Best tarp material.

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Dirteater, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Over the last few years I have used "tarps" to cover my row boat, along with the use of bungies and tie-downs to keep everything nice and tight in storms.
    I should mention I am referring to it in on dry land, not going down the highway. however the problem with tarps is, they do indeed leak and don't hold up to bungies without inevitably poking a whole in the tarp.

    so after a good rain I would sometimes find quite a bit of water in the boat. My final solution was to flip the boat hull side up and this ofcourse solved the problem. ( I don't like water sitting in my boat for any length of time).
    my boat sit on the trailer while in storage so flipping it hull side up does take a little effort :(. I would prefer to leave it right side up.

    I'm wondering if someone might be able to suggest a better covering material? Perhaps some kind of "tent" type of material?

    thanks for your help.
    DE
     
  2. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    My Alaska experiences with a 24' boat.
    I discovered the 16 Mil Visqueen etc was a great rain deflector.
    However it would freeze and break.
    The Blue tarp leaked all over.

    So...I covered the boat with the 16 Mil, then covered that with the ubiquitous Blue Tarp.
    That worked.

    The Blue Tarp kept the winds and snow off the Visqueen.

    I used half full jugs of water to tie down the blue tarp.
    Anything else pulled the eyelets out of the tarp or sagged in the cold and gave up.
    This was in Wasilla AK, and it's bad windy in the winter.
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    the heavier the tarp the better, it will last longer in the weather and be more water proof. Unfortunately it will also cost much more, but it would solve the problem. Use bungy cords to hold it on under the hull, this will hold it tight and minimize flapping, but also give a little to reduce risk of tearing in heavy weather.
     
  4. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    thanks thudpucker and Petros,

    ya, in the winter I store in upside down and the blue tarps hold up pretty good.
    and as I'm sure you already now the snow is actually a pretty good protector as it isn't going anywhere that time of year.

    I guess the problem with the tarps in rain, is that the fabric does breath and water does make it through. I suppose I should try to find the thickest plastic I can, but even then I think there may be durability issues. It's a bit more of a task then I thought it would be.
     
  5. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Probably hasn't been nearly as windy since Sarah Palin left.....

    Yeah, I know. But I've never been able to resist a good straight line.:p
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Thanks for that Troy, we haven't enjoyed a good laugh at her expense, since her last speaking engagement.

    Tarps come in different deniers, thicknesses and fiber counts. You want as high a denier and thread count as you can get, for the most durable. The second issue is how it's arranged. If you drape it over a boat, the places it touches, will wear out very quickly. The same is true of a line used as a tent, bungee cord, hold downs, etc. The best set up hasn't the tarp touching anything on the boat. A PVC pipe frame over the boat, with the tarp bungee corded to the grommets is a good approach. The tarp can be made to last longer if the areas, where the PVC pipe touches is, covered in foam pipe insulation, which helps guard against chaff and wear through, though these areas are where it will wear through first.

    I use tarps to cover boats all the time, though I don't need to worry about snow loads. I suspend them with reinforced grommet areas. I sew or two sided tape in, two or three extra layers of tarp material, in the locations I'll put grommets. I don't drape it over a pipe frame, but just stretch it between uprights. I have a 30'x60' I use for large projects in the yard and I have 4x4 posts with big spikes (nails) sticking through the top end. I place the grommet over the spike and stand up the posts. I guy the posts upright and this works well, in fairly high winds and rain. It's easily collapsed down for storage and cleaning, plus adjustable for height and covered area.

    As a rule the silver on both sides tarps are the heaviest, but check denier and thread count. You'll want a minimum of 1,200 denier and a 12x12 thread count, of course higher is better. Lastly, if you paint the weather side of the tarp with the special plastic type of paint (Krylon Fusion, etc.), then UV will not break it down as fast and it'll last twice as long.
     
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  7. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    if you place the tarp in such a wall to allow good ventilation without allowing rainwater into it, it will allow any condensation to evaporate out when it warms up again.
     
  8. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    In this part of North America we don't attach our tie downs to the tarp but once the tarp is in place over a water shedding frame, we throw a piece of poly fishing net over the tarp and attach out tie downs to the netting, hurricane proof with very little movement of the tarp material thus no chafe thru holes. As a point of interest these el chepo (blue) type tarps really have only a one season life due to UV attack.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner ---
     
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  9. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    Those fish nets are super handy tools!
     
  10. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Thank Par,

    great stuff.:) I have to look around for better quality tarps, with the specifications/characteristics you provided. I also like the idea of using pvc pipe to form a good cover. the wheels are turning in my head as I type,:idea:
    I also like the simplicity of it. I think the double sided tape would also allow a good form fitting. It would appear that a "tarp" is the way to go, but it has to be one of much better quality. as also mentioned by Viking. :cool:

    (Viking: no netting in cowtown though :( (unfortunetaly).

    I like the idea of taking it off and on in one piece, and can then easily be stored under or on the trailer. all in all a pretty good plan I think.

    Troy: there's gotta be a Harper windy comment in here somewhere *:p*
     
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  11. MoePorter
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    MoePorter Junior Member

    18 oz vinyl truck tarp is what I think Par is suggesting - if not he should... I've got 13 years on a 30x20 18oz truck tarp - Northern California sun - 8 months a year. Painted with good latex house paint - yes I know it shouldn't work but it does...just clean any oily residue off or wait a year to paint it. There are many "local" suppliers to the trucking industry & custom sizes are typically just a bit more expensive, but it's not cheap & only makes sense in a multi-year situation. It's rigged as Par suggests but with a wood beam wrapped with pipe insulation & bungied - bungies are critical as they give a bit in wind. Keep in mind it's heavy stuff! I had to cut mine in two last year - I just couldn't handle the whole thing anymore alone...Netting is a great idea! - if I had more wind exposure I might try some sort of ag netting for bird protection if it was cheaper than fishing net. Moe

    http://www.amazon.com/Rochford-Supply-Coated-Fabric-Linear/dp/B008D4F762
     
  12. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    SPANDEX! Seriously. What you want is Spandex thick enough so a big falling raindrop wont 'blast through' to the other side of the basically porous material.

    Since it is stretchy, one one point will take all the stain.

    As long as it isn't a basin all dampness on underside should still wick downstream without dripping.
     
  13. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Heavy cotton tarps are what we use. As long as the ridgepole is high enough for a good pitch they don't leak. We get 4 to 6 years out of each tarp.
     
  14. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    vinyl truck tarp?! now there's a new one! :)
    certainly worth checking out. those things take a hell of a beating.

    I've used Cotton tarp over back yard decks before (kind of a painters tarp).
    its drip through in heavy rains, but it dry's very quickly as well. and actually holds up for a few years as well.
     

  15. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    The cotton tarps we use are considerably heavier than a painters tarp. We buy them at a "military surplus" store (which has sold very little actual military surplus in at least 25 years) and they are quite heavy, much heavier than any plastic or vinyl tarps of similar size.
     
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