How to Choose Boat Covers: Protect Your Watercraft from the Elements, Animals and Insects

If you own a boat, you know how expensive its maintenance and upkeep can be. It’s an expensive investment but well worth the money. Not many things can replace the peace, serenity, and enjoyment you experience while sailing. But when winter comes, it’s imperative to protect the boat from snow, strong winds and storms, and chemicals to ensure it’s in perfect condition for the next season.

This is where the cover for boats comes into play. If you choose the right size and material, this protective gear will last for a long time.

What to Consider Before Buying

boat cover



The type of material used to create the boat cover is likely the most important factor you should consider. Naturally, a higher-grade material will last longer and make some high-quality boat covers as opposed to something on the cheaper side. If you don’t want any water in the boat, choose a waterproof material. But be careful, the cover needs to let out any trapped moisture underneath it too.

Waterproof materials are ideal for resisting water, while water-resistant ones need to have new water-resistant coatings applied every couple of years. The one downside is that waterproof materials don’t have the breathability factor. That’s why it may be better to get the water-resistant one coated every few years than have a rusted rail or peeling paint.


The climate you live in will have a significant impact on your ultimate boat cover decision. Choose a breathable material if you live in a region with a lot of sunny days and where it is hot and humid. By doing so, you’ll protect your boat from mould and mildew. However, breathable materials won’t work in colder areas. In this situation, you need to find something sturdy that can support snow piles without making any wear and tear.

Strength and Durability

You have to take the cover on and off a lot of time during the year. That’s why the material should be strong and light at the same time, so you can do the covering and uncovering with ease. It’s better if you choose a heavier material because they’re usually more durable. Lightweight materials are great for handling, but you might have to replace them often. Deciding which road you’ll take depends entirely on your personal preference and your budget.


This might seem like a simple choice, but the colour has a big impact on how the boat will look. When you go to the store, you’ll see a whole palette of colours, from dark, neutrals to bright tones. Buying a cover in light colour is a wise decision, especially if you live in a hot climate. Dark colours attract light and increase the heat underneath the cover. They also fade faster, and you’ll have a worn-out cover very fast.

Types of Boat Covers

cover boat


Travel Covers

The main goal of these boat covers is to protect your boat during transport. They easily glide at highway speeds while keeping your boat secure thanks to their cleaner design and reduced pitch. They’ll continue to shed water, but if you have pontoon coverings, the lower pitch might allow slight pooling. These covers are made from breathable materials to let out any moisture that’s trapped underneath.

Mooring Covers

These covers, usually referred to as “summer storage” covers, are created especially for boats that rest during the summer. During this period, the boat needs to be protected from, fishermen, heavy storms, and possible wildfire. So, if you plan to keep your boat at the dock, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality boat cover. These covers aren’t water-resistant and can wear and tear. That’s why you should never use them as travel covers. In addition to being breathable, they have vents to avoid any water damage.

Winter Storage Covers

Winter storage covers are designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions and protect your boat during the entire season. They have a much higher pitch than the others and are made of laminated material. This makes it simpler for snow and ice to slide off them. Their frame is incredibly strong and can endure heavy snowfall and severe winds.

Tie Down Covers

These are the traditional wraps. Tie-down coverings take longer to set up, but they are easier to use if you have any hand problems. You should only use the tie-down ropes. Don’t try to replace them with bungee cords. They won’t hold the cover in place and can damage the boat, as you might get scratches and holes. You should use tie-down covers only during transportation. They’re useless as mooring coverings because there is no trailer to fasten them to.

Snap On Covers

Compared to tie-down covers, snap covers are more practical. They’re very popular among boat owners because they’re easy to install and handle. If you still find them hard to set up, there are some instruments like grasp loops that can help you. J-clips and Stay-put fasteners are a couple more fastening systems you can use. Snap-on boat covers are suitable for anchoring, travelling, and summertime storage.

How to Measure Your Boat

To get the proper size of your boat there are two measurements you should take. First, start at the tip of the bow and go to the furthest point on the opposite side. Just remember not to go over the windshields. If there are some extra features and accessories you’d like to cover such as bow pulpits, the swim platform or the trolling engines, add some length.

The second one is to go to the widest part of the boat and measure from one side to the other. A good thing to remember is that the part with the windshield is usually the widest. Besides these two measurements, you should know what the boat’s hull style is. It can be a V-haul fishing boat, centre console, pro bass boat, Jon boat, etc.