While they may seem like a simple piece of fabric that you lay over the top of your boat, boat covers are far more important than you may imagine. Many boaters will simply buy the cheapest cover that they can find online, but that is not the right way to go. We know that you are not looking for an in-depth dive into boat covers, so here are the essentials of what you need to know about boat covers and how you find the perfect one.
Boat Covers Keep Out A Lot More Than Just Dust and Leaves!
How bad can a little bit of water, sun, or dust be for my boat? After all, isn’t that what boats are designed to withstand? If you have ever caught yourself thinking along these lines, you’re not alone, but consider the following.
- Sun damage will eventually result in faded and cracked seats. The cost of re-upholstery will likely be a lot more than a good cover, which will extend the life of your seats.
- Even though boats are designed for the salty seas, salt spray clings and corrodes, which is why rinsing after every trip is common practice in the yachting world. If you store your boat anywhere near the ocean, a cover will provide protection from salt spray when your boat is not in use, especially during storms.
- Did you know that there are carbohydrates in the insulation of the cables (which is sweet) and that rodents really like it? Damage from animals (e.g. rats chewing through cables, seats, etc.) can severely damage your vessel. A good marine grade cover that fits well can help remedy this too.
- Leaves falling into a boat might seem innocent enough at first. However, besides being a pain to clean out every time, leaves rot and encourage the spread of mold and mildew. Nearby trees can also drip sap into the boat that is sticky, damaging and hard to clean.
- Another unpleasant gift from above to consider is bird droppings. Who wants to ruin the start of a fun day boating, by cleaning up what the birds left behind first?
Cheap Does Not Mean Quality
It is undoubtedly tempting to purchase a cheaper cover rather than do research into something that seems inconsequential. However, buying an improper cover could be as bad as not buying one at all. The key word to remember when selecting a cover is ‘snug.’ You want a cover that fits snug over the top of your boat. It is also important to understand the fabric that is being used. Most boaters recommend that you purchase a cover that is UV resistant, waterproof, and mold/mildew resistant. Choosing to spend a bit extra at the beginning can save you thousands in the long run.
Tight, But Not TOO Tight
Buying a tight-fitting cover is a necessity. You must ask yourself; “How tight is too tight?” Experts say that while a boat cover should be tight to keep out water and debris, it is imperative to allow some room for air flow. Moisture needs to be able to escape and ‘air out’ your boat. Failing to do so could create destructive mold that will cost thousands to properly rid from your boat.
Buy Your Boat Cover ASAP
There is no time to waste when purchasing your cover. Ideally, you will purchase the cover within 1-3 days of purchasing your boat. You should never allow for more than a week to pass without a cover, as it takes surprisingly fast for mildew and mold to start appearing.
Just Because It’s In Storage, Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe
Boat covers should remain on your boat at all times when it is not in use. While it may seem ‘okay’ to store your boat in a garage or driveway with no cover, it is doing far more harm than good. A cover serves an important purpose for keeping out everything from mold and mildew to small and large animals and debris from spoiling your interior.
Boat Covers Do Not Create Condensation
We are not sure where this myth was created, but is definitely false. Condensation can prove hazardous to your boat and the covers are created as to not cause any form of condensation. A boat cover simply traps the surrounding environment. If you put your boat in storage completely dry, it will stay completely dry.
Any boat owner knows that maintenance is the key to a long and happy boating life. However, do not let the seemingly larger issues such as engine upkeep and appearance let you forget about how your boat is maintained when it is not on the open water. Just like boat covers, boat lifts protect your vessel when not in use. For any questions about boat lift installation and repair, IMM Quality Boat Lifts is happy to help.