A framework of heavy-duty pipework attached to the stanchions makes an easy and effective cover over the deck.
If you have major work planned over the winter, a decent cover can make a huge difference to the programme, even if it’s not feasible to put the boat in a shed. Don’t discount the importance of this even if the boat is in a Mediterranean yard – the winter period can have extensive cold and wet periods. A decent shelter around the vessel, however, will keep the rain off and allow the work area to be heated in cold weather. If the work extends into warmer months it will give protection from the sun, allowing work to continue more energetically.
If using staging, the scaffolding platform can be used as the basis for building the shed, which has the advantage of the workshop being on the same level as the deck, which can save an enormous amount of time.
No matter how sheltered your boatyard appears to be it’s essential that any covers will not flap around in the wind in winter storms.
One of the quickest and most cost effective ways of creating a framework over which a tarpaulin can be draped is with heavy duty two inch HDPE pipe that’s sold by builders’ merchants. This can be attached to stanchions to create a tunnel shaped framework above the deck, with guy ropes between each frame.
However, this is not as good as a custom built wooden frame, with heavy shrink- wrap plastic stretched across it. If done well this can produce a tent that’s able to withstand the worst of winter storms, while providing a perfectly dry environment within.
The ultimate is a heavy-duty shrink-wrapped all-over cover that’s sufficiently high above the deck to provide good headroom beneath the shelter during repairs.
Don’t underestimate the benefit of the effort involved in producing a good winter cover. It will also mean that in inclement weather your boat is the one that contractors prefer to work on, which increases the likelihood of it being ready on time for the planned launch date in the spring.