Spring Boat Prep – Removing Shrink Wrap & Installing Canvas

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Taking down the winter shrink wrap and putting up the boat canvas is a big spring prep job! [Includes video]

There’s a lot to do in the spring to get your boat ready for launch. One of the most satisfying spring boat prep jobs is taking off that winter shrink wrap and putting up the boat canvas. Its a big day… and a big job… especially with our 410 Sundancer!

Captain Brian usually does all the spring boat prep himself, but luckily this year our oldest daughter was able to help take down the shrink wrap and put up the canvas. An extra set of hands is definitely recommended!

Before we take down the shrink wrap we usually paint the bottom – or touch up the bottom paint if that’s all is needed. Whether you are doing the entire hull or just touching up sections, its a messy job. So there’s no sense taking down the wrap and getting the boat dirtier until that job is done.



Taking down Boat Shrink Wrap

You would think that taking off a boat’s shrink wrap is a relatively easy job, but it involves more than just cutting it off. Wrap is much easier to handle if you cut it off in sections that you can roll up for disposal (or preferably recycling if your marina offers that!) Some people even carefully cut it off to reuse it for more than one year, but we think that would be pretty difficult to manage on our 41 foot boat.

There is usually some 2×4 rigging to be removed as well. Rigging near the radar arch or on the bow will help protect the radar and create a slope for rain runoff. Again, you’ll need to remove it and dispose of it at your marina.

Putting up the Boat Canvas

After the boat is all unwrapped, up goes the canvas. Depending on the size of your boat, this can be a LOT of canvas pieces. Again, on our 41 foot Sea Ray this is not an easy job. You may also need to reinstall bimini poles if you removed them prior to winter storage.

A helpful tip is to try to put canvas up when it is warm. Cold weather makes the isinglass stiff, difficult to handle and hard to snap back into place. An extra hand for this job is also very helpful.

Video: Removing Shrink Wrap & Putting up Canvas

Check out our video removing shrink wrap and putting up canvas on our 410 Sea Ray Sundancer:

More Spring Boat Prep

Be sure to also check out our spring boat prep videos:

Waxing & Cleaning:

Replacing Zinc Anodes:

Bottom Paint or Touch up?:


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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. Active in the boating industry, Diane is a marine marketing consultant with Seltzer Communications and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.
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