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Author Topic:   Towing Montauk with Mills cover.
JBCornwell posted 05-17-2002 12:54 PM ET (US)   Profile for JBCornwell   Send Email to JBCornwell  
I recently acquired an unused Mills cover for my Montauk.

According to Leslie, it was made before they started adding web loops between the clips for enhanced tie-down when towing. I inquired about sending it to them for update, but got no reply.

My question is this: What do you guys think if I add brass grommets between the clips and above the rope and use no-mar bungees to enhance the tie-down?

Thanks for your opinions.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Dick posted 05-17-2002 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

Take the cover to a canvas shop and have the attachments for towing straps put on. Do not use bungees, they have to much flex and will not hold the cover tight. Nylon towing straps are the only way to go. The cover on my Montauk (not a Mill's) has 5 straps down each side and 2 on the stern.


kingfish posted 05-17-2002 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Jeez Dick,

I don't want to pick another fight with you, but when you make absolute statements as you just did, without adding something like, " my opinion..." somewhere, you really don't leave room for opposing facts to be stated in any way that don't come across as intentional contradictions.

JB, the facts here are that straps are not the *only* way to go, and bungees if done properly, will do the job just fine, at least they will up to about 105 mph *in my experience*. They may work at speeds beyond that too, I've just never tried it. In my opinion, they are preferable over straps.

I would think grommets would work OK, with the possible exception that they might mark the gelcoat if they get to vibrating or whipping. Web loops probably would be preferable if the canvas shop sews them carefully.

Whether you use grommets or web loops, bungees will work if you create attachment points (I used stainless eye-bolts) on your trailer frame *between* the grommets or web loops, so that there are two bungees attached to each grommet or web loop, one bungee going down to the attachment point forward and one bungee going to the attachment point rearward. When you are done, it looks like a solid zig-zag of bungee between the cover and the trailer going from bow to stern.

The nice thing about this system as opposed to straps is that once you have developed the correct length for each bungee, and then bent the hooks either at the cover or at the trailer, so the bungees don't get mixed up, it is really a quick deal to pop them on or off. Straps either have to be adjusted each time and the loose ends taped, or if they are cut to length, they don't have the "shock" allowance that bungees do.

Straps will work (and ultimately would have to be stronger), just not as conveniently.


whalernut posted 05-18-2002 08:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I was wondering the same thing as I have a Mills Mooring Cover for my Currituck and it has the loops for towing, I will use them as Mills said that is what they are for. Jack.
Boston Marine posted 05-18-2002 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
In my humble opinion, it seems foolish to tow with a cover on.A little rain wont hurt a whaler plus your cover will last longer.I feel that covers are meant to keep bird dodo, the sunlight, and leaves out.
JBCornwell posted 05-18-2002 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy Boston.

When I have 1500 miles to go and about 5 grand worth of tackle, electronics, etc. in the boat, I want a cover.

She will sit overnite in at least two motel parking lots before I am home again.

Rain was never an issue. Security is the issue.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

whalernut posted 05-18-2002 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I just thought of a great idea!! I bout 2 ratchet straps for $1.50 a peice, they are 1 inch by 15 feet. I think I will buy enough to cover all of the loops on my Mills cover, and ratchet them just tight enough to hold the cover on snug at highway speeds, but not to tight as to rip the loops out from the seams. What do you all think of this idea, it seams stronger than bungees??? Jack.
Dick posted 05-18-2002 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

I don't know what your problem is. Maybe you just like picking the fly sh** out of the pepper.
Of course it was my opinion and I don't see any need to state that it was just an opinion. I would think that any one that reads a post should be able to recognize fact from opinion and comments like your's are not necessary.
No happy face this time.

JBCornwell posted 05-18-2002 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hey, Dick.

I appreciate your opinion, though I don't agree. I have been towing with bungeed covers for many years and thousands of miles.

You tend to state your opinion as though it were fact. That does annoy some folks because we all know people who don't know the difference between their opinion and fact.

Thanks again for your opinion. That's what I asked for and that's how I interpreted what I got.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Dick posted 05-18-2002 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

Sorry you feel like that. I have seen your posts here as well as on other forums and you tend to do the same at times.

I don't care if you agree, I was stating an opinion. If you didn't want an opinion that contradicted what you have been doing for years and miles why did you make the post?


Tsuriki BW posted 05-19-2002 02:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
I have a few other things to say about the whole nature of this thread, and do so later.

But first, JB if I had $5,000 worth of gear and electronics I sure wouldn't rely on a canvas cover for :security" as YOU stated was the issue. If, as you say, you are staying at motels, take your gear and electronics inside. Leaving them in the boat so someone can come along, give a quick slice of the cover (or take the time to just pop of a couble of bungee cords and make off with your gear is stupid!

