How to Choose the Best Boat Cover
Posted: April 17, 2023
How to Choose the Best Boat Cover
You’ve found the perfect boat! Now, you need the right boat cover to keep it protected while on your way to the boat launch. Having a durable boat cover to protect your investment from the effects of harsh UV-rays, corrosive salt water, moisture and damaging winds is essential to keeping your vessel in tip-top shape. With so many sizes and styles to choose from, shopping for a boat cover can feel overwhelming, but after reading the helpful tips in this post, you will feel confident about purchasing the best boat cover for your needs.
Types of Boat Covers
When buying a cover for your boat, the first thing to consider is what the intended use will be. Several different boat tops and shades fall into the boat cover category. It’s important to note that in this post, we are talking about protective boat covers, more specifically the style used while trailering.
Storage vs. Trailering
Protective boat covers fall into two categories, boat covers for storage and boat covers for trailering. Both boat cover types protect your gelcoat from oxidation and fading and keep your brightwork from bleaching and cracking, however there are some key differences.
- Storage – Designed to be a little less snug, boat storage covers are great at keeping your boat protected while anchored at the dock or stored for the season. They offer great protection from the elements and provide the breathability needed to safeguard against mold and mildew.
- Trailering – Boat covers built to protect your boat during travel fit snuggly and have reinforcement in areas that are prone to high-wear. If you want your trailering cover to double as a storage cover, it will need to have excellent breathability.
What to Look for in a Boat Cover
Not all boat covers are created equal. Here are some things to look out for when deciding on the best boat cover for your needs.
- Durable Fabric – Your boat cover is only as good as the fabric it’s made from. The best boat covers are made with marine-grade canvas that balances breathability with water resistance, keeping water out while allowing trapped water vapor to escape. Tensile strength and abrasion resistance are also key performance indicators of a boat cover built to last the long haul. When choosing a boat cover, coated synthetics, such as acrylic-coated polyester, hit all the marks. UV-resistant and waterproof, a boat cover made with synthetic fabric will keep your vessel free of mold, mildew, sun damage and debris.
- Fastener Type – As we mentioned earlier, when shopping for a trailering boat cover, a snug fit is crucial. Boat covers that feature sewn-in elastic hems, strapping systems and buttons will provide you with the safest, most secure fit.
- Color – Boat covers come in a variety of colors to complement a wide range of boats. What color you choose is a matter of preference. However, when purchasing a dyed boat cover, it’s important to make sure it is made from solution-dyed polyester. Other solution-dyed fabrics can bleed, staining your upholstery and gelcoat.
- Universal vs. Semi-Custom – If you’re looking for a budget solution to protecting your boat, a universal boat cover might be for you. Inexpensive and generic, universal boat covers are a one-size-fits-all approach to boat covers. However, universal boat covers do not offer the same protection as other, more properly fitted covers. In comparison, semi-custom covers are designed to fit a variety of boat models that share the same hull style. While they come with a higher price tag, they offer much better protection for your boat.
The Best Boat Cover by Boat Type
Pontoon Boat Covers
Often referred to as playpen covers, pontoon boat covers are designed to fit over the entire deck area with the top down, making them slightly square in shape.
Center Console Boat Covers
Designed to fit a variety of center line and beam widths, center console boat covers protect not only the console, but also the helm seat, deck inboards and outboards.
Bass Boat Covers
Providing ample coverage for both inboard and outboard motors as well as curved glass windshields, these boat covers are a great option for closed-style models and low-profile cuddy cabins.
Ski & Wake Boat Covers
Fish, ski, and wake boat covers are made to accommodate walk-thru windshields and dual consoles. Boaters may want to use an adjustable support pole to prop up the cover in the center of the boat to prevent pooling while storing or mooring.
Jon Boat Covers
Made to protect both Jon and flat bottom boats, this style of boat cover fits open or closed bow style runabouts and low-profile cuddy cabins, protecting curved windshields, bench seats and extended swim platforms.
Jet Ski & PWC Covers
Boats aren’t the only vessels needing protection; your jet ski or personal watercraft (PWC) needs the same protection from the elements. This style of cover features the same great protection you find in a boat cover, just in a smaller size.
Sailboat covers come in a variety of styles such as mast down, mast up and no mast. Depending on your specific needs, you may want a cover featuring a sewn-in boom pocket or a tented cover to prevent pooling.
How to Measure Your Boat for a Cover
Now that you know what to look for in a boat cover, it's time to gather some key measurements so you can find the perfect-fitting cover. Keeping your tape measure horizontal to the ground, measure your boat’s center-line length and beam width. Do not measure over railings or windshields. This will affect the accuracy of your measurement.
- Center-Line Length – Start at the tip of the bow and measure to the farthest point of the stern.
- Beam Width – Measure from rail to rail on the widest part of the boat.
Taylor Made® Boat Covers
Taylor Made is known for setting the design standard in the marine industry. Every Taylor Made boat cover is made from marine-grade acrylic coated polyester that is resistant to mildew and UV rays and repels water. The four-ply seams and double folded hems add to the strength and fit of our durable covers for boats. With features such as sewn-in shock cords, cut to length straps and integrated ventilation, you can protect your boat with confidence.