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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 3rd Class reap182's Avatar
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    Question Boat covers while docked

    We will be docking our boat this year for the first time for the season (may 1-oct 1). I Am trying to get any suggestions as far as types of boat covers, best way to secure cover, and boat. It will be on a small lake at the marina docks. Any help will be appreciated, thanks in advance.
    2008 Bayliner 195 4.3L "WARTOY"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    as far as securnig the boat, talk to the marina operator and neighbors. That's one of those boating quesitons that can't be answered "remotely".

    Covers on a moored boat can be a pain. You don't want the whole-boat cover like you put on a boat on a trailer in the driveway. Most people with boats like yours have a snap-in cover for the bow area and another from the windshield back to the transom; you just need to protect the carpet and upholstery.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  3. #3
    DJ
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    Since your boat will be in the water, the biggest issue you will encounter is keeping the cover tight with no sagging. You can't, easily, run lines under the boat to help you.

    Most covers come with a "drawstring". Some are elastic and some are solid cord/rope.

    I would go with the solid rope/cord type. That allows you to pull the drawstring tight.

    The other thing you will need to do is erect poles inside the cover to make a tent effect to keep water off.

    The best answer is a custom cover but those can be VERY costly.

    Look for a cover especially made for your boat. Look in the iboats Marine Store. Nobody offers/sells more boat covers than iboats.

    See link.

    http://boatcovers.iboats.com/?******...****=631477799

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    You generally buy a high quality custom cover once whereas the off-the-shelf covers may need to be replaced every couple years or so. The shop shop that makes the custom cover will also provide the proper structure so the cover an be properly "tented". Most covers fail because of the water that pools on them. Water pooling on a cover starts with less than a cup full. Unless it can drain off the cover, that pool continues to get bigger as it stretches the cover. It is then that seams rip or the cover just continues to stretch until it then fits like a saddle on a sow and all it does at that point is become a rain bucket that you need to bail the water off of before the cover can be removed. A well fit cover with snaps is easy to install. Some folks don't like snaps because they rip out of the hem. That happens because folks tend to grap one end of the cover and run with it popping the snaps as they do so. Two fingers under each snap to pop it will ensure that doesn't happen.

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander flashback's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    Lots of good tips above! One more tip, be sure your bilge pump is in good order.....
    The Devil to pay, and no pitch hot!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    I keep my boat wet all season, secured in a slip. I use the snap on covers. Mine are made of Sunbrella fabric, and each one has a support post that snaps onto the cover, to keep fabric tight. No water intrusion except during the heaviest downpours, and then it's pretty minor. The Sunbrella fabric has stood up very well to the elements. If the boat you're referring to is the bayliner, you may be able to get snap on covers. Won't be cheap, but once you get past that, you'll be happy, I'd think.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    one trick to help prevent sagging is to store your tube, inflated, under there.

    In the summer a little pooling is not too big a deal as it will evaporate. And a big factor that affects any advice about mooring is how often you will go check on the boat or could go take care of an issue, such as after an unusually heavy rain. A boat moored at the house and one moored 2 hours away are not the same thing at all.
    Some marina's provide some care and oversight. Some have "buddy systems" and if yours doesn't, consider setting one up with someone else at the marina.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 3rd Class reap182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    Thanks for all the tips. I do have bow and open area to transom cover (2 pieces) that snap in(sunbella) but was under the assumption that I needed a full cover (front to back over the gunwales) just for the protection. The lake is only about 25 min away, so i will hopefully get there at least 2-3 days a week, and the marina is fenced in with a key code. Also any tips on testing your bildge.
    2008 Bayliner 195 4.3L "WARTOY"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boat covers while docked

    you have all you need to cover; there is no need to cover the gunwales.

    The bilge pump should be wired directly to the battery, though the float switch, so you have the option of cutting off the power from the battery to the rest of the boat and still have power to the pump. Some bilge pumps have a built-in float switch and some it is seperate. If the latter, either it's a loose flapper you can lift with your finger to test, or if it's in a little box, there is a knob on the side you turn.

    This is important: just because it's making noise doesn't mean it's working. So dump a bucket of fresh water in the bilge and see if (a) the pump turns on and (b) if it evacuates the water as it should. Throughout the summer verify that it's working.

    I suggest you have a battery cut-off switch as described above; boats leak power and you can avoid corrosion from electrolysis, a run-down battery, and risk of a short and fire while the boat is unattended.

    If you have those covers you describe, there is very little chance a single rainstorm will fill your boat enough to even turn on the pump, much less sink the boat. If a cover fails, even then, a single storm is not likely to sink the boat, much less overwhelm the bilge pump. Now you can sleep at night. If your boat sinks, it will be because that thin little rubber flap around the motor fails. Sleep tight.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

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