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Old 09-14-2012, 11:37 AM   #21
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Phil, you might think about the cable ties. They allow for plenty of flex and movement. So much so that where I want to limit it I drill through the PVC and lace the cable ties through as well as around the tubes. They're easy to remove in the Spring with a pair of dikes or a box cutter and they leave no sticky residue behind.

I have had a few of the cable ties break under extreme wind and snow loading conditions.

Larry's split T's trick might help resolve the problem I'm having at the bow where the slope of the cover isn't steep enough to shed heavy snow. I'll be tinkering around with that a bit.
I might give them a try as long as they are not ridged/flex. However, been using duc tape for 15+ years. The duc tape I use leaves very little residue. I have never had a tarp grabbers fail/come a parts and you can put them where you need them, and you can take them apart, like shucking an oyster.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #22
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Al, good question! Now that I think about it I suppose it's partially reflex, 'cuz, isn't that what we're supposed to do in the winter? And partially because I'm concerned about leaving her exposed to the snow and ice freeze/thaw cycles.

What, exactly, those freeze/thaw cycles will do to the boat that would be different in the water vs. on land under a cover I'm not entirely sure about. My totally unscientific, gut feel is that it will accelerate the disintegration of the already wet wood core of the flybridge, house and deck. If I had a covered slip I would have no hesitation leaving her in the water year 'round.

Am I worrying needlessly? I am open to suggestion. There are a number of nice days during the layup period - Thanksgiving weekend thru April - when I ache to take her out for a run.
We are just south of you, actually 20 miles south of DC, and we keep our boat in the water all winter. The previous owner did the same, so probably 20 years with no freeze issues. BoatUS, who we have for insurance, even covers ice damage from VA and MD south. We keep a bilge heater on board, but just before Christmas we winterize the water, head and engine, just in case the marina power goes out. Remember that the water temps here keep the hull well above freezing until at least the end of December. Some of our best trips have been between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We dewinterize the systems in early March. One more tip we learned from one of our dock mates is to keep a bottle of the pink stuff in the head over the winter, that way you can flush in an emergency. We try to get to the boat every weekend year round, even if to just hang out in the clubhouse at the marina. As for snow, if we get a real storm like we did a few years ago, we go to the boat and shovel her out.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #23
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Or you could get a cover custom made, this is our local guy. He has made over 4000 covers, a lot of boats in the PNW have them. No as inexpensive as a tarp but look better, stand up and last for years. Same material used to cover small planes.
Boatcovers
Thanks Mike; we have been thinking about covering our boat, and this looks like a reasonable solution. They seem to be popular in the Maple Bay marina although I had no idea who made them.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:50 PM   #24
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Just a little down the road as well.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #25
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We are just south of you, actually 20 miles south of DC, and we keep our boat in the water all winter. The previous owner did the same, so probably 20 years with no freeze issues.
Now you have me reconsidering. Anyone else here want to share their experiences of leaving the boat in year round in the Mid-Atlantic region?
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #26
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Just a little down the road as well.
Unfortunately we moved the boat up to Campbell River last year...
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:24 PM   #27
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Now you have me reconsidering. Anyone else here want to share their experiences of leaving the boat in year round in the Mid-Atlantic region?
Wow

We've left several of our boats in the harbor in Alaska year round.

No tarps because they rip and damage boats.

We just hire a boat watch guy who shovels off the boat when it snows
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:26 PM   #28
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I have lived aboard just west of Toronto on a 40' powerboat for 15yrs. Last year paid $130 for shrink wrap and $30.00 to rent a propane gun.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:45 PM   #29
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Darrell, I think one factor in the decision is where you keep the boat during the summer. Are you on a mooring, in a marina, do you have ac power there? We keep a bilge heater going when a freeze is forecast, placed near the raw water intake, shut the thru-hulls, plus pink stuff in the head and water tanks, but also have the boat's regular heating system available (resistance coil on on the a/c so I do not need to keep raw water running as you would have to do with a reverse-cycle system) ) and generally keep it set at about 40 - 45 all the time. The only boats that pull out in the winter here are the guys with express boats and smaller craft that also have trailers to store them on.

