Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to facilitate winter maintenance on your boat.

Over the past few decades, more and more boats in Canada have been put away for the winter under shrink wrap. Properly applied, shrink wrap seals the boat from water and intrusion by creatures, its slippery surface sheds snow (when we get it), and it resists wind and sun all winter.

Shrink wrap can also be recycled quite effectively, and some shrink wrap suppliers have created programs to gather used wrap to ensure that it’s recycled and not disposed of in a landfill site.

Unfortunately, not every shrink wrap user is aware of this recycling opportunity. We saw a large quantity of it being stuffed into the back of a garbage truck at a yacht club this spring.

Before the advent of shrink wrap, we used to keep boats stored inside or under a canvas cover. Inside storage will always be best but it is hard to find and invariably expensive. That is why shrink wrap caught on so fast and has become so successful, although “shrink” isn’t the only new material to come along.

Recently, we’ve had a number of conversations with Nat Genco. The topic that caught our interest was the fact that he produces high-quality reusable winter boat covers that offer an alternative to shrink wrapping.

The material Genco uses is a coated polyester which is light, strong and very durable. It was first used as far back as the 1970s for covering snowmobiles, and it doesn’t rot the way traditional canvas eventually does.

For the environmentally conscious boater, these new, lightweight coated polyester covers typically enjoy a 10 to 12-year lifespan (some last up to 15 years) – and that alone represents a big reduction in environmental impact.

An equally important reason to choose a reusable cover is that it can facilitate access to the boat to do winter projects, whereas a shrink-wrapped boat is generally inaccessible until spring.

We think the smart boat owner plans ahead at this time of year, working with their marina or yard to determine what maintenance and upkeep needs to be done over the winter to ensure that the boat is going to perform to expectations all next summer. It makes sense to get the work done this winter when you are not using the boat. A reusable cover can really help facilitate that.

Some marinas can build a zipper into the shrink wrap on a larger boat, but a zipper can become a significant additional cost when shrink-wrapping a cottage-size boat. We rarely see wrappers with zipper access.

The reusable cover is also fastened differently. As Nat explained, “It’s an easy job to untie the cover, peel it back and replace it later. We generally supply loops every three feet and webbing or line to tie it tight. To keep it tight, we hang sand bags or water bottles, six pounds each. The tension keeps the cover from moving.”

He showed us a very clever wooden frame. Genco offers hardware to make the frame quickly and easily, using just a drill and saw.

The covers have vents that are sewn in, and you can specify custom features like points for lines to pass through, special shapes to go over superstructure and more. Doing this with shrink would require a lot of skill by the technician and obviously much more labour, given that shrink is a one-time-use product.

On covers for bigger boats, Genco fits seven vents and a door, but even smaller boat covers can have a door that is big enough for a man to bring in tools and work inside.

The framework can facilitate more air circulation to reduce the effects of condensation. There are solar-powered vents available to boost air circulation, too.

Nat pointed out that marinas using inexperienced help can safely use these covers. There’s no skill required to fit them, as there is in using tape and a torch to get the right tension on shrink wrap without burning the gelcoat.

So, while the reusable cover costs more initially, Nat claims that an owner will get a payback on the investment in just three years, and from then on, they are saving money as well as reducing their environmental footprint.

The advantage of winter access for service is a no-brainer. But consider also that easy winter access can facilitate showing the boat if you decide to sell or trade up.

Finally, a few brave souls actually leave their boat in the water under the reusable cover and live there! Sufficient air circulation can be engineered in, and the zippered access door can be robust enough to withstand regular use.

While we thank Genco Marine for sharing these ideas, there are many custom canvas shops and marinas which can create a cover for your boat. It may mean a little more effort and a little higher cost, but getting easy access to do winter projects and keeping some shrink out of a landfill site makes it seem both a practical choice and sound environmental practice.

By Andy Adams

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.