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Your boat engine has been serviced, but have you remembered to look at the cover that has to keep the rain, sea and sun at bay. Dave Palmer tells you how.
Now is the time to check your boat cover. Don't leave this very important part of boat maintenance until the boat is on it's mooring, because by then it will be too late. Boat upholstery despite common belief is not usually waterproof and three to four months of continual rain and sun will certainly cause it to deteriorate very rapidly. The cost of an interior trim refit can be very expensive. The boat electrical system may also be damaged if allowed to become wet. It's an important point to remember that rainwater is very corrosive.
We manufacture two types of cover. The one mostly used is the tonneau cover which fits at the screen and runs to the back of the boat covering the complete cockpit area. If the boat is to left on a floating mooring this is the best cover to use. It is easily fastened to the boat and has the added advantage of low wind resistance.
The second type is the full all-over cover which completely covers the boat from bow to stern. This type of cover is usually fastened to the boat with a tie cord and is almost impossible to put on the boat when on a floating mooring. It is however excellent for keeping your boat clean and dry on land and is also the best type of cover to leave on when towing. Whichever type of cover you choose they all have to be checked for tears in the fabric or missing stitches. If you can't do the repair yourself then contact us for a quote. Remember the old saying "A stitch in time saves nine".
While the cover is off the boat now is the time to give the fabric a good clean, this will help the water run off the cover. To do this use warm water and soap flakes, and rinse off with fresh water. As most modern boat cover fabrics are made from man made fibres DO NOT USE DETERGENTS. These will react with UV light to make your cover hard and brittle. This is really important on flexible window glass. If your cover is already suffering from fabric fatigue then get it replaced. Water inside the boat can do untold damage, and if your automatic bilge pump fails your boat may SINK .
We have noticed some adverts on the Internet claiming that boat covers should not be weatherproof as this could damage your boat. Their argument is that boats are waterproof. Anyone who has had to pay the bill for rotting upholstery, water damaged instrument panel, or a boat which has sunk due to the water pump failing will know that this is untrue. Although no cover can be guaranteed to be 100% waterproof in all conditions our covers will keep your precious boat protected against the elements. If you value your boat therefore, please buy a weatherproof cover and not a dust cover.
Next look at the fittings that hold the cover to the boat. If any are bent, broken or missing, replace them now, because when that force 10 gale is blowing, a missing fitting will mean the difference between the cover staying on the boat or it being blown away to Russia. A good tip is to smear all the fittings with Vaseline. This stops the fittings locking together and will also help to prevent corrosion due to electrolysis. Pay special attention to any bungee cord you may have holding the cover. If it has lost it's elasticity or looks simply worn out then change it. A metre can be purchased for less than a pound.
When all this has been carried out, you can now sit back with an easy conscience. The only thing to do now is to pray for good weather and get out on your boat whenever you can.
Full over cover