Shrink wrapping boats in snow

Shrink wrapping boats in snowWe received an e-mail from a boat dealer in Norway enquiring about shrink wrapping boats in snowy conditions.

They thought that shrink wrapping boats seemed like a great idea but were concerned that the shrink wrap would not be able to support “30cm of wet snow”, which apparently they can get in that area from time to time.

If a boat is shrink wrapped properly it should be able to support such snow and ice weight. Because a shrink wrap cover is shrunk tight and taut, and because the surface of the shrink wrap is slick, snow and ice tend to slide straight off the cover. To help this process, it is necessary to ensure that there are no flat areas where the snow and ice could gather and cause damage.

This is achieved by running a very strong woven strapping across bow and flybridge areas, to provide a ‘support structure’ under the cover. This adds extra strength to the shrink wrap cover.

Obviously, a fairly heavyweight grade of shrink wrap is required – at least 200 micron thick. Boat shrink wrapping is very popular in Canada where the winter conditions are similar to Norway. In Canada a blue wrap is sometimes used, rather than white shrink wrap, to absorb the suns heat and help the shrink wrap covers to shed snow and ice.