Many newbies to boating like you may be wondering whether you should put on your boat covers when you tow your babies to your intended location or not. It can be pretty confusing, especially when you see different kinds of boats in launching sites “dressed” and “undressed” in varying scenarios.
Some seasoned boaters haul with the cover on, whereas others don’t bother with it. What is the real score when it comes to hauling your boat?
So, do you pull your boat with the cover on or off? Many boating enthusiasts may choose to take the boating cover off to avoid a “dock rash” or marks on the boat due to rubbing while in transit. Paint has been known to rub off the edges of the gunwales due to the friction from the canvas and the wind.
On the other hand, more boating veterans prefer to put the cover on, especially if they’re traveling long distances in order to improve mileage and to keep their boats protected.
It is critical for you to take note that there is no set right or wrong answer when it comes to putting on or putting off a boat cover. It all boils down to a matter of preference and the destination you’re headed to. Each choice has its own corresponding pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each of them below.
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Hazards of Towing with The Cover Off
There are boating enthusiasts who will tell you to save yourself the headache and a lot of potential trouble by never leaving without your boating cover on. There are many potential problems that you may have to deal with if you choose to travel without a boating cover. Consider the following scenarios:
● Rain and Road Grime
If you’re going on a particularly faraway fishing destination, towing without the cover will guarantee that you will arrive at your boating destination with a lot of road grime. Towing your boat through the rain will soak up everything inside, making your foams soaking, your carpet damp, and your gear wet. Wet and humid foams and carpets mean they are merely prone to getting molds, so you have to work double-time to dry them all up if you choose to tow without a cover.
● Susceptibility to Damage
All the things inside your boat may also be susceptible to wind damage, especially if you’re going at high speeds through the interstate. If you happen to drive through gravel, think of all the possible nicks and dents on the side of the boat as the tiny bits of stones fly to mark or even dent the sides of your boat near the trailer tires. Some worst-case scenarios include a nicked windshield or even a completely blown out one.
● Extensive Cleaning and Maintenance
On top of this, protection from a boat cover doesn’t just apply to your boat. If you tow without the cover, don’t expect your fishing reels and all your other gear to last long. They will always be covered in dirt and grime once you get to your destination. All of these aren’t cheap either. If you tow without your boating cover, you have to put in more effort towards cleaning and maintenance, as apart from dirt, you can also attract bugs, flies, and other stuff that you don’t even want to imagine.
Protect from the Harsh Elements with a Boat Cover
The wrath of Mother Nature is the primary reason why many boating enthusiasts swear by their boat covers. The harsh rays of the sun, the strong gusts of winds, and even the rain can all wreak havoc on your boat while it is on transit. Your boat cover will block the UV rays, which can cause fading in both the exterior and interior. It protects from dents and scratches from falling twigs and branches.
However, some boating enthusiasts who are just driving to a short distance prefer to take their chances without this protective covering because they say that it is too cumbersome to put on. If the location where they will launch is short, doesn’t require high speeds, and doesn’t involve any gravel, then it doesn’t make sense to go through the hassle of putting the covers.
Improving Mileage with a Boat Cover
One of the primary considerations that many boaters always think of is improving gas mileage. This can be a pretty costly hobby, so it is totally fine to save where you can. Some people say that towing your boat without a cover is like “dragging a parachute,” which places a lot of drag on your motor vehicle.
As a result, your towing vehicle exerts more effort, compromising your fuel economy. You burn more gas and money. Imagine, with a boating cover, you improve your car’s performance and get better mileage. If you get 10 miles more per gallon with your boating cover, then you can have more money to spare to buy more tackle.
Prevent “Dock Rash” with the Right Fitting Cover
Those who choose to take their chances without a cover, often do so because of the unsightly marks made by the cover onto the surface of the boat. Wind can make the cover move, especially at high speeds, which cause rubbing and friction. This can make scratches and even peel off paint. At high speeds, straps and bungee cords may end up getting loose along the way, and these may also beat on the sides of the boat, causing damage.
However, it is critical to note that all these concerns can be easily addressed and prevented by finding a well-fitting cover. A good custom cover can deter wind from becoming trapped inside, preventing the cover from flapping around to make the unsightly marks. Those covers that fit right will also allow the right amount of air to circulate so that moisture can escape keeping the interior dry, which prevents the formation of mold and mildew.
A custom snap-on cover with a nice drawstring that can cinch sides will ensure a proper fit that will not balloon and flap around, causing your boat damage. Moreover, you have to make sure that the material of the cover is high quality, so it will be durable, and it won’t scratch your boat’s surface. There are covers with special softer liners on the inside to ensure that there are no scratches on your boat whatsoever.
It is crucial to take note, though, that a custom cover will cost you a couple of hundred dollars to more than a thousand. But fret not, for they last for a long time, making them a good investment.
What to look for in boat cover?
Protecting your boat with a good quality cover that has the right fit will make your boat last for many years. Look for sewn and not glued reinforcement panels because the latter will get undone more easily, especially in high-stress areas where the cover meets the windshield or the support poles. Look for acrylic fabrics and even polyester, which breath better, resist the harsh elements of natures with ease, and handle high speeds. Avoid cheaper covers that are made of cotton and other flimsy fabrics because those are not durable. They cannot stand the heat of the sun and will tend to form mildew at a faster rate.
How do I clean my boat cover?
If you already own a great custom cover, then all you will really need is an occasional cleaning to keep things spic and span. A mild soap or even your regular dishwashing detergent will work for this cover. Just apply the cleaning agent gently on the surface with a soft sponge, and then wash away with your garden hose.