outdoor storage cover for boat

5 Best Boat Covers for Winter 2018

The boat cover you choose to keep your boat in good condition during the winter season is an important decision. Due to the difficult winter environments, a boat can suffer and without adequate protection, the boat will have a reduced lifespan.

Just placing any old plastic over the boat is not ideal, there are several properties of a well design boat cover. Finding the best boat cover for outdoor storage can be a small cost that will increase the longevity of your pride and joy.

Best Boat Cover for Outdoor Storage

Boat CoverSizesOur Rating
Lunex RS-217-24 Feet4.9
Brightent 600D14-22 Feet4.7
MSC 600D14-24 Feet4.8
Newport Vessels8-13 Feet4.9
Budge 60016-26 Feet4.8

Not only will a boat cover be essential for long term storage but also for mooring and whilst being towed down the highway. The majority of trailer users will be towing their boat at speeds between 50 and 80 mph (at a push).

This means, the material must be heavy duty and not rip the material en route to your destination. All the boat covers recommended below have straps and buckles that allow you to tie the cover neatly around the boat. This has the result of reduced noise and the irritating “flapping” from the wind and travelling speed.

Protecting your boat during the harsh winter months with poor weather conditions is critical. Below is a list of the best boat covers for outdoor storage that will ensure the boat is fully protected.

Classic Accessories Lunex RS-2

The Classic Accessories Lunex RS-2 is one of the best boat cover that they produce. It is a heavy duty marine grade cover that has been designed for high protection in storage and high speed travelling whilst being towed.

Using an extra strength ripstop fabric for durability on the side panels and then Lunex fabric for the top panel to protect against UV and mildew, it is the ultimate package.

With most cheaper boat covers, there is no supporting pole included. With the Lunex RS2, there is one included which prevent water building up in the middle of the cover. This helps preserve the cover against unnecessary damage.

The boat cover is also clever because it has air vents with built in stiffeners to reduce wind pressure and allows moisture inside of the boat to escape.

The elastic cord and multiple cover sizes means that you are able to get a tight fit on a range of boat sizes and buckle it down using the buckle and strap system.

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Brightent Boat Cover Heavy Duty 600D

Brand Brightent have developed an impressive boat cover for a range of sizes that is woven by 600D polyester material. It is a marine graded PU Coated material that holds impressive water proofing and sun protection properties.

The boat cover has an 18 meter extra belt that enables you to further tighten the cover from the front to the rear of the boat. There are three sizes available that cover from 14 to 22 feet in length.

For a more slick fit on the boat, there is an elastic bottom hem that provides the flexibility to pull over the edge of the boat. This doesn’t mean that the cover is not as strong because it is actually double stitched. For the times when you are on the boat, there is a plastic bag made from the same material to store the cover.

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MSC Heavy Duty 600D Boat Cover

The MSC Heavy Duty 600D boat cover has 6 sizes to choose from as well as a range of colors. Personally I prefer the darker color boat covers as the winter weathers can cause heavy dirt to appear which can be seen in detail on the lighter colors.

The boat cover itself is made from a marine graded polyester canvas with a double PU coating. It is fairly heavy duty and is designed for long term storage, mooring and highway travel whilst being towed.

The material used in the cover is resistant to both mildew and UV sun rays and will not shrink or stretch from high usage. It also include adjustable straps with elastic cords integrated within the bottom hem to provide a tight fit.

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Inflatable Rib Boat Cover Newport Vessels UV Resistant


An inflatable rib dinghy will require a different design to most boats and the Newport Vessels is the one to go for. If you are looking for a cheap boat cover, you want to ensure it holds all the properties that will protect your boat. This cover is a heavy duty 600D polyester material that has high UV resistant properties.

To allow for ventilation with the boat cover, the bottom of the hem is elastic with a buckle and strap to tighten the cover to the shape of the boat. You can rest assure that this boat cover will serve you well for years to come. I actually own this exact cover and have used it with my Avon rib without problems for over 6 years.

