Boat Cover Supports Preserve The Life of Your Boat Cover and Boat! 
What Are Your Options?


Go Straight to the Store For Boat Cover Supports

Boat Cover Supports

  • Adjustable tent poles
  • Vents
  • Boat cover strap system
  • Boat cover bow slats

What are the best boat cover supports for boat covers? 
Is your boat cover holding water? Do you need to solve a problem?
Let's find out what options you have.

The three major boat cover systems and the adjustable tent pole, the boat cover strap system and bow slats.

Adjustable support poles

The most common is the adjustable support pole. There are three types of adjustable poles available.

  • Thumb screw adjustable pole
  • The push-button lock pole
  • Cam lock support poles (newest on the market) easy to use

Here is a photo of the cam lock support pole we sell for our boat cover supports.

View these easy to use camlock poles in the store

Nearly all custom boat covers are built with this type of support. 
This is accomplished by sewing a small reinforcement patch to the inside of the boat cover in key spots.

Once the reinforcement is sewn into the boat cover, another step is taken to keep the tent pole from falling over when placed in position.

This is accomplished in one of three ways.

1. A grommet installed through the cover, right in the center of the reinforcement patch. The pointed end of the tent pole inserts into the grommet and pushes the cover upwards. This helps water to shed off the cover. The strain the pole puts on the grommet often results in an eventual tearing of the boat cover.

Here is a photo of an adjustable tent pole held in place through a grommet.

This photo is a different cover. It shows how the strain from the weight of the cover eventually rips out the grommet.

2. A female snap is installed in the center of the reinforcement patch before it is sewn in. Instead of a pointed end, the adjustable tent pole has a snap. The boat pole snaps into the underside of the cover. This makes the pole stable since it is actually snapped to the inside of the cover.

3. A boat vent II® installed into the reinforcement patch.

The first photo shows the Boat Vent II.
The next photo shows a boat vent being used in a cover.

View the Boat Vent 3 In the Store

Boat Vent II installed in a boat cover - Photo Courtesy Cover Girl Marine Canvas & Upholstery

With a Boat Vent II, this boat cover part requires a hole about the size of a silver dollar is cut right through the reinforcement patch and cover.

The boat vent II is screwed together with the top part of the vent on the outside of the boat cover and the inverted bottom cup on the inside.

Once tightly secured the adjustable tent pole is inserted into the cup inside, pushed up and into place.

The hot air and moisture escapes, through the vent allowing the cover to dry quicker and shed water properly.

DIY tip: The boat vent II can be installed in a cover that already has either a snap or a grommet as long as there is a reinforcement patch in place.

The hole cut through the cover for the Boat Vent II is larger than a grommet or snap, it's an easy conversion you can do yourself.

This helps your cover dry quicker, which slows down mold and mildew growth on your boat cover.

More on vents for boat cover poles

I should mention two other types of vents that work in partner with adjustable boat cover poles.

Adjust a vent® - This vent can be used to raise and lower your boat cover from outside the boat.

Kind of like a car jack that ratchets up and down. Since this vent operates from outside you will not have to crawl up under your cover to set the support pole.

You will need to store the pole that is used to ratchet the vent up and down somewhere, maybe a dock box. 

Vent-sol-air® - A solar operated vent that uses the suns power to operate a small fan that pulls the air up and out of the cover. These vents must be cleaned regularly to keep them working properly

Custom boat covers nearly always come with a built in boat cover support systems. On the other hand, retail manufactured covers don't usually have them, unless you buy the option from the manufacturer.

If you later feel you need to add an adjustable tent pole to the online cover you purchased. You will have to sew one in yourself or have it done at your local canvas shop.

Be sure to use UV polyester boat thread and not nylon thread for your boat cover support DIY sewing projects.

Hands down our personal recommendation, is the boat vent II coupled with the adjustable cam lock pole.

We think the benefits of the hot air being allowed to escape is essential and Boat Vent II is easy to install.

Boat Cover Strap System

When no sewn in reinforcement patch exists on your boat cover, the strap system can be helpful.

Strap support systems may be a bit more of a challenge to use, they require more installation steps and can be a little tricky to get the cover in place.

You will have to duck under and pass over the straps while securing the cover.

As mentioned earlier, if you have no reinforcement patch sewn into your cover, the strap system may be great choice for you.

If your boat cover has stretched from holding water, a traditional boat support pole may not do the job on its own. The full strap system may give you the additional support you need.

If you decide the webbing support style system is the best bet for your boat, this one made by Carver industries is a good bet.

Boat Cover Bows

If Bow Slats are the way to go for your boat, this system by Dock Edge will do the trick. 

This type of system is similar to a truck tonneau cover. It uses bow slats or battens that span from port to starboard supporting the cover from beneath. The bow slats are either made of fiberglass or wood and are usually are 2” wide. Fiberglass is preferable in a marine environment.

