My husband and I were joking the other day that if there were courses teaching people about boat tarps we’d qualify for a Masters in Tarpology.

Sewing the tarp
Sewing the tarp

Why bother?
You don’t need to put a winter tarp on the boat. We do because it helps preserve the gel coat and makes the first polish of the year a lot easier. Custom made full boat covers are lovely. The downside is that they are expensive and a lot of work to take on and off if you plan on winter sailing.

While designing and making winter tarps for the boat isn’t high on my ‘fun-o-meter’ it’s something that we’ve done together at least 3 times now and we’ve learned a lot along the way.

Important learnings:

  • Buy heavy duty tarps
  • Use bungee cord for tie downs to absorb strain in wind storms
  • Cut the tarp minimally and reinforce where you’ve cut.
  • As in all things boating – be sure to use plastic or stainless steel fittings. Look for parts in camping and marine stores.
  • Measure twice and cut once…

…and if you do all that, you’ll save yourself a bunch of money that you can put towards more pleasurable things. Because a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a whole lot more… Here is my first video post.

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