This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Of all the accessories you can buy to enhance your boating experience, the most important equipment is maintenance related. When you consider that the environment in which a boat usually travels is, at least, unfriendly. Humidity, animals, insects, salt and bad weather can wreak havoc on your boat and equipment.
How to choose the best boat cover
How thick should it be
- Boat covers start at a very affordable 150 denier poly boat cover. For maximum protection from snow, UV rays, wind, rain and dust we recommend a heavy duty 600 denier poly boat cover. These will provide complete protection while traveling and storing your boat.
- Regardless of the type of boat you have, whether it’s a v-hull, a Jon, or another type of pontoon you need to make sure you have a strong, resilient boat cover that fits your boat snugly and allows your boat to ‘breathe’.
- Not only are boat covers an excellent way to protect your boat while it’s out of the water, but it’s an item that’s essential when it comes time to winterize your boat.
Boat cover materials
The first consideration is material; one of the most important when deciding which boat cover ticks the boxes.
Rule # 1 – if it’s a nylon cover, walk away. Fortunately, nylon boat covers are few and far between, but they do exist. They’re often very inexpensive, but nylon doesn’t hold up well in the sun. If you’re enjoying a few sunny days during the winter, the material is at a very high risk of weakening, potentially leading to damage to your boat. At best you won’t be getting the protection you need.
Acrylic is another material that may seem like a good idea, but we don’t think it’s 100% right for the job. The advantage of acrylic, of course, is that it’s a breathable fabric which helps to prevent mold and mildew buildup on your boat. But it’s weak, has low resistance, and is remarkably high maintenance. Acrylic will require additional waterproofing over the years.
What's the best material for a boat cover?
Polyester is the preferred material for boat covers. It may fade a little over time but it’s also long lasting, tough, resilient. It repels water and will withstand UV radiation. The problem with polyester though is that it’s not breathable, but many manufacturers have found ways around this issue to come up with excellent products, for instance an acrylic-coated polyester.
How long should a boat cover last?
As a guide, a good quality cover should last about 5-6 years but it really depends to a fair extent on where you live and how harsh the conditions where you house your boat. Your might get a bit longer. If your boat is stored outside avoid mildew problems by making sure the cover can breath.
Do I have to cover my boat?
Yes, if you want to protect your investment. Sun and rain fade the color and seats etc.
The best cover will have a snug fit. A good fit will keep vermin, debris and water out of the boat.
How do I stop the cover sagging?
If you have a good frame or support system under the boat cover it will go a long way to stop water pooling (or collecting) in low points. Even if your cover is a nice firm fit, the fabric can relax where a little water collects and you’ll get a low point.
Make sure the boat is completely dry before putting on the cover
What's a bimini top?
A bimini top is a cover that provides comfort to you when out boating. It’s open so although it provides shade from the sun you’ll still be exposed to wind and rain. It’s supported by a metal frame.