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T-Top Boats Boat Cover Budge 600

The Budge 600 Denier Boat Cover is ideal for T-Top/Hard Top boats requiring protection. Available in two colors (blue or grey) and available in five different sizes (from 14 to 26 feet), it can be made to fit a variety of different T-Top boats.

Made from a 600 denier polyester canvas, it is fully water proof and will protect against bird droppings, UV rays, rain and more. Most T-Top boats will have expensive upholstery and the UV protection from this boat cover is top of the range. This will help protect the boat furniture against fading and other defects.

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Why Do You Need A Boat Cover?

The practice of placing covers during winter started back in the days when ships were still made of wood. Dry rot problems resulting from the fresh water caused many owners to protect their investments by covering their ships. Today, boats are made of fiber glass and other materials that don’t allow for this problem to manifest.

The reason that people still should cover their boats, is because certain parts can still be damaged. A cover is needed to cover certain areas of the boat in order to increase its usage. The winter months can cause havoc on non-weather proofed items. This short-term damage can lower the value and beauty of the boat if measures aren’t taken to avoid this problem.

Some think that the source of the damage caused to boats comes from the interaction of water and ice, but that is not the case. Fiberglass is resilient to water and ice and can’t be damaged because of the elements in the winter. The real culprit is actually the ultraviolet light that comes from the sun. The fiberglass that comprises the boat, becomes weak in its consistency because the glue that keeps it together starts to lose cohesion.

The damage for boats can actually happen in the summer. It isn’t even the winter that kills boats, it happens at times when there are large amounts of sunlight. Large amounts of sunlight carry more ultraviolet rays towards your boat and can break down the fiberglass even quicker.

Don’t think that winter conditions are not going to destroy your boat if you don’t cover it. Covering your boat still, helps to avoid other problems associated with water and ice.

An example how water and ice can damage a boat more than sunlight is if the water gets caught in a location of the boat where it can’t drain off. When the winter months arrive, the water that is still deep in the boat’s pipes or in other vulnerable locations.

The water that is caught will turn to ice and expand, causing damage that will need to be repaired.

The conclusion considering wither to cover or not should seem simple. Covering your boat helps to protect you from many different types of variables that sometimes can’t be calculated.

The cover gives your boat a layer of needed protection to safeguard against damage and depreciation. Your ship needs to be covered all year round to help against ultraviolet light and its effects on the fiberglass. A cover also protects against winter events such as water and ice that can cause intermittent damage to the boat.

Correct Way To Cover Your Boat During Winter

Covering your boat is the first step to stop some of the problems associated with water and ultraviolet repairs. Many times, people will cover their boats but may find that there is still damage that is done to parts of the ship.

Going through the effort of covering your boat is bad enough, but to cover the boat and to then discover that the work has been done for nothing. This can be very frustrating, that is why it is best to know what constitutes the correct way to cover a boat.

Make sure that the job is not sloppy and is done accurately to guarantee that all areas of the boat are covered. Taking care of your boat should not be considered a rushed process, it is something that shows the responsibility of how much you care for your boat.

Build a tight seal for the cover so that the boat will not be contaminated by the environment outside. The process can be done with a canvas or a plastic tarp to avoid the expense of paying someone to do the project. Make sure that the tarp or canvas can never collect snow or water on itself by having a frame that will give it support.

The supports for boats are traditionally made out of wood. Having wood frameworks for your cover do carry some problems that need to be resolved. One problem is that wood frames are very unstable and may not be strong enough to handle the wind and other issues that can happen. Manufacturing wood frames takes up a lot of time. Wood frames are also very expensive and they may not fit into your budget.

Some companies have developed other means to alleviate the problem with wood frameworks. These companies have introduced clamps which give the boat owner the ability to custom build a frame from steel electrical conduit.