Then again, we are a couple of hundred miles south of you.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #30
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My wife is going to be gone for two weeks, so today, we are putting on the Plexa glass over the salon windows, and next week end I will put back the pilot house canvas, and deck storage boxes canvas. I will not put back the big tarp over the front deck until October as I like a couple of weeks of rain on the deck, to swell the teak wood to make sure there are not leaks. I have re caulked some areas, replaced some fasteners, and sealed the deck twice.

Started the Webasto, worked fine, but will have it serviced before we run it 24/7 for 6+ months, 400+ gallons. Years ago the Webasto was cheaper to run than electricity. Now Electricity is cheaper so will use the electricity until it to cold to keep the boat warm. The advantage for running the Webasto, is it keeps the entire boat 65+ degrees, bilge/engine room, polishes the fuel, and uses up the fuel, so the fuel gets turned. During the storm days, rock and roll, polish the fuel as the fuel gets mixed up.

We have had 40+ days of no rain, but the morning dew and fog has been heavy to a point the dew is running down/off the deck/roof, but by mid afternoon is dry enough to do the last minute touch ups as it will be 6 to 9 months of wet/cold weather.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #31
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Almost every boat at my marina is pulled out for the winter. Except for a handful that never seem to move at all. I'm going to ask the old-timers "Why?"

I think I've seen Cap'n Chuck's "Beach House" at her slip across the creek through at least 1 winter.

And, I'm looking at bilge heaters!
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:52 PM   #32
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #33
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Almost every boat at my marina is pulled out for the winter. Except for a handful that never seem to move at all. I'm going to ask the old-timers "Why?"
They might wonder "why?" people pull their boats this early.

I used to live just off St. Marys river, in the St. Indigos area. There would be a few more weeks to a month and a half or more of "good" weather from what I recall. I'd boat in most of it given the chance.

I guess that most of them would be "family" boaters, on the water when school is out, put the boat in a bag till next spring.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #34
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Now you have me reconsidering. Anyone else here want to share their experiences of leaving the boat in year round in the Mid-Atlantic region?
I lived on my 37 sportfish in Annapolis winters of 97-99....used the boat all winter long...some winter days are pretty nice in the region...just this past February seemed like a September.

I'll be living aboard the 40 Albin on the Jersey shore till mid-Dec when I leave for the Southeast....probably will take 5 days to get from Cape May to Norfolk via the Chessie.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:42 AM   #35
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I guess that most of them would be "family" boaters, on the water when school is out, put the boat in a bag till next spring.
I used to be more in tune with this when I was sailing, but, I did notice that it seemed power-boater season was Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sailors started earlier and stayed later. I got into the habit of launching as soon as I could string together 2-3 days of weather warm enough to paint the bottom. And I wouldn't pull the boat out again until Thanksgiving weekend.

And then I was PO'd that I had when we got those beautiful, clear sky days in the 50's & 60's in the dead of winter.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #36
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..... it seemed power-boater season was Memorial Day to Labor Day.........
Same here and it's still plenty warm. It must have something to do with school being open, football season, or something like that.

For me, it's great. The crowds and the noise are (mostly) gone and I can enjoy the peace and quiet as well as the great boating weather.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #37
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For me, it's great. The crowds and the noise are (mostly) gone and I can enjoy the peace and quiet as well as the great boating weather.

That's the time that I love. Now till maybe late November, and late winter & early spring. March & April if I can get away. Warmer days, cool nights, and empty waters, beaches, roads, everything.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #38
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The best boating season out here in our opinions is September-June. Particularly the fall and winter. Late winter/early spring can see a succession of storms stomp through on a three to five day schedule.