But this is just my own humble opinion, not based on any facts.

Is that OK with you guys?


Mark Gallagher posted 05-19-2002 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark Gallagher  Send Email to Mark Gallagher     
I agree, you guys should ease up on Dick. He supplies a lot of valuable information here and you guys seem a little cranky!
I too get cranky sometimes but lets not be so quick to pick!

I think most information is based on opinion/experience and we don't need to have the lawyers and disclaimers attached! Do we?

Dick, I just bought a Westland Boat cover per one of your previous recommendations.
I like the quality and built in motor hood.
It cost $165 and supposedly can trailer with. It has the nylon straps which are secure but this cover takes a lot more work to install than my old Mills cover.

I plan to try this cover for a few years and see if I'll order another Mills. I wish I could put the features of both together!

As far as security, T makes an excellent point. Don't trust anything to anyone. I had someone lift my cover and take an exspensive Penn fishing pole. Now I remove FF/VHF/poles, etc and put smaller items in lockable stowage.


JBCornwell posted 05-19-2002 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I am sorry that you seem to have taken my comment as a rebuke. I didn't intend it to be.

I have no objection to getting opinions with which I disagree. I never learned anything new from people who agreed with me.


Thanks for your comments. It does bother me some, too. I am considering mounting a tamper alarm and wiring it into my vehicle alarm system.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Tom W Clark posted 05-19-2002 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

If I were you I would get a shop to sew loops, not grommets in the cover at all the points that the newer Mills covers have. This should not be expensive. Just be sure whoever does the work doesn't sew the drawstring!

I would use straps and not bungee cords. You do not want the cover to lift at speed but rather stay where it is. Once it's on and in place that's the shape you want it to hold. Bungees stretch and straps don’t.

You can buy buckles for the straps so they are all set to length and you just snap them in each time you cover the boat up up.

kingfish's experience with bungees astounds me. While he demonstrates that bungees work for him I truly find it hard to believe they would not allow a cover to balloon upwards at speed. This, you do not want to have happen.

kingfish may be having success with his setup for a couple of reasons:

The mills cover and its clips do fit very well in the first place and remain fairly solid. It may be that only a little extra restraint is required to keep it there and the bungees can provide this.

Perhaps his tow vehicle has some unique aerodynamics that minimize the wind on his Montauk at speed.

Bungee cords do have a limit to their stretch. It may be that he has his set so when the cover is bungeed down the bungees themselves are at the very limit of their stretch and cannot stretch any more and thus act like a strap.

At any rate, I would want to use straps in lieu of bungees.

John, oh my gosh, what the hell are you doing towing your Montauk down the road at 105 mph?! Remind me not to ask you for a ride....

Matthew posted 05-19-2002 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matthew  Send Email to Matthew     
You should just state your own opinion and not get personal with Dick. Both opinions are needed and necessary for an open exchange of ideas.
Just my opinion,
Tsuriki BW posted 05-19-2002 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
OK, Dick has some strong opinions about various things regarding topics that come up on the forums. Those opinions, seem to me, are based on his many years of experience. OK, he might not come across with the most diplomatic wording in his replies. So?

The valuable information he gives, and the spirit in which he gives it, really trying to help out, more than make up for any “faults” he may have, IMO. (How many of us are perfect?)

Tom, another very knowledgeable person, seems to backup Dick’s opinion (advice).

Take Dick’s advice/opinion seriously, he knows a lot of what he speaks, and take his “wording” with a bit more understanding. That’s my opinion.


whalernut posted 05-19-2002 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Right on "T"!!! Jack.
JBCornwell posted 05-20-2002 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Can we get this thread back on the original rails?

I am looking for a grommets vs. loops opinion. I can install the grommets in ten minutes for about 5 bux.

Local canvas shops haven't a clue about boat covers and want (are you ready for this?) 100 bux to put 6 loops on it.

With either loops or grommets I can use either triple strength stretch cords or straps with hooks to tighten up the cover and supplement the considerable grip of the Mills clips.

I really appreciate the ideas I have gotten, but now that the price of loops has been added to the equation, and the option of straps with grommets, what other input can I get?

Thanks gents.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Tsuriki BW posted 05-20-2002 06:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

If it were me, I would contact every canvas, tent, awning(sp?) local company in the phone book. You should be able to find someone that would puts the loops on a lot cheaper. I would do the loops.

Any neighbor ladys that sew and could help?

If you do decide to go the grommet route, I would cut an old inner tube or some other rubber material, attach it on the under side with simple stitches so it would protect your hull from damage by the grommets.

Just my ideas,


lhg posted 05-20-2002 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JB - Just a suggestion if security is your main concern. Trail the boat open, with fishing poles, etc laying on the floor.

