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Top 5 Tips on How to Cover Your Boat with a Tarp

10th Nov 2017

Speedboat on Trailer Covered with Tarp

Around this time of year a lot of boat owners will be looking to store their boats over the winter period safely, securely and with no damage. There are a number of options for covering your vessel, such as shrinkwrap or fitted covers for example. These methods however can be complicated, and of course may work out to be quite expensive. A real alternative and a much more affordable idea could be to cover your boat with a quality tarpaulin.

Follow our simple steps below and you’ll have an effective and inexpensive solution to over-wintering your vessel:

1. Getting the size right – You may already have the ideal tarp for your purposes, but if not, we would suggest a Topgrade Tarpaulin. We find that Blue Topgrade Tarps are most popular with our boating customers. Getting the size right, is of course essential. See our Tarpaulin Sizing Guide to make sure yours doesn’t come up short.

Boat on Trailer Covered with Tarp2. Time to cover your boat - Once you’ve got the ideal size, it’s time to cover and secure your tarp. Try to anticipate potential problem areas. Sharp edges and corners can sometimes wear holes in coverings, especially in harsh weather such as windy conditions. One solution to this issue is to cover sharp corners and edges with carpet remnants or old rags. Use these as padding underneath the tarp and secure with duct tape if necessary. Our Dad’s Tape is also a good option for this, and now comes in a blue colour, matching well with our Blue Topgrade Tarpaulins. Potential problem areas are often things like windshield frame corners, antenna mounts, rocket launchers and burgee poles.

3. Fastening down – Be sure to securely fasten down your tarp. Crossing over and tying lines under the boat or lashing to a trailer is sufficient for most needs. However if you need to allow access to sections of your boat another option is to anchor lines with some form of weighted anchor point. Our Tarp Hooks are the perfect thing for this job. Just fill an empty drinks bottle with sand, gravel or water, use a Tarp Hook instead of the bottle cap and hook them through the tarp eyelets. Use a length of cord or rope to tie the Tarp Hooks to the eyelets with just enough length to rest on the ground wherever you want to avoid the weighted bottles banging and scratching against the hull. When you need access just unhook the Tarp Hook and lift the tarp as needed.

4. Prop up any low spots– It’s important to prop up any low spots in your covering. Failure to do this can cause the cover to collect water when it rains leading to misplacement, sagging and even ripping of the tarp. You can prop up any potentially sagging areas with spare pieces of timber, telescopic poles or even poles from unused brooms, mops etc. Once again, be sure to pad the area below and above the prop, anywhere you think this method may lead to abrasion or tearing, by using old carpet remnants or rags. Another great tip is that stepladders can be the perfect thing for this kind of propping up.

5. Finally make sure you allow for ventilation - Allowing a little air in at points will help avoid the build up of mildew. So it’s wise to allow vent spots or even lift parts of the tarp at regular intervals if you’re storing your boat for extended periods.

Follow these top tips and you should have an effective and inexpensive means of keeping your pride and joy in top condition through the off season.