Shrink Wrapping Information

Here you will find a great deal of information that will help you better understand the shrink wrapping process and help you make an informed decision when it comes to shrink wrapping your boat.  We ask you to look things over before completing and submitting a shrink wrap contract and as always, please e-mail us with any specific questions you have.

Why shrink wrap your boat?
Tarps just don't work.  Shrink wrap allows your boat and the many components and materials to remain protected from UV and weathe damage during the months that you are not using it.  Shrink wrap keeps water from entering your deck surface and causing damage to your core that can occur from freezing and thawing.
How do I prepare my boat for shrink wrap?
We have a downloadable PDF guide that gives you some tips on how to get your boat ready for shrink wrapping and if you have some specific questions don't hesitate to e-mail us and we'll be glad to help.
How long can the cover last?
How does the shrink wrapping process work?
The shrink wrap cover is intended to last through the typical winter storage season of approximately 4-6 months.  Beyond that point, repair or replacement may be necessary if a boat is to remain covered for a prolonged period of time.  The shrink wrap plastic will potentially remain functional for years but the tapes and other products used to install the shrink wrap will break down and ultimately compromise the cover.  Pictured at right is a boat that remained covered for 5 years.
Shrink wrap is a specialty LDPE film that "shrinks" up to 30% of its' surface area when heat is applied to it.  The result is a durable, puncture and weather resistant cover that can typically withstand the harsh New England winter conditions.  Before installing the cover, we take time to properly prepare the boat to minimize andy potential for damage during the storage period.  We then construct a durable framework using a variety of lumber and other specialty materials that create the support structure for the shrink wrap.  The shrink wrap film is then spread out over the framework and secured around the perimeter of your boat at either the waterline or just below the toe/rub rail.  Once the cover has been secured, we shrink it using our specialty heat tools.  We then inspect for and tape any holes that may have occurred during the heating process, and install an adequate number of vents to allow passive airflow under the cover.  We make sure that any areas of the shrink wrap or the woven banding material used to secure it to the boat are not going to cause damage to the finish and we install foam blocking where necessary to prevent potential damage.  The final step is to install a zipper access door if you have requested one.
Can the shrink wrap damage my boat?
The simple answer is yes.  We take every measure possible to ensure that your boat will not be damaged by the cover but under extreme weather conditions there is the potential for the cover and/or the support structure to be compromised.  Once shrink wrap is compromised, it can cause damage to whatever it is attached to.  Should your cover be damaged and you are concerned about your boat, the cover should be removed immediately.  Otherwise, you can contact us to assess and if possible, make repairs to the cover at an additional cost.  The only way to avoid any potential damage is to not cover your boat.

How do we protect your boat?

Customized Framing
We take great measures to construct the most durable, functional framework possible.  We try to balance between the ability to shed snow and keeping a low profile to lessen the effects of high wind on the cover.  Here is an example of how we frame over the smoke glass windshield on a trawler to ensure that the cover does not sit on and potentially damage the windshield.
Protecting the hull sides
It is very important to know the finish of the hull sides, whether paint, or gel coat and take into consideration the steps necessary to reduce the risk of scuffing of the finish that can occur by the movement of the shrink wrap caused by wind.  Here is an example of how we install foam blocking behind the perimiter and belly bands to the cover does not come in contact with the hull sides.
Venting the cover
It's all in the preparation
Every successful shrink wrap cover starts with the preparation of the boat.  Boats are comprised of many different types of materials and many components, some of which are sensitive and expensive.  We take the time and use the proper materials necessary to pad areas of your boat that could be damaged by the shrink wrap cover either coming in contact with or allowing snow/water to sit on a surface.  Our framework is custom built on your boat and is very sturdy.  There is little comparison to the way we prepare our boats and the way competitors do.  All shrink wrap covers may look the same from the outside, but it's what you can't see that really makes a cover work and provides you with peace of mind when the harsh New England winter is in full swing.  You've invested a great deal of time and money in your boat, so why wonder if everthing is going to be "ok" after the next Nor'easter steams through?  Our framework will hold up.
Venting the shrink wrap cover is a critical step in the process.  Passive airflow will help to reduce the likelihood of mildew and mold growth developing due to trapped moisture.  We install an ample number of self piercing louver vents and in larger boats we also install some large resin louver vents to help introduce as much moving air as possible.  Additional vents can be installed upon request for a fee.
Protecting sensitive components
Knowing what components could potentially be damaged by or cause damage to the shrink wrap cover is critical.  Expensive electronics, lights, and other potentially breakable parts need to be properly padded, supported, and protected.  We take the steps necessary to help minimize the potential for damage to your boat.  We use the proper tape to affix padding to areas of your boat, reducing the potential for adhesive transfer when the cover and the padding are removed.