About a mile from your overnight lodging, pull into a rest area and put the existing cover on for the night, before arriving at the hotel.
Take it off in the morning before leaving.

kingfish posted 05-21-2002 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I'll bet as I think about it, that you *could* use grommets without fear of scratching or whipping around like I mentioned earlier, if you attached the hook ends of the bungees through the grommets from the hull side (which, unless you bend the hook in, you want to do anyway, because of the potential for the plastic covering over the bungee hook to wear off right at the the end of the hook, and scratch the gelcoat). It seems like the shape of the hook with the coil at it's base would act to keep the grommet grommet edge from coming into contact with the hull.

As was mentioned, additional insurance in the form of a flap or some such between the back of the grommet and the hull would be a good idea. Materials that don't leave marks or residue come to mind, like heavy vinyl or even duct tape.

Bugsy Malone posted 05-21-2002 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bugsy Malone  Send Email to Bugsy Malone     
Now for a moment let us get technical using Kingfish, Dick and JBCornwell thoughts in combination.

Believe it or not there are different grades of bungee material for instance I have sitting here a 100' roll of industrial nylon sheathed strength 3/8" bungee cord which is almost as stiff as a climbing rope. Taking this product into consideration the idea of placing galvanized or ss eye bolts at specific points along a trailer;s frame then lacing a solid stand through reinforced sewn on tabs so as not to curl the cover fabric as grommets would do then having just two end adjustable attachment points aft and forward using pelican hooks. To make even undoing the cover a sap use a carbiner at each attachment point where the bungee cord is laced through at each point so that one can custom tension the lacing and easily remove it just by unsnapping from the pelican hooks and each carbiner makes more sense than a multitude of bungees or multi straps --- this is not AN OPINION it is and can be seen as a factual way to secure a cover which will hold it securely even in hurricane force winds on large boats that make Montauk and Outrages look like toys in comparison.

This is an OPINION regarding leaving $5000 worth of equipment only secured under a boat cover in a motel parking lot or that matter in a marina lot is silly and could prove to be costly. That much removable equipment either needs an indoor secure storage area whether in a motel room or at least locked up in your tow vehicle.

Now for a little trivia to lighten this thread though it had become laughable already up --- This is how the names Port and Starboard came into use. Early ocean going sailing ships were maneuvered by a so-called steering oar, which was hinged to the right side of the hull, the principle being similar to the manner in which an oarsman controls a canoe. The right side of a ship soon became known as the "steerboard side." This was later shortened to "starboard side." "Port side" comes from the fact that ships of the 17th century could be loaded from only one side, the left, as they had only one loading port on the left side of the ship. This side became known as the "Port side."
Bang Bang

kingfish posted 05-21-2002 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
AND, the word (common usage) "posh", as in, "Those are pretty posh accomodations.", comes from "Port side Out, Starboard Home", which were the preferable sides of cruise ships on which to have your cabin located in the early days of inter-continental travel due to location of sun or something of that nature.
Bosmass posted 05-21-2002 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bosmass  Send Email to Bosmass     
What is up with this crap…… All sources, on all topics are opinions. Every time you open your mouth you are expressing an opinion. You want the facts, you can't handle the facts.
Blues Man posted 05-21-2002 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Blues Man  Send Email to Blues Man     
Osmassbay isthay isyay anyay opinionyay enwhay idday youay ecideday otay ebay ayay irstfay assclay ackjay assyay........ orrysay obablypray ashay alwaysyay eenbay atthay ayway excuseyay ethay useyay ofyay ethay esentpray ensetay ofyay isthay opinionyay.
bigz posted 05-21-2002 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Man oh man is this thread getting weirder!
JBCornwell posted 05-21-2002 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Pardon, BOSSMASS???

Who asked for facts?? I can't find any requests for facts in this thread, which is about GROMMETS and LOOPS.

Go derail some other thread, please.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Kelly posted 05-21-2002 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I actually have a question about towing with a cover on the boat. It seems that more than once on my or my friends boats, when we tow with the cover on, if one of the flat tie down straps rubs against an edge on the boat or something, it starts to wear and cut through the strap. It is surprising how quickly. I like towing with a cover on cause then all the jackets and cushions and fishing stuff can just ride in the boat. Any suggestions. Kelly
JBCornwell posted 05-22-2002 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I have had the same experience, Kelly. I also have had the flapping loose ends of straps mar the finish on boats.

Now that I think about it, as long as elastic tie-downs are sufficiently tense, they do not cause such problems. I do not use flimsy bungees, but strong elastics with mar-proof hooks.

I may have exaggerated the value of stuff that a thief could make off with without spending some time disconnecting, unscrewing, etc. but, like you, on a long trip I have too much stuff to put it all inside my truck.

