Boat Cover Supports: 
Preserve The Life of Your Boat and Cover! 

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Highlights on Boat Cover Supports:

  • Adjustable Support Poles
  • Vents and More 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 and create your own boat cover support?

Let's look at your options . . .

 The three main boat cover systems are the adjustable support pole, the strap system, and bow slats.

 The most commonly used option is the adjustable support pole.                                                                                 There are three types of adjustable poles available:

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

Adjustable support pole
for boat cover supports

Adjustable Cam Lock Support PoleAdjustable Cam Lock Support Pole
Pole PadBoat Cover Support Pole Pad
Pole Tips 7/8"Pole Tips 7/8"
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Pole EndsPole Ends
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Nearly all custom boat covers are built with the adjustable support pole option. 
This is accomplished by sewing a small reinforcement patch inside the boat cover in key spots.

Once the reinforcement is sewn into the boat cover, another step is taken to keep the tent pole in position.

This is accomplished in one of three ways:

1. A grommet is installed through the cover directly in the center of the reinforcement patch. The pointed end of the tent pole inserts into the grommet and pushes the cover upwards thus allowing water to shed off the cover. The strain placed on the grommet by the pole often results in an eventual tearing of the boat cover.

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 actually snaps into the underside of the cover which then stabilizes the pole.

3. A Boat Vent 3® is installed into the reinforcement patch.

adjustable tent pole
through a grommet

Tent Pole Thru GrommetTent Pole Through Grommet
Tent Pole Ripping GrommetTent Pole with Ripped Grommet Caused by Strain from Weight of Cover

Boat Vent 3

Boat VentBoat Vent 3
Boat Cover with VentBoat Vent 3 Installed In Cover

Photo Courtesy of Cover Girl Marine Canvas & Upholstery

Boat Vent 3 installed in a boat cover . . .

The boat cover requires a hole, about the size of a silver dollar, to be cut right through the reinforcement patch and cover.

The boat vent 3 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 and pushed up into place.

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

We think the benefits of the hot air being allowed to escape is essential and Boat Vent 3 is easy to install.

Hands down, our personal recommendation is the Boat Vent 3 coupled with the adjustable cam lock pole.

Boat Cover Support DIY Tip: The boat vent 3 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 3 is larger than a grommet or snap. It's an easy conversion you can accomplish yourself.

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

Other Boat Marine Vent Styles

Mooring Cover Vent - A sew-in vent used with a standard boat pole and has a wide flange for sewing.

Mooring Cover VentMooring Cover Vent
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Two other vents for boat cover support poles . . .

These vents work in partnership with adjustable boat cover poles.

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

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

You will need to store the pole used to ratchet the vent up and down. Maybe a dock box would be a good storage spot for you.

Adjust a ventAdjust a vent®

Vent-sol-air® - A solar operated vent that uses the suns power to operate a small fan. The fan 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 system. On the other hand, retail manufactured covers don't usually have them unless you buy that option from the manufacturer.

Later, if you feel the need to add an adjustable tent pole to your retail cover, you will need to sew one in yourself or have it done at your local canvas shop.

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

Boat Cover Strap System

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 since they require more installation steps and can be a little tricky when trying 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 a 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 needed.

    If you decide the webbing support style system is your best bet,

this one made by Carver Industries is a good choice.

Boat with webbing support system

Hangtyte Boat Cover Support System

No poles needed with the Hangtyte System. 

Just loop the rope over the boat tower and raise this support system into place.

Hangtyte Boat Cover Support SystemHangtyte System

Boat Cover Bow Slats

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

In case you already have your slats but are still in need of sockets,

take a look at our nylon bow sockets and stainless steel boat cover sockets.

Bow Sockets NylonBow Sockets - Nylon
Boat Cover SocketBoat Cover Socket - Stainless Steel
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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 underneath. The bow slats are either made of fiberglass or wood and are usually 2” wide. Fiberglass is preferable in a marine environment.

The 2-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 can snap onto tubing such as seen 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 3. This duo makes a good boat cover support solution.

Choosing the right boat cover parts helps maintain your boat cover for the long haul!

Be Sure to Check Out All of Our EZ-Xtend Boat Zipper Products!!

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

Please come visit me at Cover Girl Marine Canvas & Upholstery to see some of our awesome work!