I blogged about it at the time, and vowed to make a winter cover for this year, to avoid having to shovel the poor Blue Moon, as we did -- seemingly on a weekly basis -- last year.
|Shoveling a foot of snow off the Blue Moon|
I found a supplier of American-made, 18oz, treated canvas and purchased a 12x12 and 8x10 tarp from Amazon. The quality of the American Canvas tarp is really outstanding, I must say. The canvas itself is thick, heavy, and treated with something or other to make it water resistant. The seams are well sewn, and the brass grommets are heavily reinforced. It's weight, I thought, would prevent it from flogging itself to death, as I've seen happen with lighter material in heavy winds. And we do get some heavy winds here, in winter.
|American Canvas tarp|
The 12x12 tarp has 4 grommets on each side; the 8x10 has 4 grommets on the long side and 3 on the short. There were two problems to be solved:
- how to fasten the edges of the tarp to the side deck
- how to suspend the tarp over the boom, so as to best shed snow
The tarps were both long enough so that I could fasten the edges to the rail. However, when it came time to install the tarps, I didn't like the idea of screwing 6 eye straps (each side) into the Blue Moon's rail. First, I didn't think they would look very good, unless I could find nice bronze ones, perhaps. Second, they would be murder on the topsides of any boat we rafted up to. I'd also have to de-rig my running backstays, but that wouldn't be too much bother.
So, as a trial, I decided to tie the tarp down inside the rail. There were plenty of places to tie it down inside.
For ribs, to hold the tarp up and out under snow load, I decided to use a trick recommended on the Wooden Boat Forum, which is to use PVC pipe. I forgot to take any pictures of this, but you can see the one test 'rib' in the photo below. I wasn't sure what size pipe to use, so I started with just one 1" rib. If it works, I'll add more later.
So, after trying various configurations of the tarps, I ended up with Configuration #1, below. I wasn't 100% happy with it. Ideally I'd like to close that gap in the middle between the two tarps, but this arrangement gave good coverage for both the cockpit and the anchor well in the bow. I decided to give it a try for the first snow.
|Configuration #1 - note hoop in middle|
Oh, the bliss of ignorance!
|After 1st snow|
|Where's my hoop?|
|A bit of snow drifted inside|
Less successful was the PVC rib or batten. The 1" pipe just wasn't strong enough, I guess.
As soon as the snow melts off (we're due for some rain tonight), I'm going to try reconfiguring the tarps using the information gathered with this trial. For Configuration #2, I'm going to try:
- thicker PVC pipe for the ribs... the thickest I can bend
- 2 sets of ribs, instead of just one
- close up the gap between the tarps
- put something over the opening at the stern... probably one of my small, home-made tarps.
I'm still not keen on putting eye straps on the rail... that will have to wait to Configuration #3, at least.
If you have any clever ideas to share, particularly about how to hold the edges of the tarp down to the rail without a bunch of eye pads, I'd love to hear them.
Spring is coming, right???
>>> Next Episode: A Bigger Bumpkin