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Shrink Wrap or Tarps ?

Old 11-11-2020, 09:33 PM
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Default Shrink Wrap or Tarps ?

Got a quote today to shrink wrap a new-to-us Silverton 33--about $550. I think I could get a few heavy-duty Harbor Freight tarps and clips for way less than that, plus the shrink wrap is one-and-done whereas the tarps are not. Boat is going to be kept on the Bohemia River (MD) for the winter. Anyone have experience or opinions on which is a better approach ?
Old 11-11-2020, 09:35 PM
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Tarps flap around in the wind and can chafe parts of the boat. They can also leak if not properly supported. Not so much of a problem if you don't get snow in your area.

Shrink wrap is great, but expensive and non recyclable.
Old 11-12-2020, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 706jim View Post
Tarps flap around in the wind and can chafe parts of the boat. They can also leak if not properly supported. Not so much of a problem if you don't get snow in your area.

Shrink wrap is great, but expensive and non recyclable.
I had this issue with my tarp last year. My father purchased a gun and all the items so I used shrink wrap this years.

1.) Tarp can be removed. We have had 70 degree weather almost all week and I would have loved to have the boat uncovered to work on it. Shrink wrap thatís a no go.

2.) Like stated above tarp can have flapping issues. Mine was secure and didnít come off or move much, but no matter how tight I made it, it still caused some abrasions on the hullside I had to buff out. It was also parked outside my bedroom window and had me up some windy nights checking it because of how noisy it was.

3.) The tarp was easier to put up and keep good ventilation.

4.) The shrink wrap is more secure and Iím hoping I have to pay less attention to it over the winter.

5.) I have a door on the wrap so access is just a zipper away. The tarp I needed to either install it with an access point or undo lines to get in.

6.) The shrink wrap looks better. Not a huge deal, but the giant tarped thing next to the house looked... like a giant tarped thing. The shrink wrapped boat looks a little bit better in that regard.

7.) For someone paying, itís much more convenient to have it wrapped. Having done it ourselves, it took some time, but it was our first.

8.) I will see what happens, but my father and I set up up in a way that we hope to reuse the wrap next year. We even set up the strapping to be released instead of cut for reuse... but who knows how that goes.

Old 11-12-2020, 04:09 AM
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Put a door in the shrink wrap, they're cheap.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:38 AM
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If you remove it carefully you might get a few years out of it.
Old 11-12-2020, 05:09 AM
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Bungee cords to the tarp hole grommets.

No flapping, holds steady all winter .....

Doesnt need to be crazy tight - just secure.
Been doing it this way for years
Old 11-12-2020, 05:30 AM
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If you go with a tarp, you will probably need to build some type of framework to prevent the tarp from caving in after a heavy snow.
Old 11-12-2020, 05:34 AM
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Anyone have experience with these used billboard vinyls? Look interesting and comparatively inexpensive. https://www.billboardvinyls.com/
Old 11-12-2020, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by IMPLiberty View Post
I had this issue with my tarp last year. My father purchased a gun and all the items so I used shrink wrap this years.

1.) Tarp can be removed. We have had 70 degree weather almost all week and I would have loved to have the boat uncovered to work on it. Shrink wrap thatís a no go.

2.) Like stated above tarp can have flapping issues. Mine was secure and didnít come off or move much, but no matter how tight I made it, it still caused some abrasions on the hullside I had to buff out. It was also parked outside my bedroom window and had me up some windy nights checking it because of how noisy it was.

3.) The tarp was easier to put up and keep good ventilation.

4.) The shrink wrap is more secure and Iím hoping I have to pay less attention to it over the winter.

5.) I have a door on the wrap so access is just a zipper away. The tarp I needed to either install it with an access point or undo lines to get in.

6.) The shrink wrap looks better. Not a huge deal, but the giant tarped thing next to the house looked... like a giant tarped thing. The shrink wrapped boat looks a little bit better in that regard.

7.) For someone paying, itís much more convenient to have it wrapped. Having done it ourselves, it took some time, but it was our first.

