The weight of the boat can easily force a jack stand base deep into mud, sand, or asphalt. Even clay that seems brick hard can become a quagmire in heavy spring rains, allowing stands to loosen, shift, and spill the boat. Placing a sheet of plywood under each base and using safety chains to connect the stands will help to stabilize the support upon which your boat rests. Jack stands stabilize the boat, but most of the boats weight usually rests on its keel. If the marina manager isn’t familiar with your boat, check your manual or contact the manufacturer. Keels must be supported by wide timbers or blocks the wider the better to distribute the load. It is generally fairly cheap to buy a tarp at your local hardware store and you can easily tie it over your boat for the winter. It can take a good deal of trial and error to get the tie downs just right in order to provide the best fit possible in order to protect your boat. If the tarp rips, it is generally easy to buy a replacement one at that same hardware store. Properly winterizing your boat will virtually guaranty a smooth spring commission again.
Even though tarps are definitely the cheapest short run option for winter storage, you run into several advantages when choosing tarps as a method of winter storage.
The main advantage is the high quality of most tarps. They are not generally meant to withstand the rigors of winter weather.
Aand oftentimes develop leaks and tears, completely ruining their original purpose of protecting your pontoon boat over the winter.
The advantages of shrink wrapping lie primarily in its convenience and ability to protect your boat.
Shrink wrapping seals your boat from the elements, keeping it in pristine condition over the winter.
Oftentimes, the shrink wrapping company will store your boat over the winter as well and even prepare it for use in the spring, furthering the convenience of this option.
Our boat’s manufacturer may be able to supply you with a blocking plan, indicating where blocks and jack stands should be placed to provide the best support for your boat. You can work with the yard manager to devise one yourself using a diagram of your boat. Save the plan and give a copy to anyone who hauls the boat in the future. Jack stands should be placed as far out from the boat as practical to support the boat in high winds.
With at least three per side for boats over 26 feet and additional supports at overhangs. Storing cradles in the off-season is problematic at crowded boatyards, which instead rely on a combination of screw-type jack stands, blocks, and timbers to support hulls. Generally a shrink wrapping company will clean and winterize your boat, for an additional cost, before shrink wrapping it. This leaves your boat clean and ready to use in the spring.