How To Cover A Boat

Covering your boat is an important step in protecting it from the elements. A properly fitted boat cover can help prolong the life of your vessel and keep it looking great for years to come. In this article, you’ll learn how to choose the right cover, take accurate measurements, prepare the boat for covering, secure the cover, and maintain the cover. With a little effort and careful preparation, you’ll be able to keep your boat safe and secure all year round. Let’s get started!

Choose the Right Cover

With so many options available, it’s important to make sure you select the right protection for your watercraft – one that meets all your needs. Before you choose a cover for your boat, assess your needs: what type of weather and elements will it be exposed to? Consider if a heavier-duty fabric is needed if the boat is kept outdoors in harsher climates or environments. Additionally, consider the size of the boat and its shape to determine which material best suits it.

When choosing a material, research different fabrics and their respective benefits. For example, polyester provides good protection from UV exposure and mildew growth while canvas offers better durability against rain and wind than other fabrics like vinyl. Additionally, look into waterproofing treatments that can be applied to provide additional protection from moisture damage.

It’s also important to check out warranty information for covers before making a purchase – some manufacturers offer guarantees on workmanship or fabric quality for up to five years or more! Make sure you carefully read through any terms when selecting a cover so that you’re aware of any limitations or requirements should anything happen down the line.

Take Accurate Measurements

You can’t rush perfection! Taking precise measurements is the key to ensuring your project turns out exactly as you envision it. When selecting a boat cover, measuring accurately is essential for achieving the perfect fit and finding a compatible fabric that suits all of your needs. Make sure to measure both the length and width of your boat’s deck at its widest points, since these are the primary measurements to consider when selecting a cover. It’s also important to take into account any external items like ladders or bow railings that may have an effect on the sizing of your cover.

In addition, make sure you’re aware of any additional features you may need in order to accommodate other items on board such as antennas, exhaust tips, and vents. These should be taken into consideration when deciding which type of fabric and size will be best suited for your specific application. Furthermore, consider the location where you plan on storing or using your boat – if it will be stored outdoors in harsh weather conditions then having a durable fabric with reliable UV protection is essential; whereas if it will only see occasional use then an inexpensive lightweight material would suit just fine.

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Before purchasing any materials or starting work, always double check all dimensions against what has been provided by the manufacture – this way you can guarantee that everything fits perfectly before beginning construction!

Prepare the Boat for Covering

Now that you have the exact measurements for your project, it’s time to ready the boat for its new covering – and that means prepping it for a seamless fit. The first step is to clean the surface of the boat thoroughly with a mild detergent and water solution. This will remove dirt, debris, and any residue that might interfere with fitting the cover properly. It’s also important to inspect the surface of the boat for any damage or loose parts that need to be replaced before you cover it so as to not put further strain on the cover once applied.

The next step is to make sure all fittings meet size requirements and are in good condition before they’re covered up. Remove any exposed screws or other hardware from areas where you plan on laying down material so as not to tear or puncture it during installation. Also consider adding protective elements like felt pads or foam strips along areas where contact between hard surfaces may occur when using items such as oarlocks or cleats.

At this point, you’re almost ready to begin covering your boat – but first make sure everything is sufficiently dry before proceeding! Any moisture left behind could cause mold growth in enclosed areas which would lead to further damage down the line. Additionally, take extra care when handling materials since some covers can be quite delicate; treat them gently and avoid stretching them beyond their normal fit requirements if possible in order to protect their shape and longevity over time.

Secure the Cover

Having carefully prepped the vessel, it’s time to secure the protective layer and ensure a snug fit that won’t be easily disturbed. The most important factor in achieving this is selecting an appropriate fabric for your boat cover – one that is both durable and waterproof. Tie down straps are essential for anchoring the cover firmly in place; use a combination of buckles, clips, and straps to make sure it stays put even during strong winds or storms. It’s also a good idea to install grommets at strategic points along the edges of the cover so you can add ropes or bungee cords if needed.

Be sure to inspect each tie down strap before using it to ensure its strength and reliability prior to securing your boat’s cover. If possible, use two straps per corner instead of just one; doing so will provide extra reinforcement and help keep your cover securely attached over time. Additionally, take care not to overtighten any straps as this may cause excessive tension on the fabric which could lead to tearing or fraying.

