I expected a lot of things to go wrong but I did not expect this!

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Project_Mayhem, Apr 18, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Justin_NSA


    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,730 posts, 1,262 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    aka "6X6". Rode in one from MCAS El Toro to MCAS Yuma during a deployment

  2. capta


    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    3,102 posts, 1,164 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    This is so far beyond anything I've ever considered would be a problem with a sailboat, I couldn't immediately recognize what I was looking at and what the problem was. Now I'm thinking my ignorance is pretty funny.

    Tom J likes this.
  3. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,905 posts, 1,855 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Yep, the only ice you see is in the rum punch. :biggrin:

    capta likes this.
  4. MitchM


    Joined Jan 20, 2005
    762 posts, 121 likes
    Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32
    US Erie PA
    winter storage: i bought 25 yards of 60 inch wide BoatTop @$10/ yd , a sailrite ultrafeed sewing machine , heavy brass grommets and a grommet setting tool. i fashioned a heavy duty orange cover for our 30 ft boat that fit over the downed mast , then laced at the bow and stern shoelace-style. the cover hung down to the boot stripe on both sides and was laced under the boat with heavy cord thru the grommets. it gave us 20 years of great service and was sold with the boat in 06-- and is still in use w the new owner to this day.

    LloydB, Will Gilmore and Tom J like this.
  5. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,905 posts, 1,855 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Weight is important, the heavier the cover the harder it is for the wind to lift it.

    I'm a big fan of the Fairclough covers. Expensive, yes, but they work. I've had them in very exposed conditions and they don't fail.


    TomY and Tom J like this.
  6. Project_Mayhem


    Joined Sep 24, 2018
    421 posts, 83 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Waukegan
    The lesson I've learned is to pay a few dollars more for storage. This crazy woman made me tow the boat off of her property just to put the tarp on. 25mph winds in a freezing cold Walmart parking lot with muscles freezing up every 30 minutes was an experience I will never forget. We've all been through worse but this was forced upon me for no good reason. Had I been allowed to do that on her property the trees wouldve blocked the wind, it wouldve taken less time and the tarp wouldve been done properly.

    I used the same method last year with great success. A 2x4 at each end allowed me to get a decent seal and not have to worry about grommets lining up. Being able to properly secure the tarp allowed me to pull it tight to the boat and as a result, no snow collected on top.

    The water took 5-10 minutes to drain and made a huge mud puddle in their grass. I wish I could say that made me smile but I was still too pissed that she couldnt take 30 seconds to send me a text or phone call. My O'Day 25 had something similar happen but there was 2-3 times more water. I didnt secure the PVC supports properly and I ended up breaking a stanchion from it's base because of the massive amount of weight. It took about 20 minutes to drain through the 1ft cut I made in the tarp (does anyone want a giant tarp with a few cuts in it?). There are quite a few boats who had water collect on the tarps in the yard my O'Day is in. One of them had almost the entire cockpit filled with water because the tarp was covering the drains. The tarp was pulled tight against the fiberglass and I suspect he expected the water to collect. I'll probably do the same next year except I'll attempt to allow the water to drain. Thanks for the reminder of how much water really weighs. It really put things into perspective.

    So I guess I learned two lessons -- Pay a little more for better storage and don't try to tarp boats when its cold and windy.

    Tom J likes this.
  7. Scott B

    Scott B Moderator

    Joined Sep 20, 2006
    2,617 posts, 169 likes
    Hunter 33
    CA Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
    If you have a farm type hardware store and get the silver hay bale tarps. I used one for 5-6 years. I used tarp clips, get the kind that screw through the tarp, grommets are not strong enough.

  8. Project_Mayhem


    Joined Sep 24, 2018
    421 posts, 83 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Waukegan
    Another method is to roll the edge of the tarp around a piece of wood so the load is distributed along the entire length instead of just a few grommet points. A second piece of wood on the outside to keep if from unwinding is ideal. Next best thing would be screws and fender washers

  9. isaksp00


    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    1,079 posts, 84 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Lake Wallenpaupack
    Here is my 23 right after I tarped it using Harbor Freight silver. I used the grommets. Have not yet had chance to check it's survival.
    Assuming I don't sell the boat, next Fall I may try using something like PVC pipe about 1.5 in OD rolled around then screwed to edges of tarps. Then tie hold downs around pipe through holes burned through tarp.

    Attached Files:

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  10. NotCook


    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    679 posts, 193 likes
    Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch
    US St. Croix, Virgin Islands
    I was expecting to see a boat in the water with the bow sticking out of the water!

  11. tom11673


    Joined Jun 26, 2004
    8 posts, 1 likes
    -Macgregor -26-S
    US Americus, GA
    What about building a sort of framework under the tarp to make sure water doesn't collect on the tarp? PVC pipes, wood lathes, etc. I use one made of wood lathes under my boat cover. The cover isn't water proof but my cockpit drain doesn't get clogged with windblown debris and the fabric doesn't get weighed down with collecting water. True, my 14' Oday Javelin is a bit smaller, but the problem is the same.

