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How do I choose what size shrink wrap to buy?

To determine the shrink wrap size that you need, measure from the center of your product, at the highest point, over the side and down at least 8” below where you want the bottom of the shrink wrap cover to be.

For example, if you are going to shrink wrap a power boat with an arch, measure from the center of the arch to down below the rub rail. Then double that figure, and add 1 foot for the shrink wrap weld hems> this allows for a 6 inch weld hem to wrap around the perimeter band, wherein you will tuck the shrink wrap under the perimeter band and heat weld it to create a 6 inch hem (one on each side of the boat/project, so the weld is continuous around the perimeter if possible). The following shrink wrap size chart should be a helpful place to begin, but definitely measure before placing your shrink wrap order.

Guidelines to help you determine the best shrink wrap thickness to use for your boat or project is detailed in the footnote ** at the bottom of the following chart.

Determining Shrink Wrap Size And Venting For Your Boat Cover *
 Shrink Wrap Size: Width ***  Boat Length  Boat Beam  Minimum # of Vents** -- Notes --
12' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Length 0'-16'
Beam up to 7' 4 vents Works well for finishing boats & shrink wrapping boats with low windshields
14' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 8' 4 vents Great for shrink wrapping runabouts with full windshields
17' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 8.5' 6 vents Excellent for shrink wrapping pontoon boats and cuddy cabin cruisers
18' wide Boat Shrink Wrap     6 vents  
20' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 8.5' 6 vents Good for shrink wrapping express cruisers
22' wide Boat Shrink Wrap     8 vents  
24' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 9' 8 vents Superb for shrink wrapping express cruisers with arches or small fly bridges
26' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 10' 8 vents Very little waste when shrink wrapping wider and taller fly bridge boats under 32'
28' wide Boat Shrink Wrap

32' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 11' 10 vents Super for shrink wrapping wide and tall fly bridge boats with an arch
36' wide Boat Shrink Wrap        
40' wide Boat Shrink Wrap
Beam up to 16' 12 vents Covers very large boats with arches and bridges with one piece of shrink wrap
50' wide Boat Shrink Wrap       Covers absolutely huge projects with one piece of shrink wrap
  * Shrink Wrap Sizes are approximate - each boat must be measured to assure that the proper size shrink wrap is used.

** Shrink Wrap Vents: It is recommended that 1 out of 4 vents be Solar Vents, 1 out of 4 vents be Wind Vents, and 2 out of 4 vents be Passive Vents. Always over-ventilate! (Shrink wrap does not breathe, so ventilation is very important.)

*** Shrink wrap thickness - determining what shrink wrap thickness to use:
  • 6 mil shrink wrap - Small Boat Shrink Wrap - our thinnest shrink wrap and is to shrink wrap smaller items including small boats, shed frames, pallets and machinery that will be stored (rather than transported). It can hold 256 pounds per square foot. 6 mil thick shrink wrap generally works well on boats up to 19’ in a mild climate (without heavy snow load).
  • 7 mil shrink wrap is the standard Boat Shrink Wrap - it is the best minimum thickness to use as shrink wrap for boats in snow load areas. 7 mil shrink wrap is also great for light construction jobs and shrink wrapping medium sized machinery that will be transported. This is a more "forgiving" shrink wrap than the 6 mil, and will not "melt through" as easily, making it more ideal for do-it-yourself-shrink-wrappers. 7 mil thick shrink wrap works well on boats from 10’-40’ in length, in more severe weather conditions that would include high winds and heavy snow load.
  • 8 mil / 8.5 mil shrink wrap - Big Boat Shrink Wrap - an excellent thickness for covering large boats, shrink wrapping large building frames, and for shrink wrapping large equipment with sharp protrusions, for transportation or storage. 8 mil - 8.5 mil thick shrink wrap is the standard for big boats (40' plus in length) and industrial shrink wrap applications where there is a longer span between supports, or for extreme weather conditions - scaffolding, large equipment, boats being shipped on deck to overseas, etc.
  • 9 mil shrink wrap is very durable shrink wrap and works well for making containments and shrink wrapping scaffolding. Using 9 mil flame retardant shrink wrap has an added safety benefit on job sites.
  • 10 mil shrink wrap is a versatile thickness for heavy duty shrink wrap applications, and is excellent for shrink wrapping large products for on deck ocean freight, and for shrink wrapping odd shaped machinery for storage or transportation.
  • 12 mil shrink wrap is our thickest shrink wrap and is only available with Flame Retardant additives. All of our premium Flame Retardant Shrink Wrap meets, or exceeds, NFPA 701 specifications for extinguishing itself. 12 Mil Flame Retardant Shrink Wrap is required for some scaffolding jobs and always on government bids where people will be working under the shrink wrap film.

Once you have determined the minimum size shrink wrap you need for your project, easily pinpoint the best available size for your project with the matrix above.