Tips for wrapping your boat for the winter
Another summer has past, days are getting shorter and the weather is turning cold. It’s time to store your boat for the off season before winter hits. How you store your boat is crucial when it comes to protecting the investment and time you’ve put in.
Wrapping your boat for the winter can help protect it against moisture and the damaging cold. Unlike a tarp, shrink wrap won’t leak and ice won’t build up. However, before installing shrink wrap on your boat, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Improper installation of shrink wrap means more money out of your pockets, replacing and fixing damage to your boat in the spring. Here are some basic tips on how to wrap your boat before winter.
Before you install shrink wrap, take all of the necessary actions to winterizing your boat including draining water, removing any batteries and make sure everything is properly disconnected. Once you have taken steps to winterize your boat you need to:
- Place tape over the fuel vents. If you don’t know where these are located, you should refer to your boat’s manual or contact the dealer.
- Use foam padding to cover up any sharp objects or edges. These can poke holes in the shrink wrap rendering it almost useless.
- Keep your shrink wrap free of debris of the ground. Dust and dirt can collect because of the static electricity and it could diminish the effectiveness of the wrap.
- Follow all safety precautions necessary.
Ready for Installation
- Place 2x4’s in the middle of the boat to give the film height.
- Strap the pieces of wood down from the bow to the stern using nylon strapping. This will help eliminate snow build up.
- Using the same nylon strap, secure it around the perimeter of the boat focusing on the center.
- Apply the film over the boat, tucking it into the center strap.
- Apply heat source around the bottom of the film that is tucked in to the center strap, going around the entire bottom perimeter of the boat. Be sure not to apply too much heat to one area. The shrink film can be flammable and can cause damage if heated too much. Use the heat source like a spray gun and evenly distribute the heat across the film.
- Secure the bottom of the film with belly bands to the trailer or boat lift.
- Continue to apply heat to the rest of the film, moving from the bottom up.
- Tape all the seams.
- Place air vents on the film towards the top of the boat. This will allow air to flow so moisture won’t build up on the inside of the boat.
- Make sure to patch any holes in the film.
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