Choose wisely and know how to look after it
When buying a boat cover, it's essential to avoid common mistakes to ensure you get a cover that effectively protects your boat and meets your needs. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
Incorrect Size: One of the most common mistakes is purchasing a boat cover that doesn't fit properly. Make sure to measure your boat accurately and choose a cover that matches the dimensions. A cover that is too small won't provide adequate protection, while one that is too large may allow water and debris to enter.
Ignoring the Type of Boat: Different boats have varying shapes and features, so it's crucial to choose a cover designed specifically for your type of boat. A cover designed for a fishing boat may not fit a sailboat or a pontoon boat properly.
Overlooking Material Quality: The material of the boat cover is crucial for its durability and effectiveness. Choose a cover made from high-quality, marine-grade fabric that is resistant to UV rays, mildew, and water. Inferior materials can degrade quickly, leading to insufficient protection.
Not Considering Trailering Needs: If you plan to trailer your boat with the cover on, make sure to select a cover specifically designed for trailering. These covers typically have additional features like reinforced seams, tie-down straps, and buckles to secure the cover during transportation.
Ignoring Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential to prevent mold and mildew growth under the cover. Look for covers with vents or choose a cover with a breathable fabric that allows air circulation. Covers without ventilation can trap moisture and lead to damage over time.
Not Checking Tie-Down Mechanisms: Ensure that the cover comes with strong and secure tie-down mechanisms. Straps or drawstrings should be adjustable and robust to keep the cover securely in place, especially during windy conditions.
Neglecting Support Systems: For larger boats or boats with unique shapes, consider additional support systems like poles or frames to prevent water pooling. A sagging cover can lead to water accumulation, potentially causing damage to your boat.
Assuming All Covers Are Waterproof: While many boat covers are water-resistant, not all are entirely waterproof. Understand the level of water resistance the cover provides and whether it suits your specific needs. Some boat covers are designed to be breathable and water-resistant rather than completely waterproof.
Improper Maintenance: Looking after your cover is the key to a long lasting boat cover. Regular cleaning, deep cleaning, stain removal and repairing any rips when you need to is all really important to give your cover the care it needs.
You should perform a monthly clean with a mild soapy solution, this will remove any dirt & debris. If the cover is heavily soiled you may need to deep clean it - this is in addition to the monthly clean and general maintenance.
Mildew is one of the most common problems you will get with your boat cover, remember you are in a marine environment , these are easy breeding grounds for mold and mildew. If you see mildew or mold building up it’s important to handle it as quickly as possible to prevent it from doing damage to your cover.
There are a few things you can do to prevent moisture from building up in the first place:
Ventilation - This allows any moisture that may become trapped beneath the cover to escape and gives protection to your boat.
Mildew resistant fabric - Get a cover that is made from really good fabric. Pay the extra for the quality, its worth it in the long run. If your cover is not cleaned properly , mildew can still thrive on dirt or other substances on the fabric, with good maintenance these marine fabrics will provide the highest level of mildew prevention.
Support for your boat cover - Water pooling is a big cause of mildew build up, we highly recommend using a pole for your boat cover that will keep water from pooling and help in preventing mildew. There is also a product called Hangtyte which you can use by attaching to the cover and hanging it. There are plenty of videos on it on Youtube.
Regular cleaning will prolong the life of your cover.