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Author Topic:   Boat Cover vs Shrink Wrap
Dan posted 09-25-2001 06:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dan   Send Email to Dan  
Don't worry -- I'm keeping my Whaler in the water till the first week of November. However, a friend of mine can order me a Carver brand gray 10 oz gray fabric boat cover with 1/4" draw cord and tie down straps for about $130 -- it's uv and water resistant. The Mills cover is almost $900! I figure $130 for a cover is cheaper than shrink wrapping every year. Any advice? Thanks.
acseatsri posted 09-25-2001 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Get yourself some 2 x 4's, a few sawhorse brackets, and a poly tarp. Make an A-frame to put the tarp over. Much cheaper and will let the boat breathe.
B Bear posted 09-25-2001 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Dan I have been looking into cover options in the Post Classic Forum.

One of the questions I had was:
Is Sunbrella worth the extra money? Since Sunbrella is far more expensive than the other types of fabric avalible.

acseatsri has hit on another option, besides the "A" frame. That is a portable garage for $900 to a $1000.

Shrink wrap is as expensive as some covers and indoor storage is slightly more, but these are yearly expenses, every year.

LHG indicated that his Mills cover is still going strong after 12 years. $900 might be cost effective over a period of time.

I am still mulling over the choices.

Peter posted 09-25-2001 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Dan, for a winter cover, I do exactly as Aseatsri describes. 8 2x4s, 4 saw horse brackets (galvanized) and 2 1x6s. I use the 1x6s as beams. The 2x4s are cut to length to keep the beam level. I cut the upward facing end (bow and stern) corners of the 1x6s to round them off. Then I stretch an old cotton sock over the ends so the poly tarp doesn't snag on the 1x6 when it is pulled over the top. Once the tarp roof is over the boat and positioned correctly, tie the poly tarp down tightly to the trailer with clothes line. You want to eliminate as much flapping as possible when the wind blows.

The idea behind all of this construction is to build a nice steep A-Frame so that the snow doesn't build up. It's probably not more than about $100 worth of materials which can be reused over and over again.

Hank posted 09-25-2001 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
Depends on where you store your boat. I leave my Montauk in a storage yard in Florida while I'm up here in New Jersey. This trip it will be in storage for a couple of months.

I've used a boat cover made of cotton canvas which lasted about 3 years. My last boat cover was made of Sundura. That's a polyester material. That lasted less than a year and a half. My latest boat cover is made from Sunbrella. I bought it a month ago. When I get back to Florida I'll see how good that material is. It will be undergoing a good test inasmuch as my neighbor called to let me know they had 10 inches of rain one day last week.

The cotton canvas was very heavy and strong but finally failed due to general rot from mildew as a result of the hot Florida sun and high humidity. The Sundura just split due to water accumulation. I had it tied down tight but apparently sun and rain was too much for it. I think it is too light weight a fabric for the duty.

When I get back in November I'll see what Sunbrella can do. It is heavier and stronger than the Sundura polyester. It should be more rot resistant than the cotton canvas

I'm sure that a large part of the durability of a boat cover depends on the fit in addition to the material. The cover I just bought was only a fairly good fit. I had to supply two support poles and then stuff fenders and life preservers on top of the console to keep the cover free from areas where water could accumulate.

The Mills cover is made from Sunbrella and I'm sure is a far better fit than the one I just purchased for my Montauk. I spent about $300 for mine. Time will tell.


dscew posted 09-25-2001 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew    
Great idea to use 2 X 4s with brackets. Question: do the 2 X 4s go to the floor of the boat or do they go to the ground outside of the boat?
Peter posted 09-25-2001 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
They go on the deck of the boat. In other words, the A-Frame is built inside the boat.
LKS posted 09-25-2001 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for LKS  Send Email to LKS     
If using the A-frame method described above, be sure to put a cross-brace to prevent collapsing. This is especially important if you're in a region that gets heavy, wet snow. Depending on length, you may want to secure your frame with line to cleats or other tie-downs to prevent shifting. We've used this method on the big boat for years and it works well. Have had winter covers made of both Sunbrella and the heavy-duty green canvas. Both types have held up well through midwest winters, though our canvas shop reinforced areas that tend to chafe. If you have any such areas (i.e. around windshield corners, antenna mounts, etc.), suggest slitting some empty milk jugs to cover the edges and provide some cushioning. Foam pipe insulation also works well on these areas. The nice thing about using a canvas winter cover is that, if you do get wear spots, they can easily be repaired and/or patched. Our Sunbrella winter cover was still in very good condition when we sold the boat (cover was 6-7 years old), and the heavy-duty winter cover that came with our current boat is at least 6-7 years old and is just beginning to show wear. Both were well worth the purchase price. Summer storage tip: Include a handfull of moth balls when you fold your cover for summer storage. Helps to keep the mice away. We found out the hard way -- the one patch-job on our current winter cover.
Chap posted 09-26-2001 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     

Widely used in the Northeast.
Heavy but it is not uncommon to never have to buy another one.
My father-in-law's is from '83 and covers a 26' Nauset perfectly(all custom fit). It is still in perfect condition.

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