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Finally, check all corners and edges of the fabric once you’ve secured them with tie downs; make sure there are no gaps between them that could allow water in when exposed to moisture from rain or snowfall. Once everything looks good and all ties are secure, then your boat should be well-protected from harsh weather conditions!

Maintain the Cover

Keeping your vessel safe from the elements requires regular maintenance of its protective layer, so check it often to make sure everything is tight and secure. Start by cleaning the cover with a soft brush and mild soap, paying attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or stained. Be careful not to use any harsh chemicals or abrasives on the cover, as this could damage its fabric and compromise its protecting qualities. You may need to replace old straps or clips, too; these should be checked for wear-and-tear regularly.

Storing the cover properly is also essential for maintaining protection. When not in use, fold it carefully and store in a dry environment away from direct sunlight. This will help prevent fading or shrinkage over time – both of which can reduce the cover’s effectiveness at keeping out water and other elements. If you’re storing it while trailing your boat, make sure you tie down any loose corners securely to avoid excess flapping in windy weather conditions.

You’ll want to inspect your boat’s protective covering every few months for signs of deterioration or damage that could affect how effectively it guards against bad weather and debris. Make repairs promptly if needed; otherwise your vessel won’t be completely shielded from potential harm during bouts of inclement weather or extended sailing trips!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of materials can be used to cover a boat?

When selecting materials to cover a boat, it is important to choose fabrics that are durable and can withstand the elements. Boat shape should also be taken into consideration when choosing fabrics; for example, curved surfaces may require stretchy fabrics or those with a bit of give in order to fit properly. A variety of materials such as vinyl, canvas, and synthetic fabrics can be used depending on the desired look and level of protection needed. Additionally, any fabric chosen should be water-resistant in order to protect against exposure to moisture.

How can I protect the boat cover from weather damage?

Protecting your boat cover from weather damage is an important step in maintaining its condition. To ensure maximum durability and protection, use a material with weatherproofing technology and UV protection. Look for materials that are treated to be water-resistant, as well as being able to withstand heat and cold temperatures. Additionally, make sure the boat cover is securely fastened so it doesn’t become loose or flap in the wind. Taking these steps will help keep your boat cover looking like new for many years to come.

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How do I know if the boat cover is the right size?

When purchasing a boat cover, it is important to make sure that the size is correct. To ensure this, measure the length and width of your boat from tip to stern, and bow to beam respectively. Additionally, consider any accessories such as towers or ski poles that may be attached when measuring. It is also important to take into account the type of cover needed for your particular boat; choose one designed specifically for boats with outboard motors, inboards/stern drives, or with a t-top. With these measurements and considerations in mind, you can confidently purchase a boat cover that fits your vessel perfectly!

What type of tools will I need to cover a boat?

You’ll need a few essential tools when it comes to covering your boat. To start, you’ll want to invest in a quality cover for your boat. It’s important to make sure the cover is the right size for your boat, as this will make installation and storing much easier. You should also consider purchasing bungee cords or straps that can be used to secure the cover around your boat. Finally, if you plan on keeping the cover on while storing your boat outside, it’s worth investing in a waterproof tarp that can be laid over the top of the cover for added protection from inclement weather. Following these installing tips and storing methods will help keep your boat covered and protected all year round.

How often should I inspect the boat cover?

Inspecting your boat cover is an important part of maintaining it. You should inspect it at least once a month, checking for any signs of wear and tear such as tears in the fabric or loose seams. Cleaning tips such as washing off dirt with a mild detergent can help keep the fabric looking new. To prevent further damage, you should also pay close attention to seam maintenance to ensure that they are still secure.


Now that you know how to cover a boat, it’s time to get out there and do the job. Make sure you have all the materials you need for the task and take precise measurements before securing the cover. With the right steps taken, your boat will be safe and protected from any weather or debris conditions. Remember to check on your cover regularly to make sure it is secure and clean of dirt or debris buildup. Taking care of your boat cover will ensure that it stays in great shape for years to come!

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