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Great Options In
Boat Covers



Choosing The Best Boat Cover:
The Fabric


Choosing a boat cover is not really that difficult. And whether you need a discount boat tarp for mooring or storage, or a custom boat cover that is trailerable, the small investment is well worth it.

If you are a boating enthusiast, adding a boat cover to your marine accessories list provides benefits that go far beyond simply keeping your favorite toy free of dirt and rain. The right covering also provides long-term protection against the effects of sun, pollution, and mildew.

When shopping for the best boat cover for your situation, there are two most important factors: fabric and fit.

First, you'll need to decide on the most suitable material. Then it's an easy step to find the best size and shape.

Boat Cover Fabrics

Although there are several variations, most of your options will fall into 3 main types of materials:

Cotton Canvas - Cotton canvas is usually the least expensive option, and provides good all-around protection in mild climates. Cotton is a natural fiber that is very breathable, but is not completely waterproof. Marine-grade 100% cotton, however, is specially treated to provide excellent water repellency, as well as mildew and rot resistance.

A canvas boat cover is an economical choice for boaters who want a combination of strength and air permeability. Seams and stress points are reinforced, and the fabric allows moisture to evaporate, helping to prevent mildew damage inside the boat.

Although canvas is most often used for mooring and long-term storage, the addition of tie-down strap system will make them suitable for highway towing. When faced with a choice of weave, a duck canvas has a tighter weave, and is therefore more durable than standard types. A good custom-fit boat cover, made of 100% canvas, will usually have a 2-3 year warranty.

Polyester - Polyester is one of the strongest materials, providing the greatest outdoor durability of almost any other boat cover fabric. Most premium custom-made boat covers are made of 100% polyester.

Polyester covers are found in varying weights, usually between 6-10 ozs. And there are premium covers that have a special coating of acrylic or urethane to add durability and water proofing. Warranties range from 3 to 7 years.

Not only is polyester as strong and durable as fabrics twice its weight, it is extremely water repellant. It is one of the most stain, rot, mildew, and UV resistant materials available to provide boat protection. Plus, it will not shrink or stretch like budget canvas.

Polyester is not as breathable as cotton, so it is best used in areas where humidity is not a concern. But its' durability makes it an excellent option for long exposure to sun and rain. And with outstanding tear strength and abrasion resistance, polyester makes the best boat cover for towing.

Poly/Cotton Blends - The Polyester/Cotton blend is an attempt to get the best features of both fabrics, by combining the strength and water repellency of polyester with the low price and breathability of canvas. A good balance is 50/50 or 605/40 polyester/cotton, but look for the highest percentage of polyester.

Despite the inclusion of more expensive polyester fabric, poly/cotton blends still make very economical boat covers. Yet they still hold up well under highway towing. So if you're looking for a compromise between budget and performance, poly/cotton is your best bet. Warranties are typically 3 years.

Where To Find Them

In our experience, the following sources provide the best prices and customer service.

Recommended Boat Cover Sources

HIghly recommended are the budget priced universal fit boat covers at JC Whitney


For More Information:

Boat Covers: A quick guide to the main choices in boat covers.

Sizing Your Boat Cover - Choosing universal or custom covers and tarps.



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