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Boat Cover for Winter Storage

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  • Boat Cover for Winter Storage

    I am going to be putting up my boat for the cold snowy months here in Michigan.
    Since our boat will be stored outside, I was looking for some recommendations on what type, or brand of cover I should use.

    BTW...kinda' sad that the summer is over....

    Thanks!!!
    Brian


  • #2
    Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

    Old Tyme

    I'm simply building a support frame out of 2 inch PVC piping and a heavy tarp from Walmart. This worked well last year on my old boat and it survived a year with a total of 14 ft of snowfall
    2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
    2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
    2010 Trailmaster SC trailer

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    • #3
      Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

      The taller you make the pvc frame, the steeper the sides will be and the snow will slide off. One boat I attach the cover to the trailer frame with bungies, the other I connect the cover underneath the trailer frame with bungies, one side of the tarp to the other. Depends on the size of the cover how/where you attach it.
      sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<

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      • #4
        Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

        Originally posted by Mark42 View Post
        The taller you make the pvc frame, the steeper the sides will be and the snow will slide off.
        Good point Mark. My first tarp attempt didn't sit higher than the windshield, and the downward pressure on the windshield almost damaged it. I'll be sure to account for it this year on my new boat as you've mentioned
        2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
        2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
        2010 Trailmaster SC trailer

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

          Wow guys...I never even considered a PVC frame but I like that idea!
          I am planning on building another garage to keep my boats in but that won't happen this year...or maybe next.
          I looked at a couple of those portable garage packages but would get the same thing with the PVC frame and tarp and would certainly be at a lower cost!
          Do you build the frame like a "pup tent" configuration?

          Awesome!! Thanks guys!!!

          Brian

          (14 feet of snow???? Holey Socks!!!)

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          • #6
            Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

            i don't have the snow load problem, but this works great in Fl.
            FLORIDA GATORS
            TEBOW Country



            Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
            That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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            • #7
              Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

              Dont waste your money on one of those portable garages. I bought one last summer to shed my boat in. Worked good till some snow sat on it. Where the poles slid together buckled. I replaced the bent poles w/ pvc pipe for now. I dont know if it will make it for another year in the snow. It was doing good till we had that one big snow storm. You have to keep cleaning the snow off.
              A day on the water is a good day!

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              • #8
                Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                Hmmmm, I've heard of people putting innertubes under the cover to help the snow slide off. But, I really like the 2" PVC idea!! I think I'll be going that way, then in summer I can take it apart and store it in the garage.... and it won't go flat on me.

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                • #9
                  Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                  Originally posted by One View Post
                  Dont waste your money on one of those portable garages. I bought one last summer to shed my boat in. Worked good till some snow sat on it. Where the poles slid together buckled. I replaced the bent poles w/ pvc pipe for now. I dont know if it will make it for another year in the snow. It was doing good till we had that one big snow storm. You have to keep cleaning the snow off.
                  Yeah, in our near record breaking snowfall last year (4 inches shy of the record around 14 ft total) I watched several of those portable garages collapse earlier in the season. Also, an 18yr girl was clearing the snow from inside one where her car was parked and it collapsed on top of her and unfortunately she died.

                  There are some heavy duty ones out there but quite pricey and still need constant snow removal.

                  The PVC stuff will work. TD's diagram shows it perfectly however I'm adding a few extras for the snow (apparently we get more snow in Canada that TD gets in Florida, go figure)
                  2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
                  2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
                  2010 Trailmaster SC trailer

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                    Not sure where in west Michigan you are, but we've been known to have massive snowfall also, but usually it melts in between blizzards.

                    You didn't say how big a boat you've got. That could make a big difference.

                    If you look at TD's pics, his PVC is braced to the gunwales of the boat. If you've got a lot of snow load, not sure if they'll hold. So... here are some other thoughts as you design your own system.

                    The PVC will work, but I'd suggest vertical supports at least every 3'. For the heavy wet stuff in W Michigan, support every 2' might be even better. The inverted 'V' support TD shows is ok -- just use more of it. However you frame it, make sure the side / vertical supports won't slip, slide, or bury themselves in soft ground. Try to support the tarp over the boat to prevent weighty issues on boat components like the windshield, steering wheel, throttle, etc.

                    You will want enough tension on the tarp cover to prevent sagging and puddling from heavy snow, ice, and water as they melt.

                    You will also want to allow some kind of air movement inside your tarp canopy to prevent a place for mildew to start (see other threads in this forum). It's probably a trick how to do that AND make it weatherproof.

                    There are other threads about winter storage of your boat and trailer... many guys recommend blocking the trailer up off its wheels. Others mention varmint-proofing your boat over winter.

                    Search this forum, get your ideas, make your plans, and let us know what you come up with.

                    I guess I'm quite fortunate. We store our boat in a garage at the lake cottage over the winter.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                      [QUOTE=Old Tyme;1845838]I am planning on building another garage to keep my boats in but that won't happen this year...or maybe next.

                      Awesome!! Thanks guys!!!

                      Brian

                      QUOTE]


                      Want to come and build one for me next.
                      I think there will be a run on PVC piping and connectors now!

                      Does anyone have a good configuration for a pontoon?
                      Chris

                      Up a river without a DAM lake!

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                        I am attaching some pics of the pvc frame I built to support a tarp on my boat. This frame is now 5 years old and works great. I don't know what size or style your boat is, but you may be able to get some ideas from this.
                        Attached Files
                        Rob - 2004 Seaswirl Striper 2101, 175 HP Evinrude

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                        • #13
                          Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                          Originally posted by striper2101 View Post
                          I am attaching some pics of the pvc frame I built to support a tarp on my boat. This frame is now 5 years old and works great. I don't know what size or style your boat is, but you may be able to get some ideas from this.
                          Will that hold up to snow? it looks like you have some weak points at the joints. That would be my only concern with making a PVC frame.
                          Chris

                          Up a river without a DAM lake!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                            looks like a good frame, i think i would throw a couple of more "T's" in it for support.
                            Attached Files
                            FLORIDA GATORS
                            TEBOW Country



                            Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
                            That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: Boat Cover for Winter Storage

                              I definitely did not overbuild it, but it works great. I find that as long as the tarp is tight, the snow slides right off. The few times we have had a heavy wet snow and the snow didn't slide off, the frame held the weight with no problem. I just brushed the snow off with a broom and I was good to go.

                              Also, to ensure that the joints hold and to make disassembly easier, I drilled a hole through all unions and put a piece of copper wire through the hole and twist it so it cant come apart.
                              Rob - 2004 Seaswirl Striper 2101, 175 HP Evinrude

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