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  1. #1

    Default Cover boat when towing?

    I soon have a 300 mile one way boat trip planned. I was wondering is its safe/ok to cover the boat and tow it? I have been told a couple a different things. My main idea is to not create so much drag and also if it rains to protect the boat. I have a blue shrink wrap that i re-use as a cover would that be a good idea if i secure it on there good?

  2. #2
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I doubt that will work. Trailerable covers are fit tight to the boat. Trying to trailer with a loose fitting tarp, it will be torn by the wind very quickly where ever the material is flapping at highway speeds.

    Unless you are using the boat to store stuff while traveling I would not bother trying to cover it for just one trip! Many people moor their boats uncovered.

    What you can do is when you stop like at a motel cover it then with the tarp and some bungie cords to keep it on.

    Oops, sorry. I thought you said you were going to use a tarp.

  3. #3
    Fleet Admiral jtexas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Get yourself a cover made for the purpose. Use straps running under the boat (vs just securing the edges to the trailer). add at least three straps that run over the top of the boat (to keep the wind from getting up under there).

    If the edges are secured all the way round, you won't have any problems.
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  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner kenmyfam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I tow with my tonneau cover on if I am going a good distance as I usually have all kinds of stuff stored in there if going away for a trip of a few days or more. It is very close fitting and does not flap around at all. No issues so far. If I am going locally then it's cover off.
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    Honorary Moderator Emeritus SpinnerBait_Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Mine stays covered all the time when not in use.
    Going and coming it's covered with the Gambler cover.


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  6. #6
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Back when I trailered a 23 footer I had snap-down cockpit and windshield covers made by a local shop. No hull straps were used. I had the windshield cover made because of a prior bad experience. They both worked OK but I discovered they would un-snap along the top of the windshield if wet and travelling over 60MPH. The easiest solution was to slow down a little when it was raining (DUH). We regularly trailered over 250 miles and never had any other problem with the cover.
    A VERY good reason to cover your boat when trailering is because some ignorant person could flick a cigarette into the boat. I know someone who lost his boat due to this. Fortunately the gas in his tank didn't ignite, but it completely ruined his interior. Insurance got him a new one but it was not a pleasant situation.
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  7. #7
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    the cover has to fit perfectly, or it will beat the boat finish to death. i prefer to tow uncovered.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I agree with some of the others. You need to have a tight fitting cover that goes on otherwise you will end up beating your boat up really badly. I have noticed with my cover a few spots were it has rubbed some spots off of my registration numbers.

  9. #9
    Lieutenant jaxnjil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    i would cover it. i see boats all the time on I 80 that are shrink wraped. the only thing with yours is whether reusing the wrap will retain enough integrety to stay on at hiway speeds.
    we had a cockpit mooring cover made for our boat just to use when we are trailering. we got caught in a thunder storm last year in utah and had 4" of water in the bilge, every thing got wet, and it took 2 days dry every thing. that pluse the fact you dont have to worry about stuff blowing out and your property is out of sight when you stop makes me feel a lot better.

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  10. #10
    Cadet Thunder_SS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxnjil View Post
    ....plus the fact you dont have to worry about stuff blowing out.....
    This has been my worry all the time. I have the bow cushions that are just laying on the fiberglass, and then I have the back cushions on each side of the engine that are velcro'd down, but would you really trust that velcro when you pass a semi truck at 65 mph?

    Plus, how bout you inflatables that you haul to the lake, life jackets, fishing poles....etc. etc. The list could go on.

    I think its a pain to put the cover on when you get out of the lake, but I have always thought that is part of boating. I immediately take the cover off before I back it in the garage!! Of course, to let stuff dry out.
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  11. #11
    Fleet Admiral jtexas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I used to inflate inflatables at a gas station compressor or whatever and strap 'em down.

    One day it occurred to me to try our camping air mattress inflator, which I got a wallymarts who knows how many years ago. Plugs into a cigarette lighter.

    Fills up even the big towables real quick, and ya don't even have to do it before you get to your playground.
    It's all about the tools.

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  12. #12
    Supreme Mariner kenmyfam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtexas View Post
    I used to inflate inflatables at a gas station compressor or whatever and strap 'em down.

    One day it occurred to me to try our camping air mattress inflator, which I got a wallymarts who knows how many years ago. Plugs into a cigarette lighter.

    Fills up even the big towables real quick, and ya don't even have to do it before you get to your playground.
    That's what we use. Great !!!! fill the inflatables before we go out....or when we are out and had enough tubing we deflate using the same pump in the power outlet I fitted and go ski-ing. Always carry the 12 volt power pack though and use that so as to make sure the boat battery is charged and as a back up in case I need a boost !!!!!
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  13. #13
    Lieutenant Commander 642mx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I have a cover from Westland thats a trailerable cover. I hardly ever tow it covered, unless the weather is bad.
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  14. #14
    Petty Officer 1st Class Jack Daniels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I always tow with a cover, in fact, my boat stays covered at all times unless on the water or in the garage. I know its probably over kill, but i dont want to take any chances.
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  15. #15
    Lieutenant 12vMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I always tow with a custom cover I had made.

    It's paid for itself I'm sure, because I've never lost a cushion or item I've had in the boat yet.

    I recomend having a cover made and using it.
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  16. #16
    Petty Officer 1st Class Irv964's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Mine is covered always when travelling, I use the eyelets to secure to the trailer and then use adjustable bungie straps for the top side. One on the bow, one just behind the windshield and another at the back, these keep it from billowing and scuffing your paint. I have done it this way for 10yrs with out an issue........Irv

  17. #17
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I have two covers which I have made for my boat. the full cover which goes over the sides is when it is parked and I have a snap on cover that I use for towing. Both are made from Sunbrella. When I made my towing cover, I put the snaps extra close together at the base of the windshield to prevent them from ever coming loose.




    I designed my storage cover to be towed with as well using many tie down points.

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  18. #18
    Supreme Mariner kenmyfam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Looks really good Bruce. I hava a very similar one to your snap on one for towing. The snaps are very close together where it needs to be.
    Marada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

  19. #19
    Petty Officer 3rd Class franco802's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Cover boat when towing?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceb58 View Post
    I have two covers which I have made for my boat. the full cover which goes over the sides is when it is parked and I have a snap on cover that I use for towing. Both are made from Sunbrella. When I made my towing cover, I put the snaps extra close together at the base of the windshield to prevent them from ever coming loose.




    I designed my storage cover to be towed with as well using many tie down points.

    Very nice boat!

  20. #20
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    While the cover does protect the contents and the many reasons for a good fitting cover have been indicated, the best reason for using a cover is to get better fuel economy. A covered boat creates far less drag and results in significant fuel savings.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    The main concern when choosing a cover to trailer with will be finding one that won't catch the air and lift or flap around. It must fit tight, at least to the leading edges. It must be properly supported and not allow air to create a parachute effect at any point. The two covers I have here that are listed as trailerable use a center support post and have a strong drawstring and many tie points when its on the boat, it fits almost as tight as a shrink wrapped plastic.
    I still don't trailer with a cover, it's not worth the aggravation of worrying about the cover coming loose and doing damage to either my boat or another vehicle.

    I do agree however that a covered boat will save some fuel when towing, but how much may vary greatly from boat to boat.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Cover boat when towing?

    I use a good fitting trailerable cover when I'm heading out on vacation, mainly because the boat is usually full of camping gear and I would rather not have to worry about anything flying out on the highway. I leave it uncovered when I'm headed out for a day trip with out the extra gear.
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