One of the biggest questions that people have is "What size shrink wrap should I use on ....?
Fill in the blank above and it's likely to be a cover application for storage or transport, if so read on, this one's for you....
Storage and Transportation Projects Shrink Wrap Sizing (Not Boats):
To begin with, we always like to start with a drawing to get a good visualization of what the cover is most specifically to do, cover the object or some portion of it. Sizing up most projects will be begin with completing a few basic formulas to figure out the optimal width and/or length of shrink wrap to use, more complex project will combine a few different shapes all connected together and the most challenging projects are the ones that have the most variation across its surface with various parts protruding outward. The wrapping method is going to influence the size of the wrap required as well with encapsulation typically requiring either a wider width or seeming two sheets together, a "top sheet" and a "bottom sheet", this method can also help you to better control the height at which much of the work will need to be done, limiting ladder work and stooping can make a big difference in the overall level of project difficulty.
- Film Length – L + W + 6” OR L + H + 6” , whichever is less
- Film Width – 2W + 2H + 12”
- 5-Sided Wrap:
- Film Length – L + W + 6” OR L + 2H + 12” , whichever is less
- Film Width – W + 2H + 12”
Each formula allows for 12” of fusing at all seams. Assume L is always greater than W to reduce fuse lengths.
Shrink Wrap Sizing for Boats -
To keep things simple, there are two basic measurements that you will need to determine the appropriate width shrink wrap size to best cover your boat, these are:
- Above the Rail Measurement - On most traditional boats there is a rub rail around the outer edge of the boat, the "above the rail measurement" is the distance between the rubrail and the highest point in the boat where the shrinkwrap is expected to cover.
- Below the Rail Measurement - This measurement is based on your preference of how far down below the rubrail that your shrink wrap should fully cover. Our preference is to cover the full exposed area of the boat, so everything above the waterline up to the rubrail, this measurement is best taken at the tallest point of the rub rail.
- Tucking & Fusing - Leaving adequate room on your sheet to tuck the edge under the strap and heat weld back to itself can be done with as little as 6", keep in mind with taller boats that if you are close at the widest point of your boat it is fairly easy to patch a small part of the boat where wrap doesn't fit perfectly, there will certainly be enough waste from the cutout for the bow to use on the patch.
***The three measurements described above provide enough shrinkwrap to cover half your boat, hence the necessary multiplication by 2 at the end of the formula***
Boats under 25’ in length may consider measuring from stern to bow with a path above the highest point on the boat, then adding a minimum of 6” of tucking and fusing at both ends. This method allows you to pull the shrinkwrap sideways over the boat so that the width covers the length of the boat.