I like it out of sight at fuel, food and overnight stops and out of the breeze while on the highway.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

kingfish posted 05-22-2002 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

The issue may be worth starting another thread, but with apologies to JB for not exactly talking about bungees and grommets, I'll take a quick shot at it-

When I tow my Outrage 22' with a cover on it (not a Mills cover on this one; it's sundura and goes over the bowrails )-: ), I use a combination of straps and bungees. Near the stern, the straps pass over and have to "bend" at the junction of the gunwale and the bottom - there's probably a nautical term for that line, but it escapes me - anyway, as you said, the straps wear very quickly there if left to themselves. I have taken to folding up a small washcloth and padding the outside corner under the strap. The pressure of the strap will keep it there if pulled tight, and it really does the trick! I have actually had a stainless steel spring loaded snap connecter wear through where it was snapped into a stainless eye-bolt at the end of a strap - must have picked up some kind of abrasive on the road or something - didn't happen at any of the other dozen or so connections.

Here's another tip I learned from Walt Steffens here on the forum, if you haven't already picked it up - twist your straps 1/2 turn between the cover and the trailer, and that will stop them from vibrating.


Whalerdan posted 05-22-2002 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Another note on twisting straps. I twist the straps on my bimini so they don't buzz. Only takes half a twist.
bigz posted 05-22-2002 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hey JB and anyone else who might be interested.

There is a good article in the June 2002 issue of Boating on boat thieft, should be on the news stands now.


LarrySherman posted 05-23-2002 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Actually, POSH comes from sail driven vessals that would cross the channel between England and France. If POSH was written on your luggage, it would ride on the Port, or weather side out, and the Starboard, weather side home.

The point was to keep your luggage dry.

Its the POSH POSH travelling life, the travelling life for me.

kingfish posted 05-23-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
My sources must have been mis-informed...I got it right about the port side out and starboard home part, though-


RFK posted 05-25-2002 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Just to add a bit of spice to this discussion. Last year I joined the Seattle group for their 1st ever gathering.Which was a great time! Thank you, gentlemen. It was 2000 miles out, and the same back. Before I went I had a local cover maker put a new canvas on my boat. When I picked it up he had nylon rope for tie downs. My immediate thought was this will never work. He saw my expression and then showed me a knot he uses all the time. Well, 4000 miles later I'm convinced. Not once did I have a slack cover.The thin nylon rope did not vibrate, so I wasn't worried that the gelcoat would be scratched. (I already had that experience with nylon web straps. The suggestion of the twist does indeed help.)I am going to continue using the thin nylon rope. I have also used bungees, but the rope has done the best job of minimizing cover flap.


Montauk posted 05-28-2002 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montauk  Send Email to Montauk     
I think your idea with the grommets will work. I used the new rope rachet straps on my last 3200 mile trip and they did a great job. Easy to release, hold tighter than bungees, but on the downside more expensive than bungees. hope this helps.
JBCornwell posted 05-28-2002 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hey, Montauk!

"Rope Ratchet Straps". Can you give me more details?


Red sky at night. . .

andygere posted 05-28-2002 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have a non-Mills over-the-rails Sunbrella cover for my Montauk, with webbing loops installed about every 2 feet on the perimeter. I purchased a package of plastic bungee hooks, the type with a groove in them that allows you to change the length of the cord by pulling it through the groove like a jam cleat. I tied lenths of nylon rope to the webbing loops on the cover with tautline hitches (sliding knot) and put the plastic hooks on the trailer end. Attaching the cover is a simple matter of loosening the tautline hitch, wrapping the hook end around the trailer frame and hooking it on to itself, then tightening the tautline hitch. Near the bow, I just go under the hull and use the jam cleat in the hook to tension the line. It was cheap, it's easy to use and yes, I have towed with it at highway speeds with no problem. That said, I don't ordinarily tow with the cover on because of added wind resitance and restricted visibility when backing up.
Montauk posted 05-30-2002 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Montauk  Send Email to Montauk     
The rope ratchets were purchased at Ace Hardware, they are made by Caroline Products.
I also had flaps added over the openings around the rails to keep air from entering and bagging the cover.
Boston Marine posted 06-03-2002 11:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
This is all very humoring to me.
To put this thread to rest, in my very humble opinion.
First, one should secure loose items in the boat. I sure don't want things rolling aroung inside of my Whaler's to nick and mark the interior of the boat.Put the rods and coolers in the tow vehicle!
Second, if I have valuable item's in the boat that need securing, like depthfinders,radar displays etc. and need to stay the night somewhere I feel it wise to take these items out of the boat.
So in the end if you tow an open boat and use the cover to keep the rain,sun,leaves and bird do do out at home your cover will last much longer.The only items that are towed in my area (Mn) with covers on are snowmobiles because the covers fit like a glove and keep road salt and winter debris off of the sleds. My .02 Greg

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