Like everyone from here up through SE Alaska we leave our boat in the water year round. While night temps can get down below freezing it is rarely as cold during the day. We keep heat on the boat--- an electric oil heater in the aft cabin and another one in the engine room. So even on freezing days the engines will start right now if we want to go out. We also put a pillbox heater in the lazarette with the water tanks but we only turn it on if it's predicted to be freezing night and day for several days in a row, which generally only happens once or twice per winter.

With regards to winter covers some boaters here have full canvas covers made for their boats that they put on during the winter. Snow is not really a factor along the coast so these covers are more for rain and general weathering and don't require the elaborate bracing that's needed in the midwest and east. More common on sailboats than powerboats.

But.... we can get some strong windstorms in this area so it's critical that the covers be sewn together very well with good thread. If a seam rips loose the canvas will start to flap and this will rip the seams more and then the canvas, even if it's new, will start to fray and tear.

We watched a new, $10,000 full, fitted Sunbrella cover on a 40' Cheoy Lee sloop on or dock completely destroy itself over the course of its first winter. It started with just a small section of one seam coming apart. Owner lived in California and only used the boat for a few weeks in the winter, and his son, who lived in Bellingham, wasn't interested in the boat and never checked on it. Repeated calls by the Port to the owner resulted in no action. The destroyed cover ended up halfway in the water and the Port finally removed it as a hazard.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #39
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The best boating season out here in our opinions is September-June. Particularly the fall and winter. Late winter/early spring can see a succession of storms stomp through on a three to five day schedule.

Like everyone from here up through SE Alaska we leave our boat in the water year round. While night temps can get down below freezing it is rarely as cold during the day. We keep heat on the boat--- an electric oil heater in the aft cabin and another one in the engine room. So even on freezing days the engines will start right now if we want to go out. We also put a pillbox heater in the lazarette with the water tanks but we only turn it on if it's predicted to be freezing night and day for several days in a row, which generally only happens once or twice per winter.

With regards to winter covers some boaters here have full canvas covers made for their boats that they put on during the winter. Snow is not really a factor along the coast so these covers are more for rain and general weathering and don't require the elaborate bracing that's needed in the midwest and east. More common on sailboats than powerboats.

But.... we can get some strong windstorms in this area so it's critical that the covers be sewn together very well with good thread. If a seam rips loose the canvas will start to flap and this will rip the seams more and then the canvas, even if it's new, will start to fray and tear.

We watched a new, $10,000 full, fitted Sunbrella cover on a 40' Cheoy Lee sloop on or dock completely destroy itself over the course of its first winter. It started with just a small section of one seam coming apart. Owner lived in California and only used the boat for a few weeks in the winter, and his son, who lived in Bellingham, wasn't interested in the boat and never checked on it. Repeated calls by the Port to the owner resulted in no action. The destroyed cover ended up halfway in the water and the Port finally removed it as a hazard.
Where I am...except for custom covers or shrink wrapping (both of which I think are a waste on glass boats unless they have LOTS'O wood)...the homemade tarp covers often do more damage than they protect. Looks like a lot of people here put in a lot of effort on the frames...that's good and so is the below the gunnels theory on total tarping.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #40
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water storage

Lurker,
We are off the Potomac about 12 miles from the Bay on the VA side and have left the boat in the water for the past 4 years, usually at our own dock (one winter at a marina where some work was performed). At "home" we put an oil filled electric radiator (looks like old style radiator) in the ER and set it on 50. We do winterize the fresh water, AC and the heads in early December but leave the engines alone until January. We live about 1 1/2 hours away and go down most weekends to check on thing; I'll go after a snow or ice storm to clear the decks. We can build a boat house and one day I might but as of now she's exposed to the elements. The creek has frozen two of the past 4 years but the heater has kept the area around the boat open and so far no loss of electricity. The ice hasn't been that thick. No ill effects so far.
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