Think Before You Shrink

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is encouraging owners of small boats to “Think Before You Shrink” this year, and convert to reusable materials for their winter covering. The goal is to reduce plastic waste and alleviate disposal issues caused by removing shrink wrap every spring. 

Semi-custom, reusable covers are readily available for most small boats at about the same cost as two years of shrink wrap. The reusable covers last five to ten years and can be repaired or cleaned to extend their life.

Check out Maryland Clean Marina Program’s free poster for marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs to share this message with boaters: 

Boaters can ask their marina or local marine retailer for help purchasing, cleaning, or repairing their covers. A list of marinas and canvas workers can be found on the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) website or in the Guide to Marine Services produced by MTAM each year. 

The Clean Marina Program is also updating its award criteria to encourage marine facilities to promote reusable covers where practical and to properly recycle shrink wrap in the spring.  Marinas, boatyard, and yacht clubs interested in seeking the Maryland Clean Marina designation are encouraged to visit the program website and to contact [email protected]ryland.gov with any questions.

  • Semi-custom covers cost the same as shrink-wrapping boats about 30′ for two seasons.
  • Reusable covers can last as long as 5-10 years.
  • Canvas shops can repair and clean reusable boat covers, extending their live even further.
  • Installing a reusable cover on a small boat is easy and protects as well as plastic.
  • Semi-custom reusable covers are available for most boats.
  • Most shrinkwrap used on boats goes to landfills when it is removed.