• On September 1st, Maine Sail suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke. One of the most generous members of our sailing community, he has helped thousands. Now it's our turn. Click here to learn more

Sanity Check: Winterization...Covering winches in a below freezing winter ? Maybe a cockpit tarp over the boom or unstepped mast ?

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
2,183
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
I had a custom cover for the first 10-11 years I owned my 323. It was a single piece using the boom as a ridge, and a 2 x 4 extended from the mast to the anchor roller forward. It was fitted around the stanchion bases and reinforced over the winch locations and any other hard points. The only zipper was from the mast to the deck on one side.
I normally put the rolled up cover on the boat before haulout to avoid having carry it aboard when the boat was on its cradle.

I ended up shrink wrapping after the cover wore out only because I could not get another cover locally made in a timely manner. The shrink wrap, long term, is not an economical or ecological way to go for sure. The upside was that the wrap did the job, and because it was smooth, the snow slid off rather than sticking to the cover (we get a lot of snow, wind, and freeze/thaw conditions in northern Michigan).
 
  • Like
Likes: Leeward Rail
Nov 3, 2018
69
Cape Dory, Albin 300ms Motorsailer, Vega Baltimore
Last year I made a framed cover out of electrical conduit and Kover Klamps ( google it). Having the boat covered made it easy to work on deck projects and keep the boat ventilated. In (Maryland) our winters tend to be wetter with everything from ice and freezing rain to snow. The cost of the cover and frame was about $800. It took a couple of weekends to build the frame but now that everything is bent and marked I hope to be able to put it together in a weekend. Here’s a couple pictures of the frame. Last year I had the mast down and kept the boat in the water. I’m planning on leaving the mast up this year so will have to make some alterations.
6BDC5F01-F905-4F6E-B7CE-CAB434E7BCA6.jpeg
E9F865BA-B7FB-43DD-9020-B52DA3E4306D.jpeg
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,252
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
The cost of the cover and frame was about $800.
That seems really cheap. What did you use for the cover and how well has it held up?

Also, how do you hold the cover down while in the water? I tie mine to the cradle, seems like that would work very well in the water :huh:
 
  • Like
Likes: Leeward Rail
Mar 20, 2015
2,255
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
The math geek in me cannot get past the "The 99% of the 50+ boats in our marina are stored mast up."
Did the 1% of the 50+ boats drop the main mast or the mizzen? :biggrin::cowbell:
Now that most most of the boats have been hauled out... Here are the numbers.:biggrin:

Out of 93 sailboats, 87 are currently out of the water.
17 (19.5%) of the sailboats have various covers.



1 has a full custom cover
2 have DIY full covers
2 have diy deck covers
12 have tarps over just the cockpit or cabin.

(I suspect the cabin covers are due to ports or something leaking.
none of those have finished teak they apprear to be protecting)

if i end up at one of the coffee meetings I will ask why they do or dont use a cover.

one owner who was there on the weekend. ..with decades of boat ownership said... " i had a cover for years.. but for the last 10 years I haven't bothered because our deck is water tight. I havent had issues, nor do I expect to."
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Nov 3, 2018
69
Cape Dory, Albin 300ms Motorsailer, Vega Baltimore
That seems really cheap. What did you use for the cover and how well has it held up?

Also, how do you hold the cover down while in the water? I tie mine to the cradle, seems like that would work very well in the water :huh:
I used the tarp that is sold by Kover klamp. You can have them built to any size you need. The tarp held up very well last winter and I intend to use it again. Kover klamps claims that some owners have gotten ten years out of their covers. As far as tie downs there is a perimeter frame that is made from conduit and secured to stanchions. Since I left the boat in the water I also ran several ties under the hull but most of the load is taken up by the perimeter frame. Look up Kover klamps they have a pretty extensive tutorial on building the frame and installing the cover.
 
  • Like
Likes: Leeward Rail
Mar 20, 2015
2,255
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
:huh: You don't have Spring and Fall? Day and night? Your snow/ice evaporate without ever melting?
:facepalm:

If you have ever had the privilege of getting out of your home state.. or even your own country, you will soon realize that some places have long periods of temps that vary above and below freezing, day and night, for a long time, during their long fall transition. That results in a lot of freeze/thaw cycles.

Other parts of the world go from consistently above freezing to constantly below freezing over a very short fall period. Sometimes in a matter of a couple of days.

In addition, some places, have cold and damp winters.. where others.. like here.. have very cold and dry winters where moisture in the air is extremely low.

Many freeze thaw cycles each year vs very few freeze thaw cycles a year.
The difference this has on materials is dramatic.
Vehicles from out east deteriorate much faster than those here.
Ancient buildings deteriorate much slower in colder dry environments.

A obvious example is the ice storms and icy roads thst are a common factor out east.
Here, I can remember one short ice storm in my lifetime. Our highways are usually dry pavement in winter. With blowing snow, drifting and packed snow the problem.
Ice buildup, and wet snow is a function of warmer temperatures.

It is very common here to have little to no rain in the fall, with temps 10 degrees above freezing, then have the temps suddenly drop consistently below freezing in a matter of days. You end up with almost no ice, few freeze/thaw cycles in that transition.
Definitely nothing like you see in warmer areas east and west.

And YES... you will see sublimation here where the snow turns to vapour.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: ChicagoWill
Jan 7, 2011
2,920
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
My mast stays up, but I can run a 110 ext cord to the boat, run a light or 2 , a space heater and work on some winter projects. If it is really cold, I may fire up my flowerpot heater ( leave the hatch open).



24E0BD07-18ED-47E9-85E5-A3C05D3331F1.jpeg

Boat is in a new spot this year…closer to an outlet, so that is good.

As usual, I am one of the last out and the first back in the water in April.

Greg
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,097
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Last out first in accounting! That was my program. If my boat was blocking everyone else's access to the launch well, that was fine with me.