Given the harsh extremes in weather in recent years, the right boat cover for your watercraft is not a topic to shake a tailfeather at.
From biting snows of the North to the beating sun rays of the South, the correct covering to help protect your investment is needed, especially if your boat is moored or docked outdoors for an extended time.
This is the main reason you will need a proper boat cover- protection from the elements.
Harmful UV rays and driving thunderstorms may be the first things to come to your mind. Given your location and use of your craft, though, there are other issues to keep in mind.
Bow to stern, consider snow, dirt, road dust, leaves, tree sap, pollen, and bird-droppings as potential threats to the value of your boat.
The following guide will help you decide which boat cover will be best for your outdoor storage needs.
Top 5 Model Comparison Table
Best Boat Covers for Outdoor Storage Reviewed
Classic Accessories brand StormPro heavy-duty boat cover is made for center console type boats with no roof cover.
StormPro is made from durable, high strength 600D polyester fabric. It is free of Proposition 65 related harmful chemicals.
The tie-down assembly is a fully integrated strap-and-buckle type made ready for your boat trailer. It is ready for lengthy highway travel as well as extended periods of docking.
The StormPro boasts dual exhaust ports near the stern of the boat. This cuts down on pressure during highway travel, as well as allowing moisture to escape during times in dock.
A support pole is included to prevent water from pooling and extend the life of the cover. StormPro kit includes stuff sack storage bag, cover support pole, and trailering straps.
The Classic Accessories StormPro Heavy-Duty Center Console Boat Cover is available in five different sizes from 14’ to 24’. StormPro comes with a 5-year limited warranty as part of its package.
- Rugged 600D polyester make
- Dual ventilation is very appropriate
- The kit inclusion is nice
- 5-year warranty
- Some minor issues with sizing - make full use of the available sizing guide
The MSC Heavy Duty 600D Marine Grade boat cover is made from polyester canvas with a double coating of polyurethane for extra protection from water.
The 600D polyester is rugged and designed for long-term storage, mooring from the dock, and highway travel. The MSC is guaranteed from any stretching and shrinking that may come from daily use.
The MSC Heavy Duty Marine Grade comes in 6 models to choose from, for boats ranging in sizes 14' to 24' long. It will protect many hull types such as V-Hull, Tri-Hull, and Runabout Hulls.
The kit comes with the waterproof boat cover, carry-case, and adjustable straps with a quick-release clip and buckle.
MSC provides a 2-year limited warranty on its waterproof boat cover.
- Durable 600D polyester canvas make
- The double polyurethane coat is a nice touch
- 2-year warranty
- No ventilation for interior moisture
This is the same well-known Classic Accessories StormPro line, this version is made more specifically for smaller sized V-Hulled fishing and utility boats, around 12'-14' long with a beamwidth of up to 68".
Made from heavy-duty 600D polyester, it is designed with long periods of storage and highway travel in mind.
The StormPro for V-Hulls also features the fully integrated, easy-to-use strap and buckle tie-downs for quick attachment to your boat trailer.
The StormPro features an elastic band sewn in at the perimeter for a more secure fit. Dual air vents at stern reduce interior moisture and ballooning.
The StormPro V-Hull kit also includes the 600D polyester boat cover, carry-all bag, trailer ready tie-down straps, and cover support pole. Classic Accessories also provides a 5-year limited warranty.
- Perfect for commonly used V-Hulled fishing boats
- Durable design
- Dual ventilation
- 5-year warranty.
- The plastic clips may become brittle under weather extremes but is covered under warranty
The Seamander Trailerable Runabout Boat Cover has a 600D marine-grade woven poly canvas make, with a double polyurethane coating on the inside.
The Seamander is well-stitched. It features double-stitched seams which interlock and marine-grade thread is used.
The Seamander Trailerable Runabout boat cover comes in 6 models to fit boat sizes from 14’ to 24’ long and has 5 colors to choose from.
Seamander provides fully integrated buckle clips for reliability in securing the cover to your boat trailer.
A durable shock cord at the edges maintains a more secure fit over your boat.
The Seamander boat cover kit includes the poly canvas cover, a mesh, anti-moisture storage bag, adjustable straps, and a 2-year limited warranty.
- Made of marine-grade poly canvas with double polyurethane coat
- Versatile sizing and model usage
- 2-year warranty.
- Boat cover support beam is recommended, but not included
The Budge B-1221 X-Series Boat Cover is made with 100% waterproof polyester with a whopping 1200D rating.
Budge also boasts excellent UV protection to keep the upholstery of your boat from fading due to extreme solar rays.
The Budge X-Series boat cover sports seams that are ultrasonically sealed, for greater protection from moisture. Air vents are also sewn in to prevent the spread of interior moisture, to stop harmful mold, mildew, and rust from spreading.
Budge X-Series has a secure design. It has elastic in the hem and integrated straps and buckles for ease and peace-of-mind in storage and towing.
It is designed to fit. Budge will work with Hard Top/ T-Top boats from sizes 16’ to 26’ long with beam widths up to 106”.
The cover comes in your choice of gray or blue and comes with integrated straps and buckles. There is a 7-year manufacturer's limited warranty.
- 1200D grade polyester provides for more protection from the elements
- Ventilation provided
- Works with larger sized boats and hardtops
- Some care must be taken with the straps
Choosing the Right Outdoor Boat Cover
There are a few things to consider before you make your choice of boat cover to purchase.
Just as there are many models and makes of watercraft, there are several different types of boat covers to keep in mind.
First and foremost, make sure you purchase the right size that fits your boat. Each of the products featured in this guide has very helpful guidelines for sizing for the boat cover at each respective link.
As a general rule, first, measure from bow to stern (front to back) to get your measurement in linear feet.
Next, to get your beam width measure from side to side at the widest point. Take note of it in inches.
Many manufacturers recommend choosing the next available size if your measurement falls on the maximum size for the model.
For example, if you are thinking about buying a 14’ – 16’ model and your boat is exactly 16’, choose a model higher. Though this is only a recommendation and not mandatory.
Don’t Deny Denier
The Denier (den-ee-er) Scale measures fiber thickness of filaments or threads used for making fabrics and textiles. You can think of it as a thread count for your boat cover.
The higher the Denier count, the thicker and more durable the product will be. Most decent boat covers will have a Denier count of 600D.
Think about how often your boat is stored outdoors. Do you often keep it moored from a dock or pier? What kind of climate is normal for your locale?
In general, you might want to consider purchasing a product with a higher Denier count if you live in an area prone to extremes in weather.
Speaking of climate, if you live in an area of high humidity or are docked over water frequently, do consider a boat cover with some type of ventilation.
As a boat owner who values your property, you know an ounce of prevention goes a long way, well, underway!
You know, too, that underestimating the forces of nature can be a costly mistake. Keep in mind that just general maintenance, let alone damage from sun, wind, and hail can be quite the pretty penny.
Hopefully, this guide has provided some helpful tips towards choosing the best boat cover for your outdoor needs.
Remember to do a proper measure beforehand and think about how much time your boat is exposed to the elements.
Whether the weather is on the water or at some point on the way there, a proper boat cover for your investment is worth its weight in parts and labor.