Boat Shrink Wrap – If it has to be done, then do it right!

Those who follow Boater’s Chat are fully aware of the environmental consequences of utilizing shrink wrap. Boater’s Chat has been asked to provide an optimal shrink wrap situation. The key is to provide maximum protection of the marine investment utilizing plastic wrap.

A Clear Statement on Shrink Wrap

It is as simple as this:

If you are an environmentally conscious boat owner, shrink warp is an environmental disaster.

If one is looking for provide maximum off season protection for your marine investment, Shrink wrap is not the right choice.

Do you still want to shrink wrap your marine investment? If the answer is yes, then noted below is how it should be done. Following the 10 steps listed below will provide the best situation to preserve your boat under wrap conditions.

Boat Shrink Wrap

The 10 Required Steps to Shrink Wrap Boat Storage

Unfortunately boat owners get caught up two ways into shrink warp storage:

  1. Many boaters leave their boat very late in the season frequently with good intentions. A very simple rule! When the leaves are done, so should you! Leaving it too late usually means the boat is very wet, battery dead and you are in a hurry to get it put away. I have to get the dock out, its freezing and I am just at the cottage to close up. Time is short! Take it somewhere and it becomes their problem.
  2. Do not ask the right questions about what is offered at your choice of storage providers. Also, most do not know what questions to ask. This place is cheaper…lets go there!

Anyone Can Shrink Wrap a Boat

Yes, you could probably train a monkey to do it! Many storage providers utilize temporary season help. You can see the adds on places like Indeed among others. The question remains:

Was it done right or just done?

How would you know if it was actually done right? Listed below are the 10 steps to proper shrink wrap of your marine investment. This will also provide you a list for questions that should be asked when signing up.

  1. Carefully get your boat prepped for wrapping. Is a protective anti chaffing plastic barrier being provided on the gunnel, windshield frame and wake board towers. Your boat is going to spend some 6 months inside a plastic sarcophagus with the wind and mother nature buffeting 24 hours per day 7 days a week. Little to no ventilation or improper ventilation and then consequently, condensation with associated mold can be an issue. The boat needs to be clean, dry, with all towels lifejackets and clothing removed. Nothing that is sensitive to mold type conditions left in the boat anywhere.
  2. Ask and receive a complete set of pictures of the condition of the boat inside and out before it goes into winter storage. Sometimes things happen. A set of pictures puts both parties in a good position.
  3. Make sure the storage provider is fully trained on required procedures for your marine power provider. Huntsville Marine has a Class A mechanic on staff for this and they are factory trained.
  4. Is the boat stored on your trailer and should it be? Boats generally should never be winter stored on a roller trailer. If you do not have a trailer or the right type of trailer. Is your boat being transported by the provider to another location? How is it being removed from that trailer and blocked? Do they have a proper fork lift? What blocking is being utilized? Are they providing a proper storage pallet?
  5. Have the hull inspected and the bottom professionally cleaned. Materials used for hull cleaning are frequently not environmentally friendly. What is being used and how and where? Are these cleaners being disposed of into city sewers?
  6. Before we go further, where after wrapping is it going to be stored? Secondly who is maintaining the boat through the winter months? If it is near a busy highway like Highway 11 or in a grassy field, run right now and do not look back! Get them to show you an actual picture of the storage location or better still, go and see it yourself. They should be proud of their storage location…well show me!
  7. What is provided as part of the service for mold and biologic control? Everyone knows who provides shrink wrap that condensation with the resulting mold growth is an issue with this type of storage. A mold preventative spray such as 3M Mildew Block must be applied.
  8. What type of ventilation is being provided to protect from condensation? Plus, what is being done to be sure that these vents remain open and functioning all winter? Further, is someone assigned to maintain the boat over the winter months? A good idea to ask your shrink warp provider to send a picture of it properly situated in a real storage yard showing proper blocking as well as an additional picture mid winter showing its state.
  9. Is a desiccant being utilized inside the boat during the storage period? If not why not? Condensation is an issue and if the desiccant is not being provided, they are cheeping out!
  10. When is the shrink wrap opened to atmosphere in the spring? If it is left to bake in the sun, damage and condensation will be an issue.

Significant damage can be done to your marine investment during the winter months if not stored properly. Don’t just have it stored in a Glad Bag…get it done right!

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