Button Up for Winter

Whether you live aboard or just want to store your boat for the offseason, a shrink-wrap cover is relatively easy to install and will keep the weather out.

Shrink Wrap
Mark fashioned a two by four to extend from the mast aft to the backstayMark Pillsbury

Last winter, when the marina where we keep our Sabre 34 began metering electricity, I decided it was time to try to stop some of the heat from escaping with a winter cover. The last time I’d bothered to cover the boat was five years earlier, and I was reluctant to once again use plastic tarps, which needed constant maintenance and were quite noisy in any sort of wind.

Though envious of our neighbors with their custom-fitted canvas covers, I quickly concluded that for about the same price I could buy enough shrink-wrap to last me longer than I’d probably own the boat.

The actual wrapping and shrinking turned out to be a breeze and was done in time for a late lunch. And the result created an instant cover convert. No matter the weather, our decks remained dry, it was quieter below, and best of all, the passive solar heat the cover collected kept the boat’s interior so warm that it drastically cut the amount of time that the heaters had to run at night!