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Thread: Boat cover or boat tarp

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Freeland, WA
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    Default Boat cover or boat tarp

    So the time has come to get a cover for my sail-n-oar 15' Lincolnville Salmon Wherry. When it is on the trailer ( currently in a barn ), I have the mast heel on a removable tabernacle at the bow and the top of the mast lies on the stern sheets ( so if you view the boat in profile, the mast heel is elevated above the bow by maybe 1', and then the mast inclines towards the rear, disappearing below the sheer towards the stern ).

    Thus, whatever cover I devise or buy has to cover the mast heel and provide rain proof coverage at the bow, because I can't use the barn forever and may have to store the boat outside ( and has to provide weather protection when I am actually towing ). My first instinct was to buy a large heavy-duty tarp, cut it down to size a bit ( to around 20' x 15' ), grommet the edges, and voila'.

    Or should I bite the bullet and get someone to fashion me a custom boat cover? Any leads on a boat cover fabricator in the Puget Sound region?

    Opinions, please.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic and stop the madness. Save the country.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    24,833

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I have a friend with a custom cover for his 50' ketch. I use a big tarp for my 50' sloop. $6K vs. $150.

    A custom cover is way better IMO, but the cost is steep. By using a heavy duty tarp, it lasts a Maine winter no problem & actually sheds snow a little better. Key is enough support. Your mast should do most of it, but you'll tant supports going forward from it as well as off to the sides.

    Surprisingly enough, I've found the FG tape/wrapping used in shrinkwrapping to do quite well: http://dr-shrink.com/shrink-wrap/str...ping-ds-50015/

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    1,638

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I taught myself to sew well enough to cobble together several mooring covers for my small boats. I used a friend's very good but not industrial sewing machine. I used Sunbrella fabric that I purchased from Sail rite.

    If you want to go professional, Smart Canvas in Sequim, WA is very good. He's a small shop.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
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    2,473

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    This is the cover I made for Kayli Marie.


    Note the "sock" over the mast, that does a nice job of anchoring the rest of the cover when putting it on. You'll notice there are two edges along the body of the cover. The lower one has grommets for tie-downs, the upper has a bit of light bungie cord that seems to help keep the whole mess snug to the boat. I've hauled her between Bainbridge and Port Townsend a number of times and it has stayed nice and tight. I used an acrylic Sunbrella knock-off from Seattle Fabrics It has held up well for being out in the weather year-round for 6 years.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Custom cover, your boat deserves it. It will have a better fit and do a better job of keeping critters, dirt, etc out. We have done the tarp thing, they wear out fast and the grommets pull out pretty easy. If you are going to tow then you need straps every few feet and a drawstring/bungee.

    If there is a way to build a small roof over your boat that will be a huge help as well.

    Small boat cover blog post





    We have a few covers...

    Last edited by signalcharlie; 05-15-2018 at 09:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    14,117

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Every few years I buy a new cover for our 10’ inflatable. It’s a universal cover of material that looks tight and fits well down over the sides. But I’m always surprised that after a heavy rain there is water inside the dinghy. It has to be penetrating the fabric, there are no openings. Not sure if the fabric right now, NOT Sunbrella. I’ll check next time I’m at boat. I ‘think’ it is a Carver Sun-Dura fabric. Next time, Sunbrella.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    So after looking around I decided to try a boat cover made for small open fishing skiffs with integral tie-downs ( including at the bow ), etc. $93 via Amazon. If it doesn't quite work at first fitting I can always return it. If it works I will take a pic and post.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic and stop the madness. Save the country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,958

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    You can always install some grommets to your one-size-fits all top to get it to fit a little more snug around the edges. I find myself adding a grommet here and there as the years go on.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    A good sewing machine pays for itself in a short time. Here, The Netherlands, used industrial machines are really cheap. Personally I prefer old castiron black machines with chromium parts. And you can sew Sunbrella with most domestic machines.
    Www.oarandsail.nl

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Freeland, WA
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I bought a Classsic Accessories boat cover that fits and trailers pretty well; it's a bit baggy in the rear hindquarters because my boat has slim hips, but not too bad, and I don't have the Blue Tarp of Shame:


    Boat cover.jpg
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic and stop the madness. Save the country.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,360

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    By setting up my trailer for the row/ sail boat with 4x4 posts as stanchions for double decking I gained an unexpected benefit. Besides the fitted cover slung over the mast for road work, I have an additional winter roof.
    Since the mast is longer than the boat, there is a bracket that comes up from the forward post on the trailer and a post made that fits into the rudder gudgeons for the after end. But for winter I set up some A frames on the posts of the double decking and have a ridgepole in my case an old mast so I in effect have a double roof from October until I want to use the boat in spring.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The Netherlands
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    535

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    searching a good sewing machine is just as exciting as the hunt for a bandsaw. foto totebag.jpg I use Pfaff 130 machines with a handcrank for canvas workshops022.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    14,855

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Id take the cover off when towing. Even if it's raining. Just sayin.

  14. #14
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    Freeland, WA
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    ^ Not understanding why. A couple of extra grommets will take care of the bagginess astern.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic and stop the madness. Save the country.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The Netherlands
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    535

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    IMG-20171211-WA0005.jpg I often left my cover home but since I drove throug a rainstorm that filled the boat in 20 minutes with a dangerous amount of water I leave it in place. The cover is called here Bisonyl, often used for lorries. Heavy and strong but hard to sew on a domestic machine. It is easy to clean once every 2 years with soapy water. If I had a shed I would use Sunbrella.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Cushing, Maine
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    I often left my cover home but since I drove throug a rainstorm that filled the boat in 20 minutes with a dangerous amount of water I leave it in place. The cover is called here Bisonyl, often used for lorries. Heavy and strong but hard to sew on a domestic machine. It is easy to clean once every 2 years with soapy water. If I had a shed I would use Sunbrella.
    I've always put drain holes on my trailer boats, mostly to make cleaning them easier...... and to deal with rain for those without covers.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  17. #17
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    The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Drainholes work. But since I use covers I find the maintenance on my boats is much less. The part of my boat that is exposed to the elements is protected by 2 coatings of epoxy and 2 of 2part Polyurethane. I used for the interior the same treatment only for the plywood. The rest is protected by varnish and I don't like that long exposed. Also the boat stays a bit cleaner. And I hope is less attractive to vandals by using a dull inoffensive color.20170520_071025.jpg. Here we are on our way to The Morbihan, staying in a budget hotel

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    We were last spring in the Morbihan: La Semaine du Golfe 2017, lots of very nice sail-and-oar boats and we were in that flotille, nr. 2. I will do a thread on that week soon.
    www.oarandsail.nl

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Brewer, Maine
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    57

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I had an equal amount of fun finding both of these here in the US, too.

    IMG_0117.jpgIMG_0125.jpg
    Last edited by Bruce Brown; 06-04-2018 at 02:41 PM.

  20. #20
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    The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Congratulations . Looks a Pfaff138. Beautiful machines.

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