We’ve gone over time and time again the benefits of using shrink wrap for all of your product and packaging needs. But have you ever thought of just how large the item to be wrapped could be? One of our favourite things about shrink wrap is the versatile nature of how it can be used, seemingly taking the approach that no item is too small or too large to reap the benefits of the product. As such, we’re going to take a look at how shrink wrap provides a winter, weather and wave-proof solution to keeping your beloved boat safe and dry over the colder months. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to own a boat to shrink wrap in the first place, but it’s fascinating to gain an understanding of the level of protection that can be provided by shrink wrap film and how this could be useful for your own products.
That’s a wrap
The main advantage of using shrink wrap as opposed to the common blue tarpaulin, is what we at Kempner like to call the ‘Leak-Free Factor’. There are many strong materials that can provide sufficient protection to the boat, such as plastic sheeting, cloth and canvas, but none of these can guarantee to not letting a drop of rain in, unlike shrink wrap. This is particularly important if you have an older-style boat without the luxury of fibreglass covering and which is therefore highly susceptible to rust over periods of wet and cold weather. Shrink wrap is a polyethylene which has UV inhibitors and is designed to shrink when heated to make a seal far more secure than the ‘DIY and hope for the best’ approach adopted by using other materials. The nature of the cover prevents stretching and tearing, meaning you can tuck up your boat for several months without the stress of what you might return to in spring.
Preparing for a wrap
There are a few things to keep in mind before you commit to a fully shrink wrapped boat over the winter season. If you plan to tow your boat anywhere while it is wrapped, a ‘bullet wrap’ comes highly recommended with a slick aerodynamic design, incorporating straps and thicker plastics to prepare for the stronger winds it will be exposed to on your journey.
You should also consider the extent of coverage required for your needs and priorities. Prices may vary depending on whether you wrap all the way to the hull sides or just to rubrails. It’s a good idea to set a budget and have a clear idea in your head about the best method of wrapping for your boat.
Remember, once you go wrap, you never go back, in the sense that when the boat is shrink-wrapped, there’s no way you’ll be able to use it for recreational boating activities in the winter. For many, who enjoy the lifestyle through the warmer months, this won’t be a problem. However, it could prove frustrating if the opportunity for any cold-water activities have to be declined as a result of the shrink wrap. If you think you may need to do any maintenance work throughout the winter, ask for a zip door to be included, allowing you access to fix any issues on board, or simply to spend some quality time with your pride and joy.
In order to avoid moisture accumulation, it is wise to embark upon a pre-wrap clean. Rid your boat of any old food wrappers, crumbs or bait that could attract a few unwanted visitors in the form of rodents over winter. During this process, you should make sure the boat is as dry as possible.
You will also need to construct a support structure in the form of a ridge at the centre of the boat, which should be padded on top to keep the wrap from chafing. Old carpet often makes for great padding. This structure should have as much pitch as possible in all directions, allowing any rain or snow to slide straight off the wrap and not gather anywhere on the cover. The support should be 10cm higher than the windshield, for although even the most basic of wrap film can hold up to 250 pounds, that kind of weight should not be pressurising the screen.
You may be able to personalise your shrink wrap cover through choosing a colour, although these are most commonly white or blue. White could be the best option in warmer climates, due to its ability to reflect heat and receive less condensation as a result. The blue wrap can absorb heat, making it easier to melt snow which can then slide off and away easily.
As you unveil your magnificent, dry and undamaged boat, full of anticipation for the upcoming season, think about what you can do with your sheet of plastic to avoid it ending up in landfill. Many harbours or boat yards will operate a recycling system for boat covers, and failing that there are a variety of weird and wonderful uses that will save waste.
In a nutshell, there’s very little that shrink wrap can’t protect. For absolute security and peace of mind, consider shrink wrapping for your boats, and any other items that could benefit from the protection. Remember there is no item too large and perhaps you could look into wrapping smaller products with a shrink wrap machine to call your own! Contact us today to discuss anything you would like to shrink wrap and whether you could be benefitting from your own shrink wrap machinery.