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Author Topic:   Boat Covers Suitable For Use While Towing Boat on Highway
ktm3ten posted 07-16-2015 04:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for ktm3ten   Send Email to ktm3ten  
Who makes a [boat] cover [that can be left in place while the boat is being towed at highway speeds and] I could buy without leaving my boat with them? I have a 2014 Dauntless 210 without a bow rail and can't seem to find anyone with a pattern for that boat. Any ideas?
home Aside posted 07-16-2015 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
I would find a small Mom-and-Pop shop. I had a local guy do a cover for my 1985 Revenge 22 WT, he did a nice job on it, I would also recommend looking into "Top Gun" fabric, it's just short of indestructible.

Jefecinco posted 07-16-2015 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Try for fitted Boston Whaler boat covers. For some larger late model boats they do not offer a cover for boats without a bow rail. I ordered a cover made for a Montauk 190 with bow rail because they assured me it would fit my Montauk without a bow rail. It fine fine although it has a bit more overhang around the bow than usual. It is not a problem for me because It is fully functional, fits well and saved my at least half the cost of a locally fabricated cover.

After some lobbying on another marine blog they were talked into offering the cover for my boat without a bow rail. They are members and participants on that blog.


jimh posted 07-17-2015 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I generally try to avoid towing my boat at highway speeds with the cover in place in order to avoid stress and wear-and-tear on the cover.

Covers that are not custom made to fit a particular boat are typically not very well fitted, and I would expect they'd have a lot of loose material that would flap and flutter in the windspeed of highway towing.

boatdryver posted 07-17-2015 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
I've had two different boats with boat covers that survived highway speeds in our state in which the posted speed limit for towing is 55 mph:

a Classic Montauk with a brand new Mills cover (very effective clamps to the rub rail), and a dual console boat with the cover snapped to the windshield extending aft, such that there was not much to catch the wind.

But, both were towed behind a pretty "tall" vehicle, and no faster that 60 mph and generally never more than an hour at a time.

The Taylor-made stock cover for my 200 Dauntless (with factory T top and no bow rail) claims to be OK for towing. Looking at it while mounted on the boat tells me that they must envision towing at 15 mph.

Stresses on boat cover fabrics due to towing vary a lot. Here, towing at 55-60 mph one encounters headwinds of 20 mph and strong gusts from oncoming 18 wheelers. In Florida I've been passed by big pickups towing boats at 80 mph.


Marlin posted 07-17-2015 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I've been towing my 160 Dauntless with a Mills cover for 12 years. Yes, I've had to re-stitch it a few times, but in general it's done great. My philosophy is that I'm trying to protect the boat and not the cover, so I generally trailer with the cover on.

My typical trip these days is 3-5 hours on the highway, limited to 60 mph, a couple times a year.


ktm3ten posted 07-17-2015 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for ktm3ten  Send Email to ktm3ten     
I had a custom cover made by Paul's canvas in Denver, CO previously. We towed that boat covered to Florida many times and the cover held up flawlessly. We live in the Midwest and are going to Florida 5-6 times per year and getting sick of cleaning road grime when we arrive. Id gladly ruin a cover every 5-6 years to save my boat and my time from cleaning.

Not living in Denver, getting a boat there for Puals to make a custom cover is challenging. Was hoping someone had a pattern.

Jefecinco posted 07-18-2015 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Re. The aforementioned Carver Industries. If you use the link you'll learn that Carver storage covers are trailerable.

I can personally attest to the validity of their claim. On my first tow with the Carver Sunbrella cover installed I was very conservative. I found the cover would become slightly loose after a few miles. At each of about four stops I would pull the nylon cover tie-down straps tight. After the maiden trip I've found the tie-downs no longer stretch and no adjustment is needed.

As a precaution I continue to stop after the first few miles of every trip to check for cover looseness. After using the cover for towing for a few years it has not been necessary to adjust the tie-downs.

I bought the extra tie-down strap kit with the cover. This allows me to use every loop on the cover for a tie-down. If you will be trailering with a Carver cover I highly recommend the additional tie-downs for peace of mind.


6992WHALER posted 07-23-2015 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
I would recommend that you never trailer with a cover on. I use to transport boats comically, the first thing we did when we loaded a boat was pull the covers. If a strap breaks or some snaps come loose the canvas will be damaged but worse than that the flapping cover will play hell with the finish of the boat.
I personally do not think it is worth the risk.
Bobs66 posted 07-24-2015 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bobs66  Send Email to Bobs66     
Towed my 66 Sakonnet For about 10 summers from Long Island NY to the Poconos (150 miles each way) and to Sebago in Maine (350 each way) with a Mills mooring cover with no problems at all.Cover had the old rubber coated metal gunwale clips and I made sure it was tight at the transom and the bow.
Jefecinco posted 07-24-2015 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Towing with a cover properly designed and constructed for towing is not a problem if you know what you're doing. If you don't know how to do any job it can be fraught with peril.

I don't know how to do fiberglass work so I don't. I know how to tow with my cover in place so I do.

Learning to tow with a cover is much easier than learning to do fiberglass work.


Landlocked posted 07-28-2015 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
I bought a semi-custom sunbrella cover from I-boats for my Montauk. It's been on the boat for 4 round trips from Tennessee to the gulf with no problems. Average low 70 mph on the trip.

I stretch it tight as a drum using ratchet straps on all the nylon loops and put small 6 inch pieces of tubular "floaty" foam under each ratchet to protect hull. For money, I'll do it again when this one wears out. It's been great.

We do it as much to hide all the junk we haul in the boat as we do to protect the boat while towing. How does anyone go on vacation in a car! When we travel, there is not an extra square foot of space in the boat or the Tahoe.


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