BoatUS ANGLER: Boats & Motors
Covering Your Boat: Pro's & Con's
by Kurt Dove, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
I am on the road traveling 30,000 miles a year competing on the B.A.S.S. fishing tours. I will drive through all types of weather and stay the night in towns around the country I have very little knowledge of. This type of travel can create a good understanding of the pros and cons when covering your boat while on the road… so I will share them with you. Hopefully it will take some of the guess work out of the best way to travel with your boat on your next vacation or overnight stay at a lake you have never been to.
First I will discuss long-term storage. I define "long-term" as more than 5 days. I feel it is always best to cover your boat in this situation. A couple of key steps you will want to take:
1. Make sure your drain plug is out so that any water that may enter is able to escape.
2. Provide support underneath your cover so hard rains to not puddle on the cover and the water always drains off the side.
3. Tighten the cover down very firmly.
While towing your boat down the road I feel it is unnecessary to cover it when you’re traveling in good weather conditions. When trailing your boat at 70+ miles an hour with a cover on there can be stress put on the seat coverings and gunnels of the boat that can do damage.
Another reason I don’t cover during favorable weather conditions is the poor gas mileage I get while my boat is covered. The cover acts like a big balloon and can hinder your aerodynamics affecting your vehicle's fuel economy. I choose to cover my boat when trailering if I am running through any poor weather conditions, which I believe is very important. Tons of road grime comes up when driving through rainy or snowy conditions. Often the effect of these conditions can lead to staining of carpet and getting dirt and grime in areas of the boat that are difficult to clean.
I take one precaution when covering the boat while trailering other than being sure the cover is tightened firmly. That little trick is to put a twist in the straps from the cover to the trailer frame. This keeps the straps from excessive vibration in the wind and keeps the cover from slapping against your boat.
I almost always cover my boat when staying at a hotel, primarily for security purposes. I don’t always know the towns or my surroundings well when I first arrive into a new community and I want to be sure I am taking every precaution to protect my equipment and investment.
I hope these few tips will enable you to enjoy your next traveling fishing experience and be sure you cover your boat when appropriate.
Read Kurt Dove's latest BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff blog,