Winter Storage

After spending a good portion of the summer trying to clean this boat it seems pointless to leave it out in the weather all winter. So, I got to thinking about how to rig a blue plastic tarp over the boat.

The obvious method is to drape it over the mast, but I don't have a mast crutch (yet) and I though that some sort of supporting framework under the tarp might be better in the long run.

Of course, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on this, either. With that in mind I settled on 1/2 inch PVC pipe for a frame. Cheap, easy to work with, and hopefully strong enough to support the average snow load here in Maryland.

Total cost for all of this was about $25 plus the cost of the blue tarp. It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the wind, and then of course, there is the question of what to do with it in the springtime!

One Month later... It hasn't blown off yet, but it also has not handled rain and snow as well as I had hoped. For the most part - with light rains - it is OK. It really needs to have a much higher center peak, about twice as many stringers from the peak down to the sides and some extra supports at the sides to prevent sagging. In heavy rain, the water "wells up" in the tarp and the snow just is not sliding off as easy as I had hoped.

Click on the thumbnail to view the complete image

The first step was to run pieces from the bow pulpit back, over the life-line stantions and down to the stern. The PVC pipe is tied to the bow-pulpit with tie-wraps and there are "T" junctions with a vertical piece down in each stantion. The horizontal runs are then cut and "T" junctions inserted for the stringers up to the ridge.
OK, its pretty goofy looking, but I kind of eye-balled it all the way. All the junctions are glued together. I thought the ridge would be self-supporting but decided to add two vertical supports and raise the framework up at the stern. I may need to add vertical supports at the sides right about where the winches are if it looks like it is sagging too much there.
It could probably have a little more pitch to the roof. The inverted "T" section at the bow is tied into the hanger for the anchor on the bow pulpit.
This is a 25x16 foot tarp. It just about covers the boat. The sides are tied down to the trailer frame.
I could have used two tarps - overlapped - and been able to close off the stern altogether.
I may need to tie up the tarp differantly at the bow.


Revised 02/07/2005
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