Snow and Boat Canopies

Go to any seaside location along the east coast – New London, Connecticut, the Jersey Shore, and even the harbor in Baltimore – and many yachts and sail boats are lines along the docks. In the summer, these boats are often active or at least docked temporarily. When the weather gets colder, however, these boats need to be taken out of the water and protected. One option we’ve seen has been boat shelters or canopies, which can be used at home or on a dock. One issue that arises when using such a structure on a dock, however, is how it will be anchored.

A recent news story shows why such structures need to be anchored. On an average day for most areas of the mid-Atlantic, snow isn’t a problem, unless you live in update New York or Vermont. But, even in these coastal areas, snow can still hit and, as evident by the article, it can lead these structures to collapse onto the boats. Even when the boats are docked, the canopies themselves need to be anchored to give their full protection. If not, they may topple over or collapse onto the boats, as seen in the article.

If you plan to protect your boat by canopy, moving the boat to your home may be a better option. After all, the boat is in the comfort of your yard – assuming this doesn’t violate local building codes or zoning laws – and is fully protected by a canopy that can be anchored in concrete or by metal anchors. If you simply need to keep a boat by a dock, a better alternative is using a boat cover or tarp. Nevertheless, the issue that arises with any boat in a dock is snow. Too much snow accumulating inside will cause the structure to sink or will damage the mast.

Creating Your Own Boat Shelter

Have a large boat that you don’t want to store on a dock during the colder part of the year? One option is to use a larger boat shelter. Shelters of America has several larger-sized boat shelters measuring 34 by 42 square feet. Another option is to build your own boat shelter. If you have the materials to make a frame and a canopy, creating your own shelter is a possibility.

If you’re planning to build your own boat shelter instead of purchasing one, take a few cues from makers of such shelters, like Shelters of America and Portable Garage Depot.

Both of these companies follow 2 major best practices:

Use Galvanized Steel to Make the Frame

First, think of the materials that will be used for the frame. Although the design of the frame in the vehicle looks sturdy enough, having it made from galvanized steel would give even better protection.

Anchor The Frame With Concrete

Also, anchor the frame properly. For a frame that large, the metal should be anchored into the ground with concrete. Additionally, once you add the canopy, make sure it fits over the entire frame, much like a rounded or square tube shelter.

Why Use a Seasonal Vehicle Shelter?

Seasonal vehicles, as explained by their name, can only be used for certain parts of the year. Whether you go camping with an RV or smaller camper or prefer to go boating, any of these vehicles need to be put in storage. For some who own a brick and mortar garage, this is a no-brainer, as a boat or camper will fit in the garage. But what do you do if you don’t own a garage? One option is to put up a portable storage building for your shelter. Such dealers as Portable Garage Depot and Shelters of America make portable storage sheds specifically designed for these buildings, including RVs with a longer body and additional height.

Some might argue that leaving your vehicle outside exposes it to the elements. Of course, this is actually leaving your vehicle outdoors and not fully protected by a shelter. Any portable shelter for a seasonal vehicle consists of a galvanized steel frame and a polyethylene canopy. The canopy, which covers the roof and all sides, is made from heavy-duty polyethylene and is treated to be UV resistant, waterproof, and rot and mildew resistant. But, as some air is allowed to circulate under the canopy, moisture doesn’t get trapped under the shelter, as it does with shrink-wrapping a boat, and the vehicle won’t have dry rot, mildew, or mold build up on its surface.

These structures, essentially, can be stored anywhere on your property and can last through rain, wind, and snow. Some structures, however, are better for more extreme weather conditions like snow. If your area experiences large snowfalls, a rounded roof shelter is better for long-term protection of your boat, RV, or other seasonal vehicle, as the snow or water will roll off the roof instead of building up on top. With full protection on all sides, weather, including UV rays and water, generally stays away from the vehicle. But, as animals can come in, checking on the vehicle occasionally is a good idea.