Sailors seem to be divided into two camps, winter cover or no winter cover. I’ve played on both teams but I’ve finally become a card carrying member in the cover camp. In the past I used tarps from Canadian Tire, silver on one side and black on the other. Some years I didn’t bother, I didn’t see much of a difference, the old boat was leaky covered or not, and being over thirty years old, the UV had done it’s damage to the gel-coat.
I think it was the day I visited Tortuga last winter when I decided to cover it. There was a couple of inches of snow and ice on the boat. Snow, like rain isn’t my main concern, it was the ice I was worried about, specifically water creeping under deck fittings, into cracks and crevices and then freezing. The freeze thaw cycle has the potential to tear a boat apart, keeping water and snow off a boat is the best defense, short of indoor storage. Continue reading Winter Cover – DIY
To cover or not to cover.
I read lots of forums, blog posts and asked the sailors I knew what they did with their boats for the winter. There wasn’t much consensus, some say why bother, boats are leak free anyway, others warn of the dire actions of snow loads and ice, not to mention the unrelenting assault on bright work from UV. The simple reasons I choose to cover was 1) the windows are a bit leaky, a cover will keep water out 2) I’d like to do some simple maintenance, like bright-work and winch overhauls, digging through snow and ice doesn’t sound fun. 3) six months less UV sounds like a good idea.
Looking stern to bow, you can see the nice loft from the breeze.
I decided on a simple tarp from Princess Auto, it just fits. Four 10′ x 3/4″ electrical conduits from Home Depot fit into the life-line stanchion bases, the mast as cross beam. I’m not sure if there are enough supports, the spacing is about 4′, looks like it might sag between if there is a snow load – we’ll see. I underestimated the amount of rope needed to cover the Tanzer 7.5. Seems looping under the sailboat back and forth is not the most efficient use of line.
I like the fact that the cover seems to funnel air into it, much like an air sock. Not sure if this is a fluke on the location, wind direction or the fact I have the bow open a bit and pointing towards the water? The upside is it stopped the flapping motion and I hope this will extend the life of the cover and help the grommets stay put.