Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Covering Chip Ahoy for the Winter

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


The first winter I owned Chip Ahoy, after buying it in December of 2002, it was covered by the previous owner; I simply trailered it home, removed all its teak woodwork for much-needed refinishing, and left the boat covered as I'd found it.

For the second winter (2003-04) I covered it myself, and found that heavy snowfalls sat in pockets at the lifelines:  I had to keep running out after a storm (in some of the better storms, during!) to shovel it off before the weight damaged the tarp.

For my third winter owning the boat (2004-05), I added the rope cross-supports (photos on the left) in an attempt to disperse some of the snowfall's weight.  While it was an improvement, it still left much to be desired, as the nylon rope sagged under weight too.

For this winter (2005-06), Wally Riddle is storing his boat ("Carpe Diem") in my yard, behind Chip Ahoy.  When I saw his design for supporting the tarp, I was inspired.  Others had suggested similar solutions, so for the coming winter I decided to adopt a version for my boat.

As Wally did, I also used " PVC pipe.  Since I now have a stern pulpit (which "Carpe Diem" doesn't), instead of using "T" connectors and creating two stringers running forward and aft along the lifeline stanchions into which the ribs connect, I decided to use existing support aboard to fasten the ribs.  (Nov. 7, 2005)

At the end of each rib, I glued a PVC 45 elbow, drilled a hole through the rib just above the connection, and fastened a piece of line through it to either a stanchion, the stern pulpit, or a lifeline.  The bend of the elbows, I hope, will prevent the tarp from wearing through or ripping where it turns over the end of each rib.

The skeleton completed and so far looking good. Don't mind that little outboard with the long steering handle -- it's off the dinghy, "Chip Mate," there just to run out the gas for winter storage.  (Nov. 7, 2005)

Chip Ahoy covered and moved alongside the house.  Wally Riddle's "Carpe Diem" rests behind for the winter.  (Nov. 9, 2005)

Chip Ahoy, covered for the winter of 2005-06.  The new frame seems to work quite well.  Time to tighten-up the tie-down lines.

Seen from above with all lines taut.  The ribs remind me of a Conestoga wagon with its hoop frame.  Come to think of it, those old wagons were also called "prairie schooners"!  (Nov. 12, 2005)

This design should give piling snow little to catch on and pocket in over the coming winter.  The roller-furler drum at the base of the mast, overhanging the bow pulpit, is also covered tightly to prevent icing and expansion damage.

I wrapped a small piece of tarp around the protruding mast head truck and anchor light before pulling the aft tarp over and securing it. Last winter I used a single, lightweight tarp (see third photo down, above). For this coming winter, I instead used two double-sided (silver backsides), heavy-duty tarps with reinforced grommets.

As the old carole goes, "Oh the weather outside is frightful; But the fire is so delightful; And since we've no place to go;  Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"

Grrrr,  I hate winter!

"Chip Ahoy" (foreground) and Wally Riddle's "Carpe Diem" weathered the first storm of the winter season (Dec. 10, 2005) well beneath their tarps and PVC skeleton frames.

Covering Chip Ahoy: 2010-11

Covering Chip Ahoy: 2009-10

Covering Chip Ahoy: 2008-09

Covering Chip Ahoy:  2007-08

Covering Chip Ahoy: 2006-07

See also:  Adding Wally's PVC cage to covering Chip Ahoy  (2007)

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