Boat Cover Supports
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.
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.
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.
Boat Vent II
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.
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!
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