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Author Topic:   Towing and Canvas--What to do?
jimh posted 08-10-2000 01:00 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I am starting this thread to separate this question from the "Tow Vehicle" topic.

What is the usual practice for towing and canvas? Do you tow with your mooring cover in place or not?

My thinking is this: If I just paid $700 for a nice mooring cover, I take it off before going down the highway at 70 MPH for 800 miles.

What does everyone else do?


bigz posted 08-10-2000 06:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Absolutely no real reason to tow a Whaler with a cover -- now if you want to protect the hull from dings --- maybe Mills can fashion one of those "bra" type things you see on the Porche's --- heh heh
Seriously doubt Jim your going to be doing 70 mph with that new boat in tow unless your planning on purchasing a semi-rig with a big Cat under the hood --- chuckle --- boy am I going to be blasted on this post --- just my sick sense of humor mind you --- Tom
Backlash posted 08-10-2000 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
I do not tow with my mooring cover...have tried it and there seems to be more drag with it on than off. I do tow with a cover for the helm area that keep the instrumentation and cabin hatchway dry. The only problem I encounter are bugs on the radar arch.
tbirdsey posted 08-10-2000 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Jim: I often tow with a cover on, particularly for long trips. The main reason is because I am usually carrying something in the boat that I don't want to get wet, like luggage. It also keeps the stored bimini top and forward shelter dryer than than their canvas covers will.

Strictly speaking what I have is not a mooring cover; its a sunbrella towing cover from West Marine that is made for the Outrage 18 and its a really good fit. It has straps that go under the hull and could only be put on when the boat is on the trailer.
It also has a drawstring cord that cinches the cover tight under the gunwale.

The only problem I have had is on the trip back from the North Channel when the drawstring cord broke and I had to fish it back out thru the hem - a real pain on the side of the interstate.

I usually cruise at 60, but 70 is no problem with the Expedition. BTY, I probably would NOT tow with a Mills mooring cover on. With the Revenge, you will have plenty of dry storage space anyway.

Let's see some photos of that new old whaler!!

whalernut posted 08-10-2000 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I just bought a new mooring cover from Mills for my 73` `16 Currituck and paid with shipping $720! I would be terrified if the thing ripped or flew off on the highway. I will tow it without any cover. Regards-Jack Graner.
lhg posted 08-10-2000 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I believe Mills Outrage/Montauk mooring covers are made for towing, but I have never done so. I tow mine wide open, being sure I have the recommended bungee cords over the furled canvas. A little silicon waterproofing spray keeps the boots water tight.

My 5.7 litre Caddy, with 3.70 posi-traction rear end and 7000lb factory tow package, tows the 25 Outrage (about 6000 lbs of total rig) at 65 fairly easily, and on cruise control, as long as I'm happy with 6mpg. A properly set-up and balanced trailer is essential for this, as are good brakes, on a rig this size. A really steep hill brings it down to 45 in second gear! Regular grades slow me down to about 55.

Regarding the Caddy, it may be a mere automobile, but the low center of gravity and long wheel base makes for better, and safer, towing than one would expect.

bigz posted 08-11-2000 06:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Believe it or not folks most states have separate laws governing trailering(don't mean semi-rigs) --- regardless of the posted speed, a vehicle engaged in trailering the max is 55 (of course if it's lower so must you go) -- most don't enforce it but it's there just in case "the man" decides he doesn't like whatever -- you get my drift -- Tom
dfmcintyre posted 08-20-2000 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Jim -

I've always towed my boats with the mooring/trailering cover on, either Mills or custom. The current 21' has a custom cover, as the Mill's cover would not fit over the raised console/windshield. Was made down in Mount Clemens at Dockside Canvas. Since John knew that I wanted to tow with it, he added heavier seams and hardware for it. Works great. Towed it up to N/C twice, up to northern MI once. Since it has a slightly lower profile than my old 225 Revenge, I've found I'm getting 13.5mpg up to Manatoulin.

