We’re all aware that the Australian climate can be harsh and even unpredictable at times. Often referred to affectionately as the ‘sunburnt country’, damaging heat and UV rays can wreak havoc on anything left unprotected. But did you know that this extends beyond the summer season? Australia has a lot of harsh environments that ouselves and our fabrics need to indure including ware from wind, rain and even hail. The same applies to your boat.

Fortunately, you can easily protect your valuable marine craft with a boat cover of canvas material. If you fail to protect your boat by keeping it covered when not in use, the longevity of your craft’s finish, upholstery and onboard equipment will be drastically cut short.

While the cover protects your boat, your boat cover will also need some regular TLC to keep it in good condition, and that’s going to be the focus of this article.

Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Boat Cover

We’ll soon be highlighting some dos and don’ts when it comes to boat cover cleaning and maintenance, but let’s first uncover why boat cover maintenance is important.

  • Both mould and mildew are unsightly and can even present a health risk. Maintaining your boat cover will ensure that mildew and mould don’t get a chance to grow.
  • The more you look after your boat cover through regular cleaning and maintenance, the longer it’s going to last.
  • A boat cover that’s always in good shape is going to protect your boat far better than a cover that’s been neglected.

The Dos and Don’ts of Caring for a Boat Cover

Dos Don’ts
It’s important to ensure the boat cover remains tight around the boat. This prevents the cover from flapping about in the wind and potentially sustaining damage. Never, ever use a power washer to clean the salt and grime from your boat cover, as the pressure will reduce the lifespan of the cover and possibly cause tearing.
Always repair any damage immediately to ensure the cover continues to protect your boat and also to prevent the damage from escalating. While a mild bleach can be used on occasion, don’t ever subject your boat cover to harsh chemicals or anything abrasive.
You can use a hose or a bucket of fresh water to clean your boat cover, along with a gentle detergent and a soft bristle brush. Don’t allow dirt, debris and saltwater to build up on your boat cover. Saltwater and dirt will degrade the cover and its UV protection.
Be sure to clean salt water, grime and debris from boat cover fasteners, zippers and clips. Avoid parking your boat under trees to prevent your boat cover getting covered in a compost of dead leaves, twigs and branches.
Form a habit of boat cover maintenance by developing a regular cleaning and maintenance routine. Never use bungee cords to secure a boat cover. These cords are elastic and will allow too much movement of the cover when transporting the boat.
Only ever use the boat cover for its intended purpose.  
Make a point of periodically inspecting your boat cover for any signs of weakness or damage.  

Things to Consider When Buying a Boat Cover

When buying a new boat cover of canvas material, there are some essential features to keep in mind before making a decision.

  • The boat cover needs to be treated for UV stabilisation. This is vital to protect both the cover itself and your boat.
  • To help keep the cover free from harmful and unsightly mildew and mould growth, you’ll want to choose a boat cover canvas material that has antifungal properties.
  • For optimum protection of your marine vessel investment, select a boat cover that is waterproof.
  • Another important feature to look for in a boat cover is material that is certified to be resistant to abrasions.
  • If your boat cover (and the material it’s manufactured from) comes with a warranty, this will give you added peace of mind.

Final Words

Compared to the value of your boat, purchasing a quality boat cover is only a very small investment that will protect and ultimately prolong the life of your treasured vessel.

However, a boat cover is only going to be as good as the love and care it receives to keep it in tip top shape. The purpose of a boat cover is to protect your boat, so it only makes sense to look after the cover as well.

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