JibCap’s Scuttlebutt #4 Boat Summer & Winter Cover
Every year those of us sailing in waters where there is a winter season face the same decisions: 1) when to place our vessel on the hard or winter in water, and 2) to cover or not to cover the vessel. Our sailing brethren in a perpetual summer season do not have this decision to make, but they still need to cover their vessel.
If we take the decision to cover our vessel, we have now another choice of cover from the custom fit canvas cover, shrink wrap cover, and the DIY blue tarps with grommets from the Big Box Discount Stores. This easy DIY Cover has been used for 10 years and has not provided any disappointments. The DIY cover is designed to be at deck level which minimizes windage and allow access to all parts of the vessel.
The components of the DIY Cover are: 1) Unshrunk Shrink plastic wrap, 2) Old anchor rode or other line of diameter of 3/8” or larger and 3) Bungie Cords. Unshrunk Shrink Wrap can be purchased new or obtained from Shrink Wrapping Companies’ remnants from their operations. Equipment you will need is: Magic Marker, an ‘old’ Clothes Iron, and a 12”x36” of plywood.
The fabrication process is straight forward. The Cover is divided into 3 parts: 1) forward of the mast, 2) traveler to mast and 3) traveler to transom.
Step #1: Measurement process is done with a flexible steel tape and is taken in 3 foot increments starting at the bow – toe rail to toe rail. When measuring, lay the steel tape over the cabin top. Make a plan view layout sketch of your vessel and record your measurements. With the measurements you will have an accurate profile of your vessel’s bow to transom profile.
Step #2: Layout your unshrunk Shrink Wrap in a convenient location (I use the yard on a calm day). With ‘magic marker’ transfer your measurements and draw your vessel’s profile in the three sections: forward of the mast, traveler to the mast; traveler to the transom. Add about 18” to the length of the traveler to transom for ‘over-hang’ or as desired. Add 6” to the measurement line and this new marker line will be the cut line.
Step #3: Layout the section(s) of unshrunk plastic wrap. Overlay your old line (anchor rode or other) on the original measurement line as one continuous loop, then cut and tie line ends together.
Step #4: Place the plywood board under the plastic wrap and turn the extra 6’ of plastic over the old line and place the heated iron on the plastic for about 2 – 3 seconds. This welds the plastic together without the need of a gas torch and ‘traps’ the old line into plastic wrap. Repeat process until the entire section has been ‘welded’. Repeat the process for the remaining two sections.
Step #5: Use bungie cords to secure the cover sections to the deck. Place the bungie such that is hooked around the old line and secure the other end to a stanchion or other…spacing is usually 3 to 4 feet between bungie cords.
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The JibCap is a unique ‘jib head webbing loop’ and ‘S.S. Ring Lashing’ cover to protect the webbing and stitching from the sun’s ultra violet rays. The JibCap protects the webbing and stitching from the sun’s u.v. rays when under sail and when furled.