How to Shrink Wrap a Boat – 5Things to Know

As the boating season comes to an end it’s time for you to start considering storage options. Regardless of where your store your boat, one fact remains the same; boat shrink wrapping Cape Cod is a necessary mode of protection. There are of plenty methods and materials used to cover a boat for storage, but shrink wrapping is by far the most effective.

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Many people consider shrink wrapping to be an easy task and handle the process themselves. For those who are less handy, they can take their vessel to a professional company with experienced staff. Regardless of who is wrapping your boat, there are still some basic bits of information the boat owner should be aware of.

5 Things You Should Know About Shrink Wrapping Your Boat

1. Type of Boat Shrink Wrap

This product comes in an array of different grades. For boat shrink wrapping, you will need to get an industrial grade product. This type of wrap is usually made from Polyethylene or Polypropylene, a material that is said to have great protective qualities. However, you’ll get the best protection by first considering where your boat will be stored.

Depending on where you plan to store your boat you can opt for a blue wrap or white wrap. Blue wraps are better for boats that are stored indoors. Because it absorbs light. Therefore, it will be better at protecting the boat against frigid temperatures.

However, if you are storing your boat outside, use a white wrap as it is usually thicker. Therefore, the color reflects the sun which protects your vessel from the harsh UV rays. Furthermore, its recommended for protection against harsh winter weathers when stored outside.

2. The Proper Sizes

When considering the protective factor of shrink wrap you must always take thickness into account. Shrink wrap thickness is measured in mils which is equivalent to one-thousandth of an inch.  Generally, thickness ranges between 6 and 20 mils thick. For better protection, opt for a thicker brand. Usually, 8 or 9 mils is an acceptable thickness.

You also want to make sure that your wrap is the right size. However, because a boat is not a perfect geometrical shape, you will have to take a few different measurements. Use the rub rail as a starting point measure the distance to the highest point of the boat. Likewise, measure from the rub rail down to the water line. This is essentially the area that the wrap will cover.

3. Boat Storage Preparation

Winterizing your boat and preparing it for shrink wrapping, are the best ways to keep it protected while in storage. Here are some quick tips on winterization:

  • Thoroughly clean the boat or have it detailed
  • Prep the water systems with antifreeze
  • Run antifreeze through the sanitation systems and AC unite
  • Change the lower unit oil in the outboard
  • Run fresh water through the outboard cooling system
  • Use fogging oil to fog the engine
  • Run antifreeze through the inboard engine
  • Change the fuel filter and add a fuel stabilizer
  • Tape up holes and vents, especially the fuel vent.
  • Remove battery and store it while attached to a trickle charger

Keep in mind that shrink wrap is unbreathable. Therefore, everything that is inside the boat will remain inside the boat until the wrap is removed. For this reason, make sure to remove all valuables or objects that need frequent tending. Furthermore, its especially important to make sure the boat interior is completely dry, so as not to promote mold growth.

4. Repair Holes

If you are attempting to wrap the boat yourself, then you should make sure you know how to repair holes. Considering shrink wrap must be held taught and then secured with heat, a tear or hole is more than likely to occur. Luckily, repairing holes is not much of a process. In fact, if it is a small tear or hole, you can simply cover it with duct tape or shrink wrap tape. For larger holes get another piece of shrink wrap and use tape to secure tightly.

5. Add Vents and Doors

When you shrink wrap a boat, the proper ventilation is required. This is because the humidity in the air can cause condensation to form inside the wrap. This can provoke mold growth and rust which will damage a vessel over time. To avoid such an occurrence, you must install vents. Proper ventilation will provide just enough airflow to dry out any condensation.

Furthermore, make sure to uncover the fuel vent to allow for airflow. Similarly, zippered doors provide an opportunity to refresh the air inside your boat. While in storage, you can open the zippered door from time to time so that you can air out your boat. Not to mention, a zippered door allows you to access your boat interior if necessary.

Some wraps come with a zippered door pre-installed, but if not, you can still add one during the wrapping process. However, you may want to get professional help for that, to make sure the job is done properly. In fact, a professional boat shrink wrapping job will provide your boat the maximum protection. Therefore, you should explore your options fully to find the best methods or company for your vessel.

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