Oct 11, 2018

Boat Cover FrameAs the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at yacht clubs about the merits and disadvantages of winter covers, tarps and wraps. First, why cover your boat at all?

Three main reasons:

1) To prevent snow, rain, water and moisture from penetrating the corners, crevices, edges and cracks and freezing and expanding – causing more problems and compounding damage.

2) To keep the boat secure – prevents unwanted intrusion of humans and animals

3) To keep the boat clean and moisture free – inside and out

Essentially, covering a boat in the off-season is a protection of your investment.

What are the options for covers? There are a few – lets talk about the pros and cons of each:

   Pro Con
 A Tarp: Inexpensive
Easy to find
Easy DIY
Tend to fray and leak
Not reliable
Tough to secure
Not fitted to the boat
Not long-lasting
A Custom Cover Very secure
Fitted to the boat
Very durable
Good for many seasons
Expensive
Custom
Shrink-wrap Secure
Fitted to the boat
Durable
Can be DIY
Can be costly
Only 1 season use
DIY with equipment

 

There are options for every budget – but consideration should be given about the best way to protect your boat based on budget and ease of use.

Shrink Wrap Boat CoverShrink-wrap is extremely popular – it’s cost-effective, durable and serves to protect the boat well. There is no shortage of contractors who can perform the work. Alternately, shrink-wrapping can be a DIY project – but requires a bit of prep and investment in both materials and tools/equipment

A custom cover can’t be beat in terms of durability and longevity. The only drawbacks are availability and cost – proper lead time is needed to arrange the creation and fitting of the cover, and return on investment may not be seen for a few years.

Fabric Boat CoverTarps serve their purpose on a budget – but should be carefully fitted, tied and secured.

In Part two we’ll explore a closer look at shrink-wrapping as a DIY project.

Happy last few weeks of boating!

 

Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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