paulwalnuts

Boat cover support system

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I've got a 16 ft drift boat. I keep my boat outside of my house covered with a boat cover. Usually once per year during the winter my boat cover sags and water accumulates and eventually allows water into the boat. This year it was a snow - followed by a quick rain that cause a weighty slush situation on the boat cover to cause the sagging. It's not a major deal since the boat is fiberglass and with no mechanics and it just drains out, but it's a pain in the ass re-snugging the covers while getting doused with freezing rain. I've tried the boat poles as support, but the drift boat I have has a weird shape and it still results in some pooling on the boat cover. I've also tried using an inflatable tire under the cover to prop up some sagging areas which works pretty well, but doesn't cover the full area of the boat. Does anyone recommend a boat support system (essentially PVC piping arching over the gunnels to support the boat cover)? Any other suggestions for a weird shaped boat? 

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I made a spider web with 1/4 inch poly cord and threw the tarp over that and secured the tarp to the trailer.

Mine is a center console so it may be starting a little higher. I did go to the dollar store and got a bunch of laundry baskets that I put upside down on the front casting deck in case it sagged.

I think the trick is to not have any flat spots.

 

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It’s really not very hard to make a boat cover frame out of inexpensive home center lumber.

I grew up working in boatyards before shrink wrap was around.

Back then, I had to hump  heavy canvas covers over the wooden frames I constructed on top of boats.

A wooden center ridge above a couple of wooden uprights supported by plenty of lines which are tied off under the boat somewhere.

The whole thing should end up looking  like an old fashioned canvas camping tent.

Build the frame high enough that it’s steeply pitched so rain and snow will run right off.

I can still build a frame and cover a center console in an hour.

First one might take you longer but once you get the idea, you’ll knock it out quickly.

Easy Peasy.

Good luck.

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Framing of some type

 

One possibility is Pup tent like frame with full boat length ridge beam

I did wood frame this way on past boats

if I can find any old pics will follow up and post on this thread

 

neighbor went more igloo like with bowed pcv 

Edited by w2f4

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Look on Craigslist or the like for someone getting rid of a trampoline and use it to make a sturdy frame for winterizing. 

 

 

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I built a frame using 1-inch PVC and some t-fittings, which worked great on an 18' CC.

 

Another tip is to place a standard tarp on top of your boat cover.  The slick surface of the tarp sheds snow and rain better than you standard coat cover material.

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build a 3 wall shelter with a roof with skids. they are free.  cover it with a tarp. most people have a tarp laying around.

go into the woods find at least five 3 inch round lengths that you need.one for the beam. two tied together at each end.

tie it all together with some old string.put a tarp over it . 

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When I had a skiff I went to a local boat canvas shop to have him build me a cover.  He had metal fixtures that held battens.  The fixtures were oval with a hollow center to accept the battens.  I made over sized battens out of thin oak for flexibility. The fixtures were screwed into the gunnels and the battens were arched over the cockpit of the boat.  The cover was then placed over the battens and secured with snaps and rope where needed.  Worked great.  I don’t know where you can find the metal fixtures but a google search should find you something.

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Cover support bows and batten sockets…..look them up on west marine or bass pro….etc.

 

I put them on my 16 ft. Aluminum and no more issues. I used 3 bows.

 

 

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The cover in the image has worked successfully for several winters on a 2320 Parker.  The frame is made from 2x4's and 2x3's with some ratchet straps providing stability and reinforcement  Sometimes I need to get a roof rake and get some of the snow off on top of the cabin but otherwise very little snow clings to cover to cause sag.

IMG_7881.JPG

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Posted (edited) · Report post

^ this. My boat is a custom boat that was made one at a time. There are no boat covers for it that also aren’t custom made at about 600 plus. Great covers but they suck and get ruined by winter.  
 

I made a ridge pole from 2” pvc pipe that has 3 down legs. I run that down the center of the boat. I then take your standard Home Depot type $40.00 tarp and drag it over the ridge beam. I secure the tarp to the trailer by way of 550 cord and dog bones. I use this system year round and uncover and cover my boat for every trip as well as winter storage. I can get a two years from a tarp. It’s light and simple and it works better than any boat cover I ever had. The snow or the rain never pools and runs or slides right off. If the snow does fling I just pull it off with a foam car clearer.  I’ll never go back to a boat cover. 

Edited by poopdeck

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