Friday, February 26, 2010


Yesterday blew pretty hard but it didn't seem so bad from the city condo where I spend my weekdays.

Today I got a call from a boatyard friend that had just gone down to take a look at the boats. He thought I should know that my boat had no cover.

I left work early.

The official reports put wind gusts at 62 but along the coastline (where the boat is) the wind bursts were estimated to have reached the 80-90 mph realm.

On first glimpse it became obvious that one side of the tarp had let go. Not so bad except...

I had become used to the structure being solid and bone dry and was in the habit of leaving everything open for better ventilation. Luckily it doesn't look like anything inside was bothered by the rain/snow/ice that was blowing around. I have taken pains to make the insides 'water friendly' and it seems to have paid off. The new cherry paneling was oiled before installation but it doesn't seem to have been touched in any case. A big 'Whew!'

What failed was pretty obvious.

I would like to blame the poorly manufactured tarp but considering the wind conditions I don't think any tarp could be expected to hold up. A limitation in my design is that wind can get under the structure and lift it up. The small opening is great for ventilation and ease of assembly but it does require a lot of support to hold it down. I have been okay in the 60-70 mph range but this was just too much. Especially for a tarp with such horridly made grommets to begin with.

The structure is fine for the most part. My aft brace that attaches to the aft end of the ridgepole and gives the tarp something to push against didn't fair so well.

and the other half.

There was enough force to push the bottom of the structure around. The stake was no match for the wind.

The aft starboard quarter took a funky wave.

The port side was straight a few days ago...

So what to do now? I cut off the remnants of the tarp and took down the back panel for now. I have my old tarp that is big enough to cover most of the boat. The old tarp is tired but better than nothing. The problem is that it is still too windy and rainy/snowy to pull it up and secure it. I don't know of a local source of a decent tarp in the size I need. I may have to order another one or try to get two more months out of my old tarp.

I am afraid Jenny will have to endure the elements for a few days until I can get her covered up properly. I don't like it but there isn't much I can do in this continued nasty weather. I brought home the unused cherry paneling. It got a little wet but the oil seems to have protected it fine. Not much to do but wait, watch and fret.


Ariel | CD 36 said...

Bummer. Whenever the wind starts howling around here and the house begins to creak (which seems like all winter!), I worry about Ariel and her cover. I have terrible visions of part of the cover coming loose and acting like a spinnaker, pulling the boat off her cradle - makes me shudder just to think about it. Glad Jenny didn't sustain any damage. Still a pain.

Tim said...

We've had a ton of wind all winter long, but the storm the other night was an anomaly even taking that into consideration.

Boatyards are so tough on tarps, since there's so little wind protection. The wind the other night was definitely a test for any structure--a test many failed, unfortunately.

Sigh. No fun!

Nothing's easy. Good luck!