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Thread: Boat cover or boat tarp

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
    Posts
    26,106

    Default Boat cover or boat tarp

    So the time has come to get a cover for my sail-n-oar 15' Lincolnville Salmon Wherry. When it is on the trailer ( currently in a barn ), I have the mast heel on a removable tabernacle at the bow and the top of the mast lies on the stern sheets ( so if you view the boat in profile, the mast heel is elevated above the bow by maybe 1', and then the mast inclines towards the rear, disappearing below the sheer towards the stern ).

    Thus, whatever cover I devise or buy has to cover the mast heel and provide rain proof coverage at the bow, because I can't use the barn forever and may have to store the boat outside ( and has to provide weather protection when I am actually towing ). My first instinct was to buy a large heavy-duty tarp, cut it down to size a bit ( to around 20' x 15' ), grommet the edges, and voila'.

    Or should I bite the bullet and get someone to fashion me a custom boat cover? Any leads on a boat cover fabricator in the Puget Sound region?

    Opinions, please.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    23,614

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I have a friend with a custom cover for his 50' ketch. I use a big tarp for my 50' sloop. $6K vs. $150.

    A custom cover is way better IMO, but the cost is steep. By using a heavy duty tarp, it lasts a Maine winter no problem & actually sheds snow a little better. Key is enough support. Your mast should do most of it, but you'll tant supports going forward from it as well as off to the sides.

    Surprisingly enough, I've found the FG tape/wrapping used in shrinkwrapping to do quite well: http://dr-shrink.com/shrink-wrap/str...ping-ds-50015/

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    1,515

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    I taught myself to sew well enough to cobble together several mooring covers for my small boats. I used a friend's very good but not industrial sewing machine. I used Sunbrella fabric that I purchased from Sail rite.

    If you want to go professional, Smart Canvas in Sequim, WA is very good. He's a small shop.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,372

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    This is the cover I made for Kayli Marie.


    Note the "sock" over the mast, that does a nice job of anchoring the rest of the cover when putting it on. You'll notice there are two edges along the body of the cover. The lower one has grommets for tie-downs, the upper has a bit of light bungie cord that seems to help keep the whole mess snug to the boat. I've hauled her between Bainbridge and Port Townsend a number of times and it has stayed nice and tight. I used an acrylic Sunbrella knock-off from Seattle Fabrics It has held up well for being out in the weather year-round for 6 years.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Custom cover, your boat deserves it. It will have a better fit and do a better job of keeping critters, dirt, etc out. We have done the tarp thing, they wear out fast and the grommets pull out pretty easy. If you are going to tow then you need straps every few feet and a drawstring/bungee.

    If there is a way to build a small roof over your boat that will be a huge help as well.

    Small boat cover blog post





    We have a few covers...

    Last edited by signalcharlie; 05-15-2018 at 09:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    13,506

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    Every few years I buy a new cover for our 10’ inflatable. It’s a universal cover of material that looks tight and fits well down over the sides. But I’m always surprised that after a heavy rain there is water inside the dinghy. It has to be penetrating the fabric, there are no openings. Not sure if the fabric right now, NOT Sunbrella. I’ll check next time I’m at boat. I ‘think’ it is a Carver Sun-Dura fabric. Next time, Sunbrella.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
    Posts
    26,106

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    So after looking around I decided to try a boat cover made for small open fishing skiffs with integral tie-downs ( including at the bow ), etc. $93 via Amazon. If it doesn't quite work at first fitting I can always return it. If it works I will take a pic and post.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,828

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    You can always install some grommets to your one-size-fits all top to get it to fit a little more snug around the edges. I find myself adding a grommet here and there as the years go on.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Boat cover or boat tarp

    A good sewing machine pays for itself in a short time. Here, The Netherlands, used industrial machines are really cheap. Personally I prefer old castiron black machines with chromium parts. And you can sew Sunbrella with most domestic machines.
    Www.oarandsail.nl

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