Monday, October 21, 2013

Classin' Up the Boatyard

 Ron was able to come home for 36 hours this weekend, which meant one thing: Finish closing up the boat.  With iffy weather predicted, we headed to Muskegon with the goal of winterizing the engine, removing the batteries and making sure the boat was good for the next month or so until we'll be able to check on her again. 

We'd been talking about how to handle covering HB for the winter, including if we were going to do it at all.  The weather was 47, rainy and windy and I thought for sure we'd just hold off on it.  But then the sun started to come out, it warmed up (a little) and we decided to just do it, it might not be pretty but it would be covered.  The lady in the ship store told about a good place to get heavy duty tarps, so off we went for tarps and supplies. 

We just kind of made things up as we went, cutting slits in the tarp to get around the rigging and stanchions and using a LOT of duct tape.  We're hillbilly like that. 

Hillbilly Exhibit 'A'
We got caught in a pretty good storm, hail included.  As you can imagine, this sparked a flurry of inappropriate language, but we kept on pluggin' along. 

In addition to our duct tape party, we used lots of line to keep the tarps as close as possible to the boat, hopefully stalling the wind a little bit from tearing them apart.

Rainbow during the hail storm
Looking around the yard, we noticed that boats either didn't have any covering on them or they had nice, custom built canvas covers.  We've never been people to go with the flow so we proceeded with our genious plans.  Nevermind the fact that custom covers, or even shrink wrapping, is not in our budget.  Afterall, if the tarps don't survive the winter (which we highly suspect they won't), we'll only be out $60. 

Tarps on nice and snug...kinda

None of our hatches or vents leak that we've seen, so if the tarps do happen to disintegrate we shouldn't have any major issues but I do feel a little bad that we're the first of her owners to subject her to outdoor storage for the first winter....ever.  I'd like to think that the tarps will help, but I have a feeling that this will not be the case.  Sometimes you just can't win.


Just blending in...
It's not pretty, but it's done!  It should help, to some degree, with some sort of weather protection.  The future will tell just how much.  I think, if we choose to do the same next year we'll opt for smaller tarps.  Obviously cutting the tarps makes them more apt to tear, especially as the wind gets ahold of them.  I think it would just be better to get smaller tarps and tie them down good and tight.  Plus then we wouldn't need so much duct tape, which will not hold a lick anyway.  We're just hoping the ropes tying it down will help too.  Live and learn I supose!
Remember that time we grounded?
Ever since we managed to ground ourselves at Washington Island, I've been wondering what the keel looks like.  Now I know.  Considering the bottom was full of rocks it's not bad, just missing a little paint is all...thankfully!
The booze stash is now easily accessible safely at home 

 Next time we're at the boat we'll be taking home some interior cushions to be reupholstered as well as the companionway stairs so we can refinish them.  Baby steps...


  1. Hey,

    Just saw your tarp job and just wanted to give some unsolicited advise. If you have a painted hull (i.e. awlgrip instead of gel coat), you might want to redo your tarp. It's not a good idea to have moisture trapped along the hull. It can cause blistering.

    Fair winds,


    1. Hi Jesse- I hadn't heard this before, I'll mention it to Ron. Thanks!

  2. I'm just curious to see the hole you left to get back in it!

    1. We only covered to the end of the boom so the back third of the cockpit is still open.

  3. Again with unsolicited advice. The problem with that method of using tarps is not trapped moisture. It is a ill fitting tarp repeatedly moving against the paint or gel coat in one spot. You would be surprised how quickly it will rub /wear through the finish. You will find similar problems with hanging clothes while cruising. Only the clothes will wear a hole in each other. Constant rubbing in one spot is just bad news. If you don't have much wind up there maybe no problem.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. We definitely have wind so the rubbing is a concern. That's why we tried to tie the tarp down as tight as possible. But it seems they always have a way of working loose no matter what you do! Thanks for reading.

  4. That actually looks really good, considering my experience when I tried covering our boat with tarps in the past. We went with shrink wrap this year, but hopefully a custom winter cover will make it into next year's budget.

    1. Thanks SFLF, it's nice to hear we're not totally inept! ;) So you never had a problem with moisture/blistering from covering with tarps? We would have gone with shrink wrapping if it were in the budget, but we're getting into major savings mode over here. Those custom covers sure look nice though! ~Jackie

  5. omg, i just literally laughed out loud at your commentary throughout the post. I'm sure if Jer and I had to winterize, we'd end up doing something similar. Don't worry, she's totally "blending in" with her tarp job. ;) And PS - how the heck did you manage a hail storm in the midst?! Awesome post! -Kim

  6. Haha, glad you get my humor Kim! The hail was pretty little. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of cursing and fighting the sure wasn't pretty but we made it out alive ;)