It’s time to store your boat, whether for the night or the season. And you have an important choice to make. More than size, style or color, the most important choice you make when storing or mooring your boat is the boat cover fabric.
To give your boat the best protection possible from the elements, and prolong the life of your cover, you’ll want to consider three things: location, location, location. Where you store your boat is the single most important factor in determining the proper fabric for your cover.
Savvy Boater offers easy-to-follow fabric comparison charts for two of the best boat cover brands, Carver and Westland Boat Covers. Here are five of the most important things you should consider:
1. Humidity: If you live in a hot, humid climate, say, Florida for example, you’ll be exposed to issues of mold and mildew. If you choose a boat cover fabric with low breathability, the combination of rain and sun will cause mildew to grow on your cover and possibly even in your boat’s interior. This is very bad news, as mold can be toxic. Our favorite fabric for humid environments is Carver SunDura.
2. Rain & Snow: If you store your boat outside, in a wet climate, the weight of rain and/or snow can accumulate and create pockets where water will collect, making your cover – and boat – vulnerable to damage, leakage and even mildew. You will want to choose a boat cover fabric that offers strength, water resistance and breathability. Our favorite fabric for wet environments is Carver SunDura.
3. Salt: Mooring your boat in salt water? That’s a whole other ball game. You’ll need a boat cover fabric made of 100% marine-grade acrylic, which offers extreme strength & durability and best resists the elements of salt and wind. Our favorite for salt is Sunbrella, and is offered by both Carver and Westland.
4. Towing: If you’ll be towing your boat under its cover, your main concern will be durability and tensile strength. But don’t forget the weather conditions. If you’ll be driving in sunny weather, you’ll want UV protection. If there is wet weather in the forecast, you’ll want a boat cover fabric that is water resistant. Try Westland Sharkskin Plus for towing.
5. Aesthetics: Fabric colors will eventually fade with time and exposure to the elements. The lighter color you choose, however, the more resistant it will be to fading, regardless of the type of fabric you use. You’ll want to stick with white, beige or gray to minimize fading.
Support Systems: If you’re storing your boat outside in wet weather conditions, consider adding supports to your cover. These “tented” systems allow water to drain off, rather than collect in pools, prolonging the life of your cover.
Find comprehensive charts to compare boat cover fabrics at Savvy Boater, marine accessories for all your boating needs.