Pearson 26 - Boat Cover

One of the major problems I have been facing is keeping the boat dry. It rains a lot in the spring and fall here where I live. With the boat on the trailer and needing to paint and rebed things and leaves falling or blowing into the cock pit covering the drains I inevitably get water in the boat. My solution is to build a cover frame to support a tarp to cover it with and hopefully the end result is a dry boat.

My idea is to use 3/4" PVC pipe wrapped around the boat and clamped to the rub rails, then place uprights on about 24" centers. From here I will bring the side uprights to a peak. This arrangement will allow me to keep the stantions in place and the pulpit. I also will extend the frame back past the after end of the boat to leave enough space to get into the boat while it is still covered. I will post my progress here.

Frame about 1/3 done.Here we are from left to right, Michael, Me (Joe) and Zachary taking a small break while Melissa takes a picture for us.  At this point we have the pipe wrapped around the boat and "T"'s located about every 24". The uprights you see are 30" tall so as to clear the stanchions, from here 45s are attached and meet up at the peak. I guess we are about 1/3 done with the general outline of the frame.

The frame about 1/2 done.At this point we have about 1/2 the frame done. You will notice how the frame extends past the back of the boat. This was done to allow me to get into the boat while it is covered for whatever reason. I guess at this point we are about half way done with it and through for the day. Hopefully we can get some more done on it tomorrow. When I have the general shape of the frame don, I will re-enforce it with more bracing. I know this may be over kill but when it is finished it should be a free standing structure.

About 3/4 of the way.At this point we are about 3/4 finished with the frame.  As I go along with this project I wonder if I should have done things differently.  I guess because I have glued about a million joints and feel like I have a million more to go.  Oh well, way to far into it now to change course.  :-D

Framed up to the bowWe are finally framed up to the bow of the boat.  I have also started adding some cross bracing to help make the frame more rigid.  I done this because I feared that the 3/4 PVC will not handle the weight of the tarp.  Another problem that I see is if you take the clamps off the rub rails the frame will flex out enough to fall over past the edge of the rails.  I need to figure a way of keeping the fram on the rails without clamping the.  I would like to use my clamps for other projects.  One idea I have it to tie a line to the posts athwartship to pull them against the side of the deck.  But that will have to be a project for a different day.  Loads of rain is coming and I have to get this thing covered up.

Covered up - BowHere is the bow of the boat covered in the hay tarp.  Unfortunately, from my vantage point, I cannot get the whole boat in the camera frame.  So life goes I guess.

Covered up - SternHere is the stern covered up on the tarp.  Here you see that the tarp was not quite long enough to cover the back part of the frame.  But it is enough to keep it dry.  It is nice to be able to get into the boat with the cover on.  Maybe all that gluing was worth the effort.  Then again, i have not tried to remove the frame from the boat.  I may end up getting out and dusting off some of my navy vernacular before it is all said and done.  ;-)

I will try to get a picture posted of the cover from the inside.  I think it looks kind of neat, but I am a little biased.