The Important Function of Shrink Wrap for Boats

Shrink wrap systems use a plastic film, typically made of PVC, Polyolefin, or polyethylene.

The plastic film is wrapped around an object to protect it from moisture, dirt, and other hazards of travel or storage. The plastic film is heated to conform to the shape of the object. Shrink wrap systems may be small and inexpensive, used by a home businessperson, or large, automated machines costing tens of thousands of dollars.

DVDs, CDs, videos, artwork, mailers, newspapers, and packages are commonly shrink wrapped before transport.

Shrink wrapping a boat, however, presents unique challenges. A boat is large and cannot be fit through an automatic shrink wrap machine. Special shrink wrap films exist to wrap boats. Films are heavy duty so that the boats can be stored during cold winters and can be purchased in blue, white, or clear.

Shrink wrap for boats can also protect a boat from prolonged periods in warm weather. A special chemical in the polyethylene film keeps them soft, flexible, and protects the film from breaking down in UV light.  Films can be up to 35 feet long and can cost between $100 and $400.

Instructional videos are available for about $20. With the right training and equipment, a boat can be shrink-wrapped in under 10 minutes. Simply wrap the boat and walk along the boat with a propane-powered heat gun to shrink the film. A heat gun costs about $300.

The same plastic used to shrink wrap a boat may also be used on RVs or cars for outdoor storage, or on buildings to contain the dust, dirt, or asbestos during remodeling projects.

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