. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    4,841 posts, 827 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Many masts have holes big enough to admit birds. Mine was a mess when we unstopped 3 years ago. Had custom plates built for the masthead shrouds, preventing reoccurrence. My rigger was in the process of replacing a mast which had split at the base - the weep holes were plugged with mud and dung and the mast had held water - freezing, and splitting the base. $25k FUBAR.

    If it took me two days to cobble together some kind of tarp cover and another few hours every month to lash the Rube Goldberg arrangement back down I would consider $650 - $800 for a shrink wrap money well spent. That said, this year will be the first time I have wrapped the boat in 10 years.

  8. Dalliance


    Joined Oct 6, 2007
    597 posts, 58 likes
    Hunter 1982 H30 Cherubini
    US Chicago (Burnham)
    I have to confess I've been shrinking wrapping every year and I feel a little guilty dragging all that plastic to the recycle bin in April. However, in the fall, when I tend to stretch my sailing season as late as possible, I see people in the yacht yard assembling frames and fighting with tarps on blustery cold November days and think to myself I'm really glad I don't have to deal with that.

    When I retire and can choose any day of the week to cover the boat myself maybe I'll switch to a custom cover and save some money. For now though, the shrink wrap service is worth the $650 to me.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  9. Apex


    Joined Jun 19, 2013
    692 posts, 65 likes
    Oday 28
    US Traverse City
    I have a custom cover: Mast up. The framework couldn't be simpler. Ridge pole (2x6) sets in anchor roller and on a crutch lashed to the mast. The boom topping lift is removed and a crutch for the boom sits against the mainsheet track. One piece and it is a simple task to cover.

    Parsons likes this.
  10. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,257 posts, 423 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    Here's a pic of the blue tarp that didn't make it to T-day.


    NYSail likes this.
  11. Parsons


    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    491 posts, 134 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    The shrink wrapped boats and custom cover on the right, however, look like they'll weather a hurricane. I don't think I'd like Genie's captain to tie my boat to the dock.

  12. Sailor Sue

    Sailor Sue

    Joined Nov 12, 2009
    104 posts, 25 likes
    J/ 32
    US NCYC, Western Lake Erie
    You have to leave those blue tarps open so the boat can "breathe".

    shemandr likes this.
  13. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,257 posts, 423 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    From downtown.

  14. RussC


    Joined Sep 11, 2015
    1,084 posts, 412 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Oregon lakes
    Earlier today a crew finally showed up to deliver and set up another "boat-port" for our most recent acquisition (Vagabond 17 day sailer). now I can toss the last of the #@$% blue tarps for good (as soon as I charge the dead battery in my truck that is :doh:).


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