Guest Blog: Cover Up! Choosing the Right Boat Cove
So, what are you havin'? Semi-custom or custom? Polyester, acrylic-coated
polyester or poly/cotton blend? What'll it be?
When choosing a boat cover for your boat (You ARE planning on covering your boat aren't you?), the two main considerations are fit and fabric (material). So how do you decide which boat cover is right for your boat?
First, let's start with fit. Boat covers come in three fit options: universal, semi-custom and custom. Sometimes referred to as shower cap boat covers, universal covers are best suited for boats that
need protection from the elements only while mooring or in storage. A looser, non-form-fitting cover (can you say tarp), they are designed to protect a wide range of boat shapes and sizes, and are typically the least expensive option.
If you plan to trailer, store or moor your boat, semi-custom boat covers are a good choice. Designed to fit a wide variety of boats with similar styles, shapes and characteristics (bass boats, deck boats, runabouts, tournament ski boats), semi-custom covers have a moderate fit, with additional material to accommodate accessories or small size differences between makes and models. While the fit is not as precise as a custom boat cover, they are usually more affordable.
Custom covers are designed for the specific year, make and model of your boat. They provide the best fit, but you'll pay more for it. A custom cover will accommodate the boat's size, shape, and options, with a variety of reinforcements. Again, if you plan on trailering, storing, or mooring your boat, a custom cover is a great choice.
Next, the cover material you choose is an important consideration. Depending on the weather in your neck of the woods, the right fabric can make the difference between a cover that protects your boat for years and one that comes undone like Shaq at the free throw line.
Live in a sunny climate? You'll need a cover material with good UV protection. Things tend to get a little humid? You'll want a cover made from a breathable, mildew resistant fabric. If you've set up shop in an area that gets heavy rainfall, or your boat sits under snow, your primary concern will be the cover's strength, weight and resistance to penetrating water. And while no material will meet every need in all scenarios of weather, care and use, you should be able to choose one that meets most of your needs.
Poly/cotton boat covers, like Double Duck, will do the trick if your boat is stored in a covered facility out of adverse weather conditions. Providing good breathability, these covers are not recommended for wet areas, but they will give you some UV protection.
An acrylic-coated polyester cover, like Sharkskin Plus will give you increased UV resistance, plus a big boost in water repellency. The most popular material for semi-custom boat covers due to their high general durability, not to mention their modest price, they are best suited for cool, dry climates.
They're strong! They're durable! They won't stretch or shrink! Polyester
semi-custom boat covers, like Performance Polyguard, are one hundred percent polyester, provide very good water resistance and offer a fair amount of UV protection. But wait! There's also a moderate level of breathability thrown in for good measure! Perfect for cool/moist and cool/dry weather.
Let's say you're planning on going all in and springing for a custom fit cover. Well, if you've come this far, you're going to want an acrylic boat cover like Sunbrella. One hundred percent marine-grade acrylic allows the fabric to be not only water-resistant, but breathable, while producing above average strength. And of course, with a name like SUN-brella, the UV resistance is top notch, natch! Great for multiple adverse weather conditions.
So protect your investment. A boat cover is a smart, inexpensive insurance policy for your boat. With all the available options, you're sure to find the one that suits your needs.
Lee Hammerschmidt is an outdoors blogger for "Savvyboater" //www.savvyboater.com/ which sells "boat seats, boat propellers, boat fenders and buoys, and other boating supplies. Check out other blog posts at //blog.savvyboater.com