If you own a boat cover, you’ve likely been warned about the dangers of allowing water to collect on your cover but you may not know exactly how to prevent it. In this guide we’ll dive into the reasons water pooling occurs, the damage it can cause, and the best ways to prevent it and extend the life of your cover.
What causes water pooling on covers?
Most often, water pooling is the result of ill-fitting boat covers or improper support creating low points in the cover where water can collect. Any slack in the cover’s tension, extra material that can’t be pulled tight, or lack of support may cause water to pool rather than running off of the cover properly.
Why is water pooling harmful?
Although it may not seem like a huge threat, water pooling can cause significant damage to both your boat cover and your boat itself. The top concern is that the stagnant pools of water create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Not only can this cause damage and degradation to your cover, but exposure to mold and mildew can be harmful to your health as well. With these hazards in mind it’s important to prevent mold and mildew growth as much as possible. If you’re already experiencing growth from water pooling, be sure to clean your boat cover thoroughly to remove all traces.
Secondly, the weight of the water (8 pounds per gallon, to be precise) can strain the canvas material of the cover and either cause rips and tears to form in the canvas or cause the cover to slip off, dumping the collected water into your boat. Both of these options can lead to time-consuming and costly repairs which every boat owner would prefer to avoid.
How can I prevent water pooling?
Because water pooling can cause such significant damage, it’s important to protect your boat cover against it. In fact, preventing water pooling is one of the first things you should work toward as you think about maintaining your boat cover. There are a few ways you can go about this:
Choose a cover that fits you boat properly
Finding a boat cover that fits securely is the first and most important step to reduce areas where water can collect. To ensure the closest possible fit, Westland offers Exact Fit covers that are patterned to perfectly fit boat makes and models from a variety of manufacturers. If we don’t offer an Exact Fit cover for your make and model, we offer Select Fit covers that are designed to fit your boat style and are sized in 1 foot increments (versus larger increments in competitive covers to reduce unnecessary material.)
Tightly secure your boat cover
Allowing slack to remain in your cover’s material will inevitably cause water to pool. Slack can be reduced in a variety of ways, including ties down straps, suction cups, and support poles. To ensure a snug fit, Westland uses an unbreakable rope (instead of elastic found in competitive covers that can become stretched and strained over time) to secure the cover and offers tie down straps and suction cups that can be used with all of our boat covers.
Use proper reinforcement
Whether the high points in your cover are created by the boat’s components or by a boat cover support system, you’ll want to be sure your boat is properly reinforced at those points that are under tension.. While other covers might require additional reinforcement, Westland covers have sewn-in fuzzy reinforcement to protect your cover’s critical wear points.
Use a boat cover support system
Boats with components like center consoles and pedestal seats in the middle of the deck have built-in high points for their covers. However, if your boat doesn’t have those elements or if you need supplemental support you’ll need to consider a boat cover support system. These systems use support poles installed beneath the cover to create a tented effect and allow water to run off of the cover properly.
Get extra support with Hangtyte™
For boats with wakeboard towers or other overhead structures installed, the Hangtyte™ suspension system is the best solution for eliminating standing water. Designed by professional wakeboarder, Cobe Mikacich, this support system attaches to the cover and allows it to be pulled taught from the tower. Unlike traditional pole systems, the Hangtyte™ can be put up or taken down in only moments without ever crawling under the boat cover.
Need a boat cover?
Westland has over 45 years of experience manufacturing boat covers for 150 of the top boat manufacturers. With two fitment options and three premium fabrics to choose from, you’re sure to find the right covers to protect your boat for years to come.