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Updated by Meagan Hollman on Mar 14, 2013
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5 Tips to Help Your Boat Cover Last

Boating season is probably your favorite time of year, and every time it ends you feel a little empty inside. Custom boat covers need to withstand the turmoil Utah winters can cause so you can have even more fun next year. Help your boat cover survive winter by following these useful tips.

1

Patch Up All Tears.

Patch Up All Tears.

If the canvas is torn, DO NOT use duct tape. The sticky glue is a hassle to get off (you’d have to bake it in the hot, hot, hot Utah sun for weeks or months until it turns to dust) and can completely ruin the boat cover’s fabric. For rips and tears, use a needle and marine grade thread to sew them up. Also replace rotted seams and threads.

2

Ban Vinyl Covers and Tarps.

Ban Vinyl Covers and Tarps.

If you’re painting your house, or have parked your boat under a sap dripping tree, DO NOT put a vinyl cover or tarp over your boat cover. The problem is that tarps don’t breathe; they trap moisture and allow mold and mildew to grow. This can irreversibly damage the fabric of your boat cover. Avoid this problem by moving your boat.

3

Brush Off the Snow.

Brush Off the Snow.

It can snow a lot during a Utah winter. Heavy snow can weigh down boat covers and cause damages. Don’t let snow build up more than three inches before brushing it off, and don’t let snow melt on the cover. If it does and then there’s a sudden cold spell, ice will form on the cover and may damage the fabric. Also, make sure boat cover is taut and thoroughly waterproof so it doesn’t collect puddles of water.

4

Hand Wash the Boat Cover.

Hand Wash the Boat Cover.

Machine washing boat covers might tear the fabric, so you should wash the cover by hand. First, brush off any dirt that might have collected. Use an old Utah pioneer trick: hang the cover over a clothes line and beat it with a broom. For a more modern approach, use compressed air, set no higher than 200 psi. Next, gently scrub the canvas with water, mild soap and a soft bristle brush. Rinse THOROUGHLY (you can use a pressure washer likewise set below 200 psi). Be sure that all the soap is rinsed before hanging it to dry.

5

Have Your Boat Cover Periodically Re-treated.

Have Your Boat Cover Periodically Re-treated.

Canvas boat covers are usually treated with acrylic coating which waterproofs the cover, making it mildew resistant, and protects it from UV exposure. Re-treating your boat cover every few years—or even annually—will increase its lifespan so you can keep the fun going for years to come.