Indoor storage is ideal, but not always an option. If your boat’s being stored outdoors, it will need covering that protects it from weather and vandals.
Which Boat Cover is Best?
The answer to that will depend on where you live and how extreme the weather gets in winter. If you live in a really cold climate then a regular canvas cover might not be sufficient.
Whether you’re covering the cockpit, the deck or the whole boat, it’s important to use waterproof boat covers that breathe. Mildew and UV-resistant materials are a good choice and, where possible, allow for vents or some airflow underneath to reduce the likelihood of mould and mildew.
- Acrylic covers look good and last for years without deterioration.
- Coated polyesters are easy to clean, long-lasting and tough, but not always flexible.
- Shrink-wrapping is an effective but rather more expensive form of custom boat cover as it has to be installed by professionals and can’t be reused. Zippered doors can be added if you are likely to want access.
- The least expensive way to cover your boat for winter is to build a frame and cover it with plastic tarpaulin tied down with ropes attached to the trailer. It will allow air to flow around the boat, but take care the tarp is securely fastened so that it doesn’t flap loose or chafe the boat.
Before you cover up the boat, give it a thorough clean as saltwater and rust can do plenty of damage if left over a few months. Take a look at our 10-point checklist to make sure you’ve done everything necessary to ensure it gets a good winter’s rest.
If you’re concerned about the cover scratching part of the boat, layer it first with old blankets before tying down the cover.
However you choose to cover your boat for winter, make sure it has plenty of ventilation. Open deck hatches, leave cabinet doors and drawers ajar and throw the covers off on a sunny day to let it air out completely while you do some maintenance work in preparation for next season’s boating.
Now you have your boat covered up for winter you might want to know about keeping it safe.