Even More About Boat Covers
February 10, 2018
All boat covers are 10% off all month! Sale ends February 28, 2018. Last year, we talked about covering your boat for long-term storage with shrink wrap or a shrink-it-yourself Transhield cover. But there's much more to cover (sorry). Boats are made to get wet, of course. Your carpet and upholstery, however, aren't as rugged as the rest of your boat and can be damaged by sustained exposure to water. A cover will keep your seats and carpets clean and dry, and will protect your fiberglass from the UV radiation that can turn your gelcoat cloudy and chalky. A mooring cover is the solution for boats that are docked, anchored, or stored on a boat lift. New boats often come with a custom cover. Mooring covers have drawstring ropes or ratchet straps to tighten the cover around the boat. Pontoon boats have specially-designed covers to accommodate their shape. Shipping covers are designed to fit tightly so they don't flap in the wind while the boat is being transported, like being trailered down the highway. These covers usually have ratchet straps that wrap around the hull and keel to hold the cover on, so they're not practical for use on a boat that's still in the water (unless you know a friendly diver - just kidding). [caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="472"] "Now, where's that belly band?"[/caption] Cockpit, bow, and tonneau covers usually attach to your boat with snaps; the top half of the snap is attached to the cover, and the bottom half is screwed into the boat. These can be replaced if they are damaged or lost. You'll also find other types of fasteners, like twist-lock snaps, and straps and buckles that attach the cover to the boat. Don't rely on cockpit, console, or bow covers for long-term protection. These covers are made for quick covering at the dock, not for keeping the weather out for weeks at a time. Use a mooring cover over bow and cockpit covers if you're leaving your boat for a while. For long-term storage, a properly-fitted, properly-supported, and properly-affixed cover can't be beat. That support thing is pretty important, both for the longevity of your cover and the protection of your boat. Choose a cover that comes with poles or build your own frame to support the cover. [caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Don't be this guy.[/caption] Transhield covers can be heat-shrunk and reused for up to two storage seasons. They can also be used as-is, without shrinking; these covers have a drawstring and tie-down straps to hold the cover on. The snap-on vents allow airflow while shedding rain and snow. All cloth boat covers can benefit from a waterproofing treatment. If your cover is made of acrylic canvas, use a waterproofing spray made for acrylic; silicone-based products won't cover it well. Follow the label directions and let the cover dry completely before putting it on your boat. What's your go-to boat cover? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.