Reusing Shrinkwrap

Boat shrinkwrap will provide good protection for your boat in storage, but it's not cheap. Bill Toth has found a way to counteract that.

Photo of Bill Toth and his shrinkwrapped boat

If done correctly with care given for removal, storage, and re-installation, one can get many years out of one wrap job. I am on my sixth year. I'm not sure how the numbers would shake out, and I know boatyards don't want to hear this option, but if each boat reused the shrinkwrap for three years, the positive environmental impact would be substantial.

Here's what I do:

Take pictures in and out of your shrink-wrapped boat and save:

Find the termination point:

  • Normally shrinkwrap is started in the bow and terminated in the stern; Center consoles, around the engine, inboards around the transom. Either way, there should be a point starboard and port aft where the drawstring is exposed.
  • You need four pairs of vice grips. Securely clamp one at each point the drawstring exits the wrap in the stern. There should be a foot or two of exposed line. Cut in the middle. The vice grips are there to ensure that once cut, the drawstring is not pulled back into the wrap (like losing a thermostat wire down the wall!).
  • Now tie four loops (bowline knots preferably), then with two pieces of scrap line tie them to each loop with slack.
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