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Author Topic: I need a new Winter Cover next year  (Read 169 times)

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Jim Hardesty

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I need a new Winter Cover next year
« on: November 24, 2021, 06:36:38 AM »

Shamrock came with a custom winter cover.  Has given good service but I'm afraid it's the last winter for it.  Hope it makes it this winter.  The fabric is very weathered and beyond patching.  The company that made it, from Buffalo, no longer serves Erie PA.  Asking the northern sailors their experience with winter covers they have purchased on-line from a company with a pattern.  I leave the mast up most winters.
Asking now because after I take it off in the spring it leaves my mind till it has to go back on.
Note the large black gorilla tape patch.
Thanks,
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

KWKloeber

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 08:02:31 AM »

Jim

If it fit well couldn’t you ship (or drive) it to them to dupe it?
Was that Custom Canvas?
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
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Diversion

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 08:09:06 AM »

www.shipshapecanvas.com in Duluth...real happy with mine!  Jeff
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 09:58:58 AM »

Quote
Was that Custom Canvas?

Yes, it was.  I've thought of that option.  Have lots of time exploring all options.  Was hoping to find one for sale by someone who moved their boat south.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Dave DeAre

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 04:46:04 AM »

Ordered mine from The Canvas Store, Huntington, NY in 2006. Cover fits my 2002 well and is durable. Have had several seam repairs at no charge. After 14 winters, still good.

www.thecanvasStore.com
631-549-0970
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2002 34, roller main, tall rig
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PaulJacobs

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 07:35:07 AM »

Hi Jim,
When we bought Pleiades back in 2012, I covered her with tarps during the winter of 2012-13.  About every two weeks we would get yet another winter storm, and I would have to drive to the boat, re-arrange and re-tie the lines securing the tarps.  What a nuisance, especially trying to walk between snow-and-ice covered jack stands.  I vowed I would never do that again.  So, I began an extensive research effort involving checking products from six different sources.   I compared prices, reviews from real customers, features, and expected lifetimes.  After much evaluation I ultimately selected a custom Catalina 34 cover from Ship Shape Covers, Duluth, MN.  I purchased their deluxe model (about $200 more that included sewn loops rather than grommets at every stanchion and the bow pulpit and stern pushpit, as well as reinforced "double thick" layers along the cover's "spine" which fits over the boom).

Fast forward almost ten years.  Our custom Ship Shape cover still fits like a glove, sheds snow and ice, keeps Pleiades nice and dry all winter, and the reinforced "spine" was well worth the small price difference since no matter how tightly one snugs the lines - in strong winter winds the cover WILL move back and forth a fraction of an inch on each gust.  Happening hundreds to thousands of times per winter, multiplied by 10 winters so far, Nancy and I note that the underside of the "spine" is almost black, having rubbed against the upper surface of the boom so many times.

The Ship Shape cover does NOT extend down as far as your old cover.  Rather, it goes over the toe rails and down to about the cove stripe.  As I see it this has three benefits. (1) being smaller, the cover(s) weigh less.  (2) the cover (s) do not chafe against the topsides.  To keep the tie lines from chafing the topsides we use those inexpensive split foam thermal insulators used to cover basement hot water pipes. (3) the covers STILL keep all snow and ice off Pleiades.

A noteworthy point; I do not know about other covers, but our Ship Shape cover does NOT require a frame!  :clap  We simply tie a bowline in a former Dacron halyard around the mast just above the boom, run the line down to the port bow roller, through and up, tie another bowline loop, and secure the spinnaker halyard to the bowline loop.  Once we tension the spinnaker halyard on its winch this forms a very taut "spine" for the forward portion of the cover.  The boom then forms a "spine" for the mid portion, and the aft portion has its own zipper that comes downward from the aft end of the boom to the transom exit.  By simply unzipping this one easily gains access / egress when desired.

Final comments: (1) be sure to ask for the cover to be made in three sections, otherwise the aft section is very heavy.  We did not, and after Nancy and I struggled with the aft section for a few winters, I finally had a local canvas shop cut it more or less in half (avoiding the S&P "breathing ports").  This makes each section roughly equal in weight, and at ages 83 for me and 72 for Nancy, it took us only about 90 minutes to install all three sections earlier this month. (2) The price for the deluxe model, in 2013 was about $2300.  I suspect the price has risen with inflation.  Nonetheless the "break-even" time relative to heat shrink covers is still only about three years!   :clap Since I suspect our Ship Shape cover will last about 15 years, not only does it work beautifully, but it is a bargain multiple-times over.  The ultimate compliment: would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!

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Jim Hardesty

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 08:26:12 AM »

Paul,
Thanks for the great information.  You are absolutely correct, do the cover right or don't do it.    You are the second to recommend Ship Shape, I requested a quote. Have one question and one request.  What model do you have?  If it's a MKll, at your pleasure, would you please reply with pictures?   One more question.  Did you buy the cover and have it shipped, or was it necessary for Ship Shape to measure and fit to your boat?
Thanks again,
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

PaulJacobs

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Re: I need a new Winter Cover next year
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2021, 04:58:56 PM »

Hi Jim,
After narrowing down the potential products from the six various sources, I called each place to speak to a key person directly.  It is almost ten years later so I do not remember the name of the fellow I spoke with at Ship Shape.  However, I do remember that he was really nice and answered ALL of my questions.  He had already done covers for two other Catalina 34's so he already had detailed measurements.  However, since Pleiades is a 1990 MK1.5 with an open transom I did have to go to the boat to give him exact measurements of our pushpit.  When the cover was finally finished, he had it shipped directly to our home.  With bulk trucking, the shipping cost was reasonable, although it did take a few weeks. Since it was already late summer - early fall, we were in no great hurry so I opted for slightly longer shipping time & lower cost.  Then Nancy and I took it to Pleiades and were amazed that EVERY opening for the bow pulpit, all eight P&S stanchions, all six shrouds, and the pushpit fit within 1/4"! :clap :clap :clap

I even recall him asking me if we needed a separate cut-out for the topping lift at the aft end of the boom.  I explained that Pleiades has a Garhauer rigid vang, so we could undo the bowline in the topping lift and then secure it to the shroud-cleat we have attached to the P aft lower shroud, to keep the topping lift from slapping the mast through the winter winds, while the vang would support the boom.  Also, he used really high-quality zippers which STILL work smoothly after almost ten years, and he also sews "pointy cones" (for lack of a better description) that fit around each shroud and secure shut with their own sewn-in 1/8" D lines.  The ONLY suggestion I would make to improve upon an already really superb product would be to make it in three sections rather than two, so the weight of the aft section is not excessive. 

Final comment - after some trial and error with other methods - we eventually used the mainsail sail bag, Genoa sail bag, and a spare Genoa sail bag to store the three sections of our Ship Shape cover.  Works great, keeps the cover protected from mice or squirrels in the garage in the summer, and is perfectly "out of phase" (viz. sails in sail bags during the winter, cover sections in the same sail bags during the summer).

Hope I answered all your questions.

Dr. Paul Jacobs
Pleiades
1990 MK 1.5 No. 1068
Wickford, RI 
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