We Got You Covered: What's The Best Way to Cover Your Boat?
So many people buy things because they want them, and then don’t take the steps needed to keep those things nice. People who buy boats are no different. They go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on an amazing boat or other watercraft, only to not do what needs to be done in the offseason (Yes we are talking about covering their boat). Then these same people are completely shocked when they start to see seats cracking on their boat, or dry rot (for those with wooden boats) starting to make its way across their vessel, or they have to spend days cleaning the debris out of their watercraft before they are even able to get it into the water.
But that’s one of the reasons we’re here… to help you enjoy your boat or watercraft to the fullest. As part of that, we want to help you find the best, most effective, and most cost efficient way to protect your investment.
What’s The Best Way To Cover Your Boat
There are several ways to cover your boat, and they range (basically) from least expensive and least effective to more expensive and more effective. There is one option however that stands alone as far as cost and protection are concerned, but if we told you now there would be no reason to keep reading.Least Expensive Option
- Just Tarp It - A plastic tarp is going to be one of the cheapest options you have. You can get a 20’ x 20’ tarp from your local home improvement store for about $20. Now, be prepared for this option to not only be a TON of work on your end, but to also be the LEAST effective option on this list. The tarp will flap throughout the winter months and potentially damage the finish of your boat with metal grommets and uncovered ropes. Additionally, the tarp will sag under the weight of the snow and water that accumulates. This causes gaps and openings perfectly sized for leaves, debris, and animals to get in under the tarp and bed down for the winter. If you can afford a boat, you can afford to not go this route as far as a cover is concerned.
- Go Custom - A custom fitted boat cover is one of the other options, but can be very expensive. As far as these covers are concerned, you will not have the issues that come with the tarp, but you get a whole new set of issues. For one, the cover can only be used with the boat you had it made for. Two, it will last about as long as a semi-custom cover does, and will cost you at least 3 times what a semi-custom cover from Elite Shield will cost. Basically, if you have the extra cash to drop, then this is the option for you. Thanks to our friends over at Triumph Boats, we can place the cost for a custom boat cover in the $700 - $1,200 range.
- Shrink Wrap It - One way of covering your boat that has become highly popular is to shrink wrap your boat at the end of the season. This method is as effective as the semi-custom boat covers that Elite Shield provides, but with a few HUGE catches. It is the only option on this list that you cannot do yourself. In order to shrink wrap your boat you need to possess some highly specialized equipment that (surprise, surprise) only a boatyard seems to have. It is also the only option on this list you will have to pay for EVERY YEAR. On average you will pay between $12 - $25 per foot to have your boat shrink wrapped, and that doesn’t account for the “Extras” that are available. In addition to the yearly cost, the plastic waste associated with this option is outrageous. Stay away from this one if you can.
- Go Semi Custom - As we told you above, there is one option that stands apart from the crowd as far as the best option for covering your boat. Not only will you get a cover that fits securely on your vessel and keeps the outside world on the outside, but you get it for a fraction of the cost of the other effective covering options on this list. There is no waste associated with this cover outside of the initial packaging, and you will get many happy falls and winters out of the covers that Elite Shield provides. In every area that matters (Cost, Effectiveness, and Waste) our semi-custom fit boat covers are head and shoulders above every other option.
- Semi-custom covers also allow for modifications to the original boat that a custom or manufacturer direct cover might not be able to accommodate- let’s say you added a T-Top to cover your center console and installed some fishing rod holders to the back of it- whatever cover originally was made for that boat would no longer be a good fit. Here at EliteShield, we have semi-custom fit covers for any arrangement of accessories you can dream up for your boat.
Now that you know what your options are for covering and protecting your boat, you need to make a decision on which one you are going to choose. There really is no question as to what option is going to give you what you both need and want out of the protective cover for your boat. A semi custom boat cover from EliteShield will help keep your boat in water ready condition throughout the year without breaking your budget to do it. Shop our huge selection of covers, and find the one that's right for you.