What can I do to prevent water from entering my boat?

by Michael Marley
(Erie, PA, USA)

boat cover while raining stern

boat cover while raining stern

I have a Baja 240 Islander. This is a 24 foot long open bow boat with 7 foot wide by 4 foot long (approximately) vinyl cushion covered engine compartment hatch that is roughly horizontally oriented. The boat has a Sunbrella cover that snaps around the perimeter of the open bow, the bottom of the windshield, along the sides of the boat to the rear, and along the back just below the the vinyl cushion covered engine compartment hatch. There are 5 total posts to hold up the cover (2 in the bow and 3 in the cockpit area). (see images). With the cover sitting on top of the windshield and over the 5 posts, it creates only a very shallow angle for what to run off of and, consequently, the angle is shallow enough that the cover rest face to face on top of the vinyl cushion covered engine compartment hatch. Water then soaks through, there, saturates the vinyl cushion, and ultimately drips to the floor of the boat which becomes completely saturated with water and is now becoming soft, I assume from rot. I paid $1400 for this cover to be made for my boat 3 years ago and am not happy AT ALL! Please advise.

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