How to Shrink Wrap a Boat

Jul 18th 2023

Shrink-wrapping a boat is a popular method for protecting it during transportation or storage. Here’s a general step-by-step guide on how to shrink wrap a boat:

1. Gather the necessary materials: You’ll need a roll of shrink-wrap plastic, a heat gun, a propane tank, heat shrink-wrap tape, strapping or bungee cords, and support structures (such as wooden frames or boat stands).

2. Prepare the boat: Clean the boat thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or loose items. Ensure that the boat is dry before proceeding.

3. Build a frame (if required): If you’re using a wooden frame or boat stands, construct them according to the shape and size of your boat. The frame will provide support for the shrink-wrap plastic covering and prevent it from sagging onto the boat’s surface.

4. Cover the boat: Unroll the shrink-wrap plastic and position it over the boat, ensuring that it fully covers the entire vessel. Leave some excess material on all sides to allow for proper sealing.

5. Secure the shrink wrap plastic: Begin by securing the plastic around the boat’s hull using shrink-wrap tape. The tape should adhere to the boat’s surface without damaging it. Start at the boat’s stern and work your way forward, overlapping the tape to create a strong bond.

6. Create ventilation: Install vents or vent patches on the shrink-wrap plastic to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup inside the cover. These vents will help maintain a healthy environment and prevent mildew or mold growth.

7. Heat the shrink wrap plastic: Using a heat gun connected to a propane tank, carefully apply heat to the shrink-wrap plastic. Move the heat gun in a sweeping motion, evenly distributing the heat to shrink the plastic tightly around the boat’s surface. Be cautious not to overheat or burn the plastic.

8. Check for tightness: As you heat the plastic, ensure it shrinks uniformly and snugly fits around the boat. Pay attention to corners, edges, and protruding features to make sure they are properly sealed and reinforced with additional shrink-wrap tape if needed.

9. Finalize the wrap: Trim any excess shrink-wrap plastic from the edges using a sharp knife, leaving a neat and tidy finish. Secure the bottom edge of the wrap using strapping or bungee cords, connecting them to the boat’s trailer or support structure.

Remember, if you’re new to shrink-wrapping or have a large or valuable boat, it may be beneficial to consult a professional or experienced shrink-wrap installer to ensure the process is done correctly and the boat is adequately protected.