The two screw boat cover socket is installed in the boat. It receives the bow slats and holds them in place. Sockets are also available in plastic and they also come with the ability to snap onto a tubing, such as on the bow rail of a cruiser. Once the slats and boat cover are on, the cover resembles the shape of a beehive.

This type of support works well, but the downside is the long bow slats have to be stored while the cover is not in use.

Overall the easiest boat cover support system to use is the adjustable tent pole and a boat vent II. >/br> This duo makes a good boat cover supports solution

Choosing the right boat cover parts, helps maintain your boat cover!

Be Sure to Check Out EZ-Xtend Boat Zippers!

EZ-Xtend Boat Zippers
EZ-Xtend Boat Track
EZ-Xtend Drip Shields

Procceds from the EZ-Xtend Boat Zipper website helps support

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Fantastic Results

"I wanted to thank you for the fantastic results I have with the EZ-Xtend zipper solution you provided for my Sea Ray.

The isinglass had shrunk to the point that installing it was an all-morning job, with some snaps totally unusable due to the material shrinkage. I really was preparing to purchase a complete new canvas set, but hated to spend the money-especially since the canvas is still in excellent shape.

The EZ-Xtend zippers have made the canvas/isinglass installation and removal about a 10 minute job! (and looks great too!) Thanks again for the quick solution and the reasonable cost, I really do appreciate it.
Steve Donovan

The Bottom Line

The extend zippers have been a resounding success. Zippers were needed for the starboard stern section of my bimini top, and for both side curtains of my camper canvas. It is a clever design you came up with to increase the width of connectivity between my bimini top and camper canvas sections. I do not know what I would have done otherwise as the camper canvas sections have shown shrinkage over time.
M. Marien

Such a Great Idea

I got a chance to install these yesterday and just thought I'd get back to you to let you know that they worked perfectly for me. I couldn't be happier with that simple to install solution to my problem now allowing me to properly and fully enclose my cockpit again. Such a great idea.
J. Reed
British Columbia

Easy to Install

The Ez-xtend zippers were very easy to install---especially with a little lubricant ( which I always apply periodically to zippers)
New Jersey

Rare Traits

"True skill and craftsmanship are rare traits in today's society. When they're held by a person that truly cares about her customers, brings honesty, creativity and passion to her work, you have just described Tammy Hampton. Better known as "The Cover Girl," Tammy has been both a friend, mentor and business partner for nearly twenty years.

I found Tammy by her name tag.... sewn to a sailboat cover, in a nearby marina. The boat cover was fitted with such precision, it clearly stood out from the others. In the years since, Tammy has 'dressed out' at least twenty boats for me. She has yet to meet a challenge for which she could not find a creative and effective solution.

Tammy has become a valuable resource to my Boatbutler business, and she has actually created sort of a "cult" following among my customers. Once they see the quality of her work, the choice is an easy one.

I am still grateful for that little tag on that sailboat cover I found nearly twenty years ago."

Steve Hammond
Owner, Boatbutler Marine Services, Inc.
Alpharetta, Georgia

Brilliant and Simple Solution

WOW!  I just got the EZ-Xtend Boat Zippers for my canvas and what a simple solution! Thank you for coming up with this.  I am telling my friends about this product.

Susan M. 

You Made Everything Easy

We just installed the zipper we received on our sea ray boat canvas- what an incredibly easy experience!  It makes snapping the canvas so much easier with the zipper extension.  Thanks for the crimper & tape - you made everything easy.  We just ordered 5 more longer ones to completely update our canvas.  Thank you so much for your quick response on our first order. 


Love Your Website

I love your website and wish we lived closer, so that I
could stop by your shop - sounds like a wonderful place!
Judy D
Winchester, TN

Made our boating season very enjoyable!

Our boat was 10 years old when we purchased it and the canvas was stored all rolled up in the boat.   When we tried to put the canvas together the force required to zipper the canvas together was making the canvas split on the seams or causing the zippers to tear, so we had to leave parts of the canvas unattached and every time it rained we would get water in the boat.  With your zippers in place we could button up all of the canvas and make a very nice weather tight space which made our boating season very enjoyable.

Phil R.

EZ-Xtend Zipper Saved the Day 

I purchased a used 27' Sundancer about a year ago.
I came with the Bimini, side curtains & windshield eisenglass panels along with a bimini to transom cover with eisenglass also.
I don't think the original owner ever put anything up except the bimini.
Nothing would fit, ever where it was short. 
If I cheated and put the windshield panels in the side curtains were never even close. If I did it the other way, sides first front panels were off. The canvas is hi quality material from a well known manufacturer.
Started researching about what to do. Then I came across a blog on the Searay owners site. One of the chats was about what I had going on. One owner who replied had purchased your zippers and was raving about solving his problem using them.
Well I'm here to "RAVE" about them also. My $300.00 investment with you has saved me thousands in replacing what is perfectly good canvas.
Boaters if you have a shrinkage problem and we're not talking the George Costanza kind this is your answer.
Your site has also grown to include more helpful information on boat care and maintenance. Great information and wonderful tips.
Thanks again Ron W.