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Thread: Boat Cover

  1. #1

    Default Boat Cover

    We were planning to purchase a snap on boat cover with the boat at the dealer. The price is $795. I am reconsidering this. We had a vinyl cover on a different boat and the snaps came off the boat itself. Now considering a tie down cover for half that price. We have one of these on our current speedboat from Walmart and has done a good job for the money. Our boat will be stored in the backyard and eventually will get a metal cover in the near future.

    What's your experience with the cover you own? How long has it lasted?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Denver, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,467

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    Get the cover that's made for the boat. If you lube the snaps with a candle, they'll be fine for a long time. Our cover is 9 years old and still has all the snaps.
    Carl & Suzi
    Denver,NC
    2007 Bennington 2275rl tri-toon
    150 Honda 15x15p Enertia
    Power assisted steering
    Beautiful Lake Norman
    Pleiku Vietnam 1971
    Agent Orange

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Preston, CT
    Posts
    1,247

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    I have a tie-down "fix-all" cover that I absolutely hate! It flaps terribly while on the road, beats up the boat and got badly ripped on its first trip.

    Get a fitted cover with secure closures. There are different types of closures that you can get, snaps are the most common, but there are also twist-lock or "common sense fasteners. You may have to go to a custom shop to get the twist-locks version.
    Dan & Denise, Preston CT

    2009 22 1/2' Hand-Crafted Tri-Hull Wooden Pontoon
    "All Spruced Up"

    1985 90 HP Evinrude 2-Stroke
    2008 Chevy Silverado LTZ Crew Cab
    2005 Boat Wheels Aluminum Trailer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,238

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    Covers are one thing on boats where you don't want to pinch pennies. Get the facfory cover or a custom made one, it will last longer and protect your brand new boat much better than a discount one.

    The factory or custom cover under a $1000 carport would give your new boat proper protection for many years.
    2006 Forester 19 Fish (new deck and carpet, Pontoonstuff interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 50 ELPT4S
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper (complete rebuild from hull up, 2014)
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colonial Heights, Va.
    Posts
    701

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    I stand in firm agreement with the other comments posted above. That being said, when I bought my first pontoon, used and with no cover, I bought a semi-custom fit cover from my favorite local dealer. I think it was a TaylorMade Sunbrella cover that was very nice. It afforded protection down the sides almost to the pontoons. But putting it on, now that's another story. I had to string a support system to drape the cover over and then had to reach under the pontoons to secure straps( 22 I think on a 19' boat ) to the trailer frame. And there was no zippered section to allow you to get under the cover if the need arose. A custom fit "playpen cover" is so much more convenient and I have trailered mine several times with the cover on and do not see any damage (once for 300 miles). And I know that Overton's, and I'm sure others, sell a lubricant in a tube that is specifically meant for the snaps and zippers, which you will need for your bimini and changing room enclosure, probably. And while you're spending money, I strongly suggest a transom saver to prop the motor up without putting lots of stress on the transom and the motor bracket. I bought what I consider to be one of the best available and if memory serves me correctly it cost between 50-75 dollars. Another item to consider is a good anchor. After trying several types unsuccessfully, I stumbled upon a box anchor. I don't think the boat has slipped anchor since. And you do not need to use nearly as much anchor rode, or rope. Speaking of ropes, I find that a dock line of about 25' on each end of the boat eliminates a lot of doubt about controlling both ends of the boat at the dock. Add a couple, I use 3, fenders to keep the pontoons off the dock and avoid all those dings that you saw and didn't like on some of the used boats you saw. And when you dent a pontoon on your own boat, well, it's then yours.

    The box anchor is actually called a slide anchor and can be researched at www.slideanchor.com. It's expensive, but it works!
    Last edited by drive2boat; 02-21-2015 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Additional info
    2012 Berkshire 230 CL LTD w/Tap Fins
    2012 90 HP Mercury on 6" Z-Lock Jack Plate and Stingray Stabilizer Fin
    2013 Load Rite Elite Trailer
    Located in beautiful Sunny, Central Virginia

  6. #6

    Default

    I took a trip down to the dealer today and quickly felt a cover that was on one of the boats on the lot. It felt thin and cheap. I hope that is not what the dealer is selling. I hate snaps because it takes forever to put on and take off. I think more research is needed on my part. I want one that covers all the way down which includes the deck.

    Thank you for the mentioning a transom saver. We have to transport our boat for about an hour on the interstate to get to the lake. Checked out the link too. The anchor looks awesome! We have a river anchor and a couple of mushrooms. On a windy day, they don't hold very well so the box anchor may be something to try.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Last edited by LadyGT; 02-21-2015 at 08:56 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Southwestern, Ohio
    Posts
    862

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    The playpen cover that we purchased with our boat is still offering protection.
    The cover itself has lost one snap has a burn hole from an errant firework (neighbors) and has faded from the sun a little.
    We towed the boat with the cover installed from Ohio to Kentucky lake in Tennessee one year and also to Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania another time with no problems.
    The boat spent several seasons outside under cover, until we built a barn to store it in.
    Randy

    2003 Bennington 207FS 2003 60 HP Mercury Bigfoot 4S
    Tooning on Caesars Creek Lake in Beautiful Southwestern OH
    If you're not having fun...You're not trying hard enough!

  8. #8

    Default

    The bad thing about the manufacturer's cover is it does not go end to end or enclose all the carpeted areas. We get a lot of rain here in the South and the humidity is horrible for the majority of the year. Mold is prevalent on everything. If I could, I would store the boat in a garage. Snaps are hard for me as I get older and there are soo many with a playpen cover. How long will it take to put on and off? I know there pros and are pros with any cover. The current boat we have has a tie down cover. Just wondering how a tie down will work with a 'toon.
    Last edited by LadyGT; 02-23-2015 at 02:01 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colonial Heights, Va.
    Posts
    701

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    Check out www.taylormadeproducts.com. Make sure that you get a cover made of Sunbrella. It takes me about 20 minutes to install my playpen cover on a 23'7" pontoon. That includes loosening the front strap, removing the rear tie downs and transom saver and putting on the motor cover. It used to take about 30 minutes to install the tie down cover on a 19' boat and I was more worn out from having to reach under the pontoons to tie the ropes 22 times.You may be younger than I and it wouldn't bother you as much.
    Many playpen covers, mine included, cover all the way down in the front to the rub rail, covering all of the floor at the front. But my tie down cover covered below the floor level all the way around which was nice because it kept the side rails covered also. However, if you ever left the boat in the water, you would not be able to tie it down, unless you had some water hooks. As far as the snaps being difficult, Overton's sells a little tool that assists in snapping and unsnapping, which is not likely to be very difficult if you keep the snaps lubricated. And installing a playpen cover is easy if you snap the cover all the way around and then crawl up under the cover to install the poles because there is no pressure on the snaps as you are snapping them.
    2012 Berkshire 230 CL LTD w/Tap Fins
    2012 90 HP Mercury on 6" Z-Lock Jack Plate and Stingray Stabilizer Fin
    2013 Load Rite Elite Trailer
    Located in beautiful Sunny, Central Virginia

  10. #10

    Default

    I agree with your opinion of snap covers taking forever to put on. If your boat is going to be under roof and you don't need to cover it while trailering, a tie-down or stretchy cover is great. In this case, you're just using it to keep dust and dirt out. But if you need a cover to keep rain out, a snap-on is much better.
    =============
    Walter
    Harris Flotebote Sunliner
    Amite River Diversion
    Head of Island, LA

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