Boat Covers and Tarps Review

Shielding Your Boat: A Comprehensive Review of Boat Covers and Tarps for Optimal Protection

Protecting your boat from the elements is essential to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan. Boat covers and tarps are valuable investments that shield your boat from rain, UV rays, dust, and debris, preventing damage and deterioration. With various options available in the market, choosing the right boat cover or tarp can be overwhelming. In this comprehensive review, we will evaluate and compare different types of boat covers and tarps, helping you make an informed decision and find the perfect solution to safeguard your beloved watercraft.

1. Types of Boat Covers and Tarps

There are several types of boat covers and tarps, each catering to specific needs:

  • Custom-Fit Covers: Tailored to fit your boat’s exact make and model, offering a snug and secure fit.
  • Semi-Custom Covers: Designed for specific boat styles or sizes, providing a good fit without being custom-made.
  • Universal Covers: General-purpose covers that fit a wide range of boat sizes and styles, offering budget-friendly options.
  • Tarp Covers: Versatile and affordable, these tarps can be used to cover boats temporarily but may lack specific boat contours.

2. Materials and Durability

Boat covers and tarps are typically made from the following materials:

  • Polyester: Lightweight and water-resistant, ideal for mild weather conditions.
  • Polyester Blend: Offers enhanced durability and protection from UV rays and harsh weather.
  • Marine-Grade Canvas: Durable, UV-resistant, and suitable for all-weather protection.
  • Vinyl: Heavy-duty and waterproof, providing excellent protection from rain and moisture.

3. Waterproof and UV Protection

An effective boat cover or tarp should be waterproof to shield your boat from rain, snow, and moisture. Additionally, UV protection is crucial to prevent fading and damage caused by sun exposure.

4. Fastening and Securing Mechanisms

Check the fastening and securing mechanisms of the boat cover or tarp:

  • Tie-Down Straps: Ensure the cover has sufficient tie-down straps or cords for a secure fit.
  • Elastic Hems: Elastic hems provide a snug fit around the boat’s edges, preventing wind from lifting the cover.
  • Drawstrings or Buckles: Convenient drawstrings or buckles help tighten the cover or tarp for a custom fit.

5. Ventilation and Breathability

A good boat cover should allow for proper ventilation to prevent mold and mildew growth. Look for covers with vents or breathable fabrics.

6. Ease of Use and Storage

Consider how easy it is to put on and take off the boat cover or tarp. Additionally, assess its compactness for storage when not in use.

7. Additional Features

Some boat covers come with extra features for added convenience and protection:

  • Support Poles: Support poles can prevent water from pooling on the cover’s surface.
  • Zippered Access Panels: Zippered panels provide access to specific areas of the boat without removing the entire cover.
  • Trailering Straps: If you plan to transport your boat, look for covers with integrated trailering straps for secure transportation.

8. Customer Reviews and Ratings

Research customer reviews and ratings to gauge the performance and durability of the boat covers and tarps. Feedback from other boaters can be valuable in making your decision.


Choosing the right boat cover or tarp is essential for protecting your boat from the elements and maintaining its pristine condition. Consider the type of cover, materials used, waterproof and UV protection, fastening mechanisms, and additional features to find the best option for your specific needs. With a high-quality boat cover or tarp, you can confidently store your boat and enjoy peace of mind, knowing it’s shielded from the elements, ready for your next adventure on the water.


  1. Can I use a tarp instead of a boat cover? While tarps can provide temporary protection, they may not offer the same level of fit and durability as dedicated boat covers.
  2. Can a boat cover be used while trailering? Yes, some boat covers are designed to be used while trailering, featuring secure fastening mechanisms to keep the cover in place during transportation.
  3. How do I clean and maintain a boat cover? Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance. In general, hose down the cover to remove dirt and debris, and allow it to dry completely before storing.
  4. Is it better to choose a custom-fit cover or a universal cover? A custom-fit cover offers a precise fit and optimal protection, but a well-fitting semi-custom cover or high-quality universal cover can also provide effective protection at a more affordable price.
  5. Can a boat cover be used for winter storage? Yes, a boat cover specifically designed for all-weather protection can be used for winter storage to safeguard your boat from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.