A boat is an expensive investment so you want to do anything you can to keep it looking good and functioning properly for as long as possible. A boat cover will help to protect your boat from the elements when it is not being used. It will keep it clean and protect it from extreme weather, birds, dust, sun, wind, rain and hail.
The boat cover can be either custom or semi-custom fit. A custom fit is made from the exact measurements of your boat, and will be more expensive. A semi-custom fit is tailored to fit specific styles of boats, not the exact measurements of your particular boat. To get the measurements for the semi-custom fit cover measure the boat’s beam at the widest point, and the boat’s centerline length straight from the bow to the stern.
Cotton canvas boat covers will allow the best airflow and breathability, but it is the least durable, is not water resistant and can shrink and stretch. Polyester is not breathable, but it is strong, long-lasting, and water repellent. It is also resistant to rot, mildew and staining. It should not stretch or shrink. A combination of polyester and cotton will give you the best qualities of both fabrics.
The type of boat cover material you choose will depend upon the situation. For towing or trailering, the best choice is polyester or the poly/cotton blend. When you are transporting the boat, be sure the straps are very secure, and the fabric is tight so it does not blow around. A cotton canvas boat cover is a good choice for storage in a covered facility over winter or for extended periods of time. It works well indoors because it doesn’t need to provide protection from the elements, and it allows the air to flow. While polyester is not good for humid areas due to the lack of breathability, it is the best waterproof boat cover for long periods outdoors while exposed to sun, rain, and heavy wind.
Before you put the cover on be sure there is no standing water in the boat. If so, try to swab it out or let it evaporate, but do not put the cover on with the water still in there, especially if you are using a polyester cover. Once you ensure the boat is dry you can put on the cover. Be sure the cover fits tightly so no water, dirt, or animals can get into the boat. To keep water from puddling or pooling on the outside of the cover you can add support holes underneath the cover so it will be on a slope.
You may want to invest in more than one boat cover if you live in an area with changing seasons, or if you will be transporting it from location to location. It is a worthwhile purchase to help keep your boat in great condition. Be aware of the return policy in case your boat cover does not fit properly.