  12. "Selah"


    Joined Jan 13, 2019
    51 posts, 33 likes
    Lockley Newport 23
    Selah US Portman Marina
    Hey all, I had the same experience about 10 years ago when we had a really bad rain storm. I received a call that night from a friend at the sail club who told me my boat was tilted up and filled with water in the back. Took me 2 hours to bail the water out enough til I could get to the drain plugs all with it raining cats and dogs and lightening all around. I learned to keep the plugs out. It was a learning experience to say the least but no damage. However, this past October, I had my boat in dry storage at the marina. The mast was up and have been using two tarps--one over the
    bow with jib sheet attached to pull the tarp up next to the mast and then bungee cords attached to the grommets and secured to the trailer. I used the main sheet to hold the back of the boom up and another tarp secured over the boom and also attached to the trailer with bungees like a tent. Previous years this had kept the boat fairly clean and the water ran off with no problems. Another step was that during previous times, I had used dog tie out anchors with a strap over the trailer itself to hold the trailer in place and the boat was tied down with two 2 inch straps to the trailer. Well this time I did not use tiedowns on the trailer. So, this past October, a tornado came over the lake. Some of the docks were damaged but none of the boats in dry storage had any damage ---except mine! No one had called me from the marina and when I went out a few days later, I found my boat halfway flipped over with the mast lying against the rub rail on another boat. The bow stay and the port and starboard shroud's wires had been damaged. Luckily the other boat's rub rail saved me. However the port shroud where it was attached to the side rail of my boat was torn up exposing the insides of my 16 foot Precision. Luckily I had a neighbor that came and helped me right the boat and take the mast down. My insurance took care of my $1400 damage and I have it back with all new rigging. The owner of the boat repair shop was even able to match the nonskid on the port rail. What did I do wrong? I should have anchored the trailer as I did before. When the tornado came through, the wind got up under the tarps and flipped the boat and trailer. If it had been anchored, the wind may have destroyed the tarps but I don't believe the boat would have had this much damage. The reason I feel secure in this evaluation is my boat was the only one to have had any damage. Needless to say, my little Precision is going back to dry storage next week so it will be ready to go when I want to sail. However, lesson learned? Anchors!! When she goes back this time, she will be tarped but I am using 2 mobile home anchors with a 2 inch ratchet strap tying the trailer. The good thing about these anchors? On a mobile home, one strap goes over the top of the home and one attaches underneath to the frame. There are two attachment bolts per anchor. Therefore, it might be overkill, but there will be a ratchet strap also going over the boat but under the tarps. It'll take quite a wind to flip her again but that doesn't mean she will not be susceptible to flying debris or damage from other boat's that are not tied down.

  13. williamtl


    Joined Jun 1, 2015
    165 posts, 55 likes
    Macgregor 26d
    US rocky fork
    While I agree water is heavy, I think there is a miscalculation somewhere. At 64lbs per cubic foot, many people would not be able to lift a gallon of water with one hand and pour it in a glass. The confusion may be with the buoyancy or displacement. I think the weight of water is closer to 8lbs per gallon which is close enough to a cubic foot to be a usable estimate depending on the task at hand.

  14. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,905 posts, 1,855 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    A cubic foot of water contains 7.48 gallons. I used 8 gallons to make the mental math easier. :)


    A cubic foot of water weighs 62.43 lbs, which means a gallon weighs 8.35 lbs.


    So, using the example I posted earlier, the weight of 15 cubic feet of water is 936.45 lbs. Close enough to make the point that water is heavy and salt water is heavier yet.

    Will Gilmore and jwing like this.
  15. Project_Mayhem


    Joined Sep 24, 2018
    421 posts, 83 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Waukegan
    A milk crate is pretty close to a cubic foot yet it holds 4 gallons

  16. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,905 posts, 1,855 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Yes it is and does. The one in the back of my truck measures 12x12x10, which is 17% smaller than a cubic foot allowing for rounding errors. Remember that milk jugs have rounded corners, spaces where handles go, and tapered tops. The slightly smaller size and the shapes the cartons probably accounts for the difference.

  17. Knot Stressin'

    Knot Stressin'

    Joined Sep 7, 2018
    80 posts, 64 likes
    Chrysler C-22
    Knot Stressin' US Battle Creek
    Wet, slushy Michigan snow caved my boat canopy in last November. Had to reinforce the poles and put it back up. It survived the winter....but barely. I had to remove the mast crutch and straighten it also.

    Attached Files:

    Tom J likes this.
  18. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,424 posts, 316 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    I hate snow! I found it best to move far, far away!

  19. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,393 posts, 576 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk II
    US Barnegat, NJ
    What would we do without milk crates to carry all out boat stuff.

  20. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,905 posts, 1,855 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY

    Captain Larry-DH likes this.

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