Winter Tarp

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Well-known member
Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2006
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Solomons Island, MD
Ok...I promised I'd upload some pics of how I framed and tarped "Tina's Diamond" this winter. I used to shrink-wrap, but after seeing pics of Kevin's "Megabyte," I decided to follow in his footsteps.


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More pics (for some reason the site would only let me load 3 at a time.


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That is one heck of a constuction project. How long did it take to build and how long does it take to put up.

Are they planer board reels I see mounted there?

Building the frame took several hours--probably 6-8 total time. But that was a one-time investment.

It goes up in about 30 minutes. The lumber is pre-notched and drilled for 1/4" carriage bolts. It takes longer to install the support ropes and tarp than it does the frame.

Yes...those are planner board reels.
Nice work Dave! :wink:

We didn't have quite the 'snow season' that we had last year, but if we did... that 'house' would certainly have done the job!
BTW - That doesn't look like Fairwinds lot. :)
Megabyte":1q7airab said:
Nice work Dave! :wink:

We didn't have quite the 'snow season' that we had last year, but if we did... that 'house' would certainly have done the job!
BTW - That doesn't look like Fairwinds lot. :)

No...that was "Buzz's" down in Ridge, MD. I moved her there for the winter rather than pay another $800 for winter storage rights at Fairwinds. Spent only 2.5 months there, and then came up on the top of the list for Solomon's Naval Recreation Center. Nice closed military facility, 24 hour guard force, showers, and other ammenities. Also closer to the better mid-Bay fishing grounds. Also only $235 a year. Gotta get something for 24 years, one combat zone, and one hostile fire zone.

the DIAMOND has the right idea on this.....shrink wrap is not at all
a good system , i submit

[1] holds in too much moistue

[2] ends up in the landfills of america for the most part

[3] has poor access for winter work..

my system is similar to DIAMOND, but the triangle he has on the
transom in my case is both much larger and is attached by u-bolts to
the stern cleats....another brace for the ridgepole is about a foot high
on the cabin roof, and another on the bow......this allows the 28 ft
ridgepole to be horizontal throughout it`s length......both ends are open
for flow-thru, and the internal space is full standup for adults ( i am 6`3")
with room for tools, work table, catalytic heater, and floodlight........
i use a 40` x 20` heavy plastic tarp and need to replace about every
9-10 years (once so far in 14 seasons).....

use the TRIANGLE in the design for rigidity, of course......built them
with 2" x 4" (3) and then use heavy plywood triangles glued and screwed
into each corner (3) and they will be as granite....notch the top for the
ridgepole and fasten the bottom to whatever is solid and strong on
the deck......making the whole thing HIGH both allows rapid and thorough
drainage of snow and rain, but allows full headroom as well.

keep both ends open, at least a couple of square feet each.....i submit
the ridgepole, the triangular (times two or three) bracing, and the reuse
able tarp are the best system all-round.....i forgot to mention......the tarp'
is held down by gallon jugs 1/4 full of water at intervals of about 24" on
the full perimeter....NEVER TIE DOWN the needs to "pant" and
work freely to survive.....the gallon jugs are FREE from the dumpster
in the fall when everybody is (conveniently for me) disposing of millions
of propylene glycol bottles at once from engine winterizing.......

another advantage of the high ridgepole is that one can lay down the
antennas flat for safety.....i had one break from not dismounting it from
the brace......i put a "skirt" over the bow and transom for final watertight
status......i commonly go the boat for a weekend a month to clean, check
and upgrade each and every system......the cabin has an electric heater
and is cozy warm, while the cockpit with the catalytic will vary from quite
pleasant to arctic depending on temperature and wind........i have been
able to work and live/sleep aboard in the winter with 7F and 25-30 knot
wind for days at a is PEACEFUL, it is very PRODUCTIVE, and
one finds all manner of merriment to fix, clean, and replace before the
BIG DAY......i would point out also that things that have to be taken apart
or require a mechanic ( i dony do much on the engine beyond cleanliness)
are far more easily done in the can call/write for parts at
leisure without interfering with the function of the boat a bit....also, the
marina mechanics are sitting around playing cards, so they will both
spend more time doing your work than in april or may, but they are
happy to talk and show you things (they dont have anything else right
then anyhow)......pity the poor guys in mid april, when every boat owner
shows up, finds things corroded, rotted, broken, or otherwise not operat
tional on that first gorgeous spring day; they are all at the service desk
in an angry mob .......the scene reminds one of the beatles coming to
As requested... This is the setup that I used last year.
This year the boat wintered over at the dealer because I had some extensive modifications made to her. :wink:
Those photos (of the modifications) will come soon.

The frame...







Hope that helps. :)
I tied the DIAMOND down this first winter, but the grommets ripped out in a couple of places because there wan't enough stretch. Will use bungies and milk jugs next season. Have already collected about 20 milk jugs in the attic for next time.
Dave, Since I knew that I wanted to be able to get inside and work on her over the winter, I made my milk jugs removable.

I took coat hanger wire and fashioned a bunch of large "S" hooks out of it. Then I tied a piece of parachute cord in a loop through the handle of the milk jug. One side of the "S" hook went in the grommet, and the parachute cord loop went over the other side.

Everything stayed secure, and it only took me moments to unhook everything and get to work, or to button her back up. :wink:
Funny... I never took a close-up photo of my 'weight attachment method'. :mrgreen: