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Hurricane prep advice for canvas: remove it all

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Triton supporter Noah Chanin of Wycap Marine Corp., a custom yacht upholstery business in Fort Lauderdale, offers this advice for yachts prior to Hurricane Irma: Remove it all.

We’ve received numerous inquiries from customers regarding the proper hurricane preparations for canvas, so I am sharing some information to help captains and crew prepare a vessel.

Our advice: remove all the canvas possible from a boat during a hurricane. Canvas products are not designed to handle heavy winds and will likely blow off or rip, potentially damaging other components of a boat.

A few special notes about certain products:

Bimini Tops / Shades: Remove all canvas, and remove and store the frame elsewhere, if possible. If it’s not possible or practical to remove the frame, strap it together and lash it down securely to the deck. Our most common repair requests after storms are to replace tops.

Enclosures: Enclosures should be removed completely. They create extra windage on a boat and could act like a sail. The stitching and bonding of the glass is not designed to handle high winds and flying debris could scratch or crack the glass. Enclosures are the second-most common repair request we receive after a storm.

T-Tops: “Lace On” T-tops can be removed by carefully cutting the line securing them (note that antennas, lights and electronics may also need t be removed, which can be tricky). If removed properly and in one piece, a lace-on T-top can usually be reinstalled in just a few hours.

Laceless style T-tops, which we’ve installed on many Intrepids and Jupiters, cannot be removed and reinstalled, and therefore should be left in place.

Weather Covers: Weather covers will tear or blow away and should be removed. While a weather cover that is torn or becomes disconnected from one or more snaps may still stay attached to the boat, the flapping could damage paint and other components.

Cushions: Like weather covers, cushions should be removed, since they will likely get blow away and could damage other components of the boat.

Like many South FLorida businesses, we are operating on a skeleton crew today (Wednesday, Sept. 6) and we will be closed Thursday and Friday (Sept. 7-8) to allow our employees adequate time to prepare for the storm. It is too soon to predict our schedule for next week, but based on the current forecast we will likely be closed Monday (Sept. 11).  

For canvas questions, please contact me directly at noah@wycap.com.

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