There are lots of maintenance tasks that boaters know you need to perform regularly to keep your craft in top shape—cleaning, waxing, oil changes, checking the propeller, etc. But what do you do to care for your boat when it’s not in use, during the winter months or in transit on a long trip? Do you keep it sitting out in the open, exposed to the elements? If so, you might be able to save yourself a boatload of worry and hassle with a solution you may not have considered: getting your boat shrink wrapped.
It may sound bizarre, and it likely looks bizarre too for someone who hasn’t seen it before, but professional shrink wrapping is the ultimate way to protect your boat while not in use. Here are some of the finer points of marine shrink wrapping.
Feel free to also take a look at our complete guide to shrink wrap for boats, including how it’s applied and removed.
Why Shrink Wrap a Boat?
You might be thinking to yourself, “I already have a tarp I can throw over the boat, what’s the difference?” Great question. While a tarp may appear to provide your boat some protection, it isn’t an adequate solution.
While a tarp may help your boat resist the effects of some rain here and there, it’s far inferior to shrink wrap. A tarp isn’t tightly secured the way shrink wrap is, and can still let in dust, moisture, and pests. It also is liable to tear in high wind, such as experienced on highways when transporting a boat on an open trailer, and can be damaged over time by sun exposure.
Shrink wrap is tougher and fits far tighter around the boat, reducing risk of tears, as well as preventing the plastic from scratching the surface it’s on the way a tarp might. Many shrink wrap materials also have UV inhibitors to combat sun damage and maintain stable temperatures within the seal. The tight seal delivers superior protection against pests, and the options for including desiccant bags and ventilation allow for more moisture control.
Shrink wrap is overall a superior option that delivers greater protection than a tarp can.
When Is Marine Shrink Wrapping Necessary?
Shrink wrapping boats is primarily useful both in winter and during long-distance transport.
Particularly here in the Midwest, the harsh winter months add snow, sleet, and slush to the weather’s usual threats of dust, dirt, rain, and UV rays. All of this, combined with the pests searching for places to take cover for the winter, puts your boat at risk of wear and tear. But, especially at a time when you can’t actually use the boat, it’s a lot of work keeping those threats at bay. Chicago harbors have winter storage available, but this can get expensive and restricts your access to your vessel, so shrink wrap is a more desirable option.
Transporting your boat long distances is another time shrink wrapping might be a good idea. The shrink wrapping process is used to seal all sorts of heavy machinery for transport this way, from construction equipment to space station parts. Thicker, stronger shrink wrap materials will protect your boat from high winds, as will the bullet wrap technique which maximize the boat’s aerodynamics so that wind is sliding off rather than hitting the boat full-force.
However, there are times when shrink wrapping might require careful consideration, such as for wooden or painted boats. These can be damaged by moisture held between the boat and the wrap if it isn’t properly ventilated.
That’s why you need to be careful in choosing a service provider you can trust. If you’re considering getting your boat shrink wrapped, consider Unlimited ShrinkWrap in McHenry, IL. We’re the premier shrink wrapping provider in the Midwest, and can answer all your questions about our process—simply give us a call at (815) 759-8944 or contact us online and get in touch. We’ll help keep your boat shipshape.
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, Il 60051