These types of frames can easily break down for storage multiple times throughout the year. Another material that can also be used to construct a framework is a plastic pipe.

The cover should be secure and free from the wind pulling it apart. Make sure that the cover doesn’t have any flaps as this can cause the cover to break down faster.

The movement of the cover in the wind can also cause the surface of the fiberglass to become scratched or even worn out through to the gel coating. The wind can make the brass grommets effective destroyers of the gel coating on the fiberglass.

Guarantee that the correct steps are followed to ensure that the cover is set right on the boat. Using these small steps will keep your boat looking and living longer.

winter boat cover speed boat

Best Type Of Boat Cover

Choosing the best boat cover can be through a mixture of factors from size to the price you are willing to pay. There are many recommended covers for boats that are great but some do not provide adequete protection for the winter season. However, if like myself, you have your boat in a garage (indoors) a heavy duty cover may not even be required.

Canvas Covers

When choosing what type of cover to purchase or build your boat, remember that plastic tarps are less expensive than canvas. The most expensive type of cover is a custom-fitted canvas. Plastic tarps will always breakdown due to the wind and other elements from the weather.

Canvas is heavier and can withstand the wind when it blows upon the boat. Canvas tarps can help to avoid sun rot, chafe, and other problems that can happen to the boat. A fitted canvas lasts for a long time and doesn’t flap when it is in the wind.

This type of frame is costly, but it is known to be the most effective for protection from the elements. This type of frame can be rebuilt every year and can be stored with ease when it is time to use the boat again.

A canvas will cost less on repairs as it can be used multiple times, while the plastic tarp can’t be repaired and thus must be replaced when it is damaged.

Plastic Wrap Covers

The lower cost-effective way is shrink wrapping a boat. This process started when companies that manufactured boats started to use plastic materials to protect their inventory while being distributed to other locations.

This way of protecting boats was eventually incorporated by others as a service to offer to people who owned boats. Shrink wrap requires specific tools that allow a person to cover their boat, that’s why this service is usually a paid service. Once the plastic wrap has been applied to the boat, it is impossible to use again and must be reapplied to the boat every season.

This type of cover doesn’t flap in the wind, doesn’t cause chafe or scratches to wear down the fiberglass. The plastic wrap leaves the boat virtually spotless. The down side to plastic wrap covers is that you will have to replace the cover each season.

The best thing about using this sort of covering is that the boat will be as it was left when it was covered.

Ventilation is Important When Covering Your Boat

Covering your boat is a good way to ensure that it can be used for future seasons. When covering your boat and storing it, consider air flow throughout the boat to avoid things like mildew. Consider making sure that the boat has adequate air movement while it is covered. Make sure that the ventilators are ready and can move air about the cabin.

Our Thoughts on Boat Covers

We can see that there are many choices when trying to determine a cover to use, but overall, it is up to your personal perspective. Canvases are long lasting and are an easy and cost-effective repair for the winter and other months.

If you are looking for low costing effective way to cover your boat, then use the shrink wrap process. This will ensure that your boat will remain covered. It is low costing, but must be done each season and uses special equipment to complete the task.

Make sure to have a frame for your boat to give your covering support. Wood frameworks are expensive and unstable. An alternative to wood frames are clamps which can be used to build custom fitted coverings.

A fitted canvas is known to be the best type of covering because it fits tightly and is strong in the wind.

Consider what type of boat you possess and think about what would be the best way to protect your investment. Not all covers are going to operate the same, but when you discover what type of covering is going to be on your boat, remember to think about what would be best for your budget and your boat.

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One thought on “5 Best Boat Covers for Winter 2018

  1. I’ve been needing to get a canvas trailer cover for our boat, and I think that having some tips on how to do so would be really helpful for me! You talked about being able to make sure that you don’t do a sloppy job and have all of your hard work rigging up the trailer cover go to waste. I’m going to have to be very careful when we get our cover, and be sure that its properly fixed and secure! Thank you!

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