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Old 10-26-2021, 02:35 PM   #1
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Storm covers built from tarps

Built some covers for my boat from tarps: flybridge, windows and cabin door.
Wasn't happy with previous tarping jobs I've done. Had a tarp laying around and so "why not." Nothing against Sunbrella covers, I have a lot of those topside, I just wanted to see how something built from tarps would work. And I was finding supply chain issues with Sunbrella, depending on color desired.

Conclusion: should have done this years ago! They work great and just survived a couple so-called "bomb cyclone" storms here in harbor. My anemometer peaked at 40 mph, barometer went lowest I've ever seen here, and every cover/snap stayed in place and did their job.

Pics...

Third pic: that is a window cover inside view, showing indoor/outdoor carpet tape (in white, the backing) that makes the hems. Crease the hem over the tape before removing the backing to get a straight hem. Set snaps in the hem. I used the stock hems along one or two sides where possible, saved time.

Last pic shows the flybridge covers. The inside hems near the deck are large hems with wood curtain rods in them to keep them down in strong winds. You can laugh at my custom seat covers! They go below next month anyway!
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:45 PM   #2
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Here is typical tarp material I used. 10 mil works good, anything lighter risks pulling the snaps out of the hems.
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:53 PM   #3
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If the tarps held up through the last few days, you've got it made!
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken E. View Post
If the tarps held up through the last few days, you've got it made!
Time (and storms) will tell. Yeah, was 3-point support just moving through the boat here at the dock yesterday. Check the cleats in the dock railing, seriously!
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Old 10-31-2021, 02:08 AM   #5
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Thatís very interesting. I thought about doing something similar with a big lightweight canvas tarp we have aboard. It never occurred to me to use plastic ones. Iíd probably only use it for one season but if it held up Iíd reuse it.
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Old 11-04-2021, 06:46 AM   #6
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Large tarps covering large sections of the boat should be tied off so wind can not get UNDER the tarp.

Or or may have a very short life.
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Old 11-13-2021, 01:25 AM   #7
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I need to do something like this! Got my boat this last Summer and it was previously kept under covered moorage. Sheís got an aft cockpit Bimini cover but open on three sides on the back. The local place roughly quoted $5k-$6500 for the sides and canít get to it until March! Yikes and Yikes! Itís been a stormy and rainy Autumn so far and now looking to resort to tarp or a DIY canvas system. Great resources online and with a little ambition, sewing these together could save some serious cash and protect my deck!
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Old 11-13-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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JustO,
That will keep you occupied this fall! I assume you want to close in the cockpit to existing zippers and snaps. An alternative would be knock down the bimini and build covers for the 4 sides, that might be easier to do within all the inclement weather we've been having lately.

Keeping the wind from lifting/tearing things up like FF noted is important.

The sailrite site has tons of great video on this. I would've gone more Sunbrella-formal this fall but just plain ran out of time to source material and sew it up.
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Old 11-13-2021, 10:43 AM   #9
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I would hate to put much effort into one-time / minimal use covers.
Check out RockfordSupply.com as they usually have close-out & seconds fabrics at very attractive prices especially compared to Sunbrella. I have used a fair amount of their acrylic / poly fabrics for my & friends boats and never been disappointed.

For sewing a simple hem in any of these most any household machine will work - you don't really need a heavy duty walking foot machine, although they do make life easier.
Just be sure to use UV treated thread so it lasts multi uses.
Also if the plastic tarps have the reinforcing glass fiber in them they can be abrasive against other canvas or even gel coat if the winds cause movement / flapping, etc.
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Old 11-13-2021, 01:26 PM   #10
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GoneF,

Yes, I’d like to enclose the cockpit to the existing zippers on the Bimini and snaps on the port, transom, and starboard sides. Yes, a big project if I undertake myself…

What do you mean by knocking down the Bimini and building covers for the 4 sides? I can’t picture what you mean by that…

Bacchus, I’ll check out that site. Thanks for the resource…and good to consider that tarp abrasion factor…
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Old 11-13-2021, 05:01 PM   #11
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Neat trick.

If you want a big cover to last all winter, use golf balls as tie points on poly tarps. Grommet eyes rip out too easy. 3/8" lines minimum.
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Old 11-13-2021, 07:18 PM   #12
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JustO, "What do you mean by knocking down the Bimini and building covers for the 4 sides? I can’t picture what you mean by that…"

I remove my bimini canvas for the winter and fold the supporting tube structures back, as I don't have side curtains either and the weather just comes in.

See my first and last pics in post #1 (ignore the black bags over my seats). That's where I dressed a tarp to the snaps over my wind screen, then back over my flybridge in the last pic. The tarp draps down close to the deck, I put curtain rod in the bottom hems for stiffness and weight.

This doesn't cover the deck of the flybridge, but for me that's OK as all the high maintence stuff (the dash, intruments, shiney woodwork) is under protection now and the tarps don't get lifted by the wind storms we get here.

Looking at your pics, seems like you could do something similar for the bulkhead/cabin entry that would protect a lot of stuff. I see lots of snaps in your pics. Similar port and starboard, and aft. Deck would get wet, but I assume your drains/scuppers are OK, as are mine. Its all the stuff around the deck that needs some protection.

Anyways, that's what I did given the constraints I had at the time and it's been through three big blows so far, so good.
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Old 11-14-2021, 05:40 PM   #13
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GoneF, Thanks for the clarification. Great work for a quick fix! I'm going to have to do something of the sort...
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Old 11-14-2021, 06:29 PM   #14
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Greetings,
For any covering, tighter is best. The less movement the least wear on the tarp AND the boat. Over many years, I've tried numerous styles of tarp "clips' and found these to be the best, by a LONG shot, for poly tarps. (as mentioned, the factory grommets rip out too easily.


We just finished tarping our northern boat. Every grommet has a bungie cord with extra blue clips and bungies in critical places.



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Old 11-14-2021, 07:35 PM   #15
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What's the name of those? How do you rig up the bungee with those?
Looks like something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Byers-15-Piec...3291454&psc=1?

Or this: https://www.amazon.com/Grabbers-Mova...GFDKQD3&psc=1?

I had looked at these but didn't take the plunge and try them yet. Yours look a little more secure. https://www.amazon.com/Secures-Campi...2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1.
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Old 11-14-2021, 07:41 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. JO. Nope. Tried those (your third link). Couldn't get or keep them tight enough to grip the edge of the tarp. I tried wrapping the tarp with a small twig then clamping those things. Still failed.


Your first two links look like what I have. A little tough to get onto a thicker tarp but having used them for 5 or 6 years, I've never had a failure.



You simply hook the bungee into the hole in the small end then stretch away...
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Old 11-14-2021, 07:44 PM   #17
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Very nice. Perhaps I'll give them a try for a quick fix before I pay the piper for my enclosure or sewing it up myself...
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