Best -- Don

Ed Stone posted 08-20-2000 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey Jim,
I don't use my cover while trailering
but I'm only 5 miles from the ramp.
My boat cover goes over the windsheild
and around the T-top with snaps and
zippers.There is a drawstring around
the bottom.The cover is made out of a
waterproof material called Aqualon.
It seems while towing the wind would
damage your cover.
RFK posted 08-22-2000 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     

I am still using the mooring cover I got with the boat in '92. When travelling I use a relatively inexpensive cover I got through Overton's. (I used a call-in number and the cover was designed for my boat. Has straps I attach to the trailer frame. Mostly interested in keeping the curious from going through the boat, particularly if overnight stops are part of the schedule.

For short trips to near-by lakes I don't use a cover.

For towing, I am driving a '93 Safari with 95000 miles. It pulls our 16SL easily. This past weekend we were in northern Wisconsin with another couple,luggage and the boat. Still got 15mpg.

kingfish posted 08-23-2000 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I towed my last Montauk all over creation (multiple South Fla. round trips, way multiple North Channel round trips) with my Mills mooring/towing cover *on*. Like Tom Birdsey, we used the boat like a trailer, had all our gear, luggage, coolers, bikes, yada, yada, yada...the kids could then tilt the back seats down and sleep in the car while we were on the road.

I bungeed the cover down like a trussed turkey, and I did some customizing as well, to eliminate as many entry points for air and flapping pieces as I could. The Mills cover, where it divided to go around each bow-rail stanchion, was re-inforced at the factory, but I found that at highway speeds (or at least at *my* highway speeds)the gap that was left in the canvas between the stanchions and the draw-rope snaps under the rubrail would funnel air under the cover in a bothersome way, so I had my local tent and awning shop sew a heavy vinyl flap to both sides if the gap in the canvas outboard the stanchions. Both flaps went from the stanchion to the draw rope, and each were the full width of the gap so they'd overlap each other full width, and I had the shop sew heavy duty velcro to the bottom of each forward flap and to the top of each rear flap so I could velcro them together, as if the stanchions "grew" right up through the canvas. the only other thing I did was remove the arch-shaped piece of canvas right in front of the motor that was designed to dump water into the motor well, and replace it with heavy vinyl also, with a couple of grommets at the back edges so I could bungee it tight to keep it from flapping. Impossible to stop it from flapping completely, but the heavy vinyl doesn't fray. I can tell you that it held up and served it's purpose well under consistent upper end highway speeds and an occasional foray into ludicrous speed.

My 22' came with a Sundura cover (CDC, or something like that, made up in your neck of the woods, available for many whalers in Boat US and other catalogs) that goes *over* the bow rails. I've used it the same way to cover all the stuff we seem to think we need on vacation, trussed it down, and it has worked fine that way on a round trip to Key West, a couple of round trips to Cincinnati, many trips to Lake Michigan, a round trip to Huron, Ohio, and 1-3/4 round trips to the North Channel. I raised my console 4-1/2 inches after all the trips I just mentioned except the last one (NC 200 Rendezvous), and all I had gotten around to doing with the cover to accomodate the extra height it had to deal with was to have an extra piece of material sewn in as reinforcement where the cover went over the console; the cover is/was in it's 8th year and I was hesitant to put much more into it. It just kind of got stretched a little tighter, and rode up a little higher at the bottom hem near the middle of the boat. Well, sir - on the way home from the North Channel trip ( somewhere around Clare, I think) my routine glances in the mirror to see what things were looking like back there started to indicate that something weird was up with the cover amidships. I pulled over and walked back to find that the cover was in two completely disparate pieces, held together only by the perimeter draw-rope. It had ripped right on the new seam where I had had the reinforcement sewn in over the console, from one side to the other. Towed the rest of the way home with the cover off, and (I don't think it was my imagination) felt that the boat had a *lot* less wind resistance and drag with the cover off. I have ordered a new cover, like the old one, because as strange as it seems, Leslie at Mills claims there isn't a Mills cover made for the Outrage 22'.

Oh, well...I'll probably continue to travel covered most of the time, but am fooling around with my Mills console cover to see if I can make it highway speed proof, in the event that I want to keep the bugs off the console if I do any uncovered trailering; I am chalking up the rip to a cover that had really served it's duty and had just one too many things asked of it with the raised console.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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