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Daniel B

Shrinkage

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This year we decided to leave the mast up. That meant that our big hay-bail tarp would not do for a winter cover. I was nervous to cut and paste tarps together around the rigging and thought that shrinkwrap would do the job. But, the cost for having the boat done was huge. So, I found out that I could order all the supplies for $100 less than having the boat shrinkwraped by someone else and have the tool and supplies leftover for the future (I almost have enough supplies left for next year).

 

For anyone considering this, it's not bad to do, but there is a learning curve.

 

Things I learned:

  • Take the time to get the wrap as flat and tight as possible before applying heat. The creases in loose wrap make it hard to heat the plastic evenly (i.e. I burnt a couple small holes in the stuff).
  • You do not need the tensioning tool. A couple Truckers hitches do a perfect job tightening the strapping.
  • A helper would have made things so much easier. I did this on my own and I could not fold the plastic into position. When I tried to make pleats or fit the plastic, I could not pull it tight when laying it on the frame or I would have pulled it off the frame. If I had someone to pull the opposite side while I tucked the plastic under the strapping the panels would have been flat and made the heat shrinking process much, much easier.
  • Propane tanks don't like the cold. I froze mine up three times and had to run the heater in the car to get the gas going again.
  • Buy the 'Preservation Tape'. It's a tape that will not leave a residue when removed in the spring. It would have made things easier when attaching the wrap to the rigging and mast. I just folded the 6" shrinkwrap tape onto itself and wrapped it around things, but it was a waste of time and the cost would have been the same as using preservation tape.
  • Use 6" shrinkwrap tape. It allows you to hit it with the heat gun (to activate the adhesive) without warming the plastic beside it.

Doing the shrinkwrap is like welding or painting - It's all in the prep work. If I'd spent more time setting up the wrap on the frame, the shrinking process would have gone so much faster and been so much easier. I had a pretty tight and flat section of the wrap aft of the mast and I got that area shrunk in just a few minutes. With all the creases, rolls and fold forward of the mast, it took me nearly and hour to shrink that area.

 

Anyway, here's how it turned out:

post-44282-0-56984900-1352127051_thumb.jpg

post-44282-0-17450400-1352127067_thumb.jpg

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For all of you who have your boats shrinkwraped, what do you use for a frame? I'd like to try a frame made of the grey plastic electrical conduit, but I'm afraid the heat would melt the conduit...

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Would strongly suggest you make sure that thing is vented or else you will have a terrarium. :o

 

Most frames are made of 1x3 strapping creating a ridge pole as well as supports. For larger boats, they double the strapping for the ridge. It is generally supported to the sides by the strapping every 6 or so feet. Carpeting/rags/excess wrap is placed over sharp spots, stanchions or pther protrusions. Pitch is your friend as the stuff is slippery and will allow snow and ice to slide off before becoming too heavy and breaking any framing.

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fyi........a couple of years ago, there was a guy at our marina that had the same idea to shrinkwrap his own boat.

 

after the fire department did its thing and the insurance company was called...... thousands of dollars of damage was done to his boat and his neighbors boat.

Ask Ken MacDonald (marina manager at the time) about that episode. not a memorable experience for him.

 

My woody was not far from this idiot.

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What is this shrinkwrap of which you speak?

 

Down these parts its used for wrapping sandwiches - it keeps them fresh.

 

When wrapping a boat, you need to pit down a layer of cheese BEFORE the tomatoes, otherwise you get a soggy deck within an hour or so.

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What is this shrinkwrap of which you speak?

 

Down these parts its used for wrapping sandwiches - it keeps them fresh.

 

When wrapping a boat, you need to pit down a layer of cheese BEFORE the tomatoes, otherwise you get a soggy deck within an hour or so.

 

Balsa sucks up mayo like nobody's business.

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sailAR,

I left a big opening at the transom, using the outboard bracket and swim ladder as offsets. Vents for the bow are in the mail.

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DIY shrinkwrap. Hell no. I'm a pretty serious DIYer, but where I am,threat of setting an entire boatyard on fire is too much of a risk for a clutz like me.

 

Barker's Island shrinked ours. They build a frame, have plenty of ventilation, and even put in a zippered doorway.

 

My preference, though, would be to have a re-usable cover. Hopefully next season.

 

As for you guys in PNW, NZ, FLA, etc.: Kindly fuck off. :)

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DIY shrinkwrap. Hell no. I'm a pretty serious DIYer, but where I am,threat of setting an entire boatyard on fire is too much of a risk for a clutz like me.

 

Barker's Island shrinked ours. They build a frame, have plenty of ventilation, and even put in a zippered doorway.

 

My preference, though, would be to have a re-usable cover. Hopefully next season.

 

As for you guys in PNW, NZ, FLA, etc.: Kindly fuck off. :)

 

C'mon and make me! :P

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DIY shrinkwrap. Hell no. I'm a pretty serious DIYer, but where I am,threat of setting an entire boatyard on fire is too much of a risk for a clutz like me.

 

Barker's Island shrinked ours. They build a frame, have plenty of ventilation, and even put in a zippered doorway.

 

My preference, though, would be to have a re-usable cover. Hopefully next season.

 

As for you guys in PNW, NZ, FLA, etc.: Kindly fuck off. :)

 

Jealous Rick??

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awww...you guys.

 

I feel the love

 

You are always welcomed here Rick, I hope you do visit us soon.

 

+1

 

+1 as well, though I'm not entirely sure about that feel the love stuff. We're cool, I'm voting for R74 and all that, but that's not a personal interest, 'kay?

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Hey, Rick maybe you could come out, tell us all to fuck off, and then we all go for a sail on the Sliver when it's done. I hear it'll seat alot of people in that great long cockpit.

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awww...you guys.

 

I feel the love

 

You are always welcomed here Rick, I hope you do visit us soon.

 

100+ % with an emphasis on soon!

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My preference, though, would be to have a re-usable cover. Hopefully next season.

 

 

With some forethought, a shrinkwrap cover can be re-used for a few seasons at least.

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okay you guys, I'll get with SWMBO and set up a time to come on out in person and tell you all to fuck off.

 

:D

 

lol

 

Its about time!!

 

I'll meet you at the airport, it's only 10 minutes from here. Not sure where I'll drop you off though...

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okay you guys, I'll get with SWMBO and set up a time to come on out in person and tell you all to fuck off.

 

:D

 

lol

 

Its about time!!

 

I'll meet you at the airport, it's only 10 minutes from here. Not sure where I'll drop you off though...

 

At Elliott Bay Marina where I have the commuter boat of course....or maybe we should go visit the Shack first..........

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My preference, though, would be to have a re-usable cover. Hopefully next season.

 

 

With some forethought, a shrinkwrap cover can be re-used for a few seasons at least.

Maybe I should take some along when I walk the dog.

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