Automatic Boat Covers

By Rich Armstrong

Someone just made day cruising a lot easier.

Sunstream auto boat cover

Buzzing around the harbor for the day is one of the joys of owning a small powerboat. Unfortunately, for many the day ends with struggling to put the boat cover back on. Snap, snap, snap, all the way around the boat. The family is a little weary from a day in the sun, so it's a chore to recruit helping hands.

Sunstream Boat Lifts, manufacturer of boat lifts and hoists, has introduced a solution: the SwiftShield Universal Automatic Boat Cover (ABC-U) and the SwiftShield Piling Automatic Boat Cover (ABC-P).

File this new product under "cool." Just drive the boat onto the dockside boat hoist, disembark everyone along with your gear, then press a button to watch mechanical arms pull the boat cover over your boat, like a mother tucking a child in for bed. And it comes off just as easy.

A patented design, the keychain-remote-operated ABC-U and ABC-P systems, designed for the SunLift or Piling Lifts, actuate an arm with hydraulics and a spring-loaded roller, and automatically deploys a tight-fitting three-dimensional cover over a boat. The custom-fitted cover is stored on a roller when the boat is being used, consolidating space on board or on the dock, and eliminating the need to handle a dirty cover. When deployed, the cover is automatically unrolled and pulled over the boat.

The custom cover, sold separately, can be measured by anyone with a small, handheld laser at 75 different points around the boat. Once this data is provided to Sunstream, the points are entered into CAD software, fit is customized, stress is analyzed, panels are designed, material use is optimized, and fabric digitally cut. This method creates a better fitting cover that is ready in as little as two weeks for about the same cost as a fully custom cover from a canvas maker, according to Sunstream.

Available from authorized Sunstream SwiftShield dealers, the system is designed for boats up to 42 feet in length with prices starting at $6,999. Custom covers start at $2,000. 

— Published: April 2017

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