How To Cover A Boat For Winter Storage

How To Cover A Boat For Winter Storage
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Winter is a big deal when it comes to storing a boat, because there are a lot of things which can cause damage. Therefore, how to cover a boat for winter storage is what we want to talk about today.

A Frame For The Cover

Something that you need to know here is that for the best coverup job for wintertime, you should technically be using a frame, at least for tarps and basic canvas boat covers. You can buy premade wooden or metal frames to wrap the cover around. 

These are ideal because you can really tie the covers down, so they don’t flap in the wind, and even better, the cover won’t rub against your boat this way. With that being said, these frames are generally quite expensive.

However, they do now sell special clamps which can be used to create your own custom frame using electric conduit and other such materials. If you want to provide your boat with maximum protection, using a small frame is great. However, if the climate where you live is not too severe during the winter, you can go without a frame, but that said, you do still need a good boat cover for the winter.

A frame is great because it does help keep snow and moisture from building up on the cover. In some cases, if a frame is not used, hundreds of pounds of snow can build up, thus threatening the integrity of the boat underneath.

Winter Boat Cover Types

The first thing that you need to know here is that there is a variety of winter boat cover types out there. You can get a custom-fitted boat cover, you can shrink wrap your boat, you can get generic plastic tarps, or specialized canvas boat covers too. Let’s take a look at each of these in some more detail.

Custom Fitted

So, the best way to go is probably with a custom-fitted boat cover. Having a custom fit cover will ensure that your boat receives really good protection, as the cover is made for your boat specifically. It’s the best way to keep wind and moisture out, plus these won’t billow in the wind either. Of course, custom-fit covers are going to be fairly expensive.

Shrink Wrapping

A big contender here is the shrink wrap option, which many say is the best way to go. Shrink wrapping your boat can also be considered custom, and yes it can be quite expensive. Do keep in mind that shrink wrapping your boat is a long term solution. It’s not something you can take off in the morning and put back on at night.

That said, it is one of the best long term boat covers to go with. The shrink wrapping ensures that no rodents or animals can get in, wind cannot get under the cover, and snow and moisture cannot build up on top of it either.

Canvas Covers

Canvas boat covers are another great option to go with, as they come in a variety of generic sizes, as well a custom fit as well, plus they tend to be a bit cheaper than either of the other options we just looked at. Canvas is great for keeping your boat in places with extreme weather conditions, plus it’s heavy, so it won’t flap in the wind, although, they are not overly waterproof, so waterproofing will need to be done regularly.

Plastic Covers – Plastic boat covers are also fine to go with, mainly because they are super affordable and totally waterproof too. Although, on the other hand, these are usually not that durable, they may flap in the wind, and they don’t fit too snugly either.

Tie It Tight!

One mistake which so many people out there make when covering up a boat for long term winter storage, is to not tie the straps or ropes tight enough. Folks, you absolutely need to wrench down on those straps. Unless you are superman, don’t worry, you won’t be able to pull tight enough to actually damage the boat.

However, on the other hand, if you do not tie those straps tight enough, wind will be able to get under the cover, thus causing it to move and blow around, which will cause damage to both the boat and the cover. The tighter you can get that cover, the better off the boat will be during the winter.


There you have it, folks. For the best winterization for your boat, get a decent frame, or build one yourself, get a good boat cover, and make sure to tie it down tight!

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