Every October after the end of a busy season, our Mississippi-style riverboat, the Becky Thatcher, is prepared to hibernate for the long New-England winter. The Becky is wrapped in a large, white cover that not only protects her from snow/ice damage but it allows our staff to work on her over the winter under protection from the bitter cold winds blowing down river.
Getting the Becky framed for the cover takes 4-6 people. Getting the shrinkwrap cover up on top of the frame takes 6-8 people. Dropping the cover and heat shrinking it takes 2 people. Taking it all off in the spring takes 2-4 people. What a process! Come end of March/early April, we take the cover off of the Becky in order to facilitate exterior work on her that can’t be done with the cover in the way, and it allows us to put the decorative features, smokestacks, and navigation lights back up in preparation for opening day in May.
FUN FACT: With her white cover on during the Christmas season, the Becky becomes a large-scale prop behind Santa at the “North Pole” (Deep River Landing): with the shrinkwrap over the boat, it resembles a large iceberg, only enhancing the scene!