8.) I will see what happens, but my father and I set up up in a way that we hope to reuse the wrap next year. We even set up the strapping to be released instead of cut for reuse... but who knows how that goes.
I've used tarps and shrinkwrap. I prefer shrinkwrap, but it must be properly ventilated with supports high enough to support it. I used gallon milk containers cut in half taped to the shrinkwrap with shrinkwrap tape. I put screens on the inside of the shrinkwrap. I could walk my whole deck, stooped over and work on it. Shrinkwrap on the cockpit was high enough to stand. A group of us got together to shrinkwrap our boats. Our only expense was the shrinkwrap, shrinkwrap tape, large doors to enter under the shrinkwrap and propane. We bought the burner and heavy leather gloves (a one time cost). The first winter cost us what was normally charged. Succeeding winters were done for about one third of what was charged. I used kover klamps and metal electrical conduit bent and cut for the framework. Once set up, it took about 4 hours to erect the frame and an hour or so to shrinkwrap. We had a couple guys who reused their shrinkwrap, but it could be reused only for a second year. This was in CT and the framework was sturdy - it stood up to 3 ft of snow in noreasters. A few guys shrinkwrapped their boats in the water, keeping it on the dock with bubblers. Basically, I used tarps for 4 years and shrinkwrap for 21 years.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:04 AM
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Just a suggestion on wrapping. My boat was painted so I had it wrapped by taping to the rub rail instead of coming down around the sides. Main reason. Was to prevent chafing on the hull sides.

It looked like it would blow right off but I went thru a noríeaster every year and it was fine. I believe it also helped a lot with ventilation as the scuppers eng room vents pulpit / anchor roller all provided air flow. I did have a door but Iíd use it to open the transom door and crawl thru that way . The wrapper would charge a little more (less wrap but more work to figure) although I see more doing it now. and it can be a bitch on your fingers to remove. I finally learned to cut it just leaving the tape. And then pull that on a nice warm day.




Last edited by PERSISTENCE_22; 11-12-2020 at 06:10 AM.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Toothpick 10 View Post
If you go with a tarp, you will probably need to build some type of framework to prevent the tarp from caving in after a heavy snow.

You will have to do this with shrink wrap as well.

Old 11-12-2020, 06:19 AM
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Have a custom cover made with Sunbrella, yes its expensive, but it'll last 5 to 6 years, if allways stored outside. I had a custom cover made every 6 to 7 years for my small 18.5' Bluewater, and it kept the sun and water out. However it never saw snow, my support system to shed water might not work with heavy snow. Good luck with what you ever you chose. A custom cover would work to keep the sun off of it during the Summer season, when not in use.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:27 AM
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For $550, no brainer I would right that check. It's done, it's and will work. I would guess you could probably save some money with tarps, but a couple hundred bucks and then dealing with checking on it, fixing and rubs on the boat. All set.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:35 AM
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My previous boat was tarped for a couple of winters. There's nothing lie having to go out and deal with a caved-section of tarp with ice and frozen snow in the middle of a storm.
It also left permanent chafe marks where it flapped back and forth all winter, even with several bungee cords.

The shrinkwrap, with a door, 2 vents, and proper supports, sheds snow much easier, looks a whole lot better, and doesn't require me to do anything with it all winter.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:36 AM
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I just wrap the flybridge on my 34 Silverton. I have separate covers for the cockpit.
I use shrink wrap and make 2 loops at the end of the strap, connect them with a ratchet strap, tighten..
In spring, loosen and remove, store in basement.
I get about 2-3 years out of them...on my third one this year.

On a difficulty scale of 1-5, putting new wrap it on in < 6 MPH wind = 2
Putting it on in 10 MPH wind = 5
putting it on in >10 mph = 65......dont even attempt it unless you have 3 helpers.

Doesn't need to be shrunk tight, just to form to the boat a little so it doesn't flap in the breeze.
I take bridge Bimini down, store windows in cabin.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:38 AM
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Option C: get a cover, easy to put on and remove, reusable, in the long term you'll save $.
Old 11-12-2020, 07:22 AM
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In MD Iíd probably think more for a custom cover on my trailer boat. Last year in Boston we had almost no snow. But itís a gamble. It is nice to wrap it and be done either way. As mentioned on a sunny day after a storm, by the time I go check the boat the snows already shedded.
Old 11-12-2020, 08:00 AM
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I've been using a cheap HF tarp for several years now. Never had any issues w/snow loads or wind flapping. If I were the OP though, I'd opt for shrink wrap w/an access door. Several of my friends have gone that route and never looked back. As mentioned, if you're careful with it and its framing, you can get several seasons out of it. And be sure to ventilate it well.



Old 11-12-2020, 08:07 AM
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$550 and you don't have to do anything? Shrink wrap is the better option for many reasons.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:15 AM
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I have had all 3. I honestly like all 3 for different reasons (as noted some above). A full winter canvas is best, but most expensive.



A few years back, Fischer cover.



Last years tarp... in hindsight I would have lowered the cockpit framing so the tarp would have been down below the chines. This would have helped the issues I had almost completely.



Ready for this winter. Just picked up the 72Ē door to replace the tiny one that I originally got by accident. I used 6 vents along the sides and have it wrapped around the trailer winch post (which leaves a bit of an air gap around the bow pulpit) in an effort to keep air flow.
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