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Old 10-18-2019, 02:59 PM   #1
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Shrink wrap vs tarps.

I am preparing to pull the boat this Mid November. I already have the spot reserved and paid for winter haul out and storage. Now. I was just quoted 1000$ for shrink wrap with vents, access door and mildew packs. Does this seem high? I am re-launching the boat April 1st. I will be doing my own bottom paint, zin=CSU and hull and deck polish as well. The boat would have to be unwrapped mid March for me to start these projects. I think 1000$ for roughly 4 months is a bit much. I think I will just purchase 3 or 4 big 20 X 80 Tarps and completely tarp and ratchet strap everything for the winter? Thoughts please.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:20 PM   #2
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It depends on how much snow and ice you will get. The shrink wrap will shed the snow and ice much better than a tarp. The shrink wrap is slicker and gets tighter so the snow will slid easier. If the snow and ice sits on the tarp it will eventually get inside. I guess if it were me I would take into account how much you normally get and then flip a mental coin. How big is your boat, how many square feet. Here they charge $1 per square foot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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Shrink wrap is definitely nice for shedding snow. And it tends to hold up well in wind too. But it's expensive, and depending on how it's framed, etc. it can put a lot of pressure on some areas of decks, etc. Some boats seem to develop a lot more stress cracks while shrink wrapped, it seems.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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Every boat outside here gets shrink wrapped and there is no evidence of stress cracking. If that were happening there would be a huge uproar and there isnít any talk about that.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:51 PM   #5
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Price seems consistent with or better than what I used to pay several years ago in Massachusetts for a 47ft without the added doors etc. The tarps always seem to get shredded no matter how they start out. Also, the shrinkwrap with door will enable you to work on / inspect the boat during the Winter. It can get quite warm under the wrap when the sun shines.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:02 PM   #6
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It would cost me $574 here for my 41’ boat to have it shrinked but I store it inside for $1450.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:06 PM   #7
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Every boat outside here gets shrink wrapped and there is no evidence of stress cracking. If that were happening there would be a huge uproar and there isnít any talk about that.
If it's done well it shouldn't cause stress cracks. But depending on how strong the decks are, how well the framing spreads the load, how tightly they shrink it, etc. it can be a (minor) issue. I've never seen it cause anything concerning, just a few small gelcoat cracks where things flexed slightly under the load.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:14 PM   #8
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How do you know the stress cracks were because of the shrink wrap?
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:25 PM   #9
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How do you know the stress cracks were because of the shrink wrap?
On one boat, they switched from using canvas winter covers to shrink wrap. The first couple of winters with shrink wrap, the boat gained a few new gelcoat cracks each winter until they figured out which areas needed the load spread more by the framing. Of course, condition and strength of the decks in that case is unknown to me.

And of course, I've seen plenty of shrink wrapped boats with no unusual cracks or anything, so I'm sure any concern varies based on the boat and the skill of the people doing the framing and wrapping.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:55 PM   #10
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Well, when you get a boat shrink wrapped you should actually get someone who knows what they are doing. I guess I assumed it was someone professional doing the wrapping. The people here are good at it and donít have problems.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:58 PM   #11
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We pay about $750 to shrink wrap ours. Looks like our boat is roughly the same size as the OP's, ours is 42 LOA, aft deck hardtop, pretty tall boat, etc. I just hated the idea of spending $750 only to throw it all in a dumpster in the spring, but the shrink wrap does shed snow very well. Much better protection for the boat in our harsh winters. The tarps were a huge hassle and awkward and even if I secured them well with a million bungee cords and weights (a number of owners in our marina use plastic milk jugs filled with sand), I still had to check it every few weeks and adjust/repair. For the past few years we've decided the cost of shrink wrapping is worth it. Swallows (or some messy birds) would fly through the openings between tarps and make nests under the aft deck roof and I'd have to power-wash big piles of bird guano off the carpets in the spring. Of course unlike the OP (Maryland, relatively mild) our storage period is closer to six months and winter is brutal, snow, wind, etc.

I really haven't noticed any more or less stress cracking with tarps or shrink wrapping. With shrink wrapping I don't have to worry about flapping of loose tarp edges and grommets against the gel coat in high winds either, that was a persistent problem.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:10 PM   #12
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One issue with shrink wrap is on a painted boat. The wrap if it is put against paint can ruin the paint because it can trap moisture against the paint. If your boat is painted you need a small spacer between the wrap and the painted parts.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:29 PM   #13
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In marina around here if you choose your own tarp instead of having them wrap it they decline any responsibility in case your tarp is damaged by snow or wind and you are responsible to periodically go there to check it as if the tarp opens they won't put it back or even touch it. For peace of mind I was choosing wrap before as the boat was 45 by car from my home and I did not want to go there all the time to check. Now the boat is stored under a shed, so no wrap nor tarp.
If you choose to wrap put moisture grabber in your boat as even if ventilated it has tendency to keep humidity on the high level.

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Old 10-18-2019, 06:48 PM   #14
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You might want to consider investing in a canvas cover. Our boat came from MD and had a custom cover. We are going into our 4th season (it is 7 years old) and it has held up great through wind and snow. I have built a frame so it sheds snow better but that was easy. At end of season we just roll it up and store. I priced a new one and it was around $8500 but was told it would last 10-15 years which is less than shrink wrap over similar time. Added benefit is we are not disposing of mass load of plastic every year.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:07 PM   #15
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I pay almost a grand for a 34 Marine Trader to be shrink wrapped every year.

It's worth it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:13 PM   #16
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Settled then. I met the guy and we discussed all the options and I feel better knowing the boat will be dry and safer than tarps and that’s the general consensus on the reply’s you have all provided. I think the east coast is in for nasty weather this year. I’m originally from the Lake Michigan area and it seems like things here in the Annapolis area are already getting colder than usual. Shrink wrap it is!
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:14 PM   #17
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Shrink wrap isn't that expensive. I don't understand why some place charge crazy prices to do it. One local place charges $500 just to wrap a 16 foot pontoon. It can be done with heat gun or a propane weed burner if you're careful. Lots o good videos on the tube of yous about doing it. Saves a lot of money over the life of the boating person.



https://mrshrinkwrap.com/shrink-wrap/by-width.html


https://www.amazon.com/Shrink-Wrap-G...language=en_US
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
One issue with shrink wrap is on a painted boat. The wrap if it is put against paint can ruin the paint because it can trap moisture against the paint. If your boat is painted you need a small spacer between the wrap and the painted parts.
Yes but... tarps usually contain glass reinforcing and the damage they can do with wind etc can far exceed any moisture probs w paint.
It's all about wrapping properly.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:08 PM   #19
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Yes it is a bit of a skill. Also I would not do it myself. Boat/US has a lot of fire damage claims resulting from a DIY shrink wrap job.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:34 PM   #20
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I get my boat wrapped to keep leaves, rain & snow off it.


And on a sunny day it does put some warmth in boat as a bonus.
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